Before you start the treatment, they use a clarifying shampoo to strip out all the products on your hair (including any lingering traces of Keratin), returning it to its “natural” state.
This is my hair’s natural state following a quick blow-dry. This is also why I am so on board with Keratin.
And this is what my hair looks like for up to six months afterwards. Go here for a ton more info on the process, including a video that explains the treatment and a run-down of how treated hair behaves in different conditions.
One thing I’ve been meaning to mention: I know there’s a lot of controversy swirling around these days about the Brazilian Blowout, a similar relaxing treatment. My friend Nadine has actually written extensively on the subject: like me, she believes that while people should be able to make their own decisions about whether or not to try potentially dangerous treatments, it is not okay for a company to (deliberately, if you believe the allegations – and I do) fail to provide accurate information to consumers.
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I got a phone call from the Post, asking if they could interview me about the subject. I was extremely concerned, because I had been under the impression that the treatment that I get is – at least as far as we know – safe, and the last thing I want is to be praising a treatment that has the potential to cause serious side effects both for consumers and for salon technicians. But then the reporter asked me the specific name of the treatment I’ve been using, and when I said “the Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy Treatment,” her response was “Oh. That’s fine. That’s not the one under fire.” And that was that. I’ll certainly keep you posted if I hear any other rumors swirling around, but for now it seems that the Brazilian Blowout is the one to steer clear of.
If you’ve been trying the Brazilian Blowout (or if you’re unsure which product your salon uses), I encourage you to read up on the subject: the treatment promotes itself as being “formaldehyde-free!” and “salon-safe!”, but laboratory tests have shown that the products do indeed contain high levels of formaldehyde (a known carcinogen). And the manufacturers, it seems, have been actively keeping this information from the public, and from the salons offering the treatment (that, to my mind, is worst of all, because of course its the technicians who are in the greatest danger if the products turn out to be highly carcinogenic).
As Nadine writes, “For me, the parallels to Big Tobacco are clear. You want to smoke? At least now we all know it’s bad for us – we’re big boys and girls, and it’s your health, your right and your funeral. To actively claim and aggressively promote the message of zero health risks…when it appears that the opposite may be true? Hell, no.”