At this point in my life, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I know that my skin type is combination, my body type is definitely curvy, and I absolutely have a thing for tall, dark and handsome men. Plus, I’ve pulled enough all-night work sessions to know that I have a classic Type A personality. One thing that took a while to figure out? My curls. Although it’s obvious that my hair texture is naturally curly, defining my exact curl type has been one helluva struggle.
Since I was about nine years-old, my curl pattern has changed slightly almost every year—and it’s not the same all over my head. For example, the fine, tangle-prone curls at the front, are nothing like the glossy, smooth coils just above the nape of my neck. My mix of curls has made assigning my hair texture to just one category on the traditional curl spectrum a confusing task. Especially because there are approximately 921,213,121 ways to categorize your curls. The most common spectrum classifies hair textures based on a 2A to 4C scale (two being wavy; three, curly; and four, coily). The A to C letters correspond to the tightness of the curls—A is the loosest. DevaCurl’s way of breaking it down is refreshingly easy to understand. In the DevaCurl world, the spectrum is divvied up into three simple categories: wavy, curly, and super curly. Simplicity, FTW. Here’s what it looks like:
As you can see, the shape of the curly hair patterns can vary within each category. “Wavy hair strands can have anything from a bend to a soft ‘S’-shape,” says Cal Ellis, Curl Master and Educator for DevaCurl. “Sometimes the patterns may be inconsistent.” Cal adds that curly girls tend to have a more pronounced, bouncy curl. “Super curly girls typically have tight to very tight coils or a combination of the two,” he explains. My official curl type, I’ve finally learned, falls under the super curly category. I like saying “super curly.” It makes me feel less like the robot that I do with an alphanumeric label and more like a superhero!
Although DevaCurl’s spectrum is concise, it’s still inclusive. Around here, we have a “for all curlkind” philosophy, that basically means that every hair texture can sit with us. The cleanse and condition products were created to nourish and bring out the beauty in all natural curl types and textures, with specific ingredients that deliver what your type needs. And get this: The No-Poo, Low-Poo and One Condition packaging is color-coded so that you can easily spot the bottle that you’re shopping for—yellow is for wavy, green for curly, and teal for super curly.
So what does this stuff do? In a nutshell, the cleansers and conditioners not only make your hair look and feel healthier, they also set you up for hassle-free styling. For wavy hair, the big challenge is often finding products that pump up the volume without weighing the hair down. “The Delight line gives the wavy girl more body by delivering weightless moisture. We use a blend of rice protein, chia-flaxseed and lotus flower for body, fullness, and definition,” says Cal. He recommends curly girls opt for the No-Poo and One Condition Original line for its purifying and shine-boosting benefits. “DevaCurl Original delivers essential moisture and has peppermint oil to stimulate the senses,” he says. “One Condition Original with olive oil provides shine and frizz control.” Got super curly hair? Go for Decadence, which was made for hair textures that crave hydration and strength. (Take that, breakage.) The No-Poo and One Condition Decadence formulas with chufa milk and quinoa protein provide ultra moisture and help strengthen the hair.
I can personally vouch for the importance of knowing your natural curl type because once I switched to the Decadence line (I used to be an Original devotee), my ringlets began to sing a new, even happier tune. I love that One Condition Decadence cuts my finger-combing time in half. (That process can take twenty minutes or more—hence my appreciation for any minutes that I can spare.) And SuperCream (a styling must for super curlies) defines and tames my curls in an instant.
Once you’ve nailed down your curl type, and start using the right products, styling becomes (dare I say it?) a fun process instead of a chore. I’ve found that I get better results with less work so I’m more open to experimenting with everything from gels, sprays or whatever stylers are calling to me on any given day. In sum, the “I love your hair!” comments I get on the regular are proof that ID-ing your curl type is a crucial step in learning to love your curls. If only I could go back and introduce my nine-year-old self to any one of my go-to products today—my teenage years might have been very different.