I feel like all my friends who have indulged in keratin hair treatments unanimously swear by it. Up until now, I never tried it mostly because I wasn’t sure I even needed it for my sometimes wavy/sometimes straight hair, thinking it was reserved mostly for coarse or curly hair types. Keratin treatments are, in case you don’t know, smoothing treatments, generally done in the salon to banish frizz and cut your blow drying time in half. Imagine letting your hair air dry to look like it was treated to a blow out. Pretty much a miracle for most of us. That’s what keratin treatments do for people who feel like they’re spend wayyy too much time on their hair.
There are different kinds of keratin treatments available, and the process can be a bit tedious: the stylist will apply the solution that you have to keep it in your hair for at least three days (no washing it out!). In the mean time, you’ll likely seek refuge from any social events lest anyone sees your hair which by day three will normally culminates to a a greasy, helmet-head looking mess.
Its other criticism is the formaldehyde found in many treatments (a chemical emitted during the process, and another reason I was weary to get one for myself). Although now, salons are offering options to get the treatment containing formulas made without it, there’s one that has arguably one up’d them all: Cezanne is the new kid on the block that is 100% formaldehyde-free, with zero ‘down time,’ meaning you can immediately wash or color your hair right after. Plus, while some keratin treatments smooth your hair out straight, this will still allow your hair to be curled.
All that was enough to catch my attention and I signed up to get my hair done by Taylor at The Butterfly Studio in NYC and see for once what it’s all about.
The process is relatively simple, but long: Taylor first used Cezanne’s Clarifying Shampoo to remove any oil and buildup and prime my hair. Then he did a rough blow dry, and applied the actual Perfect Finish Keratin Smoothing Treatment and left it on for 30 minutes. Right after he rinsed my hair again, blow dried it again, then used a flat iron to smooth out my hair. My hair was stick straight, but as promised he could wash it a third time to style it (normally, you would leave after it’s flat ironed so you can go home and wash/style it as you want, but Taylor wanted to add some curls in my hair the way I normally set it so I can see how the finished results would look). The whole process took about three hours.
I finished the treatment with the smoothest, glossiest hair. I was amazed really. But, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. If you’ve never had keratin treatments done, they don’t have the best smell. This one doesn’t have a strong one, but it has somewhat of a different (Taylor warned me about this), almost a dusty scent to it which is faint and maybe something you can only smell yourself. I noticed it wears off, unless you keep adding some keratin back with their proprietary products.
The second thing I was worried about was my hair falling flat. To be honest, I’m so used to my hair poofing up, the first couple weeks was me just trying to figure out how to style my hair. Even with the spottiest blow dry, my hair would smooth out and, yes, fall a little flat. But it took about 3 weeks for it to figure itself out and my hair still had shiny volume when I curled it (curls, by the way, DO happen but the first couple weeks they were not as full and needed more product to build volume).
Also, if you ever are in a hotel and have to use one of their wall dryers (like I had to do multiple times over the course of these past few months), this treatment is a God-send. The treatment lasts about 3-5 months (and yes, you can have it done on hair that has been colored). That also depends on your individual hair type, texture and maintenance routine. I’ve had it for two months now and loving it. My hair feels smoother, and frizz was a thing of yesterday. I wouldn’t recommend it if your hair is already fine, but if you’re dealing with course hair or don’t have time to blow dry the kinks out, you may want to consider.
Be warned though: it does cost a pretty penny. Pricing varies, but it can run up to $350 (about $70 that you’re dishing out per month for its duration in your hair). You are probably saving against time and money you’d normally spend on blowouts and products if you think about it, but it’s not exactly the most wallet-friendly treatment. I HIGHLY recommend Butterfly Studio in NYC if you want to try it. Taylor was so knowledgeable on the products and styling, I wouldn’t want to try it anywhere else.
What do you think — have you ever gotten keratin done? Would you try this one? If not, what’s stopping you? Thoughts? Share! I missed you guys.
149 5th Avenue # 2,
New York, NY 10010