As stylists explore chemical services, they will be able to identify the opportunities that are possible when working with textured hair, compare the changes in volume that occur when adding or reducing texture, and make educated styling decisions that will lead to a client’s desired result.

Keratin smoothing

Originally associated only with super-smoothing in-salon treatments, keratin is now being tapped for multiple applications. A protein found naturally in the hair, keratin treatments restore hair by infusing it with keratin and provide manageable styles to clients with unruly hair. They also help to reduce dry time, which is great for clients on the go.

Whether you’re working with a wavy-haired client who is interested in reducing her frizz or a coily client who might benefit from a looser, more defined curl pattern, keratin smoothing can address these concerns.

“Huge multicultural marketing opportunities exist to target smoothers to clients who want to keep curl or wave but are looking for more definition and less frizz,” says Michelle Breyer, president of Texture Media. Now that versatility is part of the smoothing story, Breyer sees the category growing. “Keratin services used to be one-size-fits-all,” she says, “whether it complemented the client or not. Now there are many nuances within the category.”

(left to right) Jane Carter, CEO of Jane Carter Solution, poses with her model.

Today’s safe formulas last up to five months depending on the hair type, leaving hair noticeably smoother, softer for silky waves and frizzfree bouncy curls. Some brands, such as Peter Coppola Keratin Concept, market lines as “youth restorers” in the anti-aging category, while also softening and smoothing.

Brands such as Lasio have expanded their lines to include customizable treatments.

“At Lasio, we offer keratin cocktails, a combination of any of our four treatments, in order to create an individualized service specific to each client’s needs,” says Carmela Zampiere, creative director for Lasio.

What makes Lasio’s treatment unique is its water-based formula. The product penetrates the cuticle layer and seals the cuticle without adding a layer of silicone oil, which can prohibit nutrients from entering the hair, causing it to become brittle and damaged.

Similarly, Keratin Complex infuses natural keratin into hair’s cuticle, eliminating up to 95 percent of frizz and curl. The result is hair that is more manageable, smoother and easier to style. It is suitable for all curl types–including color-treated and chemically processed hair.

“Huge multicultural marketing opportunities exist to target smoothers to clients who want to keep curl or wave but are looking for more definition and less frizz.”        —Michelle Breyer

At-home care

Keratin comes into play as a liberally used frizz-controlling agent in shampoos, conditioners and styling products, perfect for clients hoping to increase their hair’s manageability.

For example, Shea Moisture’s professional Keratin Care line infuses hair with moisture, while protecting against damage from heat styling. Featuring a KeraVega Monoi Coil Complex, the Smooth Finish collection features a shampoo, conditioner, blowdry cream and thermal protectant for clients looking for optimal smoothing capabilities but are still concerned with guarding against frizz and breakage.

Perming: A brief history

The bigger-is-better perms commonly associated with the ’80s might conjure up thoughts of tight, poodle curls, large metal rods and off-putting odors. But as perm technology has evolved, perms can be used to control texture, create natural-looking waves or add volume to straight hair.

The old, permanent-wave machine introduced in the 1920s used a combination of chemicals and electricity to curl the hair. To achieve the desired look of the time, clients sat under the machine for up to six hours while hair was heated to approximately 200°F.

Advances in chemical technology have made the perm process much gentler on hair. Improved solutions boasting built-in conditioners preserve strength and integrity while delivering consistent results. By varying rod size, solution strength and processing time, stylists can give clients a variety of options from big, tight curls to loose waves.

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