Curl and Order: Keratin Treatments
What if there was a product that allowed you
to give clients exactly what they want? It
could be used to straighten, loosen or defrizz
waves and curls without damaging hair
or creating an awkward grow-out period. What if this product
could be used on any hair type to make the hair softer and
shinier? And what if it boosted profits for salons and stylists
by creating an entirely new market?
That product, say some stylists, now exists. Keratin treatments have exploded onto the scene, generating buzz among consumers and stylists alike.
A Cure for Frizz?
Three years ago, a handful of keratin companies existedâ pioneers like Brazilian Keratin Treatment by Marcia Teixeira, Keratin Complex by Coppola and Global Keratin. At Julyâs 2010 Cosmoprof North America show in Las Vegas, there were more than 40 companies offering keratin treatment products, from large hair-care companies to small start ups.
âTo have a product like a keratin straightener is a breakthrough,â says Stephanie Kocielski, a John Paul Mitchell Systems education director with A Robert Cromeans Salon in San Diego.
Before her Global Keratin treament, this model had unmanageable waves and frizz. After, she wears a sleek mane. See the how to steps for this look >
The Marcia Teixeira Brazilian Keratin treatment requires stylists to use a 450-degree flatiron to pass through small sections of the hair as a final step to seal treatment.
Not so long ago, the only option to remove texture in the
hair was to use a product containing sodium hydroxideâ
lye. Next came relaxers containing ammonium thioglycolate
(nicknamed âthio relaxerâ), a gentler service.
Most recently, those opting for a straighter look flocked
to Japanese thermal reconditioning, a chemical process that
permanently alters the internal structure of the hair shaft,
rendering it totally straight. Thermal reconditioning (TR)
was an all-or-nothing proposition, and many women with
texture werenât willing to commit to it.
But keratin treatments have not been without their share of controversy either. When they first came on the scene, the formulas contained formaldehydeâsometimes in high concentrations. Formaldehyde is listed as a carcinogen by a number of health and safety agencies. Now many of the treatments are lower or free of formaldehyde and aldehydes, a family of compounds that straighten the hair. Many of the aldehydes are naturally derived and less toxic than formaldehyde. Additionally, some stylists and clients may wear masks to protect themselves from any irritants.
A World of Options
Todayâs new wave of relaxers, silkeners and smoothers give clients and stylists more choices than ever.
âItâs all about making your textureâwhatever it isâbetter,â says Sasha Polit, marketing manager for Global Keratin Smoothing System. âIf you want to change the texture, we offer that option, but if you want to work with your natural texture, we also offer that option.â Global Keratin offers Light Wave, for those who want to keep their natural texture; Curly, for those who want more straightening capability; and Resistant, for the straightest look.
Methods vary, but the most commonly-used keratin treatment involves the stylist washing a clientâs hair with a clarifying shampoo, applying the keratin treatment and then using a flatiron to straighten the hair and âsealâ the treatment.
ISOâs Maintamer is a semipermanent retexturizer.
âIn the past, there werenât
a lot of options,â says Darby
Shields, associate artistic director
for ISO, which developed the Maintamer, a semipermanent
retexturizer that softens and smooths naturally
curly or previously permed hair. âYou either had floppy hair,
curly hair or straw hair. There wasnât a lot in between. It was
a big decision for people to do something so permanent with
their hair. Maintamer is reversible the next day.â
With the variety of new options comes an increased need for communication between stylist and client.
âWhen they start asking about a treatment, you have to dig deep into what they really want,â says Amanda Jenkins, master stylist and education director at Arrojo Studio. âCan they achieve it without a chemical treatment? I ask my clients to bring in pictures so weâre both very clear about what theyâre expecting. Itâs all about the consultation.â
Some clients may want their hair completely straight. In that case, Kocielski says she may suggest The Relaxer by JPMS, a sodium hydroxide relaxer that eliminates curl.
âSome people think theyâll be able to wash their hair and it will dry straight, but thatâs probably not the case with a keratin treatment,â she says. âKeratin treatments can condition and soften the hair, but they donât always straighten it.â
The PhytoSpecific PhytoRelaxer relaxes (like on this model) or texturizes all hair types with a non-chemical formula. It comes in two levels: one for fine, delicate hair and one for coarse, resistant hair. See the how to steps for this look >
Price is also an important consideration. Keratin treatments
and other types of chemical relaxers cost several
and may need to be
redone every three
to five months.
For the stylist,
have provided a
way to make their
clients happy and
boost their profit
margin at the same
time. One 32-ounce bottle of the KeraFusion System from
De Fabulous can generate $4,000 for the stylist, says
Rebecca Letizia, marketing director of De Fabulous.
In addition to the in-salon treatments, companies like Keratin Complex, Global Keratin and Marcia Teixeira Brazilian Keratin Treatment offer maintenance products designed to extend the life of the service and enhance the results. These products can also boost retail sales for the salon.
âThese clients will come back every three to five months,â Polit says. âThe more they use the product, the shinier, softer and more manageable their hair will be. Youâre building a client for life.â
|Smooth Operators |
Here are a few of the keratin treatments available on the market today:
Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy by Coppola (keratincomplex.com): Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy was founded by stylist and salon owner Peter Coppola. The therapy eliminates up to 95 percent of frizz and curl and instantly adds shine and condition to the hair.
Marcia Teixeira Brazilian Keratin Treatment (braziliankeratin.com): This treatment is for all kinds of hair to leave it soft, shiny and frizz-free for up to four months. It can be used safely on just about any type of hairâdry, frizzy, overprocessed, color treated, ethnic unprocessed virgin hair.
Pravana Kerafusion Keratin Treatment (pravana.com): This salon service permanently transforms coarse, curly, unruly hair to smooth, straight and shiny. Or, it makes fine, limp hair voluminous. It contains no thio, no sodium hydroxide, no formaldehyde, no aldehydes. As part of the Keratin Fusion service, Pravanaâs Thermal Insulator protects the hair during the texture control.
Brazilian Blowout (brazilianblowout.com): Through the use of a Brazilian Super Nutrient Complex and a proprietary polymer system, the Brazilian Blowout improves the condition of the hair by creating a protective protein layer around the hair shaft to eliminate frizz and smooth the cuticle. Results last up to 12 weeks.
Global Keratin (globalkeratin.com): The Juvexin Hair Taming System incorporates a keratin formulation which protects the hair and prevents damage to hair surface. The system is an organic, active complex component, delivered to the hair in its raw, natural state. Amino acids and proteins remain whole to condition hair and protect it from damage caused by environmental factors.
ISO Maintamer (isohair.com): ISO Maintamer Straightening System is a two-step straightening system that smoothes coarse hair, taming unruly curls and waves, un-perming ends and controlling frizzy hair. Maintamer uses a damage-free, thio-free, lye-free Isoamine technology that processes primarily within the cortex of the hair, to minimize damage to the cuticle while altering the pattern of naturally curly or previously permed hair to soften and smooth.
La Brasiliana (la-brasiliana.com): Intense treatment that softens, smoothes and relaxes all hair types. Available in Original, Apple and Mocha varieties.
PhytoSpecific PhytoRelaxer (phytospecific.com) This non-chemical relaxer relaxes or texturizes all hair types. Formulated with molecules from egg and soya, it is odorless and does not contain lye. Itâs available in two levels: for fine, delicate hair and one for coarse, resistant hair.
More texture! online at modernsalon.com/texture and NaturallyCurly.com