The hair dryers were abuzz with indistinguishable hip-hop song playing overhead. My hair stylist Francesca came over and started running her fingers through my hair with her gaze focused on my long brown locks. Her hair was perfectly styled- smooth yet voluminous with the bottom ever so slightly turned under. She nodded knowingly, started to smile, and said, “You are going to love this”. Francesca was about to do a semi-permanent hair treatment on me called Brazilian straightening.
For a year I had been hearing about a new Brazilian hair straightening technique called “escova progressiva” (which translates to progressive blow-dry). The third person accounts I heard seemed too good to be true. The treatment would straighten your hair, but it could also still magically hold a curl. I worked with several models whose Brazilian straightened hair looked great. Eventually I met Francesca, a hairstylist on a photo shoot, who is trained in the procedure. It was hard to dismiss the fact that all of the models had beautiful hair and that Francesca even does it to herself. Although normally nervous to mess with what god gave me, I put aside my trepidation and made an appointment to see Francesca at the uptown Cutler salon.
I was in search of straighter, more manageable hair because I knew that trend wise, my luck was about to run out. My neither here-nor-there hair texture was great for the beach-y hair moment. All I had to do was scrunch my hair a little bit, work in some pomade, and maybe put some sections around a curling iron for a natural, cool look. But the looks at the Spring/Summer shows were completely different. The long flowing manes that walked down the Chloe runway would not be a quick, or easy achievement with my unruly hair.
After having my hair shampooed, Francesca put a solution all over my hair and let it sit for 20 minutes. It is important to note that the type of Brazilian straightening that Francesca is trained in does not contain formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen and in some formulas, and obviously something to be avoided. She then blow-dried my hair and flat ironed it, sealing the hair cuticle with keratin, a protein similar to those naturally occurring in human hair. Unlike Japanese thermal straightening, which is basically a perm in reverse, the Brazilian keratin system causes minimal damage to your hair. Once Francesca finished straightening my hair couldn’t believe how board-straight my hair looked. She told me not to worry though; my hair wouldn’t look this flat after I washed it. But unfortunately I couldn’t get my hair wet for 72 hours (three whole days) after having the treatment done.
Now, almost two months later my hair is still smooth, but not too straight, and frizz-free. I am able to do my own blowouts in less than twenty minutes and my hair looks just as good as if I had gone to a salon. Considering all the time and money that I have saved, I have to say, I am officially an addict. Assuming that next season hair trends stay the course, as I think they will, I’m sure I’ll be back.