DevaCurl counterfeits and dupes
December 18, 2017 5:23 AM   Subscribe

I like to use DevaCurl hair products, but they're expensive. They cost somewhat less on Amazon, but I'm not sure whether I'm getting the real thing. Are counterfeits improbable? Are there cheaper drugstore products similar to the ones I like?

I like to use Low-Poo Original (~2x/week), One Condition Decadence, and Arc Angel Gel. These are each $44/qt directly from DevaCurl, and they go down to ~$30 each from Amazon. DevaCurl doesn't have any authorized Amazon retailers, and once in particular, I suspected that a bottle of gel I got from Amazon wasn't what I was used to. How do unauthorized retailers get real products? Do they counterfeit hair products?

Are there drugstore-priced alternatives to these products? I have very thick, coarse, frizzy hair that DevaCurl products (and Curly Girl methods) coax into curls. But I also often get a gross scalp condition (oily layer/scales/flakes), and I think many products provoke it, though I try to keep conditioner and gel off my scalp. I've treated my scalp with OTC shampoos and a prescription one. They all temporarily work, but make my hair terrible. DevaCurl is better than most others (though not ideal) for my scalp, and great for my hair.

So, I want products with ingredients that make frizzy hair curly, but I want to avoid the ones that make my scalp freak out. I don't really know what ingredients those are, but I put the DevaCurl ingredients here, and I know they don't have silicone, paraben, or SLS.
posted by daisyace to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I can't speak to your scalp conditions, but alternatives to DevaCurl that worked for me with styling were Kinky Curly Knot Today (a leave-in) + Kinky Curly Curling Custard (a loose gel); I've also been very happy with the Not Your Mother's Curl Cream and shampoo/conditioners.

Generally, I've been pretty happy with random drugstore shampoos/conditioners that don't have silicones, sulfates, or parabens. The Shea Moisture line has been pretty good.
posted by TwoStride at 7:14 AM on December 18, 2017

I switched from DevaCurl to co-washing with Loma moisturizing treatment and deep conditioner. My hair actually looks even better and Loma products are priced well below other salon products.
posted by bighappyhairydog at 7:22 AM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Hi, hair buddy! I don't know that I have the perfect answers, but I'll tell you what I do in case it helps.

I agree with you--love Devacurl, hate the difficulty and price of getting it. I use Trader Joe's Tea Tree Conditioner as co-wash instead of Devacurl no-poo. By itself, I would probably get too much buildup with just using this conditioner as shampoo, but I find it works best to use my fingers to really scrub it in and scrub it out. Additionally, once a week I use medicated Selsun Blue to help me with the oily/scaly/flake situation (with the side benefit of removing ALL buildup).

On my weekly Selsun Blue day, I do three steps: (1) use the medicated Selsun Blue and scrub the heck out of my scalp while it's on, leaving it on as long as I can stand it (maybe 3 minutes?); (2) co-wash with the Trader Joe's Tea Tree Conditioner, to get my scalp and hair back to feeling more soft and normal, plus reducing the dandruff shampoo scent; and (3) use my regular conditioner, which is L'Oreal EverCreme.

I second TwoStride's recommendation for Kinky Curly Knot Today + Kinky Curly Curling Custard . A little goes a long way for both, and at around $10-12 each, they last me a couple of months each.
posted by pril at 7:41 AM on December 18, 2017

I have a lot of thick, fine, dry 3a/3b (spiral) curls, and my hair really really likes As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner.

The stuff cleans my hair without stripping it and leaves it feeling soft and frizz-free without weighing it down. Plus you get a lot of product for not much money -- 16 oz. for $8-$10, depending on where you buy it (it's available at Target, Walgreens, Sally Beauty and Rite Aid, to name just a few). The packaging bugs me -- it's in a tub, and my shower has tiny shelving -- but I bet that decanting it into a condiment squeeze bottle, as recommended by a reviewer on Makeupalley, would fix that.

One caveat: Given your buildup issues, I would probably stick closely to the routine suggested by pril, and swap in the As I Am Coconut CoWash only once a week or even every other week to give your hair a little moisture boost.
posted by virago at 8:37 AM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have similar hair and I have had very good luck with Tresemme's Perfectly Undone shampoo and conditioner. I use the conditioner first on ends, comb through and rinse, then use shampoo on scalp and comb through and rinse. And I only wash once every three days or so. Since I have been following this routine, I have had very minimal scalp issues (when I regularly had to use T-Gel in the past).

If I want my hair to have defined curls throughout, I use Deva Curl defining gel, but lately I have been just letting it air dry so it's wavy on top and curls at the bottom.

The best thing I've done to keep my frizz under control is get an undercut. I keep the sides and most of the back shaved tight, so there's much less weight and it's able to curl. My hair is thick enough that you can't tell unless I put it up. I'm sure this helps with the scaling/flakey stuff too.

You can buy Tresemme and some Deva Curl products at Target and they have regular sales that make it very affordable.
posted by galvanized unicorn at 8:50 AM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

I can't speak to the DevaCurl stuff, but I have the same oily/greasy/flaky scalp issue.

With the medicated shampoos, don't think of them as shampoo. Think of them as foaming, rinse-out topical treatments. Apply to your wet scalp, rub in, wait a few minutes, then rinse out. Then wash the rest of your hair with regular shampoo.

You also want to rotate medicated shampoos—use each one for a few days in a row before switching.

You can talk to your dermatologist about non-shampoo treatments. I like clobetasol propionate liquid, which I put on my scalp at night.
posted by radioamy at 8:54 AM on December 18, 2017

The woman who cuts my hair is a Deva Curl advocate, but she told me to look for shampoos without SLS - hence low-sudsing. I found the RenPure line, and love the Argan Oil shampoo - it acts as a conditioner as well, and my scalp has been fine. Best of all, it's cheap (and can sometimes be found in places like Grocery Outlet or Big Lots)!
I also see that they have a new line called Viva Curl - just for curly hair.
posted by dbmcd at 9:13 AM on December 18, 2017

I actually didn't like the Deva Low-Poo but now I co-wash with Suave Essentials Coconut (SUPER cheap) and once a week shampoo with Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus shampoo. I do a baking soda wash / apple cider vinegar rinse whenever I feel like there's too much build up.

For conditioner I use Tresemme Perfectly Undone which is silicone free and smells soooo good, if you like a "shampoo" scent. It's cheap enough that I don't hesitate to use gobs and gobs when finger combing my hair.

I don't use gel that often but Herbal Essences Totally Twisted performs the same as the Deva gel for me.
posted by raspberrE at 2:22 PM on December 18, 2017

Another vote for Kinky Curly Curling Custard. It doesn’t seem to build up too much, but I can revive it the next day with a little water so I don’t have to shampoo as often. Any shampoo with sodium laural sulfate listed as one of the first ingredients will give me a terrible, itchy, scabby reaction. I use Nizoral. It’s expensive but a little goes a long way. Then conditioner and a little argon oil leave in. The curling custard creates soft curls. If I want a little more definition , then I’ll apply a little mousse to the ends.
posted by tamitang at 6:26 PM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you, everybody! I'm lowest on conditioner at the moment, so I'm picking one of those from your suggestions to try first. I think I'm going with the Shea Moisture that TwoStride and raspberrE both mentioned, because there's a formula specifically for curly hair, it doesn't have ingredients that I know to avoid, and the cost is ok. But I'll return to other answers if I need a different one, and when I'm ready to replace my shampoo and my gel. Much appreciated!
posted by daisyace at 2:30 PM on December 19, 2017

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