Michelle before her keratin treatment.
So let me start off by saying, I love my curls. It's taken me a long time to get to this point, but I no longer long for straight hair (Okay, maybe every now and then on an excessively humid day).
So when I saw the whole keratin treatment explosion, I had no desire to take the plunge. That began to change when I ran into a stylist at a hair show who had the most beautiful, shiny, defined curls, and he told me he had gotten a keratin treatment. Otherwise, his curls would be a mass of frizz, he said.
The seed was planted. Maybe this is something that could work for me.
So when Brazilian Blowout offered me the opportunity to try it out, I decided it might be worth taking them up on the offer. Especially since so many of our readers were in my shoes: they liked their curls but wanted them looser and frizz free.
Consultation is an important part of the process; here Michelle talks with stylist Felice Partida.
That doesn't mean I wasn't scared to death. In fact, as the day approached for my Brazilian Blowout, I felt like a kid anticipating a dental appointment. I had flashbacks to college when I got a "chemical haircut." A stylist applied a lye-based relaxer after I had already had a thio relaxer — something I've learned you never, ever do. Handfuls of hair came out for days, and I had to have my hair cut short to hide the bald spots. To say it was traumatic would be an understatement. My boyfriend at the time told me it looked like my forehead had grown.
I feared I would lose the curls I have worked so hard to love. Not only that, my curls are important to my business. I am a co-founder of NaturallyCurly, and it wouldn't reflect well for me to show up with stick-straight hair. I'm not saying that's not the right choice for many of our readers. Just not for me.
So when I met with stylist Felice Partida of James Allan Salon in Austin, I grilled her. Would I still have curls? How would they look? Did she guarantee I would still be a curly? Although the majority of clients who she's done them on straighten their hair on a regular basis, she assured me I would still have my texture.
Here, Michelle's hair is sectioned and the treatment applied.
So we began the process.
First, she took me back to the shampoo bowl to clarify shampoo my hair with the Brazilian Blowout specially formulated Anti-Residue Professional Shampoo to prepare my hair and get out all the styling gunk.
Then she brought out "the treatment." It was much different than I expected. It looked and smelled like lotion, without any chemical smell. That reassured me.
After towel drying, she divided my hair into sections and begin to comb the Brazilian Blowout Professional Treatment through each section of the hair from root to tip, lightly lightly coating each section with the solution. It was hard for me to believe this could actually do anything, but Felice explained that the solution surrounded each hair shaft with protective protein layers to smooth and flattened the cuticle. I took her word for it.
The stylist blows out Michelle's hair.
Then she took out her round brush and went to work with the blow dryer. I have not blown my hair straight in a decade, so it was strange to see myself with straight hair. Once my hair was dry, Felice divided it into four sections and begin using a flat iron to further straighten the hair in 2- to 3-inch sections. It did feel soft and was incredibly shiny. But I didn't like myself with straight hair. It grew by what seemed like two feet.
I was so over the straight-haired look, but it didn't last long anyway. Felice took me back to the shampoo bowl where she rinsed it (no shampoo) and applied the Brazillian Blowout Masque to further seal in the professional formulation. After 60 seconds, she rinsed it again.
Michelle with straightened hair. It looks nice, but we like her better curly!
She offered to blow it out again, but I opted not to. I wanted to make sure my curls were still there. So I diffused my hair and was reassured to see curls. One issue, which is common when people have this done, is they may need a hair cut since the hair is longer. Luckily, curl guru Ethan Shaw was at the ready to give me a quick dry cut.
Initially, it was a little bit of a shock to have such loose curls. But this morning, I enjoyed having a swishy ponytail during my spin class. And there was no frizz after the workout.
And after doing my hair myself with my usual routine and products, I liked the added shine and looser curls. My hair is much less frizzy and I haven't had the shrinkage I usually do.
Felice said the process will last approximately 12 weeks, gradually reverting to its original texture.
Will I do it again? Quite possibly, especially as the humidity kicks in and frizz season arrives full force.
It is costly—$250 to $450, depending on the salon. But it can be a lifesaver, especially for people who straighten their hair on a regular basis. Felice, who does several Brazilian Blowouts a week, said she's still amazed at the results. And her clients have overwhelmingly been happy with the results. I am one of the few who actually wanted to keep it curly.
So far, so good!
2013 Update - My Advice:
I think people have a misconception that a keratin treatment is only for people who straighten their hair. I didn't want straight hair. I wanted more defined curls with less frizz. That's what this did for me. You do need to make sure that the stylist doing your treatment has been well trained. I've heard horror stories about people who lost their curls or ended up with damaged hair.
See a video of Michelle's experience:
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