Posts Tagged ‘keratin treatments’

Hair Straightening Products: The Next Generation

by Modern Salon on Thursday, September 1st, 2011

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.

• Interest has grown in alternatives to keratin treatments.

• 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.

Hot New Products from ABS

by ABS '11 on Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Chicago, IL - In addition to wild new hairstyles and dramatic shows, a number of brands debuted hot new products at this year’s America’s Beauty Show. Here are some of the ones that caught our attention.

Tigi’s Session Series. From Tigi’s Catwalk collection comes the new Session Series, seven new styling products designed to help stylists get high-fashion looks. Some of the standouts inclue Styling Cream, Salt Spray and Work It Hairspray.

Original Moxie. I approached a girl with gorgeous curls on the show floor, and it turned out she recently launched Original Moxie, a line of botanically-enriched, natural products tailored to fit the needs of diverse hair types. Curlies will love Mane Tame, Everyday Leave-in, Shape Shifter, Twist Mist, Hair Blong and Oasis Moisture Gel.

Brazilian Blowout’s Zero. From Brazilian Blowout comes Zero, a new smoothing solution with 0% formaldehyde released before, during or after treatment. It uses a proprietary plant-derived KeraSafe Bonding System to deposit and seal essential amino acids into the hair, lasting up to 12 weeks.


Original Moxie

Brazilian Blowout

Other noteworthy products:

Aquage’s Biomega. Aquage launched its new Biomega line, a collection of new styling and texturizing products. Some of the noteworthy products include Behave Smoothing Elixer, Text Me Flexible Taffy and Shake It! Volumie Boosting Activator. Shake It! contains powdered polymers enhanced with omega-rich spirulina that can be combined with other products to increase the hold. The more you shake in, the stronger the hold and volume.

Pravana’s Perfection SmoothOut. Pravana Naturceuticals unveiled new Perfection SmoothOut, a patent-pending formula that smooths frizzy, coarse or curly hair. Perfection’s low pH formula contains no harsh chemicals. The gentle formula allows for cleansing and color services immediately after the SmoothOut. The service lasts eight to 10 weeks when used with Perfection Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner.

Kenra’s Platinum Recovery Polish. Kenra introduced new Platinum Recovery Polish, an ultra-lightweight restorative leave-in treatment that combats dehydration and smoothes the damaged cuticle of the hair for incredible softness and definition with natural movement. It resists humidity for up to 20 hours, so it’s perfect for blowouts and naturally curly styles.

Biolage Limited Edition Shampoo and Conditioner

Biolage. As part of its Spring Renewal Launch, Biolage introduced a co-branded Limited Edition Shampoo and Conditioner. Products from participating salons will benefit the Conservation Fund’s Go Zero program. In return, Biolage will donate up to $100,000 to the fund to restore America’s forests and offset harmful carbon dioxide emissions. Customers buying the shampoo and conditioner will also receive a free Spring Renewal travel body kit.

Get Acquainted With Texture At ABS Chicago

by Megan Dorcey on Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

America's Beauty Show

America’s Beauty Show is almost here.

America’s Beauty Show

America’s Beauty Show will play host to the NaturallyCurly, CurlStylist & Modern Salon Texture! panel for the second year in a row, which will showcase the most influential curl experts in the world.  We won’t lie—we almost can’t contain ourselves.

The high-power panel will include brands such as Hair Rules, Ouidad, Deva, Mizani and GK Hair.  This group of experts will also be hosting a demo where they style curls for you to see.  American Crew will also join the demo, showing us all how to care for our curly male clients’ curls.

This panel is comprised of the hottest names in curls, who will be speaking about how to make your business profitable in the curly niche market, the evolution of keratin treatments and smoothing systems and the latest cutting and styling techniques—just to name a few.  The panelists will also be available to answer any questions you may have about your own curly business.

Make sure to check out the Texture! panel at America’s Beauty Show in Chicago on Sunday, March 14, at 1:00 p.m.

Keratin Companies Respond to Controversy with New Formulas

by Michelle Breyer on Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Long Beach, CA—With recent attention spotlighting the keratin smoothing treatments and rumors that environmental groups would be picketing outside some salons offering the service—several hair-care brands unveiled new formaldehyde-free formulas and safety devices at the Long Beach International Salon & Spa Expo.

“Safety is my No. 1 concern,” said Lilly Balasanyan, president of Cadiveu USA, which showcased its new Acai Therapy formaldehyde-free formula as well as Aerovex Systems, a leading work ventilation system for professional salons doing keratin treatments, at its booth. “It’s very important to me.”

In addition to promoting formulas that are “100% formaldehyde free,” many companies also took steps to distance themselves from their Brazilian roots. Farouk named its new formaldehyde-free formula “CHI Enviro American Smoothing Treatment.”

Other companies, including Zerran International, Farouk Systems and Enjoy Hair also promoted their formaldehyde-free formulas. On its marketing materials, the Zerran Reallisse formula is described as free of aldehydes, methylene glycol, formol, formalin “or any other substance that produces formaldehyde. At the Zerran booth, a stylist poured some of the Reallisse Catalyst formula into her ungloved hand to demonstrate how gentle it is.

A few booths over, Croc introduced its Greenion smoothing system, which is 100% natural and contains no formaldehyde, aldehydes, thioglycolates or other toxic chemicals. GK Hair, formerly Global Keratin, swill be launching a new patent-formula in April called Light Tame with a formaldehyde level of 0.18 percent. It will join the company’s three existing formulas.

Gloss Moderne changed its name as well as its formulas over the past year in response to the growing concerns about formaldehyde. Originally called Brazilian Gloss, the company no longer imports its products from Brazil, instead developing its formulas in the United States. Gloss Moderne pledges to send each batch of the upcoming salon treatment, due out in January, for laboratory testing to reassure stylists and salon patrons that the formula is free of methylene glycol and formaldehyde — or any type of aldehyde.

“We found that by going formaldehyde-free, we could feel good about [promising results] of eight weeks or longer,” Kuen Rameson, founder of Gloss Moderne, told WWD.

Aware that some stylists may be wary of a brand’s formaldehye-free, aldehyde-free claims, many companies had copies of laboratory reports at their booths to prove the absence of these chemicals while others have reports verifying that their formulas fall within the safe limits set by OSHA. Brazilian Blowout, which has been the target of a lot of the controversy, had a large sign at its booth that said “proven safe by OSHA.” Based on the huge crowds of stylists at its booth, and at the Keratin Complex Booth around the corner, keratin treatments were still a major draw for stylists drawn by the frizz-fighting results and large profit potential.

Balasanyan understands that her industry’s credibility has been tarnished by recent reports that several keratin brands claiming to be free of formaldehyde did in fact have high levels of the known carcinogen. In addition to developing its new formaldehyde-free formula, Cadiveu USA has placed a call to action on the industry to update testing standards that will provide both accurate information and safety for stylists and the consumer.

Keratin-based treatments exploded on the scene over the past three years, with dozens of companies their frizz-fighting formulas and customers flocking to salons for the treatments, which cost several hundred dollars.

But as popularity grew, there were growing concerns that some formulas contained unacceptable levels of formaldehyde. The Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the International Agency for Research on Cancer all list formaldehyde as a suspected or known human carcinogen. Much of it started after hairstylists in Portland, Ore., reported nosebleeds, breathing problems and eye irritation connected with the use of keratin-based smoothers. That prompted an investigation by Oregon OSHA, which then issued a public alert about possible dangers related to the presence of formaldehyde in the products.

In its 30-page report issued in October, Oregon OSHA said there’s a lack of information available to stylists about the safety of keratin products, many of which it says are wrongly labeled formaldehyde-free. The workplace safety agency has initiated further testing and concluded “there are meaningful risks to salon workers when they are confronted with hair smoothing products.”

Doug Schoon, a California chemist who consults with the beauty industry on salon product safety, contends that both Oregon OSHA and Health Canada got it wrong. Schoon criticizes many reported beauty product health hazards as bad science or media exaggeration. He said the agencies wrongly tested the keratin products for formaldehyde in the bottle rather than in the air.

“I’m a scientist and chemist that has been researching and writing about salon product safety for over 20 years and have studied the use of Formalin in cosmetics and personal care products,” Schoon said in a recent posting on the ISSE web site. “I’ve been researching Formalin-containing hair smoothing products for almost two years and am considered a leading expert on this subject. In light of all of the misinformation, worry and confusion, I believe it is important to provide information that might help to clarify the situation.”

Balasanyan, and many others in the industry, do take issue with the testing criteria. She said Cadiveu conducted scientific tests at both room temperature and at 450°F to simulate the conditions of use in salons, e.g. heated with a flat iron. The results of these tests show formaldehyde levels in the product were below 0.0002% , or 2/10,000 percent—a level considered safe.

But Balasanyan says salon professionals must be educated about the safety of the products and how to create a safe work environment for both customers and salon professionals.

Mark Garrison, the owner of a salon on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that bears his name, set aside a floor for keratin treatments, equipping it with special ventilators and began providing industrial-strength respirators to his clients and stylists.

Sasha Polit, marketing manager believes the companies in her industry need to be open and honest with stylists and consumers.

“If you’re honest and transparent, people will still use the products,” she said. “But you have to give them that choice.”

Keratin Treatments Not As Safe As They’re Cracked Up To Be

by CurlStylist on Monday, October 11th, 2010

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently reported that keratin treatments listed as being formaldehyde-free did indeed actually contain formaldehyde, according to their chemical analysis of the treatment.

The product tested was Brazilian Keratin Acai Professional Smoothing Solution, and was labeled “formaldehyde free.”


However, the organization used two separate test methods to analyze the product, and detected formaldehyde concentrations at 8.4% and 8.6% respectively.

Consequently, OSHA’s Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology (CROET) has issued public alerts warning stylists and consumers to use extreme caution when using these treatments and to be cautious.

* CROET recognizes that other brands used for the same purpose may contain hazardous ingredients. CROET encourages further discussion and testing of related products to ensure that stylists and those receiving hair treatments are being accurately informed and protected.

* CROET recommends that all stylists and consumers educate themselves on the cosmetics and personal care products that they are using and seek information about potentially hazardous ingredients from manufacturers and distributors of these products. Users should also consider how the product is to be used, and if an action (such as heating with flat irons) may increase exposure potential.

Beach Waves, Keratin, and Curls…Oh My!

by Megan Dorcey on Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

The Pravana Beach Wave

It’s (finally) summer time and although we are all excited about the warming trends, there is something more important that needs our attention: the hair trends. With every season comes a little something different and with beach vacations, pool parties, and everything in between, one trend that is sticking this summer season is the beachy wave. You can catch it everywhere from a Derek Lam runway show to this year’s MTV movie awards. So how do you, as a stylist, cash in on this trend? Do your homework!

Classes all over the country are being offered on a regular basis to help tame the frizzies and promote beautiful waves. Two educational endeavors that will ensure your pocket book success: keratin treatments and the beach wave.

Although many curl pro’s are leery about the keratin treatments, they really are hitting the market hard and curls of all kind are demanding the frizz-reducing treatment. So many of us curlies are at wit’s end during the humid summer months and these treatments are a saving grace! There are many different options when choosing a treatment: Braziliante, Brazilian Blowout, De Fabulous, Global Keratin, La Brasiliana, and the list goes on. The point is, research the products and understand what they offer your potential client.

As for the beach wave, this is a new spin on the “perm” which gives those of the non-curly persuasion a better option when it comes to wash-and-wear hair styles. This treatment gives clients a sense of freedom from their blow driers and flat irons, and letting them fit right in with the summer beach feel that everyone strives to achieve. The company standing at the forefront of the beach wave craze is Pravana. They offer Q&A’s on their site as well as class schedules (they will be on the east coast this summer so check out their schedule to get the nearest class information).

Need more exposure? Tons of stylists are already gaining new curly clients through’s advertising program. With well over 500,000 visits to the site each month, it’s a great way to grab the attention of the curly community. They will post an ad on the salon reviews section in your state so all of the curlies can find you! Make sure your salon is listed for all to find.

Crystal Wright

I am constantly speaking with stylists across the country about what they are doing in their salons to gain more exposure. I would love to hear what you are doing! Have questions about a certain brand/treatment/trend? Go ahead and email me your questions and comments!

Now to leave you all with a few words of wisdom from stylist and beauty guru Crystal Wright about building your business and client base. I prodded Crystal for a few tips for the CurlStylist audience while at the Mizani Forum in Houston. Her advice is precious, so listen up!

MD What are some of the biggest mistakes you see stylists making today?

CW: They don’t know what they don’t know. What I mean is, sometimes stylists don’t realize that they are working in a vacuum with only the limited information they have in their heads about a subject. Whether it’s working behind the scenes, opening up a new salon, adding a new employee, or choosing the furniture for your salon environment, in order to do it right it’s important to read your trades, do your homework, and seek the advice of people who know more than you and who can help you get to the next level even if it costs a little money. Rest assured that I have been penny wise and pound foolish. I’ve learned that the right book, or paying the right person for 30 minutes of advice can save thousands of dollars and so much time. I learned to call someone up and say “Can I buy 20 minutes of your time”.

MD: What is one key piece of advice you can give to someone wanting to change their lives professionally and personally?

CW: Just one! Ahh shucks. Plan to work and work the plan. That’s the advice that my sales manager at Xerox gave me over 20 years ago and it still works. The only time I falter is when I don’t have a plan. A real plan. One that’s written down on paper with a date from which you can work backwards. That date becomes an appointment that you have to keep, and it makes you accountable to yourself.

MD: Can I have two?

CW: Stop trying to fix everything that isn’t working all at once. You don’t have to do everything all at once. When you identify the things that aren’t working (personally or professionally) in your life you don’t have to fix them all next month. Fix one thing every 30 days.

Keratin Treatments Star At Premiere Orlando

by Gretchen Heber on Monday, June 7th, 2010

Christo at Premiere Orlando

The thousands of stylists attending this weekend’s Premiere Orlando trade show weren’t Mickey-Mousing around; they were there to shop and learn, and shop and learn they did!

CurlStylist spent Sunday on the floor of the show, checking out all the new products, old favorites and the educational events.

The big news? Once again: keratin treatments. We could hardly believe it possible, but there were actually even MORE keratin treatment vendors at this show than at shows past. We counted 20 manufacturers selling keratin straightening treatments. 20! And several of these keratin product manufacturers also offered well-attended educational sessions at the show.

Read more about the various brands of keratin treatments or the craziest hairstyles at Premiere Orlando!

And while the keratin booths were popular, stylists flocked to a number of other booths that proved popular throughout the day, including Matrix, Arrojo, Michael O’Rourke, L’Oreal (where the company touted its new INOA coloring system) and Morrocconoil, which has recently released a new curl creme.

Argan treatments were also popular, though they didn’t have as big as presence as at some previous shows.

Main stage performances dazzled, too, with shows featuring Takashi Kitamura, Anthony Mascolo, Martin Parsons, Sherri Jessee and more.

Celebrity Stylist Nick Arrojo

The educational events for the first time featured several that focused on curly hair.

Curly hair legend Ouidad’s morning presentation was jammed to the rafters with eager stylists occupying every inch of available space in the room. “Curly hair is regal. It is beautiful,” Ouidad enthusiastically told the rapt crowd. “Curly haired people have a soul,” she added.

The Queen of Curl described her trademark Carve & Slice Method, with assistant Alex demonstrating the cutting technique on a model whose hair had been poorly cut by another stylist. “Carve & Slice is strategically designed to work with the curly pattern you have. It’s designed to cut with the curvature of your hair.”

“Look for the weight when deciding where to cut,” said Alex.

Time slipped by as Alex continued to cut and style the model’s hair, yielding a beautiful look that had the pumped-up and curl-friendly audience cheering.

Back at Ouidad’s booth on the floor, industry color master Cypriano dazzled passing stylists with his makeovers.

At another education event, Christo Fifth Avenue’s Christo thrilled the crowd with his own stunning makeovers—transforming frizz to fabulousness. Of his curl philosophy, he said, “When I design a client’s hair, I design to her texture. And I give her a prescription especially for her texture.”

Kim Vo of “Sheer Genius” fame

Christo also demonstrated his new cutting technique, Diametrix. Hair is divided into 12 sections and specialized cutting techniques are applied. Read more about Diametrix.

Christo also revealed that he will soon be introducing a line of hair care products for tight, coily hair.

Both Christo and Ouidad emphasized how specializing in curly hair can bring extra profit to your salon business.

At another training event, hair care company Surface pushed its root-volumizing product, Push. The room gasped as company rep Wayne Grund demonstrated how the powdery product instantly offers lift at the root and how smooshed-down hair can be revived quickly.

We saw several new product lines we can’t wait to try out: Amika, Obliphica, Angel Professional and Milk_Shake. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on these hot hair care products.

Obedience, from celebrity stylist Charlene Spiller, is a “light, high-performing straightening serum that allows women of any ethnicity to naturally straighten their curly, wavy or resistant hair.”

Celebrity stylists Nick Arrojo and Kim Vo were surrounded by a pack of admirers everywhere they went, and Vo even had a take-a-picture-with-me booth set up outside the main floor. Dozens of giddy stylists eagerly awaiting their turn to have their photos taken with Vo, as the “Shear Genius” star smiled, chatted and treated each one like his long-lost friend.

Were you at the show? Tell us about your experience in the comments area below!

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