Keratin Treatment

It’s going to be hard to write to this without sounding like a hypocrite after all my ranting last week about beauty, but I’m a woman, so I have my own share of self-loathing.

I try not to get too worked up about my body, the size or perk of my boobs, parts that don’t need to be bleached, labia aesthetics, stretch marks, arm flab, wrinkles, cellulite, and other things I can’t or don’t feel like I need to change.

But I was born with curly hair. When I didn’t pay attention to it, I walked around for years like this.

Not a smirk, that was just my face for all of junior high. Yes, that is a squirrel pelt on my head. Yes, the bangs do go up out of the picture

We didn’t have the Chi, most products in the 80s were marketed to those trying to make their hair bigger, not smaller, and even though perms were popular for a time, I never really had that look right either.

Hair is my Achilles heel of feeling pretty.

In the last few years, I’ve started using relaxers on it to try to tame some of the curl. The last one I had put on, didn’t turn out great and was left on a little too long because my stylist was multi-tasking and doing two prom up-dos at the same time as my appointment. My hair didn’t fall out or anything, but as it started to re-grow, it also started to break a little, leaving me with tiny frizz babies all around my face.

It was driving me crazy, so I mentioned at my last hair appointment that I would like to try another relaxer or something that would make this look better.

She asked me to find out what kind of relaxer my previous hairdresser had been using, but after a hair cutting relationship of 12 years, she left without a forwarding number, and I could not obtain this information. Apparently, it is very important, because if you mix two brands that don’t agree, no matter the time in between, it can make your hair break off and fall out. Yes, fall OUT.

I made a hair appointment anyway, and went in for a consult. New stylist explained about the possibility of hair disintegration, and mentioned that they had a new brand of keratin treatment that was safe to put over any previous relaxer. I have been wanting to try this, but it is expensive, and I’ve read mixed reviews about it because one of the main ingredients is formaldehyde. Ummm, I want manageable hair, not an embalming.

She said this one is made with no formaldehyde (I didn’t ask what they replaced formaldehyde with…probably puma piss), and that she has had great results with people with hair texture similar to mine. So I agreed.

I went in Saturday for the appointment, and the stylist was concerned about my two-textured hair. The top 6 inches were re-growth in my natural texture, and the bottom half was relaxed and almost behaving.

She decided to split the treatment into two parts. She would start at the roots and leave the solution on for the maximum time, and then add it to the bottom and cut the processing time in half so I didn’t end up with bi-polar hair textures. I appreciated her concern, and this seemed to do the trick.

I was encouraged by the fact that there was no smell to this treatment and no burning to my skin, which I have experienced in other relaxer treatments.

After she finished applying it and letting it process, she washed it out, blew my hair out straight, and carefully flat-ironed each piece of hair to lock in the chemicals. This is the most damaging part of the process, but I didn’t even see the usual amount of smoke and burning hair that I create when I straighten my hair. This process including the haircut, took 4 hours. If it hadn’t been the first 4 hour period without my daughter glued to me in months, I would have been in hell. But I read some magazines, and almost fell asleep a few times. My new stylist is not a chit-chatter. She apologized for it, and I just smiled in relief.

With other keratin treatments, you have to leave the hair unwashed for at least 72 hours, avoid any moisture and sweating, and not pull the hair back in any way to allow it to set, but with the new one, you can wash your hair immediately if you want to.

Here is a picture the day of the treatment.

I just want my hair to do this naturally. Is that too much to ask?

I was afraid to wash it because I wasn’t sure what kind of hair I would be left with. But I washed it yesterday, let it air-dry with no product in it, and this is how my hair looks now when I don’t try, which is 99% of my days.

Not a great look, but not horrible, and not much frizz.

The only care stipulation is that you are encouraged to use a shampoo and conditioner without sulfates and that salt water and chlorine are damaging. But I don’t really get my hair in these substances much anyway because they are bad for my natural hair texture as well.

Overall, I am happy with the results, but it took out more of the curl than I expected, so I’m really going to have to learn how to do my hair all over again with the new texture. I have no idea what kind of hair products people with wavy hair use, and I’m probably going to have to commit more time to doing my hair one way or the other now. Thankfully, messy buns and hats cover a multitude of hair disasters.

I’ll let you know how this treatment grows out. I can only afford to do this once a year, if that ($342 was the cost with a haircut, which may seem shocking, but is not that much more than I would spend on color), but for now, I’m loving the Keratin treatment.

My hair is soft and I can run my fingers through it when it isn’t completely straightened, and that is a first for me and the rat’s nest.

Has anyone else tried this treatment? Did you have good results or bad?

How did it grow out?

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36 thoughts on “Keratin Treatment

  1. Yeah! Hair that you like. Every woman deserves this.

    I have had the opposite problem most of my life. My hair was SO straight that combing Dippity-Doo into soaking wet hair, setting it in rollers and the wearing them for two days gave me a little body in my hair for my senior pictures. It lasted about three hours.

    Stay beautiful! I’m sure you can’t help it anyway . . . .

    • I agree, every woman deserves to have hair they like.
      I would have gladly traded your hair dilemma for mine, but the grass is always greener, right?
      Thanks so much for your kind comments!

  2. I really need to try this. My hair is the most unmanageable mop and I feel horrible with I straighten it and it starts smoking and smelling! Oh what a horrible smell! That’s why I usually just pull it in a pony tail and go!

    This darn Texas humidity doesn’t help us either! I’m moving to Montana!

    • Yeah the smell of burning hair is a tough one for me too which is why I really only bust out the flat iron for special occasions.
      I’m pretty happy with it so far, and it was pretty humid yesterday here in TX too, so this is comparatively little frizz.
      I’ve often wanted to move to a humidity free climate as well. Not a friend to the curlys!

  3. It looks wonderful (but then again, I think you’re beautiful with the curly hair too :) ) Once the hair has been straightened, is it supposed to stay that way indefinitely (not counting the new hair growth, of course)?

    • Thanks Carrie! I don’t mind a little curly, I’ve just always hated the frizz and big hair look.
      Eventually all the keratin will be washed and stripped away and my hair will go back to it’s pre-treatment texture. This can be anywhere from a few weeks to to 6 months depending on how careful you are with products, etc. I will do more research about how to keep the effects in place as long as possible though. But it’s definitely temporary.

  4. You look great! ‘I have baby hair’, very fine and absolutely straight, which is now going grey. I can do nothing with it and have given up trying. After years of perms, curling irons, rollers and coloring, I’m happy to just tie it back in a pony tail and leave it at that!

    • Thank you! The baby fine hair is probably just as distressing. I’ve rocked the pony tail for years so I can relate. I usually get on a trying kick a couple times a year, but the rest of the time I just let it go and pull it back. And since I spent so much on the texture, I have to pluck the gray hairs and forgo the coloring this year :)

  5. It looks so pretty! I have naturally curly hair, too, and in the summer I always has frizz episodes. Think Monica on Friends when they went to the islands! I think I may have to try this treatment.

    • That’s exactly what my hair does too left to it’s own devices.
      So far I’m recommending the treatment wholeheartedly. If my hair falls out from it, I’ll definitely let you know though!

  6. Looks great! I think it’s a law of nature that women want the exact opposite of their own hair. Mine is fine, thin, and bone straight, so of course I’ve always wanted thick, big, crazy hair.

    • Thanks! Ask anytime :) I was really scared too but more scared of picking the wrong chemicals and having to shave my head.

  7. Your hair looks great. I have curly curly hair too. Bordering on frizz depending on weather conditions. I feel your feelings with hair trauma. Keep me posted on the keratin treatment as it grows out.

    • Thank you! I would have posted them anyway just for hits on before and after pics for this treatment, but I would not have been smiling if it fried my hair :) sometimes I do catch a break though!

  8. I feel your pain. I have thick curly hair and it took me a lonnnnng time before I embraced it. For the most part I’m content with my curls but every so often I think about getting a straightening. Your hair looks gorgeous so hopefully if I decide to try one, I’ll have results like yours!

    • I could probably embrace it if it didn’t come with so much frizz :) thanks for stopping by and I appreciate your comment.

  9. It looks so pretty! Frizz babies is clearly the new term for what I was naively calling wispies or hair wings.

    I have always had quite frizzy, wavy hair. Humidity has been known to give me a lion look. I straighten and have not tried the treatment, but the place where I work on Sundays does them frequently and people are very happy with the results.

    I use sulfate free shampoo and conditioner and once a week I use a leave-in keratin product that helps keep it smooth, strong and healthy. That could help in the future.

    I am interested to know how you feel about it after a couple of weeks!

    • Haha! I like hair wings! I have them now, and I don’t feel great about them straight either, but it’s better :)
      I’ve been known to sport the lion look myself. I will keep you posted. Almost a week in, and I’m still on the recommend side of this treatment.

    • Guys are so lucky. When I have to shave my head because my overprocessed hair falls out, I may ask you for your $12 chain recommendations.

  10. Just had Chi keratin treatment yesterday. Have not washed hair yet. Right now hair likes the same as if i flat iron it. Can’t wait to see result after first wash. Should have taken before n after pics.

    • I’m still pretty happy with the texture of mine. I hope yours turns out great too! It is an expensive treatment, but I still think it was worth it!

  11. My hair, as you can plainly see, is very curly and will frizz like mad. If I EVER brush my hair when dry- instant Rosanna Rosanna-Danna! I just use gel or mousse and don’t touch it until it’s dry, and not much then either. I would probably love the keratin treatment, if I could afford it. But then I would want it all the time, and I definitely don’t want to maintain a $300 look. I do congratulate you on your lovely hair, though!

  12. Hi: I’m not sure if this page is still active (it’s now June 2013), but I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and comments. I’ve done relaxers most of my life but decided to stop them early 2012. Up until then, my natural, mixed-race, curly-frizzy hair never grew very much. I started doing the keratin treatments last August and absolutely loved how manageable my hair has become, plus now my hair has grown over four inches! One problem, though, and wondered how you’ve coped…when my hair “reverts,” I have two texturess of hair! And it seems the back has broken off where the old texture was, and Im not sure if it’s the stress in my life or what…eek! Please advise. Thanks! Your hair did look great in your photo!

    • It is still active. I had the same problem, and the second one I did, I had a lot of broken hair, and wasn’t as happy with the results. The two textured hair is definitely hard to manage and I’ve been wearing a lot of ponytails. I need to go back to my stylist and see what she recommends. Maybe another relaxer on the new hair, but I’m scared that will just make it worse! I know this isn’t a very helpful reply, but I’m having the same problem.

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