During the holidays, I was approached by Salon Haze to come check out their fairly new West Broadway salon. They invited me for a complimentary hair service to review on my blog. Since I wasn’t looking to get my hair cut or colored, I opted to try their keratin smoothing treatment.
I’ve always wondered about these treatments, and wanted to see if they truly lived up to the hype and often exuberant price tag that’s attached. I’ve heard/read about keratin smoothing before, enticed by their promises of silky smooth hair that’s impervious to bouts of frizziness or the adverse effects of humidity. The keratin is used to fill in the gaps of your hair cuticle, thus adding more strength, shine and smoothness for about 2-4 months.
My first impression as I walked into the small boutique was that it had a lovely aesthetic. Nice furnishings and brightly lit atmosphere, with a sizable choosing of glossy magazines in the waiting area. I can’t help but judge salons by their selection of reading materials offered to waiting customers. Haha I guess it’s comparable to judging restaurants on their washrooms? Nothing’s worse than having only dated and ragged magazines or a well-thumbed stack of Home & Living available.
I was greeted by senior stylist Tanis Johnston, who would be my hairdresser for the day. She was great. Professional, competent and very personable. We chatted over our shared background of growing up in Edmonton, as she had just moved from there not long ago.
We started on my hair with a standard wash and conditioning, then moving on to application of the keratin smoothing serum. She finished by wrapping up my hair and using a heat emitting machine that spun around in a circular motion for about 10 minutes. After that, it was blown dry and styled with a wand for large mermaid-like curls.
I really liked the effect, as I am used to more tight curls with my straightening iron. It was hard to really tell the texture of my newly treated hair as she’d used hairspray to set in the curls, but I was happy with the look of things. When I asked her if there were any precautions I should take in order to preserve the treatment, she noted that I should avoid clarifying shampoos and washing too often.
I went home and washed my hair the next day.
Since then, I’ve been told by others that I should not have done that. That I should have avoided any washing for 3-4 days to let the solution set in? I don’t know if that had a great effect on things, but I was definitely disappointed in the longevity of my case. I did feel my hair was smoother and softer, but it only lasted for a few weeks.
Overall, it was a lovely experience and I would gladly recommend Salon Haze for the impeccable service and staff. However, I would definitely advise anyone to do some research before trying a keratin smoothing treatment. It has some pros and cons that one should be aware of before taking the plunge. There have been many well-documented results that show it’s an effective anti-frizz and smoothing treatment, and that’s why it continues to be a popular and in-demand service. But for me, I don’t think I would get it done again as I don’t think it’s worth the price or (alleged) potential safety concerns.
But if you happen to have a special day/night coming up, and need a perfectly styled look for the occasion (or just feel like treating yourself ;) I would suggest checking out Salon Haze and Tanis Johnston to see if they could possibly be the right fit for your needs :)
Have any of you tried a keratin smoothing treatment before? What was your experience like?
***Edit: There has been a misunderstanding as I have been now told that the service I received was not a keratin smoothing treatment, but actually a conditioning treatment. A conditioning treatment is done to improve the condition of your hair, but is not permanent and therefore only lasts 2-4 weeks. They cost around $50 and a lot of people will add them onto a cut or coloring service to keep their hair in a healthier state. ***