Most of us have wandered into a mall salon sometime in our lives, taken advantage of a “great deal” from a new salon or stylist, maybe even colored our own hair. But a keratin hair treatment such as Brazilian Blowout, Global Keratin, Keratin Complex, or Brazilian Keratin is a much bigger deal. Even once you’ve done some research and chosen the treatment that sounds right for you, it’s still important to choose the right stylist. Why? Because this is an advanced skill that requires close attention to detail. I have heard many stories from clients about not being told honestly what treatment is being used on their hair, and unfortunately I have seen some damage done by unskilled stylists performing these services.
If you haven’t read about the different treatments, check out the following previous posts:
- Stop Battling Frizz with the Brazilian Blowout
- Global Keratin Treatment for Curly or Resistant Hair
- Pros & Cons of Keratin Complex by Coppola
- What is a Brazilian Keratin Hair Treatment?
Some stylists offer multiple treatments, and can recommend which they feel is best for you. This usually means they are very experienced, and gives you more flexibility.
Where to start:
Brazilian Blowout offers a salon locator on their website, so you can find a certified salon or stylist in your area. Other treatments’ sites usually have a phone number, which you could call to ask about a stylist reference. You can also try Google, Citysearch, Yelp, or even Twitter (tweet, “looking for a Brazilian Blowout stylist in (your city).” It is totally acceptable (maybe even advisable) to speak to more than one stylist or salon before deciding where to go.
When you call the salon, be sure to ask for the treatment by brand name, if you’ve already chosen. Remember, the receptionist is not a hairdresser and will not be able to answer all of your questions; but they should know basics, such as which stylists offer keratin treatments, what kind and how long or often they’ve been doing them. Ask for a consultation with the stylist who does the most keratin treatments (or the most of the kind you want; the salon may offer more than one). S/he should be happy to give you 15 minutes, face to face, to analyze your hair and address any concerns you may have. If possible, wear your hair air-dried that day to show the stylist your natural texture.
It’s not a bad idea to have a few questions prepared, so here are some important ones:
- Why does the stylist like this treatment best (or why do they recommend a certain one for you, if they offer more than one)?
- Does it contain or produce formaldehyde, and if so, ask about the ventilation in the treatment area. You can learn more about this at www.saferbrazilian.com. If you are sensitive or allergic to formaldehyde, ask about alternative treatments that don’t have any.
- What results can you personally expect from this treatment? Will it make your hair completely straight? Will you still be able to curl if you want to style it that way? How long will it last, and will the roots be noticeable as they grow in?
- Ask about the training for this treatment; some offer hands-on Certification, some do a class with a demonstration, and some are as simple as watching a 5-minute video. Some offer more than one way to become Certified, so it’s important to ask. Of course, a stylist who has taken a workshop or watched a live demo will have seen the process in more detail and had the opportunity to ask their trainer questions. You should also ask how many treatments the stylist has done, and how long they have been doing hair.
- If your hair is unusual, or you perceive it to be particularly challenging, ask questions about the stylist’s experience with your hair type. Don’t be shy here, it’s important!
Remember that the farther you are from a big city, the stylists may not have had exposure to these treatments until the past year or two. Even if they are not highly experienced, you’ll be able to gauge their confidence and see if they really believe in the product and love what it does.
Scheduling Your Appointment:
Ask if there are there any special precautions you must take after having the treatment? For example, most keratin treatments require you to keep your hair ironed straight, without any clips or ponytails, for 1-4 days before you wash it. This may affect the scheduling of your appointment; you don’t want to have it done 2 days before your anniversary, then end up greasy on your big night out! Brazilian Blowout is the only keratin treatment with no downtime, which is a big convenience factor.
Brand Name Products:
Some keratin treatments, mainly Brazilian Blowout, have become so popular that their name may be used inappropriately to gain attention. This is unfortunate, but it does happen. After all of your research, if you’ve decided on a particular keratin treatment, make sure you’re getting it. There should be printed materials with the company logo, so a hand-written sign is definitely a red flag. Brazilian Blowout and other companies all have promotional fliers and pamphlets, and of course the names are on the bottles. Don’t be fooled, make sure you get what you’re asking for!
After Your Treatment:
Visit this A Mom In Red High Heels post to learn how to best care for your keratin hair treatment: Caring For Your Keratin Hair Treatment.