Last week, I got La Brasiliana Brazilian Keratin Treatment at Ted Gibson Salon.
My fellow Twi-hard and colorist extraordinaire, Jan-Marie Arteca (or, as Glamman and I refer to her, Glam-Marie Arteca) performed the two-hour procedure at the salon. Here's the 411: It's a treatment comprised of keratin and collagen that softens, shines, smooths and improves manageability. It does straighten your hair to a degree, but it's not a pokey stick straight situation like Japanese straightening, which I'm totally not into. It lasts 2-4 months and doesn't give you that 'fro root effect that Japanese straightening does. The reason is this: It wears out evenly along the hair shaft. So when you get it re-done, you get the whole thing re-done. Not just the roots.
First, your hair is washed with the special La Brasiliana shampoo and conditioner. Then it's blown dry with a flat brush. THEN, the treatment is brushed through your hair in small sections. There are two formulations at Ted Gibson Salon: One with formaldehyde, one without.
Next, the entire mane is flat-ironed and then you're good to go. You just have to keep it absolutely pristine for four days. No washing, no getting it wet, no tucking it behind your ears, no ponytails, nothing. Since my epic 2000 spring break trip to Cancun, I have trouble hearing in very loud bars (crazy ear infection, long story). So keeping my hair freely flowing without tucking it behind my ears wasn't easy, but I made it through with no kinks. And four days later, I washed my hair and let it air dry... and was STUNNED.
In the pic above (ignore my messy couch situation), that is my hair AIR-DRIED. Can you believe it? Look how straight and SMOOTH and SHINY it is. Let me tell you something. It's like... Other People's Hair. Let's be real with each other for a minute. Unless I have a massive amount of curl cream on my person, I do NOT air-dry. My hair is hilarious when it goes au natural. No one has ever seen my hair wet. It's a hair lobotomy. My hair has moved to Florida, is driving a white car, is eating copious amounts of food. It is officially retired. It will no longer have to endure the every-other-day arduous task of being blown out. I now shower in the morning, instead of in the evenings thanks to my liberating no-fuss coif. In fact, I can wash it EVERY DAY if I want, because why not? Except my inner beauty freak knows it will fade my color and strip my hair of too much moisture, so I'm still keeping it to every other day. BUT STILL.
One thing to note: You must only use shampoos without sodium chloride (you chemistry scholars will recognize that chemical combo as salt) or sulfates (sodium lauryl sulfate). Both fade color, but I've recently discovered after eradicating both from my follicular lifestyle that my hair grows much longer without them. Try switching to some zero sulfate cleansers and tell me what you think.
The La Brasiliana treatment's a bit spendy at $400-800 (depending on thickness and length), but the amount of time saved is SO worth it. Call 212-633-6333 to book your appointment with Jan-Marie!
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Disclosure: The treatment was provided to me at a 75% discount for editorial consideration.