I recently had the chance to receive a Tropic keratin treatment from the lovely ladies at Lasio Studios hair salon in the East Village.
If you haven’t heard of a keratin treatment, it’s an intense hair conditioning treatment that strengthens and protects damaged hair while giving it a gorgeous straight appearance. Keratin is a natural element found in your skin, hair, nails and teeth. Damaged keratin looks dry and brittle so keratin treatments protect and smooth hair shafts by coating the hair follicle.
Now, most keratin treatments use formaldehyde, which has ambiguous health effects, so I was never crazy about subjecting myself to carcinogens in the name of beauty.
However, since Lasio has recently introduced the Tropic, which is formaldehyde-free, I was totally game! The other awesome thing about the formaldehyde-free Tropic treatment is that you can wash your hair immediately afterwards if you’d like; unlike other treatments, there’s no gross go-3-days-without-shampooing rule (they do recommend you use a sulfate-free shampoo to preserve the treatment). The Tropic is supposed to last about 3 months.
I almost always blow dry my hair straight, which is why you guys have always seen me with straight hair. You can see above, though, what happens to my hair when humidity attacks (this was after touring Stonehenge in the rain!): My hair is naturally wavy, and if it were shorter, it would be full-on curly. My hair’s also pretty damaged after years of blow drying, flat ironing and an ill-advised blonde highlighting phase, so I was excited to see how the treatment would improve my hair’s overall condition, in addition to being (yay!) straight and frizz-free for this upcoming humidity-heavy summer.
I got to Lasio’s salon in the East Village, and my stylist, Ilonka, applied a solution to my hair that would open the hair’s cuticle, making it easier for the keratin to penetrate.
Next, she gave me a shampoo and conditioner, and we were ready to start the keratin. Ilonka brought out a surgical mask for me to wear, and to be honest, I was kind of freaked out. Why did I need a surgical mask?
Once Ilonka had applied the keratin to my hair with a brush (it tingled a bit), she started to blow dry my hair, tiny section by tiny section, and the mask thing became clear: smoke and fumes started wafting off my hair! Yikes! Ilonka set a fan/air purifier to blow in my direction, and that helped dissipate the smoke.
Me in the middle of my blow dry! (below)
My hair was already starting to look straight! I was so excited, and Ilonka informed me that I hadn’t seen anything yet. She started the final process, which involves flat ironing your hair piece by piece, about 6 times for each section. My hair looked amazing! I had never seen it so straight, and, it was amazingly soft and healthy to the touch. Finally, Lasio throws in a free trim with every treatment, so Ilonka got rid of my dull split ends, and the real effect of the keratin finally started to show.
The entire process took just under 1.5 hours, which isn’t bad compared to some treatments, which can take 6 hours. Ilonka took some photos for me (note: I had her curl the ends under just for styling, so that’s why the bottom has a slight wave to it! My hair was like, PIN STRAIGHT when these photos were taken, so that’s why my bangs are kind of all over the place; they didn’t know how to deal with my usual part!)
And from the back, with the curl in the front from the curling iron:
It was strange getting used to how straight my hair was! Since then, I’ve started to like my new hair even more. Ilonka promised that the Tropic would cut my blow drying time in half, and boy, was she right! I can blow my hair out in about 5 minutes now, compared to 15 minutes usually.
This is my hair without ANY blow drying and flat ironing, about a week after I had the treatment done:
The Tropic has really done wonders for both the look and feel of my hair, which I’m especially excited about now that it’s humid here in the city. I’m going on my second week with the keratin, and my hair still looks just as great! Here’s to several more weeks of awesome, frizz-free locks.
If you’re in the NYC area and you’re interested in trying the Tropic, I’d highly recommend it, especially if you’re like me and have always been wary of traditional keratin treatments that use formaldehyde.
Have you ever tried a keratin treatment? Has the usual use of formaldehyde been a concern for you?