If you’ve ever spent hours (literally, hours) straightening a client’s curly hair, only to find your hard work thwarted by humidity, we know your pain!
Their hair is straight, your biceps are sore, and the second they step outside their roots start to curl. A few minutes later the frizz starts to form and then the fruits of your labor go right up into a ponytail.
So when TIGI BED HEAD said their Straighten Out straightening cream would leave hair seriously straight for 48 hours, EVEN in 98% humidity, we put them to the test. And what better way than to endure 48 hours in the Texas heat and humidity at Austin City Limits Music Festival.
Music festivals are a fun and free-spirited place to play with your style, hair and makeup so our Content Editor Cristina had fun testing out straight hair for the weekend. She applied the product to her damp hair and then did a blow out on her Type 2C hair. Cristina has short hair, so if this experiment went horribly wrong a ponytail couldn’t save her!
Watch the video to see if this straightening product passed the test.
Curlformers, a revolutionary heat-free styling tool, is available in Cosmo Prof and Armstrong McCall Professional Beauty Supply stores. The top selling Styling Kits are now available to revitalize your in-salon service menu for ALL of your clients’ hair types and lengths.
With Curlformers, you can:
- Create fabulous curls and volume with a modern wash & set styling service - Use with a perm solution for longer lasting beach waves - Use on hair extensions
And for the whole month of August you can enter the CurlStylist Giveaway to win Curlformers products by entering here!
There are 20 prizes including Curlformers starter packs, hooks and carrying cases.
Want to see Curlformers work?
Everyone loves seeing a glossy editorial in a magazine, but personally it’s the behind-the-scenes that has always intrigued us. What the stylists use and how they used them is the most interesting part of any transformation. So watch how stylists retexturized these womens’ curl patterns in our favorite (and the healthiest) way possible: without heat!
When professional smoothing treatments first hit the market a few years ago, after Nicole Richie raved about it on her blog, it took off like wild fire. Brands have come and gone since then and the survivors have focused on stylist certification. Brazilian Blowout puts significant emphasis on stylist education and certification to help create a standard for the industry.
Tip #1: Choose a brand that invests in stylist education.
While still a new category for the hair industry, professional smoothing treatments pave the way for stylists to enjoy increased revenue through additional services and new clientele while education and certification remain the frontline for stylists to correctly perform the treatment with care and precision. This ensures that the stylists administering this service are properly trained, accredited prior to use, and experience consistent results. More importantly, it’s imperative that the stylist is educated on the proper application of product and adjusting the temperature of hot tools in order to customize the treatment to the client’s needs while adhering to manufacturer instructions.
Tip#2: Certification gives you credibility and sets you apart.
Certification allows stylists to set themselves apart from others allowing the stylist to proudly display their certificate and exclusive branded collateral in their salons and at their stations, as well as advertising this life changing service on their personal websites, blogs, and social media pages like Facebook and Twitter. “As a certified Brazilian Blowout stylist, I have experienced a HUGE impact on my business because it’s allowed me to offer a service to clientele that I didn’t have before. And getting new clients means increased revenue,” says Felini, a stylist at Phillip K. Thomas salon in Dallas, TX. He goes on to explain how “being certified in this treatment sets me apart from other stylists who may not offer the service, making me unique and in high demand”.
Tip #3: Manufacturer sponsored certification should be your only means of obtaining education – don’t be fooled by imitators.
Brands who market these treatments offer sponsored events and online and certification on their websites for you to learn the detailed information necessary to perform this treatment. Most manufacturers will require you to pass a written test while attending an event, or passing an online questionnaire if taken via their website. Additionally, most recommend re-certification once a year to sharpen skills and learn new techniques.
Tip #4: Not all treatments are created equal.
When researching which certification option is best for you, be sure to educate yourself on the different treatments available and their unique features and benefits. “I chose the Brazilian Blowout treatment because it’s the only one that works. Plain and simple. And it can be washed out at the salon during a client’s appointment as where the other keratin smoothing treatments would require my client to leave the product in her hair for at least 72 hours before washing it out. My clients have active lifestyles and when they leave my chair, they can go back to living their busy lives,” states Felini. It’s important to know these differences so the treatment is performed as directed to avoid damaging your client’s hair and leaving her, and you, extremely frustrated. These types of details are covered in your certification classes and should be followed as directed. Don’t get creative and try to skip steps because you won’t end up with the results you and your client desire.
To join the rankings of the savvy stylists who have increased their business and transformed the lives of their clients, follow their lead by becoming certified by your chosen smoothing treatment manufacturer. Whether at an event or online, get certified and continue to educate yourself with new skills and techniques. And do your research when choosing which treatment best suits you and your clients needs, and ensures the impressive results you and your clients expect.
———————— About the Author:
The most popular professional smoothing treatment in the world, Brazilian Blowout, is committed to the excellence of stylists with innovative products and education that not only changes hair but changes lives. For more information, visit us online at brazilianblowout.com or like us on Facebook.
Over the past several years, the beauty industry has been revolutionized by the introduction of keratin smoothing treatments. With an ever-growing demand for this texture management solution, the keratin market has flourished. In just the past two years, the keratin landscape has undergone a rapid evolution bringing with it not just new treatments, but also a suite of keratin-infused retail products and tools geared toward providing and maintaining smoothing solutions for all textures of hair. As keratin smoothing treatments have evolved, so have consumer need and demand for aftercare products.
Keeping up with the “keratin kraze” means staying informed—and educating your clients—about new home care regimens that prolong the smoothing results.
The Evolution of Smooth
Keratin treatments were first introduced to the market as a nonpermanent solution for those who wanted to straighten their textured hair. There are now a plethora of available keratin options ranging from in-salon thermal applications to retail products that allow clients to choose from a variety of finished looks, from frizz free curls to sleek, smooth hair. “When GK Hair was founded, we had a high demand for poker straight hair,” explains Ashley Fenice, marketing coordinator for the company. “Everybody wanted the sleek, super-tamed look. Today’s consumer now is mainly looking for flexibility. More and more women are starting to embrace their curls and they want to be able to easily change from curls to straight hair.”
The keratin retail product and aftercare market has evolved as a response to the shift in demand.“It’s no longer about having just straight hair,” says Farouk VP of Shows and Education, Lisa Marie. “Clients want controlled volume and body. Keratin products are about providing your clients with the versatility to wear their curls naturally or blow dry them straight in a fraction of the time it formerly took, while making sure that the hair stays healthy and the treatment lasts.”
Many of the keratin treatment aftercare products contain small amounts of the protein complexes that are in the treatment itself, so with each wash-and-condition keratin is re-deposited into the hair, prolonging the smoothing effects. Products in the CHI Enviro Home Care Maintenance System are enriched with the same pearl and silk proteins found in the CHI Enviro Smoothing Treatment. In addition, the CHI products are formulated with a low pH to reduce frizz and add shine.
Brands such as Bio Ionic’s Agave, use sulfate- and sodium chloride-free technology in their aftercare products to extend the results of the treatment. We know that sulfates and salts have the ability to strip color and we are applying this same concept to making sure we’re not stripping the keratin from the hair,” explains Ian Murphy, senior VP of sales and marketing at Bio Ionic.
Empowering and Educating Your Clients
Because keratin is adhered to the cuticle of the hair with heat, the smoothing effects eventually wear off. “Working to maintain a keratin treatment is like protecting an investment,” says Fenice. If used regularly, at-home aftercare products allow clients to extend the life of their keratin treatments to their maximum potential. According to INOAR marketing and sales director, Fabiana Allegro, when the company asked two models to use two different sets of products following their smoothing treatments, the model who used the targeted aftercare products saw smoothing results for five months — twice as long as the other model’s results lasted.
For stylists hoping to establish a connection with keratin clientele, aftercare products provide a special opportunity as stylists teach the clients how to maintain their treated hair at home. “If a client goes home and doesn’t do anything special to maintain her hair, it’s like going to a doctor and then not filling your prescription,” says Farouk’s Lisa Marie. “Give clients the tools and the products they need to keep their hair in good shape after a treatment. Many stylists aren’t comfortable with selling products, but don’t think of it as retailing; it’s educating your clients and helping them to maintain their keratin treatment.”
In addition to products, tools also support the maintenance of a keratin treatment. Bio Ionic’s brushes, flat irons and blow dryers are infused with a blend of 32 minerals called a Nano Ionic Complex, which reconditions and rehydrates as hair is dried and styled.
Stylists can further educate clients about lifestyle hazards that can potentially shorten the lifespan of a keratin treatment. “Swimming can have the same effects on a keratin treatment that a harsh shampoo may have,” explains Allegro. “Salt water and chlorine can strip away the keratin, cutting the length of the treatment in half if extra measures are not taken to protect the hair.” Allegro suggests saturating the hair with tap water and slicking on a leave-in conditioner before swimming. This technique will allow the hair to absorb less of the harmful salt water or chlorine and protect the keratin treatment. Similarly, after working out, the client should cleanse the hair thoroughly of sweat and replenish moisture with a leave-in treatment.
New Benefits for Non-Keratin-Treated Hair
Hair is made up of about 90 percent keratin and 10 percent moisture, but environmental factors, heat straightening and color processing all can work to deplete hair’s naturally existing keratin. This is why stylists are discovering that even clients who have not had a heat-applied keratin treatment may find advantages to using keratin-infused cleansers, conditioners and styling products to reverse some of the effects of damage or simply to strengthen the hair. In some cases, these products can replace a blow-dry treatment.
CHI Keratin Mist is ideal for clients who want the benefits of protein to help strengthen the hair. The product adds strength, controls porosity and makes treated or untreated hair easier to detangle.
“Sometimes a ‘keratin treatment’ can simply be using the Simply Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner to give the client a dose of the smoothing properties of keratin,” says Doreen Guarneri, co-founder of American Culture. She suggests clients shampoo and condition with keratin products on only one side of the hair to see the difference. “Finer hair generally responds to softer smoothing treatments, while tighter, curlier textures really need the full in-salon professional keratin treatment,” she adds.
Rapidly Changing Category
Although keratin treatments are relatively new, the product offerings have already seen significant development and change, with the latest keratin retail offering an option to ensure that the treatment will last as long as possible. “Product delivery is the responsibility of the stylist, so it’s important that we stay informed,” says Robert Santana, platform artist for Matrix. With the right knowledge, tools and products to maintain your treatment, you are also addressing the long-term health of your hair.
“You can customize a keratin treatment to suit a client’s specific needs and wants,” says Guarneri. “It’s about finding the combination treatment and aftercare that works for your client’s needs and lifestyle.”
Struggling with challenges ranging from frizz to unruly hair, curly clients have searched far and wide for ways to manage their manes. But in the not-so-distant past, when they came into the salon asking to get their hair straightened, they really only had two chemical service options: a traditional relaxer or a Japanese straightening treatment.
Then, almost overnight, “keratin” became the buzzword of the beauty industry, shifting the k-word context from “protein and conditioning” to smoothing and straightening. This new anti-wave of hair straightening products, known for giving clients with textured hair a straight, sleek look that lasted for months, became the new trend in texture management. This generated a boom of curly, wavy and even straight-haired clients running into salons to reap the “life-changing,” frizz-fighting benefits, even as questions and concerns about the process were being raised.
A Star Category is Born
With the downward-turning economy and traditional appointment stretching affecting salons, timing was good for companies to introduce a new revenue-generating service built upon strong consumer demand and dramatic results. Thus, dozens of new brands popped up, all selling their own variation of keratin straightening treatments.
This first generation of “Brazilian” keratin treatments after the country where the service originated — were formulated to last three to four months and generated an average ticket of $400.
Manufacturers of these new products and their R&D scientists proclaimed that replacing keratin in the hair could restructure and recondition hair fibers, refilling the holes and gaps in the hair shaft caused by chemical services and environmental factors, and that the process could even straighten hair when the formula was “sealed in” with a flat iron heated to 450 degrees.
Straight Evolves into “Smooth”
Alongside the big consumer buzz about keratin straightening came a wave of safety questions and concerns from consumers, salon professionals, associations and competitive brands alike. Most were focused on the levels of formaldehyde released when the solution was processed by the high-temp irons.
In response, the category has evolved significantly and competitively in 2011, morphing into smoothing treatments. Some notable changes:
• One brand may now offer a menu of different formulas for different hair types or “strength” of results.
• Education, both of salon professionals and consumers, has become key for serious players in the segment.
• Some brands have dropped “Brazilian” altogether from the name or description of the service.
• Semi-permanent formulations designed to last only 4-6 weeks are growing in popularity. They can be overlapped with each application, and reach optimal potential after 2-4 applications.
• Many brands now focus on marketing low to no-formaldyde (or any –aldehyde) smoothing treatment alternatives, with minimal irritating odors or fumes.
• Even companies that elect not to get into the chemical service realm of smoothing are launching retail, take-home smoothing products, some utilizing keratin and some positioned to create a similar, albeit short-term, effect (up to 72 hours, for instance).
At Cosmoprof North America in Las Vegas, many of the new generation of smoothing treatments were on display, with marketing and education teams showing off their latest innovations. From Long Beach to Orlando, brands showed off their safety certificates to stylists at hair shows.
During the recent Tribeca Film Festival, Conair set up a Style Studio in the Arts and Cinema Lounge to offer celebrities quick touch ups before their red carpet debuts.
On hand to assist with blow outs was blow out pro and celebrity hairdresser Jonathan Antin, and he graciously shared his tips for the perfect bouncy blow out.
Tips for a Bouncy Blow Out from Jonathan Antin:
For an extra voluminous bouncy blowout, begin by towel drying clean, wet hair. Be certain that hair is rinsed VERY thoroughly.
Use a wide-toothed comb to untangle hair.
With a professional-quality dryer that has a cool shot button, dry hair upside down. Follow by smoothing out ends with a round brush on a low, warm setting. Engage the cool shot button every 15-20 seconds.
A professional quality dryer with ionic technology is key because the AC motors featured in these dryers dry hair faster, minimizing damage and frizz.
When hair is completely dry, divide hair into 2-inch sections.
Begin at the top of the head, toward forehead and work backwards. Wrap hair around a round brush with a medium-sized barrel so that the section is rolled toward the back of the head.
Using high heat and a concentrator nozzle to pinpoint airflow, dry hair from root to end for 8 seconds, then freeze into place using the cool shot button for 5 seconds. This technique is similar to hot rolling and gets volume, separation and definition. If hair is excessively curly, you can dry hair from mid-shaft to end to minimize styling time.
When finished with the top of head, dry hair on sides and back, pointing the dryer downward. This avoids get class=”bullets” style=”clear:left;”ting frizz and fly-aways.
Dab a pea-sized amount of styling cream into your hands, and smooth it into the ends of hair to define and separate tresses.
The new Japzilian smoothing treatment from California comes from the Joseph Martin Salon in Beverly Hills.
In the late 1990s, the Japanese hair straightening technique emerged as a way to permanently straighten hair. This method of straightening is also known as Thermal Reconditioning, and it combines the use of chemicals and heat to re-texturize the hair. Then the Brazilian Keratin Treatment made its way into salons worldwide as a revolutionary treatment utilizing proteins to deep condition hair while also smoothing the texture. Hair straightening techniques continue to evolve today, but perhaps none as innovative as the new Japzilian treatment.
The Japzilian is an ingenious marriage between the Brazilian Keratin Treatment and the Japanese Hair Straightening system. Combining the most advantageous qualities of both treatments, the Japzilian strives to give better results than either treatment could alone. The treatment was concocted in the Joseph Martin Salon in Beverly Hills, where G-San, a stylist and Artistic Color Director for the Joseph Martin Salon, had the idea for the Japzilian. G-San is the salon’s straightening expert, and has been styling hair for more than 14 years. The Japzilian is exclusively offered at the North Rodeo Drive location, where G-San works and has been whipping up the treatment for about eight months.
“Basically it’s a Japanese straight perm that is layered with keratin treatment. It gives fullness, body and shine to any type of hair—curly, fine, or ethnic,” says James Kendall, son of owner Joseph Kendall. Kendall has been styling hair for 25 years, and serves as the artistic director of the salon. Although the exact ingredients cannot be shared, Kendall assures that the treatment is simple. G-San has essentially combined his favorite Japanese straightening perm, Innosys, with his favorite keratin complex, Coppola.
“It’s a very interesting concept,” says Kendall, “He layers them on top of each other. And it only takes three and a half to four hours.” This is considerably shorter than the amount of time it takes to complete a Japanese straightening perm, which is roughly six hours. Although the name is funky and reptilian sounding, the results are anything but. The effects of the Japzilian are smooth, shiny locks that last up to five months longer than a normal Brazilian Keratin Treatment.
Pravana has launched Perfection SmoothOut—a patent-pending formula—that instantly transforms frizzy, coarse, or curly hair into soft, smooth locks, fulfilling a client’s desires while keeping her and her hair healthy and sexy. Innovation is on your side with Perfection’s proprietary Nano-Amino Complex, which suspends the internal and textural memory of the hair, transforming it to a new soft, sensual look and feel. There has never been anything like this product before.
Perfection is yours for the taking. Perfection SmoothOut expertly restores hair to an incredibly healthy and gorgeous state beyond expectations. Perfection’s low pH formula contains no harsh chemicals. Unlike the trouble-filled hair smoothing services of the recent past, Pravana’s advanced formula lets you set your flat iron to just 360 degrees, and claims to actually improve the integrity of the hair. Perfection’s gentle formula allows for cleansing and color services to be performed immediately after the SmoothOut, so your clients can leave with a stunning shade to go with their textural transformation.
After receiving the Perfection SmoothOut, clients can stay head-turning for eight to ten weeks with the aid of the specially formulated system Pravana created to ensure the longevity of the SmoothOut.
Marketing coordinator Cyntelia Abrams was walking down the hall at Design Essentials two years ago, bemoaning the fact she needed another relaxer, when a visiting stylist suggested she go natural instead.
Abrams, who started working for the Georgia-based haircare company in 2005, had experimented with low-lye relaxers, but she had never been quite ready to embrace her natural texture.
“I hadn’t seen my natural hair since I was five years old,” Abrams says. “Growing up, I never thought natural hair was pretty.”
She decided to transition to her natural hair. “I was still wearing my hair straight,” says Abrams during an interview at ‘Fro Fashion Week in Atlanta.
Finally, a year and a half ago, the light bulb went off. She said it was time that she finally embraced her natural hair— kinks, coils and all.
“I can’t just love my natural hair when it’s straight,” she says. “I realized—this is my hair. It was time to get comfortable in my own skin.”
Although she still wears her hair straight every now and then, Abrams says she wears it natural most of the time. Usually, she just wets it and goes.
And Abrams’s acceptance of her own natural ‘do is reflected by Design Essentials, which is committed to natural hair. The company developed its Natural Hair Care System— a collection of curl definition products infused with a combination of natural butters and oils to maintain and style loose wavy to tightly coiled hair textures. Each product is specially formulated with a blend of nourishing natural ingredients such as jojoba, cocoa butter, coconut oil, soy and almond oil to better meet the individual needs of each hair type. The ingredients provide the intense moisture that natural hair needs and the curl definition the natural consumer desires.
“We love natural hair,” Abrams says. “We’re committed to natural hair. This isn’t just a trend. It’s a lifestyle and it’s here to stay.”
“I usually style my hair by doing a Wet Two Strand Twist Set. Tips for achieving the best results with this style:
1. Detangle before twisting. Detangling helps to remove any hair/coils that have shedded during shampooing and conditioning. Detangling also creates a smoother curl/twist once the style is dry and taken apart.
2. Sit under a dryer. I’ve found that my twists are more defined, with no frizz, when I sit under a dryer versus air drying.
3. Allow hair to stay twisted for at least 1 or 2 days before untwisting the hair. This allows the wave/twist pattern to form for more curl definition with the style once twists are taken apart.”