Curly Hair Product Pioneer And DevaCurl Co-Founder Lorraine Massey Returns To The Spiral Scene With New Brand CurlyWorld
Lorraine Massey, co-founder of DevaCurl, has entered the curly haircare world again with the brand CurlyWorld.
The new brand is starting with four products priced from $30 to $36: hair and scalp cleanser ShamFree, conditioner Terms and Conditions, toner With or Without Hue, and shine gel Leave-in Lover. CurlyWorld, which is targeting premier salons for distribution, marks Massey’s return to the beauty industry after leaving DevaCurl five years ago.
“My experience at DevaCurl was profound in many ways. It was great to be an integral part of a growing industry and to provide a service that enhances people’s lives. I learned so much from that experience and even more after I left. It has helped me find a place where I want to reach out to more curlies in more ways,” says Massey, adding, “I am at the beginning, and I am enjoying the journey and the process once again. It’s like having a newborn after 20 years. Some things you forget, but it’s all well worth it.”
Massey says CurlyWorld is different from DevaCurl because it’s a deeply personal enterprise. “I want to grow with my customers and other like-minded curl stylists, and listen to their desires and create curlaborative products with those who are addressing and undressing hair all day long,” she elaborates. “They are like farmers or gardeners. They know, see, feel, smell and sense what is still missing and needed in our field. They are looking for products that can become lifestyle applications that make it simpler to teach their curly clients to love their hair beyond the salon experience.”
“I am at the beginning, and I am enjoying the journey and the process once again. It’s like having a newborn after 20 years. Some things you forget, but it’s all well worth it.”
CurlyWorld’s products don’t contain parabens, gluten or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), an ingredient DevaCurl was derided for leaving out. “It was met with years of opposition, and we’d be consistently defending the reasons why we had no bubbles, lather or suds in our hair cleanser,” recalls Massey, emphasizing, “It was all about educating curlies about the detrimental dehydrating aspects that detergent shampoos had on already naturally dryer hair and our waters.”
Massey founded the salon Devachan with Denis DaSilva in 1994. At one point, there were four Devachan salons, including a location in Los Angeles. The brand DevaCurl launched in 2002 with No-Poo Cleanser, a product epitomizing Massey’s haircare philosophy that harsh shampoos aren’t suitable for curls. Private equity firm Tengram Capital Partners acquired DevaCurl in 2013 and sold it to publicly-traded asset management firm Ares Management last year.
Following DevaCurl’s pattern, CurlyWorld’s world won’t only encompass haircare products. The brand is planting a roughly 1,500-square-foot New York salon on West Broadway in Tribeca that will be named Spiral (x, y, z). It’s expected to open by Thanksgiving and feature creative workshops Massey is calling Hair Be & Be, child-friendly sessions she dubs Sunday Schools for Curly Kids, and Uber Curly, a service delivering curly offerings in New York. It will also have a private sanctuary for hijab-wearing women, and specially designed dryers, and beds for cleansing hair that simultaneously save water and hydrate hair.
“Because I have curls, I totally get the psychology of being a severely misunderstood curly person. We all have curly horror stories it seems. My dream is for our young curlies to love their hair from birth.”
“I am truly happy when I am cutting hair. It appears to be a need on a molecular level for me. I cannot explain it,” says Massey, continuing, “Because I have curls, I totally get the psychology of being a severely misunderstood curly person. We all have curly horror stories it seems. My dream is for our young curlies to love their hair from birth.”
Massey, already filling bookcases with her books “Curly Girl: The Handbook” and “Silver Hair: A Handbook,” has returned to writing as well. She’s planning to release a book directed at kids along with a CurlyWorld kid’s haircare line. Massey reveals she’s considering scripting a play, too, that will touch upon challenges she faced at DevaCurl. She declined to expound on those challenges.
Discussing the impetus behind the potential play, Massey says, “I want you to take whatever suffering you had, but I don’t want it to define you or make you negative. You’re not a victim. You make it part of you. That’s what I’m always aiming to do, take situations and spin them a bit, just like curls.”
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