The natural hair salon Duafe in Philadelphia has been blessing heads for over 20 years now. Celebrities such as Jill Scott, Beyonce, Tye Tribett, Floetry and Janet Jackson (just to name a few) have been enjoying the twists, locs, color and intricate braids created by Duafe’s owner Syretta and her team of stylists.
I have been connected to Duafe and Syretta since I was thirteen years old. After first getting my hair braided in Syretta’s mother’s house in West Philly when she was just a young, single stylist, I have continued to follow her career. Upon every visit, I see evidence of her growth as an artist and entrepreneur. Her salon changed from being a small attic dwelling to being in an expansive, warehouse chic building. Her clientele ranges from multimillion dollar artists, powerful politicians to regular folk, men and women, black and white. Every time I sit down in a chair at Duafe, fragrant scents, intimate conversations, laughter and tender hands knead my spirit into a softened space of comfort and care.
Syretta has been watching with smirking eyes as this “natural hair revolution” has blown up. Two strand twists, bantu knots, kinks, curls and fros are nothing new to her. In many ways, the population is finally catching up to her wealth of knowledge, finally her skills and that of her staff may really begin to fulfill the potential that has been building for years. She is ready to be of service.
Duafe’s “Curl Specialist”, Rimmy
Syretta has found her salon’s curl whisperer. 28 year old Rimmy a native of Ohio has come east to Philadelphia to follow her passion for hair care. I met Rimmy recently and immediately I knew she was to be trusted and she knew what she was doing. After meeting her, I wanted to showcase her skills, I wanted to spread the word about Duafe to all the timid, first time big choppers, overwhelmed transitioners and curly haired women frustrated with salons that ruin curls with hot blow outs, lop sided, short cuts and the inability to lead and inform about healthy hair care practices.
I found Rimmy’s muse in one of my best friends – Tsehaitu. She has been perm free for seven years but she has yet to really get into the groove of knowing and caring for her curls and kinks. She has been persuaded by the myth that you can really have the best of both worlds. You can have straight hair one week, curly hair the next and healthy hair all around. Her hair was misshapen, dry and in need of some TLC. I brought her to Duafe and Rimmy for a transformation. Here is her transformation.
Tsehaitu’s Hair Before
Tsehaitu maintains a very simple regimen of Jojoba oil and water on her hair daily. She sets it at night with 5 chunky twists and fluffs in the morning. She is not a slave to definition by any means. She actually prefers less definition. For the past 3 months she has been going to a hair salon (off and on) and getting her hair straightened. She was assured by a hair stylists that her hair can stand heat, it won’t be damaged and that with a steady trim every 6 weeks she was doing her hair some good.
Rimmy looked at her hair and said “WRONG!”. Remmy explained that, “There is no in between with straight and curly. You either commit to having healthy curls or maintaining straight hair. If you want to go between straight and curly, your going to end up HAVING to wear it straight because your curls can NOT withstand the damage of heat. Eventually your curls will retreat into stringy, porous, life-less strands.”
This was the case with Tsehaitu’s hair. She had heat damage. Her natural curl pattern remains unknown to her even seven years after she has stopped perming her hair.
“If your hair is wet and your curl does not spring back after pulling it, if it doesn’t have any elasticity to it, your hair is heat damaged.”
Rimmy asked what were Tsehaitu’s hair goals. Tsehaitu said she wanted manageable hair that would grow. Rimmy was completely honest with Tsehaitu explaining that heat damage is similar to a perm in that your hair is forever altered. There is no going back. The only two options were big chopping or transitioning. The only way to healthy, happy, thriving curls was to stay away from heat.
Tsehaitu did not want to big chop, so they agreed that the journey would be a slow and steady one. Every 6 weeks Tsehaitu agreed to come to get her damaged ends clipped by Remmy as the healthy, unaltered curls grew in from the roots. The beginning of Tsehaitu’s healthy hair journey was getting her hair shaped.
Shaping to Rimmy is the most important aspect of healthy curls ( second to product). In her opinion, it doesn’t matter if you have the most beautiful curls if your shape is wrong. With a bad shape, you are doing your styling potential no justice.
Rimmy dubbed the common shape of Tsehaitu’s hair – The Sting Ray. “Long on the sides with a long tail in the back”. If you look closely, you will see that the “tail” in the back is an illusion to length and does not really provide an honest representation of length. The tail had to go. Tsehaitu took a deep breath and let it go.
“See through” ends that needed to go.
Due to the fact that Tsehaitu’s curl pattern is damaged, she is going to have to continue to create the illusion of a curl pattern and definition. Rimmy applied Duafe’s product for moisture and shine and began doing a variation of a two strand twist. The hair is two strand twisted down it’s length and then tucked into itself to create a loop. She then put Tsehaitu under the dryer for a short time.
The Results After Shaping and Styling
If you are in the Tri-state area and you are looking for a natural hair salon, check out Duafe Holistic Hair Care in Philadelphia. Check out all of their styling in braids, locs and curly hair care. Book an appointment and tell them ATWC sent you!
Dua-fe.com or call (267) 297-7636