Like many women now in their 30s, I spent much of my early teenage years trying to achieve sleek, straight hair. And, as one whose hair can be described kindly as ‘Monica in a humid environment’ on a good day, that was no mean feat.
Back then I tried anything to get my hair to conform to Kate Moss levels of sleekness, mostly to no avail. I had my hairdresser razor the thickness out of my many layers, submitted myself to straightening treatments (think reverse perms – not kind on the old hair follicles), tried desperately to master a straight blow-dry and spent hours ironing my strands with Babyliss’s steam straighteners (injecting hot air into curls in an attempt to straighten them: REALLY?!).
It was a hard task. A hard task that left me with flat, damaged hair and aching arms from all that (unsuccessful) blow-drying. I would gaze at the hair of my smooth-follicled friends and feel incredibly jealous; all I wanted was a sleek and manageable frizz-free mop, why was that so hard?!
Then, at the age of 19, the Keratin blow-dry entered my life. I had one as a hair model with my hairdresser friend, but then couldn’t afford the price tag when living in London. I invested in another after moving out to the suburbs (it was a LIFESAVER with a new baby) but then single parent life took over and it became more important to feed and clothe my kids than persist in the pursuit of sleek Kardashian-esque hair.
7 years later and after my hair shedding nightmare – I lost about half of its volume – and as the owner of a slightly healthier bank balance, I started considering the Keratin blow-dry again. My curls were NOT compatible with the new thin-haired me, and I lost all semblance of a clue when it came to haircuts; what on earth could I do to my hair to make it feel a) thicker and b) more healthy as it grew back in?
Sleek holiday hair post-Keratin blow dry
I decided a colour and a cut would be a great place to start and so booked in with Rochelle, the absolute best hairdresser I have ever known. I found Rochelle via Instagram; she’s the owner of the Doll’s House Salon in Central Milton Keynes, and she and the stylists working with her just seem to get colour and cuts in a way that suits me down to the ground.
I had no preconceptions about the kind of style I wanted from my trip to Rochelle this time, only that I wanted my hair to look healthy as it grew back in. After thirty seconds she declared I needed a long bob with my usual highlights, which was something I’d been half-heartedly considering, so I gave her the thumbs up and she got to work.
Mid-way through she asked if I’d ever considered a Keratin Blow Dry, a slightly more heavy-duty version of the Brazilian. I said that yes, I’d had a couple before, but I wasn’t sure if it would suit my current thin hair. Wouldn’t it weigh it down?
On the contrary, Rochelle said, it would enhance the new style to make it look slick, sleek and healthy. Plus, as I was about to go on holiday, it would make haircare a breeze.
I decided to throw caution to the wind and go for it, strapping myself in for another couple of hours in the salon chair (making it six in total – I loved every minute!).
Keratin Blow Dry, cut and colour – before
You can see how dry and wispy it was here: with no shape or style, it really needed a bit of love. Even though it had thinned out lots it was still a pain in the arse to dry because it lacked… anything, really.
I had my usual colour – slightly blonder this time, for summer – and a blunt long bob. Followed immediately by the Keratin Blow Dry.
Keratin Blow Dry, cut and colour – after
The sleekness! The shinyness! The health! It’s worth seeing in motion…
So what is the Keratin Blow Dry?
The treatment is a chemical process that smooths and shines frizzy hair by causing keratin – a protein found naturally in hair – to penetrate deep into the hair shaft. Results can last up to six months, and your hair will appear healthier because it actually is. My favourite, the Duchess of Sussex, is reportedly a fan, and the treatment has been transformative for me.
It works particularly well for people with curly and/or dry hair (yep, yep), smoothing curls and frizz, and creating much sleeker and manageable hair.
Not only is my hair healthier than its ever been but it dries beautifully; it takes a quick ten minutes (I use a Dyson hairdryer) where it used to be thirty. I don’t need to use my straighteners any more either, as my hair is so super-sleek without them.
The treatment really came into its own when I was on holiday; I’m used to just whacking my hair up in a bun or pony tail after washing in the evening as I can’t be bothered to do a long blow-dry and style in the heat, but after the Keratin blow-dry it was easy peasy to wear down, which was such a lovely change.
And similarly, since I’ve come home it’s totally changed my gym routine, meaning I can shower and get ready straight from a work-out instead of rushing home to spend hours on my hair. It’s so convenient!
It’s worth mentioning that to maintain the life of your blow-dry you must use sulphate-free shampoos (harsher ones strip the treatment prematurely), and pay extra attention when conditioning (I’ve been using the brilliant Dizziak).
It’s not a cheap treatment – prices at The Dollshouse start at £90 – but well worth it, in my opinion. If you are able to make the treatment stretch to six months then this price equates to £15 a month, and as I’m saving around half an hour of styling time every other day it makes total sense for me.
I paid for this treatment myself and can’t recommend Rochelle and The Dolls House salon enough.