Devacurl: The Scandal

Around 20 years ago Loraine Massey, a New York hairstylist, created the Curly Girl Method. The Curly Girl Method is an approach to curly hair care that prioritizes hair health by cutting out heat styling, sulfates, parabens, and silicones. The Curly Girl Method was a massive hit in the curly hair community, and the guidelines it set redefined natural hair care. 

Along with the Curly Girl Method, Loraine Massey also founded the Devacurl hair care line, which is dedicated to creating healthy hair products for curly hair. It was a huge hit, thanks to the effective high-end products, along with an aggressive marketing campaign, Devacurl has been the darling of the curly hair community for many years. 

Now, that’s all begun to change. Early February, a class action lawsuit was filed against Devacurl after many victims came forward claiming that Devacurl products caused dryness, change in curl pattern, and even bald spots. She started a Facebook support group that now has over 50,000 members. The scandal really took off when popular curly hair guru Ayesha Malik, came out with her own damage story

There are many theories about what could have gone wrong with the products, they range from improper storage, to adulterated essential oils, to toxic packaging. The only thing that is known for sure is that many people have experienced this damage. 

Devacurl had an extremely aggressive marketing campaign, its connections to many of the most popular curly hair influencers was a huge part of its popularity through the years. Those connections are backfiring now; however, as more and more former “Devacurl Ambassadors” come out with their own stories of damage. 

It's important to note that the popularity of the scandal could be motivating many influencers to jump onto the “Why I Stopped Using Devacurl” video trend. It’s easy to get clicks on a video with such a provocative title. That’s not to say that the claims of damage shouldn’t be taken seriously, there are large groups of people who have all experienced very similar symptoms, which points to an overarching connection to Devacurl’s products. 

Devacurl stands by it’s claim that the proper safety tests and regulations were met, and that the damage experienced by their clients is not connected to their products. As of yet, there is no concrete evidence that proves Devacurl products are in fact responsible for the damage, but if I owned any Devacurl I would certainly not be using it now.

I myself was lucky enough to be too broke to afford Devacurl products, so I have not experienced anything described by the victims. However, I know what a big part of my identity my hair is. I can’t begin to imagine how heartbreaking it would be to experience this kind of damage from a company that I trusted so much.