I’ve always been a pretty reluctant member of the curly head crew (it’s a crew, right?), until recently when I just decided to give in and embrace the crazy corkscrews in all their frizzy glory. You can only fight it for so long.
So when I was offered the chance to try Epic Hair Designs’—killer Brisbane hairdresser with salons in Mt Gravatt, Springfield Lakes, Kenmore, Norman Park and Newmarket—Kerasilk Keratin smoothing treatment, I was surprisingly hesitant about being the office beauty dummy.
There were so many questions: Would it ruin my hair quality? Would I still have any curls at all? Would it even do anything to the madness that is my mane? (Spoiler alert: No, yes, and yes!)
Keratin got a pretty bad rap in the early noughties; the last few years though have seen the pesky formaldehyde scandal issue sorted, and a fresh wave of devotees flocking to hairdressers like Madison at Epic Hair Designs, Mt Gravatt to have their mane managed.
I decided to suck it up and try it out. Worst case scenario? I’d have sleek, straight hair for 5 months. Not bad for a day’s work!
The treatment promises to make your daily routine much less laborious, cut down on products and time as well as smoothing out and softening curls and frizz. Hello, luscious locks...
We met Madison at Epic’s Norman Park salon, where she ran me through the process—which, thanks to my shoulder length do, would take just over three hours (time is hair-length dependent).
After opting for the intense treatment (go hard or go home is my approach to curl control) and with a cheeky afternoon Peroni thrown in to the mix, Madison proceeds to wash my hair with Goldwell’s Kerasilk shampoo to remove any impurities. She tells me this step is important because the Keratin is going to be locked into my hair so we need to start from a clean base.
Then, the hair is dried to about 80% before the product is applied evenly through the hair until it’s completely covered. To me, it feels like a regular visit to the salon, much the same as a colour application.
The beer’s going down a treat, and chatting with Madison in the light airy salon is making me forget that I’m actually at work—hard knock life, I know. After 15 minutes of letting the product absorbs, Madison takes to it with blow-dryer on medium heat.
Unlike chemical straightening—a process that actually alters the chemical make-up of the hair shaft—Keratin treatments are more of a physical change.
“The best way I can describe it is to think of a leg with a splint on it, forcing the bone to grow a certain way—the keratin coats the hair to fill in the bumps, creating a straighter shaft,” she tells me. “Using heat sets it in place.”
Once the blow-drying is done, the straightner is put to use (going over each section 4-6 times) with the product still in my hair.
Once my hair is totally straight, it’s back to the wash basin—which is the complete opposite of my usual hair straightening routine; water is the enemy—to remove the product with shampoo.
The daily mask is then applied to finish off, prior to one last blow-dry. Using a medium heat, and some sealing serum, Madison uses her hands and a brush to dry the hair. Without applying much pressure at all, she manages to get my hair into a blow dry that’s almost straight, and it’s definitely smooth. [Image reference: one of the final images at the salon of me with totally dry hair that looks like it’s been blown out] I never actually use a hairdryer without a diffuser at home because it just turns into a frizzy mess. Needless to say, it’s a pretty massive transformation!
The difference is immediately noticeable. Where I used to wake to a fugly bird’s nest mess in the morn, I now have the kind of bed-head that people pay for. My morning routine involves adding some of the Kerasilk treatment oil—the Epic team recommend using the Goldwell products to guarantee the 5-month life of my new smooth ‘do—a touch of styling serum, and I’m good to go. It’s a far cry from the liberal dousing with coconut oil and 3 other hair products I was reliant on.
I even notice that on the humid days, my hair is almost devoid of the annoying flyaway frizz that plagues me come Queensland storm season. The curls have lengthened and smoothed, but there’s still volume and curls where the most intensely curled sections of my hair have always been. I have to wait about 2 weeks to colour my hair once the treatment is applied and set (it can be coloured during the process) but aside from that, home hair care is totally kosher.
I think I just found my new favourite hair treatment.
Want to try it yourself? The awesome team at Epic Hair Designs are giving away a special Kerasilk treatment package to one lucky Urban Lister! Valued $348, all you have to do is enter your deets below.
Comp' details: Goldwell’s Kerasilk Keratin Smoothing Treatment for any Length of hair, 3 take home products to maintain your smoothing treatment for up to 5 months. All valued up to $348.00
Image credits: Ariana Gillrie