Introducing our new blog series, “Changing the Coarse of Curly Hair”! In this series we interview curlee change makers: salon owners, hairdressers, curlee platforms, curlee journalists, and much more. Stay tuned, because Curlee Girlee is changing the coarse of curlee hair and it begins right here … Tuesday is blog day!

I am excited for today’s interview with Janice Hirst of Devachan Salon. Devachan Salon is one of the pre-eminent curly hair salons in the US. With locations in NYC, Los Angeles, and Miami, Devachan has taught their fantastic curly techniques to stylists across the country. Helping to ensure that curly girls of all ages embrace their natural selves, I personally am grateful for their amazing hair products which my own Curlee Girlee loves to use!

Curlee Girlee: Devachan is the pre-eminent curly haired salon. Has Devachan always catered exclusively to curly hair?

Janice: Yes. Devachan has always been a destination for Curly Hair. Over 20 years ago, the original founders recognized there were no salons catering specifically to the unique needs of the curly client.

Curlee Girlee: How long has Devachan been in business?

Janice: The first Devachan Salon opened in Soho, NY in 1994. The curl conversations that took place ultimately led to the inception of the DevaCurl brand in 2002 beginning with the first-ever sulfate-free shampoo, appropriately named No-Poo.  This non-lathering conditioning cleanser was the first to market and revolutionized the way curly girls cleansed their hair. DevaCurl continued to grow organically while formulating a comprehensive line of hair care products for the curly girl based on consumer demand.  DevaCurl continues to launch new products based on those conversations.

Curlee Girlee: Does Devachan work with children as well?

Janice: Yes, we have a large number of curly-haired children. We love watching children fall in love with their curls just as much as we love helping educate parents on how to care for their children’s curls. Since many parents have straight hair themselves, they appreciate learning from curly hair experts.

Curlee Girlee: Devachan is not just a salon you also have a product line- can you tell me about that?

Janice: Yes we only use our own product line called DevaCurl. When DevaCurl launched, we were literally the one and only non-lathering sulfate-free cleanser on the market! Curly girls didn’t quite understand the benefits of removing sulfates from shampoo until they started using No-Poo and were able to experience first hand how the health of their hair changed dramatically. Today, we have a full range of products including Cleansers, Conditioners, Masks, and Styling products that cater to wavy, curly and super curly textures.

Curlee Girlee: I know Devachan teaches their curly hair method of cut and styling to other salons and hairdressers can you tell me a little about that?

Janice: We teach our techniques both in the DevaAcademy located at our Flagship Salon in Soho and in the field with a team of Deva Educators. We offer monthly classes dedicated to teaching curly hair techniques and also offer our basic level one classes in the field for salons dedicated to supporting the DevaCurl product line. We also have a helpful Stylist Finder on DevaCurl.com, which is packed with curly pros across the country who we’ve trained to cut and style curly hair. To find the right Deva Inspired stylist by city, you simply need to enter your address and check out the profiles and reviews that come up. It’s that simple!

Curlee Girlee: What do you think makes Devachan such a successful salon?

Janice: Most people with curly hair have suffered for a long time without the right haircut, products or knowledge to help them love their curls. Devachan was one of the first salons dedicated to curly hair. Our stylists don’t just give you amazing curls, they teach you how to create them on your own. We believe in the very simple idea of loving your curls in your own way.  Once someone with curly hair has a wonderful experience at Devachan, they become extremely loyal. It also helps being surrounded by other curly clients. There’s a mutual admiration that happens among curly girl to curly girl, which is a beautiful thing.

Curlee Girlee: What do you find is the biggest difference working with curly hair and straight hair?

Janice: Curly hair is a lifestyle not a trend and our stylists understand the emotional side as well as the practical side. Practically, they provide helpful tips and tools to each client; emotionally they understand the challenges that can come with having curly hair and they help to empower clients to embrace their natural texture.

Curlee Girlee: I have often found that curly haired women have a personality that matches their hair. Do you find that to be true?

Janice: Very much so. I think hair is an important part of someone’s confidence and self esteem. I wore my hair straight for years in the corporate world, because that is what was expected. Now I am embracing my curls and feel more light-hearted and free.

Curlee Girlee: Do you find that curly haired women struggle with their hair more than straight haired women?

Janice: Many curly haired women struggle because they try to change their texture rather than letting it be natural and working with it, instead of against it.

Curlee Girlee: What is your favorite go-to curly haired product?

Janice: DevaCurl products are my favorite, and from the range I love the Frizz Free Volumizing Foam. It holds and hydrates the curl, without the crunch of other foam or mousse products on the market

Curlee Girlee: How important do you think it is to have Curlee Girlees start to love their hair and embrace their curls?

Janice: It is very important!  Once they start embracing their curls they can focus on more important things and as a result, become more self-confident. And once they know how to properly care for their curls, they feel empowered.

Curlee Girlee: What is your best advice for Curlee Girlees, young and old?

Janice: Embrace and love your curls, once you know how to manage them they will become your best friend.

Curlee Girlee: There are 1.6 billion curly haired women in the world today and they overwhelmingly dislike their curls. What would you tell these women to help them realize they are beautiful just as they are?

Janice: Although many still enjoy a good blow out, it seems that more and more women are embracing their natural texture and learning to love their curls. When an iconic magazine such as Vogue has Serena Williams on its cover rocking her natural texture, and beautiful models in afros sashaying down the runways of New York Fashion Week it’s evident that the current attitude toward natural hair is definitely on the rise and only gaining more and more momentum.

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