I feel like I’ve uncovered a secret worthy of the Da Vinci code.
The latest treatment emerging in salons, for those who haven’t been immersed in magazines for the last six months, is the now kind-of famous Brazilian Blow-Dry – a keratin treatment promising smooth, sleek, frizz-free hair for up to three to four months. It doesn’t damage your hair, it waves goodbye to straighteners, but it also blows a hole in your pocket to the tune of approximately £100-£300 (Toni & Guy is the cheapest place I could personally find it at £110, with 10% discount off the necessary sulphate-free shampoo and conditioners).
BUT (this was a very large and potentially risky but), through the magic of the internet, I discovered that you can buy all the essential equipment and administer the treatment in the comfort of your own home for £25.
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Now, I’m not a doctor or a hairdresser, so for the love of god, read and carefully follow any safety instructions – but for me, this really, actually, does-what-it-says-on-the-tin worked. Hallelujah!
I have very thick, naturally wavy hair – frizzy when blow dried, absolutely wild and curly when left au naturel. This treatment is supposed to last up to three or four months, and reader, I am still straightener free after a month of applying. Naturally the ‘severeness’ of your straightened hair relaxes a bit – it won’t be completely poker straight a month later, but I’ve been left with hair that I imagine would belong to someone with naturally smooth locks. I can now blow-and-go (not recommended in any other aspect of daily life), and only v. occasionally use straighteners to adjust here and there.
It’s a fiddly process – a long length of blow drying your hair with the treatment in, straightening over and over (allow up to three hours in total for long/thick styles), and an agonising three days of no-washing. Nevertheless, for the sake of several weeks/months of easy, easy styling and at a quarter of the salon price, I’m inclined to say I don’t want to live without it. Ever. Again.
I bought my kit from www.brazilian-hair-straightening.com. For £23.99 (plus £2.99 P&P), you receive clarifying shampoo (to be used before applying the treatment), ‘chocolate keratin’, plus gloves, application-brush, a fine-toothed comb and clips for dividing the hair into manageable sections. This was plentiful for my longish, thick hair, and would probably allow for multiple treatments on shorter styles.
Now, they warn you about the strong fumes. I’d like to enforce that warning. It smell dee-licious (not called ‘chocolate keratin’ for nothin’) but when heated, a chemical reaction takes place and I advise you to do it near an open window as I found it eye-watering. Once again – I’m not a doctor! I’ve never read a medical textbook! I dropped chemistry after GCSE, so please purchase with caution if your skin is of a sensitive nature – especially on somewhere as delicate as the scalp.
Despite the somewhat non-professional appearance of the website, the kit quickly arrives in an attractive weave-style bag with full, reassuring instructions (annoyingly, my camera deleted all my photos, so the picture above is a screenshot of the website of all the included ingredients).
They also let you know that the widely available TRESemmé Naturals range (www.tresemme.com/Products/Naturals) is sulphate free (essential if you want your B.B.D to last), so no need to blow the bank buying extra special organic shampoos.
Now. I’m telling this to all frizzy haired people now because it’s getting close to holiday time, and muggy summer weather is the enemy of sleek hair. I’ve had enough of hot-and-bothered straightening sessions, and am oh-so excited about packing a holiday suitcase free of GHDs and smoothing products. Hopefully this first post has provided some valuable information and secrets that will diligently be passed on to others in dire need of some DIY hair TLC (and then maybe we can all form a Da Vince style sisterhood of smooth-hair secret-keepers? Who knows).