The Great Keratin Experiment Of 2014.

I was blessed with very thick, very strong hair. Around the age of 14, it went from being fairly straight to naturally wavy... Most likely due (I believe) to a series of spiral perms (from 1989 to 1991) that I made my mother take me to the local JC Penney salon in my small town to get.

(They would always charge me extra because my hair ended up being thicker than they had expected it to be. Because while it was thick, it was fine in texture. Bastards.)

But as a result of these poor choices of my youth... I ended up with dry naturally wavy hair as an adult...

Because it is so thick, I don't like to wash it in the mornings. I would wash it at night, wake up the next morning with it mostly dry. Then I would brush the waves out, turning it into a massively large pouf... then I would put hot rollers and/or attack it with a curling iron. 

The look would only last about an hour, living on the East coast, before the humidity (never failed, Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall) would have it frizzy again. I would use serums. I would try coconut oil masques. I would use hair spray. Nothing worked.

So I took to always wearing it up in a bun...

Back in a clip...

Or tucked inside a scarf I had around my neck...

But there was no denying... This was the natural state of my hair...

Dry. Knotted. Wavy.

Which is why my stylist here on the West coast recommended I try a Keratin treatment.

"You'll love it!" she said. "It will change the texture of your hair. If you care for it properly, it will last a few months. It will be easier to fix it."

My only hesitancy was the chemicals and smell. These treatments were notorious for smelling awful and being very toxic.  But she said that she used a very pure formula. It didn't smell. It contained no formaldehyde - which is usually the toxic-smelling culprit.

So I agreed to do it. And last week I sat down in the chairs of her newly opened salon just a 10 minute walk from me, and let her work her magic.

But, of course, there were rules:
  • No washing it for 72 hours.
  • No getting it wet at all. Wear a shower cap when bathing.
  • No sweating. At all.
  • No tucking it behind my ears.
  • No pulling it back in clips or a pony tail.

All of this for three days straight. This allows the treatment to set into the hair. If you pull it back, tuck it or bend it... It could take that shape for a while. 

The hardest part for me was the "no sweating" part. It meant that working out at the gym had to be light for a few days.

But I left the salon loving the look...

You could really see the red in my typically dark hair. Some of that is natural. Most of it is not.  But it was pin-straight.

The next morning I woke up with it still in good shape...

It was slightly oily. But it was no bad.

That changed going into the next day...

Really starting to get oily. And I couldn't pull it back or use dry shampoo or any product.

And by the end of the third full day...

I was desperate for a hair-washing. But I was adamant to not cheat. In fact, I made myself wait till the following morning, round hour 84 post-treatment, to wash it.

I was pleased with how easy it was to fix. I let it air dry for about an hour... Then I took a dryer to it for maybe five minutes... And then stuck my hot rollers in it, though I didn't need to.

And here's how it came out...

Very smooth. No frizz. I went about my very busy Saturday with it staying like this. Then I woke up today (Sunday) and just ran a brush through it.

Still looking good.

Very much enjoying the treatment.

It took three hours (because my hair is so thick) and cost quite a bit.  But for now, I feel like it is totally worth it. The length of my hair, the thickness, and the texture all justified it.