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Now appearing on Geek Crafts...

Media_httpgeekcraftsc_sulgd [] is just what it sounds like - a blog that features geeky projects of crafty goodness, as well as the occasional crafty project of geeky goodness. And I have just contributed my first post - sharing my Jayne Cobb hat & scarf projects. Kinda cunning, doncha thinK?

I will be contributing crafty projects for your geeky edification and inspiration every week on Sundays, but since there are a good handful of other bloggers on the team, be sure to stop by pretty much every day to get your geek on. :)

Posted via email from Angie Pedersen's Posterous

On Getting a DevaCurl Curly Cut

When I attended the Lorraine Massey's Curly Girl author event, I met a local hair stylist, Nicole Maere, who had completed the official DevaCurl training program at Massey's salon in New York, and has naturally wavy hair herself. About three weeks after the event, and using the DevaCurl products, I made an appointment for a "Curly Cut" with her at a local salon - Salon Bliss in Overland Park. The $65 fee made me cringe - I typically balk at paying more than $30 for a haircut - but since I'd been getting such good results from the products, I decided the cut was worth trying.

During my appointment, Nicole asked me what I liked and didn't like about my hair/curls, what problems I was having, and if I wanted to change the style at all. I said I liked the length, but other than that I was open to suggestions. She asked me about my layered cut, and suggested evening out the layers, so they weren't so "chunky" - a common symptom of curly haircuts done by someone not specifically trained to deal with naturally curly hair.

Then she proceeded to cut my hair dry - the best way to cut curly hair, according to Massey, because that way you know how much the curls will shrink up in their natural state. It was fascinating to watch - basically she followed the process outlined in the Curly Girl handbook DVD, picking up individual curls and trimming the ends. Very different from the usual process of wetting down the hair, combing and pulling it out straight to trim in a straight line. Then to even out the chunky layers, she picked up individual curls, and used the scissors to kind of razor along to taper the curl - I could see the frizz just fall off, leaving just a healthy, defined curl. Very interesting. And time-consuming - the cut took about an hour, instead of the 1/2 hour cut I have been getting recently. Nicole even mentioned that clients need to specify that they want a "curly cut" when they make the appointment, so she gets enough time blocked out in her schedule.

All during the course of the cut, she kept up a running commentary about what she was doing, and offering different curly hair care tips. She also answered all my questions about the DevaCurl product line, and Massey's hair care protocol. Very informative and helpful. She definitely took great care with my hair.

Because of the hair care education and the care she took, I felt the $65 pricetag was worth it.  I can't say I'll go to her every time - I'm pretty stingy - but I can see going to her every other time, perhaps, and for color and up-do's. The quality of the cut is pretty irrefuteable. The picture below shows me right after the cut (left) and straight of out bed the next morning (right) - yes, after sleeping on it!


Product Review: DevaCurl Hair Products

After attending an author event for Lorraine Massey, and starting to read her book, Curly Girl: the Handbook, I bought a trial pack of Massey's hair care line, DevaCurl, for $28. It contained 6oz bottles of No-Poo Cleanser, One Condition, AnGEL, and Set It Free Moisture Lock.

After one use of (all four of) the products (and following Massey's curl handling suggestions), I could tell the difference. My curls were well-defined, soft, and nearly frizz-free. I was very impressed.

My curls still looked great the next day, too, though the roots at the top of my head felt a little sticky and "clumpy". In her talk & book, Massey suggested not washing every day, but rather rinsing well and reapplying conditioner. So two days after my first use, I rinsed and applied conditioner, then used the gel (but no moisture lock). Great results again - well-defined, frizz-free, and soft. My hair felt better the next day, so I think the moisture lock may not be for me. Either it just doesn't work well with my hair, or there may be some modicum of user error. I'm still experimenting with it a bit.

After a few hair washings/conditionings, I knew I was a convert, so I sought out larger size bottles. I found the entire line at a local Beauty Brands salon-store. The 12oz bottles sell for $17.95 - much higher than the Suave and even Pantene I had been using, which run between $2-$7 a bottle. Since I didn't want to undo the conditioning work I had been doing with the trial set, I splurged and got a bottle of both the No-Poo and One-Condition.

I marked each bottle with the date I started using them, so I could track how long they last me. I'm up to 10 days on the conditioner, and I have used maybe a quarter of it. I belive we go through a bottle of drug-store-bought Suave or Pantene in about two weeks, so maybe the economics will work out better than I feared.

Now that I've been using the products for about a month, I'm really pleased with my results.  People have started commenting on how good my hair looks. They ask if I got a haircut, or a perm, or did something else differently. I say, no, I just washed it. :)

Curly Girl layout

I welcome your comments on your curly hair escapades, and what products you've found helpful in caring for these natural gifts.


Template: Pattie Knox, PKnox_WebChallengeLT_081008
Paper - Digi Scrap Cafe Mini kit by Pure Creativity Designs & Scrap with Brooke (Brooke Nelson)
Scallop tab: Chris Young/HeavenlyScraps
Chipboard action: Atomic Cupcake
Fonts: BlackJack, P22 Stanyan, American Writer

Book Review: Curly Girl, the Handbook

Curly GirlCurly Girl by Lorraine Massey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm about a quarter of the way through this book, and have enjoyed it/learned a lot so far. Much like her author event I attended, Lorraine Massey's book leads the reader through some "curly girl pep talk" (feeling good about your hair, rather than fighting it), some education about the scientific nature of curly hair (it's dry & needs lots of hydration), identifying your curl type, and then gets into the care and maintenance of curly hair. The book also includes chapters on coloring curly hair, caring for curly-headed children, caring for men's curls, and curly up-do's.

Before reading this book, I believed I had always been pretty ok with my curls, and what they contribute to my personality. But upon reading the introductory chapters, and Massey's own history, I was surprised by the number of memories of elementary school angst that came back - of my mom always styling my hair for me on school picture days, so it would look "acceptable", of a schoolmate nicknaming me "Medusa" when we did a silhouette project in the 6th grade, of going to the hair stylist with picture after picture of cool hairstyles from magazines, only to hear, "Now, Angie, you know it won't look like this on you, right?" While I don't think I ever really hated my hair, I certainly didn't embrace it, and this book helped me recognize some moments from childhood for what they actually were - fighting my natural state. And, at the risk of sounding overly dramatic, I believe there's a life lesson there - you can fight your true nature all you want, but it's always going to be a fight, and will rarely turn out like the perfect scenario you envision. Better to embrace and nurture what gifts you have, and learn to enjoy them.

Studying this, and starting to use the Massey's DevaCurl hair products, has really changed how I treat and handle my hair. For example, I'm much gentler with it, use a lot more conditioner, and use a t-shirt to absorb the water after a shower. This book offers lots of concrete tips like those to help you better handle curls, without damaging them, or causing frizz (a lifelong bane for me!).

The book includes many hair puns and is written in a very conversational tone, which may not appeal to everyone. But I found the information provided more than outweighed any eye-rolling on my part due to the writing.

The DVD that came with the book was only so-so - it was helpful to see how Massey recommends washing curly hair in the shower, but that was about it. The home remedy recipes were ok, but she didn't show how to apply them, nor do I foresee myself using them. I would have liked to see more how-to on the up-do's and other hairstyles, too. The section on trimming your own hair also didn't work for me - looked like a long and tedious process to me, and one I don't anticipate trying.

Overall, I highly recommend this book for any Curly Girls, or parents of curly-headed children. It will definitely change the way you view your curls.

View all my reviews