I researched it, compared numerous brands, spoke to many stylists in different salons and finally made the decision to just do it. I treated myself to the Keratin Express. I can’t believe I waited this long!
It was my recent few days in Florida that pushed me over the edge. At 58, I have learned how to manage my hair on the good days and the bad ones, but I have wanted to try a treatment in my hair for so long and have only hesitated because I found the market so confusing. I will also take the natural approach whenever I can and, since I am lucky enough to have hair, I didn’t want to abuse it. So, for anyone who may be either interested and/or stressing, I wanted to share what I have learned as well as the product that we used.
First the types of treatments, which I found confusing to start off with. There is a Brazilian blowout, a Keratin treatment (full Keratin), and a Keratin Express. The one that is recommended really depends on the salon you go to, which is why I felt it was important to do my own research.
All are hair-smoothing treatments that temporarily coat the outer layer of the hair, remove frizziness, enhance shine and decrease blow-drying time. The main difference is the intensity of the products used.
The Brazilian Blowout– originated in Brazil and contains ingredients known to come from Brazil.
- Creates a smooth finish
- Enhances and/or creates shine
- Controls frizzy hair even in humidity
- Remains strong when styling with heat
- The intensity of the product can be tailored to you. If you just want to control the frizz but maintain your curls, your stylist will use a weaker strength, or a bit stronger will relax your curl even more. The texture of your hair will change based on the strength of the product
- No waiting time. In other words, as soon as you leave the salon, you can style your hair as you would like. Put it up or leave it down; clips or headbands won’t damage the treatment.
- Stronger ingredients; higher levels of formaldehyde are activated when styling with heat
- Your hair won’t hold curls very well (if that is a style you like to alternate with straight hair).
Given the strength of the products used for this blowout, I decided it was not for me.
The Full Keratin Treatment & Express Keratin
As far as I am concerned, and based on what I was told by several salon owners when I was trying to decide if I would try this or not, the full Keratin is just a stronger, more expensive treatment but will last much longer.
The waiting time as far as washing your hair and being able to put it up or even tuck behind your ears is concerned is much longer. I’m told 72 hours, but must admit that it varies according to who you ask and what salon you are in.
I went with the Keratin Express and was very happy I did it
I had been thinking about this for at least three years. Way too much thought went into this decision. The final straw was when we went to Naples Florida, about a month ago. I came off the beach to have some lunch and happened to catch myself in the mirror. My hair, which looked ok when I started the day, now looked and felt like straw. I spent the rest of the day looking at other women’s hair. Although I am sure several of them probably questioned their own locks, to me they all looked perfect!
So, the process went like this: my hair was shampooed twice, the product was applied with a brush from the roots down in sections. I sat with the product on my hair for about 20 minutes.
My stylist then dried my hair as usual but I felt the tension as she was drying it because of the product that was not rinsed out. It was not a big deal but I want to mention it.
She then used a flat iron to seal the product in. I was fine with that but you do see some heat coming off your hair so don’t get crazy; that is normal. That was it, no other products.
So, I left feeling pretty good about the whole thing. I think I wanted to put my hair up right away because I knew I couldn’t, but for me that is typical!
I found the hardest part was waiting a day to shampoo and not being able to tie it back or put it in a ponytail (although I admit that, by the end of the day and as I did this on a day when it was 90 degrees outside, I did use a clip to pull the hair back off my face). I will also say it didn’t affect it at all the next day when I washed it. There were no ridges or any other way to know I had put it back the day it was done.
I did this about four weeks ago. It is meant to last about four to six weeks. For me this was a compromise. I felt the express would not be as damaging to my hair and would give me a good idea of how it worked.
I can say that the blow-dry is much faster (about 10 minutes as against 20-30 minutes prior to treatment) and no frizz during the day no matter how much humidity there is.
I typically washed my hair two or three times a week prior to this treatment, but I do notice I have to wash a bit more frequently because it starts to feel oily. Again, no big deal.
I can let it dry naturally; it has a nice wave to it and still (after four weeks) no frizz. It even has a healthy shine to it.
I should also add that you will have to use a silicone- and sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner after this treatment. This was also not a deal-breaker for me. I feel these products are healthier for my hair anyway and it feels just as clean as when I use my other shampoos.
I would recommend the express treatment for anyone who is on the fence. I’m not sure how much longer it will last but, in my opinion, it was well worth it. I wouldn’t do it often, but I would do it again.
I have no interest in the full Keratin. I feel it’s too expensive and would not want the stronger product in my hair. I will probably do it again next May or June because, for me, it is most helpful at this time of year.
If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments and I will be happy to answer if I can.