Summer Hair Magic (aka I got a Keratin Treatment)

I realize that one is supposed to embrace her natural hair texture—it’s 2018, after all—but mine has always been too inconsistent to happily leave it to chance. That doesn’t mean I don’t, on occasion. Some days it just might air dry with a nice, all-over wave, but on most others it just frizzes up, maybe even curls a little on one side. Best case scenario, I’d sleep on it and wake with a nice, subtle wave, just needing to straighten my bangs out a bit.

In other words, I’ve pretty much figured out how to get it how I like it without too much effort, but I preferred the way it looked on the days I took the time to get it straight, and then added back some “natural” wave with a curling iron, which is a level of effort that just can’t happen on vacation (and which sounds completely ridiculous).

So before we left for Italy, I decided to give a Keratin treatment a try. It has, so far, been summer hair magic for me.

Here’s how it went…

First. What it is:

A salon professional coats the strands of your hair with the protein to make them smooth. Some treatments make hair pin straight for months, while other formulas simply eliminate frizz. According to Marie Claire “You either have your traditional keratin straightening treatment, commonly called a Brazilian blowout, which really straightens your hair texture, or you have your smoothing treatments, like Goldwell Kerasilk and Cezanne, which help de-frizz hair and add shine.” I chose the smoothing option. Basically, the salon applies a solution (a little like a perm), and then flat-irons and blow-dries your hair stick-straight. It’s not the kind of thing you want to do on a regular basis, but the results (smoother hair) last up to three months. I’m thinking I may make it a summer thing.

The first few days: 

They tell you not to wash or tie back your hair for at least 48 hours, but I’d heard you should wait as long as possible. I showered just before the appointment, checked my supply of dry shampoo, and then followed the rules for three or four days. An article on Man Repeller convinced me that the 48-hour-rule is “fake news,” and you should avoid getting it wet for as long as possible. It cost about $250, so I wasn’t going to screw it up.

The magic: 

Since then, I’ve washed it many, many times and I’m still amazed: it air dries smooth and fairly straight. I’ve used a dryer just to speed up drying time, but I haven’t done any round-brush pulling since. Of course it still looks best if I put a little more effort into it—some styling, maybe a curling wand—but I can do the whole wash-and-go thing without even looking in a mirror and it’s pretty much the look I’d always had to use heat-styling to achieve. I have always wanted to be that girl.

I wish I could offer up before/after comparison photos, but alas I didn’t think ahead and take any.In fact, I wore my hair up most of the time in Italy, but here’s one of the few shots of I have of it down. I should note that my natural curls are basically gone for the time-being, which might bother some people, but I don’t miss them at all.


They do say that sodium and sulfates are the treatment’s enemies, so I’ve had to banish my beloved salt scrub shampoo for the time-being. I bought a new shampoo and conditioner and decanted some to bring on our trip. But of course I didn’t let my hair stop me from jumping in the sea, and it’s been fine so far. It’s recommended that you avoid over-washing your hair to make the effects last longer.

Are there any products that do this at home? 

This was the question that came up when I posted about this on Instagram and to be honest, I can’t vouch for any. Allure gives a positive review of the TRESemme Expert Selection Heat Activated Treatment, 7 Day Keratin Smooth, as a weekly item. The best no-frizz product I’d found in the past was Smooth Infusion by Aveda. If you try it, a little goes a long way. I would avoid putting it on the crown of my head or it could look greasy.

Has anyone else tried it? If you are a frizz-fighter, what are your go-to products? 

P.S. Odd beauty treatments I’ve tried, and going with and growing out a short haircut.  Plus, more style posts.

[Photo from this post about Mollusk Surf Shop, by Will Adler]

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