Frizzy, Crazy Hair
My entire life I’ve had the displeasure of having crazy, frizzy, thick and curly hair. I call it my ethnic hair since it seems to be common for women of color. Over the past fifteen years, I’ve had my hair straightened using the Japanese Hair Straightening method. But there are pros and cons to this method and I was searching for something less damaging for my hair. I did some research and found Keratin Treatment (which is similar – basically the same thing as Brazilian Keratin Blow Out) and was curious of the differences as well as pros and cons. As I’ve aged, my hair has lost a lot of curl, bounce and luster. So I was desperate for something more manageable that also looked fabulous.
Japanese Hair Straightening: This process takes a long time, requires a tremendous amount of chemicals and damaging formaldehyde (approximately 8%). Additionally, the process lasts approximately 4-6 months for most people and must grow out. It does not wash out. Consequently, the look is a bit dissatisfying as it’s growing out in the later months; which often makes people go back for touch ups. My hair is so thick (the individual strands are three times thicker than the typical person – it’s been measured with a vernier caliper) and porous that the Japanese straightening’s I’ve done have each lasted 12 months and cost me approximately $350 each time.
Cons: Hair is paper straight. You can’t curl it or manage it in any way. It’s just smooth and straight. It also adds damaging chemicals to your hair. It takes a minimum of five hours (minimum) depending on your hair length and volume. This method also sucks the color out of your hair so it’s not ideal with colored hair.
Pros: Hair is paper straight. If this is what you want – you get it with Japanese straightening. It also adds smoothness and luster. I loved running my hands through my hair for months afterwards because it felt so smooth and soft. You can wash your hair and it stays paper straight. No drying, no straightener required.
Keratin Treatment: This process took approximately two hours. I went to the salon that invented Lasio Keratin Treatment. They don’t cut or color – just keratin. The Keratin Lounge is a woman owned business (Nadine Ramos) and inventor of Lasio Keratin so I was intrigued with hoping to meet her (which I didn’t). The treatment should have taken three hours, but the salon doesn’t wash out the final keratin in order to “save the customer time and money.” Although I appreciated this, I think when you’re spending hundreds of dollars on a hair appointment, the salon should finish the job and have you leaving feeling and looking as gorgeous as possible. Driving home with keratin still in my hair felt weird (at best) and unfinished. The young lady who did the keratin chose the best process for my color treated hair – I left the choice to her professional opinion. She indicated the keratin would last approximately 3-4 months depending on how often you wash it and how you take care of it. Cost is typically $250 depending on length and volume of hair. Mine was $350.
Cons: I didn’t like it at first. After arriving home with keratin still in my hair, I waited a few hours and then washed it out as directed (had to be washed out within 24 hours) using the Lasio shampoo and conditioner (which set me back another $70 or so). It was neither straight nor soft or smooth. I cried (see photo to left). It seemed just as frizzy and course as before. I jumped back in the shower and just conditioned it and went to bed. Again, it looked horrible (see photo to the right) when I woke the next morning. Any formaldehyde isn’t great to put in your hair.
Pros: I decided to purchase better shampoo as the one from Lasio didn’t seem to work that great. I did some research on the best shampoos available. I had them delivered overnight (Amazon) and washed my hair again a few days later – giving the keratin a chance to “relax.” My hair is now definitely more soft and manageable. It did not take the color out. I can curl my hair or straighten it. Drying it takes less time (but not the half time the salon reported) than it did without any process done to it. I like my hair. With a curling or straightener – it looks fabulous (see photo at end). But if I leave my hair natural – it is still a bit frizzy and course looking – even with considerable effort and product. There is much less formaldehyde (2%) in keratin than the Japanese straightening – so it’s better for your hair.
In the end, I think the keratin may be the better way to go. However, I’m not convinced I wouldn’t have gotten the same results simply using keratin shampoo. So my take on this would be: first, try a sulfate and sodium chloride free shampoo. If that doesn’t give you the anti-frizz you are looking for then keratin is a much better and healthier option for your hair than Japanese straightening.
The moral of the story may be to simply embrace the way we are and stop trying to change everything about us.
Good luck and let Silver Sage know what you end up doing!