Beauty Test Drive: The Brazilian Keratin Treatment

I know I’m a little late to the party here, folks, but a few months ago, I finally got one of those keratin hair treatments that all the frizzy-haired ladies in the world are so obsessed with. Normally I shy away from messing with my hair. It’s long and I’d like it to stay that way, so I don’t bleach or dye it and I don’t think I’ve touched a blow dryer or flat iron since the earlier part of last decade. But something about the promise of having “perfect” or even better hair for three to five months — the amount of time this treatment is supposed to last — was seductive enough to get me into a salon chair at the Ted Gibson Salon in NYC. Stylist Jan-Marie Arteca was absolutely lovely, and I should know, as I spent about two and half hours hanging with her while I was getting this procedure done. I won’t bore you with every last single detail, but basically they wash and dry your hair, apply the keratin mixture (I opted for the formaldehyde-free option) with a brush, rinse it out, blow-dry again and then use a flat iron to seal in the product. If you like getting your hair played with — and I do, very much, thank you — it’s actually not a bad experience.

The hard part came after I left the salon. (Full disclosure: as a member of the press I was not billed for the treatment itself, but did pay for the tip and plunked down about $35 for La Brasiliana Uno Keratin After Treatment Shampoo, a sulfate-free shampoo safe for use once your hair has been Brazilianified). Here’s the deal: You cannot wash your hair for at least four days. Really, you can’t. I figured that was no biggie, since, like many of us here at The Frisky, I could take or leave a shower anyway, but, surprisingly, by the third day, my boyfriend was like, “Dude, you seriously need to wash your hair.” I looked in the mirror and sure enough, it was extremely greasy, even for me. The other setback? You can’t put your hair back with pins or an elastic (you could end up leaving a line of demarcation), so I constantly had the aforementioned oily locks in my face. Cry me a river, right?

In the end (and after an amazing bathing experience involving my fancy new shampoo), it was worth the heartache. The picture on the right is a few days after I got the actual treatment, but I would say once I washed it, the results were somewhere in between my formerly frizzy look and the ultra sleek hair above. If you’re expecting that this treatment is the same as having a perma salon blowout, think again, and with a cost of about $150 per hour and depending on hair length, it’s worth considering that the results may be more subtle than you think. That said, it’s more like buying a few months of good hair days (perhaps priceless?), when you wake up and think, “Wow, I don’t have to do anything with this mane today.” Which is kind of where I was when I started anyway, but lately, it’s looking a lot better than my former hot mess. So.