Update: February 11, 2020
In response to widespread claims that cult haircare brand DevaCurl has caused irreparable damage to users’ hair—including breakage, curl pattern changes and full-blown hair loss—the brand has announced their decision to assemble an official curl council—like a natural hair Avengers, but composed of “medical professionals, dermatologists, independent industry experts, professional stylists and members of our curl community” aimed at answering questions and providing resources regarding healthy hair and scalp.
In terms of the safety of DevaCurl products, the brand still asserts their efficacy and harmlessness despite the public outcry, claiming “rigorous testing that has confirmed [the products] are safe and adhere to both quality assurance and regulatory standards.”
Just today, the brand released a new statement addressing their “curl community.” The full statement reads:
“to our beloved curl community,
Nothing is more important to us than you.
As a curl community, we know the curl journey is a unique and personal one as your curls are an expression of who you are. We always want your curls to be a source of pride, never anxiety. This is at the center of what our brand stands for and what our professional stylist community has helped to encourage over the last 20 years.
When some of you first raised concerns about our products, we were laser-focused on our testing as the best way to confirm their safety and quality. You can feel confident using DevaCurl because all our products have gone through rigorous testing that has confirmed they are safe and adhere to both quality assurance and regulatory standards.
We’ve heard you and recognize that any changes to your hair – for whatever reason – demand a special type of attention that safety tests alone can’t address. That’s why we’re partnering with medical professionals, dermatologists, industry experts, professional stylists, and members of our curl community to better address your needs and concerns.
We are committed to:
-Creating a Professional Curl Care Council of trusted medical professionals, dermatologists, independent industry experts, professional stylists and members of our curl community to help us all better understand healthy curls and scalp. We will develop Curl Care Resources for you and our stylist professionals, including information about curl and scalp health and using DevaCurl products.
-Sharing answers to some of the top questions we have received from you around safety and ingredients, as well as links to independent professional organizations.
Because many factors determine curl and scalp health, the situation is complex, and we ask for your patience as we work together to provide more answers and address your concerns.
We will continue to share updates.
Your DevaCurl Family”
This Post Was Originally Published On: February 7, 2020
Love it or hate it, influencer culture is a reality for beauty buffs—and really anyone—on social media. Whether we’re googling gummy vitamins for miraculous hair growth, distrusting Kardashian-backed detox teas or investigating appetite-suppressing sweets, the fact of the matter is that we are constantly exposed to the questionable, grey world of Instagram influencer/brand partnerships. But what happens when that relationship turns sour?
This week, the curly-girl influencer world took a hard hit with claims that cult-brand DevaCurl has been wreaking havoc on hair. Over the past several months, influencers formerly tied to—and often paid by—the brand have spoken out on social media, explaining the extent of the damage.
Ayesha Malik, a YouTuber with 203K followers, posted an emotional, 16 minute video this week entitled “Why I stopped using DevaCurl” where she shares her experience using only products from the brand for six consecutive years as a former brand ambassador. “This is my official statement: If you’ve bought DevaCurl products because of me, I am sorry,” she begins the video. “And if you are currently using these products, stop immediately. I do not recommend them. Not on your hair, not on your friends’ hair. Do not give these products to them. Do not donate them to a women’s shelter. I do not recommend these products on anyone’s hair.”
In the video’s description, links to a Facebook support group and signups for potential law suit investigations can be found. “I wish I made this video a year ago,” says Malik. “But I was in disbelief. I was lying to myself, therefore I was lying to all of you.” According to Malik, what she thought was one bad hair day became multiple. “It came to the point where I never saw a good hair day ever again.” In the remainder of the video, Malik shares the hair loss, dandruff and curl pattern change that ensued after using DevaCurl for so many years.
A friend and fellow YouTuber, India Batson, who actually met Malik through DevaCurl, posted an Instagram image on Tuesday, sharing her concerns. “I have not been taking this situation surrounding Devacurl lightly,” she captions the post. “I have seen your questions and messages of sheer panic. I have been calling influencers in the curly hair community trying to get to the bottom of this, reaching out to DevaCurl personally and researching online to understand what is at the root cause.”
Perhaps the most powerful opponent of DevaCurl is a hairstylist named Stephanie Mero—@CurlNinja on socials—who used to sell DevaCurl at her salon. Her YouTube account features a playlist entitled #RecallDEVACURL, with emotional and honest videos dating back to January of last year. In one, Mero bursts into tears, sharing her frustration with the brand and lack of empathy. In others, she broadcasts a call with the product development team at DevaCurl and explains her theories about exactly what happened to turn the brand’s products from hair hero to destroyer.
In addition to the playlist’s 20 videos, Mero has started a Facebook support group for people who have used DevaCurl products and noticed changes to their hair or head. “This group is for people who believe they are suffering hair and scalp issues from using DevaCurl products,” reads the description. “The purpose of the group is to support each other in a tough emotional time, confirm any uncertainties by comparing our situations, and stay updated on communications with the company. Run by @TheCurlNinja, a personal victim of the products, an ex-DevaCurl Stylist, and advocate for those who have less of a “voice” when change is needed.”
In response to the public outcry and panic across social media platforms, DevaCurl has made an official statement:
“Over two decades ago, DevaCurl was born from conversations with people like you and from our salons and stylists about what you wanted and needed to embrace your curls. As a result, our community has grown to include millions of Devas around the world who use our products every day. When that conversation includes product and safety discussions, we are as engaged as you are. We are committed to providing the information you need to continue to use DevaCurl with confidence.
From the beginning, all of our formulas are subject to rigorous and thorough testing such as stability, microbiological testing and repeat patch testing before DevaCurl allows any product to be manufactured. During manufacturing, a variety of testing is conducted on each batch of a DevaCurl product before it is sent out to salons and customers. This includes testing for pH, viscosity, fragrance, appearance and microbiological testing to ensure our products meet strict internal quality assurance standards and regulatory requirements before they reach the market.
Because some of our community have recently asked more questions about some of our products we have conducted additional testing at the manufacturer and warehouse level. In addition, we worked with an independent third-party toxicologist to verify the safety of these formulas. All these tests verified there are no safety issues with our products.
We don’t speculate on why some people are attributing the challenges with their curls to our products. As part of our ongoing commitment to product safety and the satisfaction of our Deva Community, we are conducting additional testing with an independent party. Please share your experiences with us at [email protected].
We will go above and beyond to help anyone on their curl journey.
Your DevaCurl Family”
Stay tuned to NewBeauty.com for more updates.