I've got a review of a relatively new DevaCurl product. DevaCurl is a company that makes higher end sulfate free and silicone free products with curly hair in mind. Their founder, Lorraine Massey, wrote a really influential book on curly hair care, Curly Girl. In 2011, she followed it up with Curly Girl: The Handbook. Even though pretty much all of the info in those books can be found online, I still think they're worthwhile reads!
Anyway, so in years past, the Deva line included two gels: Deva Angel and Deva ArcAngel. Angel was the lighthold gel, and ArcAngel was a stronger hold. ArcAngel stayed ArcAngel, but Angel became DevaCurl Light Defining Gel. Then, DevaCurl added a gel with intermediate hold in between these two. The intermediate holding gel is the DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel. Got all that?
I had tried Angel and ArcAngel in the past. I remember feeling that Angel did not have enough hold for me, and ArcAngel made my hair too stringy. So with their light hold gel not being enough and their hard hold maybe being a bit too much, I thought, hey, this intermediate gel sounds pretty promising.
|Front of the Bottle|
|Ingredients (you can click to enlarge!)|
The gel is Curly Girl method friendly, meaning there are no silicones (or sulfates). It's a water-based gel but it has a lot of glycerin, so you might want to save this for spring/summer/fall if you live in a particularly dry winter climate (dew points regularly below 20). You can read all about why I say that here!
The important thing to note about the ingredients is that this does have a hefty amount of protein. If you have coarse hair, you might want to be wary of this product unless you're confident that your hair likes some protein. If you have fine hair like me though, this is nothing but good news! Fine hair generally takes protein very well.
This gel is scented, but I find it to be a very pleasant scent and it does not linger on me.
Here is what the gel looks like. You can really see that water base when it sits in my hand and warms up for a few seconds. Obviously, it's a clear gel with some body to it, but it easily spreads across your hands, which is important to me because I want a gel to be able to spread easily across my wet hair strands to get even distribution.
I applied this gel using the Squish to Condish method, where I get my hair super saturated with conditioner and water, then scrunch in a gel to this sopping wet hair while still in the shower. I found that it distributed really well.
Here are the results. I love the shine that this gives me.
I was really happy with how this turned out. So were there any negatives?
My one possible complaint is that by the end of the day, I did have a tiny bit of surface frizz. I could pretty easily smooth it down with some water/conditioner, though. So if you're prone to your curl tightness failing throughout the day, you might want to try something with more hold.
One issue I have with this product is the claim from the Deva website that "As it dries, Ultra Defining Gel forms a moisture-protective cast to enhance curls." I did not find this to be the case. If I read that a product is going to form a cast over my curls, I expect a true crunchy cast that I need to scrunch to release. This gel didn't do this to me (at least in the nickle sized amounts I've been using). It did have a noticeable hold, but it wasn't like Kinky Curly Curling Custard level of cast-formation. So that could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your own personal preferences.
All in all, I'm happy with this gel and I'll keep it in my rotation. Check it out on Amazon, which usually has it for around $2-4 less than in stores.