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Reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Beach waves, defined ringlets, and multiple styling options are just some of the things to love about curly hair.
A little harder to appreciate, however, is how easily curls can transform from a vibrant, bouncy mane to a frizzy mass of hair. This is mostly thanks to its unique structure.
If you have naturally curly hair, you should know that this texture encourages high sebum production on the scalp.
This sebum unfortunately tends to bypass the follicles, leading to a high risk of dryer hair fibers.
This is why DevaCurl's formulation (which is free of sulfates, parabens and silicone—chemicals known to damage or strip the hair of moisture) appears ideal for any curly-haired person looking to maintain and improve hair health.
But while its product description shows great promise for curly hair care—current and potential customers of the brand might want to approach purchases with caution.
There have been claims that DevaCurl could lead to hair loss over time.
If you’re concerned about DevaCurl use and hair loss, read on to find out the story, if it’s common and what some have done in light of this information.
If you're invested in curly hair management, DevaCurl is a name you've probably come across at some point following its inception over 25 years ago.
Targeted specifically for curly hair management, it's 'No-poo' shampoo alternative, which has the distinguishing feature of being free of suds, sulfate, parabens and silicone—is just one of many notable products that set the brand apart.
DevaCurl’s range of conditioners, moisturizers, styling creams and other haircare products has endeared the brand to the curly-haired community.
In fact, the popularity of its products has earned DevaCurl a cult following, with over half a million followers receiving routine updates of the brand on Instagram, where a host of haircare influencers promote the benefits derived from its products to their many subscribers.
Safety-related questions about the products started popping up following a series of YouTube revelations, and claims from customer support groups that alleged potential hair loss, scalp sensitivity, breakage and compromised curl patterns resulting from DevaCurl product use.
The question is, how true are these claims?
Because so few studies have been conducted and made accessible to the public, getting an answer to this question could depend on who you’re asking.
In a now-private Facebook group of nearly 60,000 members, most would agree that DevaCurl causes unwanted changes to the hair.
This group was dedicated to users sharing their negative experiences with the brand’s hair care products.
Allegations that have now been consolidated into a class-action suit against the brand claim that consistent use of DevaCurl products could lead to balding and hair loss, as well as scalp irritation, hair thinning and breakage.
DevaCurl however denies these claims.
To assure its customers of the safety of its products, the brand explained that its formulations were free of adulteration, contained only trusted ingredients and used only safe amounts of sodium hydroxide, an ingredient known to cause hair loss.
The brand also claims to have reformulated certain products to comply with regulatory updates and to ease customer fears about the use of preservatives.
Still, the matter has yet to be decided on in court.
While the jury is still out on whether or not DevaCurl is likely to cause hair loss, if you are experiencing thinning or balding hair in certain areas of your scalp, there are a number of factors that could be responsible.
Common causes of hair loss include:
When hair starts to fall off in round, bald patches around the scalp, this could be the result of an autoimmune condition.
Alopecia areata is a genetic form of hair loss, where the body wrongly views hair follicles as dangerous targets and attacks them, causing follicles to shrink and slow production.
In extreme cases, this form of hair loss may lead to the complete loss of hair on the scalp, otherwise known as alopecia totalis.
Even more serious cases could see the total loss of hair all over the body (alopecia universalis).
If you can pick out a few uncles, aunts or other relatives within your family who live with balding or thinning hair—there’s a high chance you could also experience pattern hair loss.
Androgenetic alopecia or pattern hair loss is the most common form of hair loss. A hereditary condition, its effects are caused by activities of dihydrotestosterone, a hormone known to cause hair loss.
Most women experiencing pattern hair loss first notice signs of it around the age of 29.
If you’re losing more and more strands to your hair brush and the bathroom sink, this could be the result of previous stressful events.
Telogen effluvium is the loss of hair following a traumatic event. This could be due to anything from pregnancy and surgery to malnutrition and the use of certain medications.
This form of hair loss is usually noticed about two to three months after the triggering event, but it only takes about three to six months after the event has come to an end for regrowth to be noticeable.
In severe cases however, hair growth can take a little longer.
When menopause hits, your body goes through a carnival of changes—one of which is an imbalance in hormones.
When the body’s supply of estrogen decreases, only to be met by an increase in androgens—a hormone popularly responsible for hair loss—this can increase the chances of losing hair around the time you say goodbye to tampons and sanitary towels.
Regardless of the cause, when you begin to notice or suspect you are losing hair, your biggest concern will most likely be the best way to get it under control.
A few trusted methods have been proven to improve hair loss in women, some of these include:
Available in 2% and 5% formulations, this topical product is able to improve your chances of a fuller hairline and denser hair mass by providing your hair with the right amount of oxygen and nutrients required to grow.
Learn all about how minoxidil works to improve hair growth in women.
In addition to treating hypertension and heart failure, this medication can help with improving hair loss.
In particular, it is useful for conditions such as pattern hair loss which are caused by the activities of androgens.
Spironolactone is able to lower the levels of testosterone in women, which in turn reduces the production of the hair-loss causing androgen—dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
You may have spotted saw palmetto in the ingredients list of trusted shampoos and other hair care products.
To promote hair growth, this topical ingredient carries out the important role of reducing the amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the scalp.
There's no saying for sure what effects DevaCurl products might have on your hair.
However, if you use a product, or engage in any practices that cause you to worry about hair loss or worse—experience it—act quickly by having a healthcare professional take a look.
For a quick heads-up, should you suddenly begin to lose more hair than usual, here’s our guide on the causes of rapid hair loss and possible ways to manage it.
Kate Hagerty is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with over a decade of healthcare experience. She has worked in critical care, community health, and as a retail health provider.
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