Snob Essentials

Death of My Digital Perm and Return of Sleek

After nearly eight months of digital perm unruliness, I was ready for my hair to be smooth and sleek again. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good messy head of beach-y waves, but after all that perming and coloring the texture of my hair was almost like straw!

I’ve done the Japanese thermal straightening perm, and the problem is your hair is further damaged in the process, not to mention left stick-straight and uncurl-able (GASP!). It’s all about variety this summer: I still want the option of curls but demand my cuticles be smooth, not dry and flyaway.

So I asked my Twitter followers about Brazilian blowouts and got dozens of different responses (better than Google, which sometimes leads to scary photos), most of which said, “Stay away, as the Brazilian blowout contains formaldehyde.” The digital editor of Marie Claire said it damaged her hair for two years, and the Women’s Health director said stay away. Everyone recommended the Keratin treatment instead. Naturally, I did more research: turns out Keratin treatments are slightly more expensive but last two months longer.

After calling around to different salons, I chose the hair stylist who spent the most time on the phone with me: Vivian at Vogue Hair Salon (214-682-8882). It turned out she was running a special (hurrah!). I promptly went to her studio the next day (I am impatient and like to do things immediately…especially when it comes to matter of the mane). She shampooed my hair twice to prep it for the Keratin. Then she put on giant goggles and a face mask – which was a bit disconcerting – and handed me a few tissues in case my eyes got “watery.” The fumes from the Keratin were almost unbearable! Hey, why didn’t I get goggles?! Honestly, it was worse than chopping raw onions. And the smell: GAG.

But it took all of 10 minutes for Vivian to apply the treatment to my hair. She then blew it dry without rinsing (this is the whole point, I guess; you want the Keratin to really penetrate the follicles) and used a flat iron from Babyliss.

She assured me there is no formaldehyde in the treatment I got, and she used an organic treatment afterwards. The whole process took about an hour and 45 minutes. By the end, my hair was unbelievably smooth, sleek, and shiny!
There is a catch, though (aside from the momentary stench). Your hair MUST stay dry for THREE days after the treatment. No shampooing, conditioning, or sweating allowed. (Great. I’m headed to hot and humid Florence as I write this on the plane.)

If you MUST shower, use a shower cap AND wrap a towel around your hair (sponge-bathing is preferred…okay, now I’m kidding).

I was instructed to use dry shampoo if necessary and if, by chance, any piece of hair got wet, blow-dry and flat-iron immediately! A very serious business, but it’s been 24 hours and I have to say, I’m loving my hair. After three days, you can curl it, wash it, do whatever you want to it. But remember, the more you wash your hair, the more treatments you’ll need. So in the interest of time and economy, wash only once or twice a week.

Have you tried this? Share your story!

Keratin Care Shampoo ($21), Keratin Care Conditioner ($21), and Keratin Infusion ($41) available on Keratin Complex.




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  1. I am on my second straightening treatment and I LOVE it. My blow dry time is down to about 5 minutes, and my hair is about 2″ past my shoulders, one length with bangs. My hair was not curly, but wavy. I think over the years, it has lost a lot of its curl from my constant blow outs and flat irons. I use the Coppola Keratin shampoo and conditioner- love the smell! I can let my hair air dry and no more frizzies! Yay for the small inventions that leave our hair sleek and smooth!!!

  2. I have had my hair straightened quite a number of times in the past 5 years but I haven’t tried the one with Keratin. I had many problems with my hair because of the cheap chemicals used on my hair that there were times when I had no choice but to cut it short and let it grow natural and healthier hair. I’ve been very cautious since then and it’s great that this one is a good choice.

  3. How much did it cost for the keratin straight treatment?..I had a digi perm a couple of months ago and it is just horrible! I want to cry! 🙁