When I moved to LA in August 2016, I already had my heart set on getting the famous DevaCut from the Devachan Salon in LA. A few months passed by and I finally got an appointment for early October with the head stylist, Sergio. (The Culver City location of the Deva salon has since closed but Sergio has moved to a new salon.)

I made an appointment and they specified that I should wash my hair, use minimal product, avoid hair ties, and air dry my hair. Knowing that I had severe heat damage, I was uncomfortable doing wash and go’s because of my curl pattern (or lack thereof.) I braved it anyways, because I knew the results of the DevaCut would be well worth it.

As you can see, I had tons of heat damage from years and years of straightening and re-straightening my hair. This was my hair going into the appointment, clearly really damaged and unhealthy to the point where there were little to no visible curls.


The appointment began with me being offered a silk robe and water in a wine glass. Sergio sat me down, explained the process of the haircut, and asked how much hair I wanted to get rid of. I told him to cut off all the heat damage, give me bangs, and we could go from there. He carefully cut my hair curl by curl as I watched, feeling my insides clench up as I saw my hair fall to the floor.

After the cut, my hair was washed and treated using all DevaCurl products. The woman washing my hair explained to me how I should be washing my hair to see the best results – finger detangle in the shower (avoid brushes if you can) and apply hair products when your hair is soaking wet (so either in the shower or directly after you get out.)

I went back to Sergio and he dried my hair. This is what my hair looked like right after the cut – I wasn’t the biggest fan because it felt so short and small.

October 2016

And a year later, here we are…

October 2017, still wearing stripes

So how did I get here? My hair growth is something I barely even noticed until I saw a picture of myself from last year. I was so used to believing my hair didn’t grow! So here’s any & everything I’ve used on my hair in the past year (I’ve italicized what I use in my current routine – updated 03/30/18) –


Tresemme Flawless Curls Shampoo

Organix Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo

DevaCurl No-Poo Decadence


Tresemme Flawless Curls Conditioner

Organix Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Conditioner

DevaCurl One Condition Decadence

Deep Conditioner/Masques

Aztec Indian Healing Clay (mix w/ ACV & any oils for a deep treatment masque)

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner

Cantu Deep Treatment Masque

Leave-in Conditioners

Curls Blueberry Bliss Leave-In Conditioner

Mielle Organics White Peony Leave-in Conditioning Spray

Cantu Leave-in Conditioning Treatment


Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker

Miss Jessie’s Jelly Soft Curls

Ecostyler Argan Oil Gel


Jamaican Black Castor Oil (for scalp & sealing ends) 

Jojoba Oil (during wash & go routine) 

Argan Oil (to refresh second, third, fourth day hair) 

In addition, here are some tips, from a girl who isn’t claiming to be a natural hair guru or influencer or anything – just a college student on a college budget.

  1. What works for me (or someone else) may not work for you – every hair type is different!
  2. Get regular trims. This is a huge one. Healthy ends are the key to healthy hair – and it helps your hair grow.
  3. Try out products for yourself to see how your hair reacts to them – that’s the best way to find a routine that works for you.
  4. Finger detangle your hair – it might seem hard at first but you’ll get the hang of it. I section my hair into five sections (four + one for my bangs) and detangle it piece by piece.
  5. Apply hair products while your hair is soaking wet! This is a great way to eliminate frizz.
  6. Air dry for more defined curls, diffuse for volume. I air dry and use an Afro pick to achieve the amount of volume I’m looking for.
  7. Establish a routine and stick to it – that’s exactly what I did, no expensive hair vitamins or crazy treatments involved!
  8. Of course, drink tons of water because that’s the key to everything.


Posted by:Manna Zel

3 replies on “how i grew my hair in a year

    1. thank you so much! i wash my hair twice a week, once w/ shampoo & once as a co-wash. i only shampoo my roots & allow it to spread through my hair when i rinse it. occasionally i’ll do box braids or cornrows but i normally wear my hair in an big fro!

      Liked by 2 people

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