I always thought that the keratin treatment controversy would never touch me; I’ve always been at peace with my frizzy, unruly waves, so hidden formaldehyde would never bother me. (Photo #1, my go-to ‘before,’ proves this.) I’ve never envied straight hair, but when the KeratinPerfect 30-Day Brazilian Hair Smoothing System Essentials Collection ($95 at sephora.com) came my way, I did wonder briefly if it would turn me into Kate Middleton. (Spoiler alert: I’m still me but the treatment gives you RESULTS. The proof is in the picture pudding).
The KeratinPerfect line gave me a dose of refreshing honesty; instead of guaranteeing a month of straight and shiny hair, it promises instead a boost of health with reduced frizz (including half shaved hairstyles for curly hair). It’s jumped into the now-teeming market of at-home straightening products that try to deliver lasting smooth hair without a side of carcinogen.
Before Keratin Perfect
The kit came with illustrated directions and charts to simplify the process. I started off with the Perfect Prep Pre-Treatment Clarifying Shampoo. I had to lather up, partially rinse, then repeat twice more, building the amount of shampoo in my hair until the third and final rinse. Then came the actual keratin, the Perfector 30-Day Hair Smoothing Treatment. I sectioned off my hair into quarters and smoothed on two ounces of the thin brownish liquid, then combed it through for three minutes and let it sit for another ten. Once my hair had a chance to absorb the liquid, which also contains collagen to smooth the cuticle after it the keratin repairs the thin and weak spots in the hairs’ surface, I got out my blow-dryer and paddle brush and put them to work. I consulted the charts in the directions and determined that I’d have to set my flat iron on a fairly high temp and take seven passes at each two-inch section of hair. For chemically treated hair, the process requires a cooler iron and fewer swipes with it. This consumed more than a little time, and I’m not a fan of the flat iron, so it was extra slow-going. I couldn’t deny the results though – with each pass of the iron, my hair got shinier. This brings us to photo #2, the finished product. I’m not crazy about the lack of volume, but that’s part of sleek hair isn’t it? It laid flat to my head. I had to keep it dry for the next forty-eight hours to let the treatment fully manifest, and on the second had my hair had more bounce and bend to it while still maintaining its sleekness.
After Keratin Perfect Treatment
Now that the forty-eight hours had gone, I got to try the shampoo and conditioner, along with the PerfectRenew Keratin Replenishing Spray. They work like a standard shampoo and conditioner, with no fancy steps, and the spray goes on immediately out of the shower on damp hair. Each of these products delivers a pop of keratin back to hair to extend the life of the treatment. I let my hair air-dry and got photo #3. If I had to put a number on it, I’d say I have roughly 25% less frizz, although my hair surely isn’t perfectly smooth. To be fair, that’s what the product literature told me to expect. Texture doesn’t translate well to photos, but my hair is most assuredly softer. I noticed the most improvement from mid-shaft and down. Funnily enough, the roots, the youngest and in theory, healthiest, part of my hair, still showed frizz while my dry ends looked and felt much better.
After Keratin Perfect + Shampoo and Conditioner
I’d been going through a rut, wherein nothing I did with my hair, be it cut, style, or treatment, could perk up my strands. I can honestly say that I’m more at peace with my hair now.
Would you try this treatment at home? Why or why not? Post a comment below to be eligible to win free hair product samples.
– Katharine McKenzie
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