Expert Advice

CURL CULTURE: DevaCurl Salon and New Academy in Culver City, CA

Anne Moratto | June 2, 2014 | 12:53 PM
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The DevaCurl Salon entrance: This lovely building, formerly a neighborhood post office, has a historic designation. Outside, the Art Deco facade has been beautifully maintained and the indoor decor has been lovingly restored.
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The different kinds of "curlies"
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ACADEMY: Theatre seating
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ACADEMY: The stage is set for some DevaCurl education.
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GENIUS! This patented hood dryer is really a full-head diffuser. Any style handheld blowdryer is inserted at the top and the air flows through the entire hood and out of strategically placed holes to dry hair without drying it out, causing it to frizz or overheat.
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ACADEMY: Cameras overhead are projecting the work done here onto a screen in the theatre.
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ACADEMY: Curly-haired students concentrate on their curly-haired clients.
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CURL CULTURE: DevaCurl Salon and New Academy in Culver City, CA

A visit to the DevaCurl Salon and Academy in Culver City, CA convinces you that a hairdresser who can help a client embrace their curls will have a customer for life. The DevaCurl Academy trains hundreds of stylists who go onto practice the DevaCurl cutting, highlighting, cleansing and styling techniques perfect for naturally-textured clients. A state-of-the-art facility, the Academy boasts multiple stations in a bright, well-lit salon environment, a theatre and stage, and a full kitchen. On hand to instruct was curl visionary Denis DaSilva, a hairdresser and inventor who, 12 years ago, was told that his idea to create a system of products that would nourish naturally-textured hair and that would cleanse without sulfates would never work. But telling DaSilva something can’t be done seems to fire his imagination and determination to see that it is.

“Many people with curly hair have been told it is a defect and we hear so many women who say they have spent their life fighting their hair,” DaSilva says. “At the same time, hairdressers have a fear of cutting curly hair. So curly haired women aren’t coming into the salon anymore because they’re told something is wrong with them when they hear, immediately, ‘Oh, you have frizzy hair, let me straighten it’ when what they really want is to have a haircut that helps them wear their hair. And hairdressers are losing business. We are bringing business back to the salon. Every single class we teach is completely full.”

Joining DaSilva to teach a full class were instructors Cal Ellis and Molly Owen.

“It’s always nice to change but when it comes to the hair, after you straighten it, after two years, you are in hell,” says DaSilva. “The hair starts to come in and you have the straight ends but the roots start to grow and they push out the hair and you start to look like a cabana. So you straighten again and then the hair starts to break. The hair can’t take that much punishment. Out of ten people who have the experience of our curl and care technique, 4 out of 10 say they will never go back to straightening their hair. That other six, they are very attached to straight hair so they will go straight, again…but then they return because now they have had the experience of living with their natural curl and with really loving it. We’re the curl rehab.”

Take a visual tour of the salon and academy via the slideshow and captions below.

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