Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Product Review: DevaCurl Mist-er Right and Set It Free

Type: curl enhancers
For:  all hair types

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, these two products are probably the most misunderstood of the entire Deva line.  Both products perform multiple tasks in the hair, and therefore can seem a bit confusing when it comes to proper application.  I hope that this entry helps clear a few things up on how to get the most out of these two very unique products.

Mist-er Right

Those that own Curly Girl may recognize Mist-er Right from the recipe given in the book for "Lavender Mist."  When the Deva line was developed, that homemade remedy turned into Mist-er Right.  
The product describes itself as an "herbal cleansing tonic," and in the most poetic way, this is true.  It is not, however, a "cleanser" in the traditional sense.  I think of it more as a refresher, great for second or third-day hair between washings, or as a perk-me-up in the middle of the day when the curls can go a bit flat.
The active ingredients in Mist-er Right are the lavender oil (giving it that clean, fresh scent) and the propylene glycol and castor oil, which provides just enough emulsion to give a nice, even cover when sprayed directly onto the hair.  It is not, however, a moisturizing product in the way that we thing of a leave-in conditioner.  
The best way to use Mist-er Right for refreshing hair mid-day is as follows:  Bend forward at the waist shaking your curls out.  Mist all over your hair generously, but don't SOAK the hair.  Count to ten in order to give the product time to absorb a bit into the hair, and re-scrunch your curls gently and deliberately.  Flip back over, and you're good to go.
The best way to use Mist-er Right for second or third-day hair:  Bend forward at the waist and shake out your curls.  Mist generously...you can get the hair as wet as you want, but it isn't necessary to do so.  Count to ten, and re-scrunch.  Often if the hair is a bit damp I will diffuse my hair for about two minutes as an added boost.
Also, your bottle of Mist-er Right has other fantastic applications....it can be misted on the skin to cool yourself down on a hot day.  Some clients have used it as a room or linen spray.  
My only wish is that it was sold in a smaller version for carrying around at work or for travel.  I'd suggest getting a 4 ounce spray bottle and using that for on-the-go.  Once you get the hang of Mist-er Right, it becomes addictive. :)

Set it Free

When I was doing my training at Devachan in New York, this product by far got the most questions from the class participants.  People would read down the ingredients, see beeswax, and get spooked, rightly so.  But what makes Set it Free work is given away in the small size of its 6 ounce bottle.  This is a product meant to be used very, very sparingly.  A little of this goes a long way.
I call this a "winter weight" product because it really does shine in dry, cold, windy weather.  Its job is to re-hydrate the hair while at the same time putting a seal over your curls, protecting it from the elements.  The beeswax in the product is part of this seal, and it performs remarkably well when it comes to frizz control.
Set it Free also has a slight hold--just enough to help the curls keep their shape, but not anything that will create a "cast" like that of Angell or Arc Angell.  In fact, the directions recommend using Set it Free to help break the cast of your gel.  
Set it Free can be applied wet or dry, but I only recommend dry application in two circumstances...if you have very dense, very thick hair, or if you are breaking the cast of a gel after your set is dry.  In the latter scenario you would only apply the product midway down your hair to the ends, using your hands to distribute the product throughout the hair.  In both cases, you will rarely need more than 4-6 sprays.  Make sure to hold the bottle at a bit of a distance before spraying to ensure even coverage.  Even better, spray the product directly into your hand, emulsify, and then scrunch.
So, how best to use Set it Free overall?
For fine hair...use very sparingly.  I fall into the fine hair camp, and I will use it wet BEFORE I apply my gel if my hair is feeling very dry (usually in winter).  The curls will have a softer set, but the moisture boost is well worth it.  Use it dry for second or third-day hair if you feel your curls could really use some added moisture, but only apply from midshaft downwards and scrunch VERY slowly and deliberately through the hair.
For medium hair...again, use sparingly, but you will have a bit more flexibility in application than those with finer curls.  Set it Free will work great as a cast-breaker on medium hair.
For thick/coarse hair and/or dense hair...Set it Free will work wonders to help cut the frizz on your top crown and re-hydrate dry ends, which is especially an issue with longer thick curls.   

Both products, when mastered, can truly be an asset in your daily styling.

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