As soon as I entered GBS Pinecrest last Saturday, the man at the counter already knew — “They’re all back there,” he said with an inviting smile. Like honeybees flocking to their queen, Miami’s curly girls were headed to meet Lorraine Massey, author of Curly Girl, innovator of the “Curly Cut,” and co-owner of DevaCurl and New York’s Devachan Salon.
Massey and her Devacurl crew were visiting South Florida GBS salons, educating salon professionals (including my beloved Larramy), and meeting the masses to spread the curly hair gospel. The salon was packed, and Massey was holding court in a corner, surrounded by rapt curly haired women of a variety of textures. Their baskets were laden with products and books. One customer proudly brandished the last DevaSun diffusing hair dryer in the store.
Suddenly I came face to face with Lorraine herself. Her curls are on point — a gorgeous angel’s mane of blond spirals. “I love your hair!” she squealed when she met me, and it’s like — cue Handel’s Messiah. “I love YOUR hair!” I squealed right back. We hit it off right away. We chatted briefly about the terrible trend of curly-to-straight makeovers on television, and she briefly consulted me about curls and hair color — blond highlights can make curls immediately apparent, but can also make your hair super dry. Before too long, she was whisked away by another crowd of women, eager to ask her detailed questions about how to cut, cleanse, and style their hair. The salon space was overcrowded, but the energy was so empowering and positive.
The room was mostly filled with Caucasian curly girls, there was one other brown skinned bella in the room and she kept making eye contact with me in the mirror as she got her hair styled into perfectly stretched ringlets. When her hair was done, she approached me and we chatted about Afrobella. She was familiar with my site, and is a regular at Nappturality, so we had quite a bit to chat about. Lorraine flitted around the room, joining conversations, admiring hairstyles in progress — an adorable little girl no more than six was among the throng, and the stylist trimming her hair was amazingly attentive to the shape and direction of every curl. “She’s going to do you next,” a Devacurl specialist informed me.
I kept coming up with questions for Lorraine based on my own experiences — before my haircut I’d been having trouble detangling my hair. My beloved Denman brush wasn’t cutting it lately — I noticed that it was making my curl pattern frizzy and disrupted, leaving me with a big poofy clown wig instead of coily spirals like I wanted. From the minute I said “Denman brush,” Lorraine’s eyelids fluttered shut like she’d caught the vapors. “Why would you do that? Then your hair has to find its curl pattern again. That’s not detangling your hair gently or slowly or with respect.”
I told her that Denman brushes are pretty popular among curly haired women of color of late — I’ve been reading lots of talk about Denman brushes everywhere from Nappturality to Honey Brown Sugar to Biracial Hair, and I’ve heard from quite a few bellas who swear it’s changed their entire hair care routine. Despite the brushes’ popularity, Lorraine just says NO to brushing, period, and discouraged me from using the Denman in no uncertain terms. I asked her what she would do, if she needed to detangle in a hurry. “I would rather wait a few days until I have the time to properly cleanse and style my hair,” she declared. I explained that I only used the Denman in the shower, when my hair was completely saturated with conditioner. “But your hair is very weak when it’s wet. Brushing the hair when wet makes it more likely to break,” she explained as she was ushered away to chat with another group of patrons.
Then it was my turn in the chair, with Terri as my DevaCurl specialist. I’ll say this — the lady takes her time and gets it right. “What can I say? I’m a perfectionist,” she explained as she compared the length of the curls on either side of my temples. Terri’s cut was careful and precise, specifically trimmed to fall perfectly into shape. I asked for volume and length, and Terri tapered the haircut to shape my face while keeping the back of my hair as long as I wanted it to be.
Terri’s cut was less interactive than Larramy’s; no bending over upside down with her. At the end of my haircut — which was done dry without any products whatsoever because of time constraints — I wasn’t entirely convinced of the cuteness of my new do. All of my grown-out highlights had been chopped off, leaving me with a close-cropped head of dark coils that, sans product, looked hella dry. Terri even admitted that she cut off more than she meant to.
One day and an overnight Ojon treatment later, and voila. That’s the photo you see above, and I detangled with a wide tooth comb instead of the Denman, as Lorraine advised me to do. For styling products I’ve been using Miss Jessie’s Curly Meringue, a wicked mix my homegirl mixed up for me — based on the bella-beloved MoeShealoe that everyone on Nappturality and Fokti is buzzing about (LOVE IT!), and DevaCurl Set Me Up to scrunch my spirals into shape.
I’ve been swimming in compliments ever since the haircut, and with the colored tips of my hair gone, it feels healthier and looks more moist than ever before. Very happy with it so far, and what I like about the curl cut is, as it grows out it still maintains a shape.
I plan on interviewing Lorraine soon, and I’d love to ask her some questions from you bellas!
What do you think of the cut? And what would you like me to ask her?
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- The Sunday Afternoon Beauty Ritual | afrobella | November 25, 2008