The KeraStraight Ultimate Treatment
A month ago I was invited to the Excel arena for a KeraStraight treatment at Salon International 2014. I had heard of semi-permanent blow-drying treatments before but didn’t know much about them. For those who are just as clueless as I was, KeraStraight is a semi-permanent straightening and repairing treatment. It’s formaldehyde-free and uses an advanced protein formula that has been independently UK/EU Health and Safety approved. It’s based on the hair’s natural protein, keratin (hence the name!). To take away all the technical descriptive detail, it’s a treatment that is kind enough to use on all hair types (coloured, chemically treated, afro, damaged, you name it) and leaves it smooth, easy to manage, shiny and reduces styling time. I was sold!
My hair is naturally wavy, with some curls at the back and has been very badly treated. I have been colouring my hair for as long as I can remember, I always forget to use heat protector spray and you could tell. It was very frizzy, dull and super dry and damaged at the ends. As the cold and bad weather descended on London, my hair was expanding by the day. This treatment sounded like a dream. Here is me pre-treatment (I had straightened my hair but you can see that the ends look dry and it looks dull overall)
And here is the finished result:
Doesn’t it just look healthy and smooth and shiny and LOVELY? (ALSO why didn’t anyone tell me I had mascara all over my eyes when this was taken!?)
Now that you’ve seen the result, let’s get into the nitty gritty. Kerastraight offer three treatments, with different outcomes:
KeraStraight Intense Boost (moisture) – Designed for dry and dehydrated hair and gives hair moisture with no added weight. Lasts 30 days. KeraStraight Intense Boost (protein) – Adds strength and softness to weak and extremely damaged hair. Lasts 30 days.
KeraStraight Ultimate – This is the treatment I had and it lasts for up to 4 months.
No, that wasn’t a typo. Four. Months. Four months of manageable, frizz-free hair? Yes please! The process is as follows:
- Step 1 – Shampoo twice with a pre-treatment cleanser. Apply pre-treatment spray in sections and comb through.
- Step 2 – KS Ultimate treatment applied in small sections. Head covered in plastic cap so the hair doesn’t dry out (don’t I look attractive in my plastic cap?!).
Leave for 30 – 45 mins depending on hair type and condition.
- Step 3 – Rinse for 10 seconds with no shampoo. Squeeze moisture from hair.
- Step 4 – Apply moisture lock treatment for 2 mins then rinse for 20 seconds.
- Step 5 – Blow dry hair until 100% dry.
- Step 6 – Iron hair slowly in 2 – 3cm sections using a comb.
This final step is the bit that determines how straight your hair is. Because my hair wasn’t super curly, they only passed the hair straighteners through each section about 2-3 times. Gymbags & Gladrags was there at the same time as me, and on her hair they passed the straighteners through about 10 – 15 times per section as her hair is obviously a lot more curly than mine. They also change the temperature of the straighteners dependent on your hair type for the same reason.
I really like this as it means each treatment is completely tailored to the individual rather than just a blanket, one-size fits all hair treatment. Here is a picture of one of the models who was there on the day so you can see the huge transformation on more curly hair:
Understandably I had questions about the treatment, which the lovely Amy addressed in a lot of detail. It got to the point where she must have been so bored of seeing my name pop up in her inbox but she really helped to allay any concerns I had. I read all of the information they sent me and read some reviews online and then went back to her with even more questions. Here are all of my concerns and the answers/my experiences from the day and time since:
Will the treatment damage my hair? I’d heard a lot of rumours about treatments being ironed into hair… There is a lot of information online that can give you more detailed info on this, but basically the treatment is washed out before your hair is ironed, so it’s not like some of the other more damaging treatments on the market.
Will there be a horrible smell and will my hair billow with smoke as it’s ironed? There was no nasty smell whatsoever when the treatment was on, it actually smelt pleasant (kind of like watermelon) which was a nice surprise.
Will my hair regrowth be frizzier than before? The treatment doesn’t grow out (so no weird frizzy roots and straight ends!), the effects just fade over time as the protein treatment breaks down around your hair (without damaging your hair in the process).
Will my hair be poker straight and flat? The treatment is heat activated, so if I leave my hair to dry naturally, I still get my natural waves and curls, just without the frizz. THE DREAM. Look! (Excuse the crappy iPhone photo…)
However, when I dry it upside down with a hairdryer, it dries straight and with no frizz. I just use my hair straighteners to tidy up a few bits and I am done. This has been a revelation. I have saved so much time from not having to faff with my hair. To clarify, the picture below is just from rough drying with a hair dryer, no brush used and definitely no full-on blow dry! So impressed!
AMAZING. It’s witchcraft!
Will I have to spend ages taking care of it? I am an inherently lazy person and spend as little time on my hair as I can, so this was important to me! KeraStraight gave me the KS Care ‘Straight Maintain Shampoo’ and ‘Straight Maintain Conditioner’ which are Sulphate and Sodium Chloride free (the sodium is apparently what would eat away at the protein on your hair – this wouldn’t damage your hair, it would just reduce the longevity of the treatment on your hair). They also gave me the Ultimate Oil which locks in moisture and defines the hair. It’s really lightweight and smells lovely. The shampoo is hard work, as it’s Sulphate free it’s non-foaming so you do have to work it into your hair. Being honest, it has a very funky smell as well, kind of how I imagined the original treatment to smell, which is odd. I wasn’t a fan, but I found it fades in the hours after washing. When my hair is wet in the shower, I can kind of feel a coating on the hair which has taken some getting used to. It doesn’t feel awful, it just feels like there is some resistance as I’m running my hands through it. Almost as if every hair is about 3 times as thick and coated in rubber… but as soon as the hair is towel dry that feeling goes away. It’s very strange! Again, not a big deal to me, but something I wanted to let you know about.
So it’s been over a month since I had the treatment and I’m still thrilled with it. I got caught in the rain 3 times last week and my hair was completely frizz free; I save so much time on a morning by not having to faff with straightening; my hair looks in a lot better condition, almost as though I’d had a few inches cut off; the after-care is basically the same haircare routine as I am used to (shampoo, conditioner, oil)… all in all I think it’s an amazing treatment.
Prices start at £115, but vary depending on hair length and which treatment you go for. I think mine would have been almost £200 which sounds like a lot, but I am happy to pay £50 a month to keep my hair shiny, manageable and save myself hours of straightening. If you have frizzy or unruly hair I think you’d probably feel the same!
That’s a lot of information but I hope you found it helpful and interesting! If you have any other questions, just let me know. I’m always happy to chat: you can either leave a comment below, or grab me on twitter @talontedlex.
Here’s me waxing lyrical about the treatment just after I had it done, during the video you can see my hair is so shiny, the photos just don’t do it justice!
*KeraStraight gifted me the KeraStraight Ultimate treatment. Please see my disclosure policy in the top menu for details.