I’m now several years into my Curly Girl journey. I’ve had Ouidad haircuts and Deva Curl haircuts. Now that I’ve done both and gotten styling tips from both, it’s time to see which one reigns supreme. Many of the links here are affiliate links and purchasing through them helps support the blog.
The cut: My Ouidad haircut looked amazing. Curls were perfectly formed, nice and thick, they looked fantastic. I honestly couldn’t believe it was me.
The styling: Unfortunately I could never duplicate the salon look. Not even close. Ouidad advocates a Rake-and-Shake method to let your curls form naturally and every time I tried it I ended up with my hair separating into lots and lots of curls instead of just a few. It got kinda crazy and frizzy and uncontrollable.
The products: It took me a couple tries to find the right fit, my first round of products didn’t work for me. But Ouidad graciously sent me some new products they chose just for me and the second round was much better. (Thank you, Ouidad!) I’m currently using the VitalCurl Clear & Gentle Shampoo with the VitalCurl Balancing Rinse Conditioner. After using non-salon products for a while there’s a definite difference. Not all shampoos for curly hair do enough for my oily scalp, but I’m pleased with this one. (Downside: not sulfate-free.) The VitalCurl Tress Effects Styling Gel has a great hold that’s on par with my favorite gels. It has a very unique smell, but only when I put it on, my hair doesn’t pick up the scent at all. I also tried the VitalCurl Define & Shine Styling Gel-Cream, which has less hold but works well if you’re not looking for super defined individual curls.
The cut: I don’t know that I saw much difference in terms of my cut with Deva Curl. Again, my cut came out great, it looked fantastic, and I was thrilled with it. The second time around I realized that a lot of their secret is the hair dryers, if only I had the time to sit under one every day. The only real difference I see is the lighting even though Deva Curl did a dry cut and Ouidad did a wet one.
The styling: A lot of the credit here goes to my stylist who told me exactly what to do when I added conditioner and gel. I follow his directions almost to the letter. And you guys? It’s the curly hair I always wanted. Thick, full curls that don’t look too frizzy or too crunchy.
The products: I still hadn’t found a gel I loved, so I purchased the Devacurl Ultra Defining Gel from the salon. These days you can even find it at the regular drug store! It’s more expensive than drug store brands, but it’s also really reliable and one of the only products I shell out extra cash for.
Honestly, when it comes to choosing a salon I was really pleased with both Ouidad and Devacurl. See what’s near you and check reviews. Most curly-specialized stylists will have a longer, more expensive first appointment where they do a full consult so it’s harder to shop around with this kind of stylist and you’ll want to do as much research as you can. The most important thing is to find someone who gets your hair.
So what’s my daily hair routine like now? It’s kind of a mish mash of things that settled into a simple routine that works for me.
Shampoo focusing on the roots and scalp. When I condition, I flip upside down and add it to the hair that way. I’m prone to oily roots so these two steps help keep my hair clean and manageable. I’ll never be able to quit traditional shampoo.
Out of the shower, I flip upside down and squeeze excess water from my hair and scrunch it with a t-shirt. Then I use duck bill clips to get my part the way I like, off to the left, and to give hair some volume and height. Ideally my hair stays like that for an hour or so, but there isn’t always time. When I remove the clips, I turn upside down again and scrunch and muss hair a bit to make sure the gel isn’t too crunchy. Flip back up, set with a bobby pin, and DONE.
I know some of this varies from salon to salon and stylist to stylist. But I never found a groove with rake-and-shake and was comfortable with Deva Curl styling right away.
I’ve finally been comfortable having my curly hair be part of my signature look. Which means I’m finally figuring out what my signature style is and feeling less self-conscious when it comes to beauty and fashion. It’s the best, y’all.