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.
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 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.
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?