Most curly girls have had daytime nightmares having their hair cut by “professionals”. Until more recently there hasn’t even been a technique taught to licensed hair stylists on how to cut curly hair. Curly hair can not be treated like straight hair, and sadly most cosmetology schools don’t even teach about curly hair care.
The Deva Certification technique of caring for curly hair has been a solution for curly hair woes and a major blessing!
I have personally been cutting my own hair since I was in middle school. Even when I had chemically straightened hair and had a professional cut it, I usually had to fix it a bit once returning home. The cut was never exactly even, and I have always had an eye for detail.
This year I taught myself how to cut my curls as recommended in the 2nd Edition of Curly Girl: The Handbook by Lorraine Massey, the co-founder of DevaCurl products, the Devachan Salon, and the Deva Certification for properly caring for curls. In this book one is shown how to cut curly hair dry and curl by curl. This is crucial since each curl has its own independent personality.
When you curls are as small as mine it is a tedious process to cut curl by curl, yet it still makes a big big difference.
This year I’ve worn both my natural curl pattern as well as twist or braid outs. For those who only wear twist and braid out styles you can probably get away with dry cutting your hair straight across or in basic layers with this extremely easy cutting method. For those who like myself like to go back in forth between styles, having a Deva Cut or Deva inspired cut is crucial to how your hair will fall and look overall.
(November 2012 Twist Out–Almost One Layer in Length)
In the past week I found a video on YouTube by a DevaChan Salon professional Dennis DaSilva on how he cuts curly hair. Out of all of the videos that I’ve seen, his demonstration of cutting curls really made a difference in my most recent shape up. I’ve actually been micro trimming my hair more often because I actually prefer my hair to have blunt ends. Because I’ve been trimming away many of the layers this year, my hair was looking a big triangular if I wasn’t doing a twist or braid out. Since I’m not one for enjoying any in-between hair growth stages, I decided to try this method.
The benefits of this cutting technique is that it completely eliminates having a “shelf” on the top layer of your curls while blending all layers more evenly.
How I positioned sections of hair in your hands while also cutting curl by curl using my the new angle of my hand as a guide made all the difference. For those like myself who prefer to cut your own hair, this video will be extremely helpful. I watched it a few times to completely understand this technique of exactly how to position my hands before cutting. Just know it takes me a few hours to cut my hair. I take my time and never rush.
(January 2012 curls with a “shelf” in the back top layer and a very long thin bottom layer)
How I Cut My Hair…
I’ve discovered this year that I prefer the back layer of my hair to be straight across versus a V-shape. My preference may change in the future when my hair is longer, yet for now this is what I like. I usually use a wide tooth comb to gently comb out the bottom back layer of my hair dry (a complete curly girl no-no) and cut the very back layer straight across. Using this recently learned technique, I cut a tiny bit off of the top layer of my hair cutting curl by curl with my “new guide” which you will see in the video below. You don’t have to cut off a lot of your curly hair to make a big difference. Finally I cut curl by curl to blend the middle layer of my hair by eye. I want each curl to relate well with each other and almost blend seamlessly. It really is like trimming scrubs or a bonsai tree.
To cut hair curl by curl, I always cut my hair near the end of the C-curve in the curl so that the lock of hair will be a complete curl at the ends versus chopped in a non specific place.
(Back of My Current Cut)
Some mistakes that I’ve seen with cutting curly hair is cutting curls wet, cutting large sections at one time, brushing larger curls out then cutting, or using a razor to thin out curly hair. When you have larger curls, brushing the hair out may not work out as well. I think smaller coily curls that naturally create a true afro can be gently combed out to cut and shape the hair. I personally prefer to only comb out the bottom back layer.
I’m obviously not a licensed hair stylist, yet I’ve done my very best to learn from those who do know what they are talking about.
I have yet to have my hair done at the DevaChan Salon which is now in Los Angeles, but the women who I spoke to in the salon were absolutely lovely. (Native Foods one of my favorite vegan restaurants in right next door!) If you aren’t savvy with cutting your own hair definitely see a Deva certified professional so you will be happy with the end results.
You can also find a list of curly hair salons and curl specialists on Naturally Curly. You can also read more articles about cutting/trimming curly hair on Minimalist Beauty.
(Also here’s the link to the “Curly Hairstyles Free Form Curl Cut and Styling” video if it isn’t showing above.)
(Images by Dawn Michelle and Video by Naturally Curly)