Frizz. Fly-aways. Unruly curls. You got it all? So do I. After having dealt with curly hair (and a lot of it!) for the last 21 years, I think I can confidently say I've tried all options to deal with the heap of curls on my head. Here are some tips on how to manage your curly hair — and even better, how to embrace it!
1. The Keratin phenomenon. You've all heard of it, right? It uses the natural protein, keratin, found in your hair, combined with a bunch of other stuff (like formaldehyde...eek!) and sealed into the cuticle of your hair with a flat iron to radically transform your hair for eight to twelve weeks. Awesome, right? Sometimes. Here's the low-down on the ones I've tried.
Coppola Keratin Complex: Pros? This treatment definitely made my hair the straightest. Originally, my hair took an hour and fifteen minutes to blow dry (torture!) and after I got this treatment in 2010, I could blow dry it straight in 15 to 20 minutes. If I let it air dry, it retained a small wave and over a day would fall straight. If you're looking for straight hair without the permanence of a Japanese straightening treatment, this is your best bet. Cons? This treatment had relatively the most formaldehyde in it — which is why it works so well. You have to wait three days to wash your hair after the treatment. You'll also have to shower every day to avoid greasiness. But the more you shower, the quicker the treatment will fade. Catch-22.
Global Keratin: Pros? If you're looking for a treatment that will still retain the curl, look here. It took me about 25 minutes to blow dry my hair but I could also let it air dry to stay curly with a little less frizz. Cons? Your hair will smell weird for a little bit after the treatment and you have to wait four days to wash your hair. Hair isn't as smooth or glossy as it is with the Coppola either.
Lasio Keratin: Pros? Only 0.02% formaldehyde content (score!). It eliminates frizz and cuts down blow dry time significantly. Hair will still retain its curl too for when you want to embrace your wild waves. Cons? I felt that the treatment made the curl a little uneven throughout the head; some strands were wavy, others like ringlets, others straighter. Also, while most other Keratin treatments can be pushed to last 3 months, you'll start noticing a shift in your hair back to its old ways (hello frizz!) after about a month.
Overall: make sure to check out formaldehyde content if you're considering a Keratin treatment. Straight, smooth hair is awesome but it might not be worth it to sit there and breathe in fumes. Keratin treatments have made my hair so much more manageable, but I make sure to specifically ask the salon about the chemicals in it, if they ventilate their salon, etc.
2. The alternative to Keratin. When I came across information online about Pravana Perfection Smoothout I was shocked because it not only has zero formaldehyde (actually zero!) but no Keratin either. Wait, what? How does it even work? According to their site, it "employs a proprietary nano-amino acid complex that virtually alters the internal textural memory of the hair fiber to transform it to a smoother, frizz-free state." Pros? You can wash it out immediately after the treatment and you never have to worry about formaldehyde ever, which is reassuring considering there have been legal problems with past Keratin treatments because they claim to have none but do. Cons? No formaldehyde = not as long-lasting or strong of a treatment.
3. If you have curls and don't want to get rid of them or deal with formaldehyde content then embrace them with Ouidad. There are Ouidad salons throughout the states and they specialize in curly hair. A session at a salon gets you a hair cut that works to eliminate frizz by cutting "into" the curl, then the use of Ouidad products, like their gel "Climate Control", and, finally, blow drying your hair with a diffuser. Pros? It definitely cuts away frizz and gives your curls incredible definition. Cons? Mainteance is tough. Putting in the gel and scrunching it takes time and can sometimes leave your hair crunchy.
Any of you Lovelies deal with curly hair? How do you make it work?