How 1 Keratin Treatment Looks on 5 Different Hair Types
08.30.17

My curly hair is high-maintenance to the extent that sometimes I feel like I’m taking care of a small badger, or at the very least a prissy goldfish. I started looking into keratin treatments earlier this summer, but I’ve had some bad experiences with hair relaxers in the past (my eyes stung, my hair was too straight, etc.) and only wanted to do one if I could find a gentle, effective, formaldehyde-free option.

It turned out to be easier said than done. When it comes to hair relaxers, everyone seems to have a different opinion or different story about what formula or what salon worked for them. It’s tricky to take these recommendations with anything but a grain of salt since hair types vary so widely. There’s also a lot of conflicting information about the results of formaldehyde-free keratin treatments. Some people insist that formaldehyde is vital if you have super curly hair and actually want the treatment to work, but many salons claim that their formulas are effective for any hair type.

I stumbled across Takamichi Hair and its abundance of five-star Yelp reviews during one of my keratin research black holes. When I inquired about the formaldehyde-free keratin treatment advertised on its website, I learned it was a formula called Cezanne that promises to smooth and de-frizz hair while restoring shine, cut blow-drying time in half and — most importantly — work on all hair types. I was impressed. I was also curious: Could this one treatment actually work on multiple different hair textures?

So I put it to the test. I assembled a test group of five women (myself included) with different hair types, from wavy and bleached to tightly-curled and dye-free. Each of us received the Cezanne keratin treatment at Takamichi Hair (which typically costs $300+ depending on hair length and texture) gratis. Below, our before and after photos — the latter of which was taken after at least one shampoo post-treatment — and our uncensored reviews.


Raquel

Treatment by Kathryn Gardner

Why were you interested in the treatment?

I always heard people talk about how keratin could smooth out your hair without damaging it as much as other kinds of relaxers or even a flat iron would.

How would you describe your natural (pre-treatment) hair type?

Extremely thick with tight curls.

How would you describe your hair after the treatment?

My hair is basically still an afro but more defined, a littler longer and looser, which I love!

What was your hair routine pre-treatment?

I washed it once a week with Devacurl No Poo Shampoo. Then I would use the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strength & Restore Treatment Masque to detangle. After combing that through and rinsing, I would apply a mixture of the Devacurl One Conditioner Decadance and Devacurl Heaven in Hair, plus Organix’s Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum. To style, I used Devacurl’s Beautiful Mess pomade. Depending on the time of day I would either air dry or blow dry.

What is your hair routine post-treatment?

My routine is still the same because it’s all sulfate-free, which is what the salon recommended to make it last.

Final review?

The treatment made it easier for me to manage my hair and I would definitely do it again.


Sarah

Treatment by Gabby Fishman

Why were you interested in getting a keratin treatment?

I’ve tried similar relaxing treatments in the past that ultimately did not have much of an impact on my hair or daily styling routine, so I was curious to see how this formula would be different. I also recently cut about five inches off of my hair and have regretted it every day (hour, minute, second…) since. There is a direct correlation between hair length and frizziness for me, which means lately my hair has been at its puffiest, frizziest and most unruly.

How would you describe your natural hair (pre-keratin)?

My natural hair is technically curly, but that isn’t really the word that best describes it. While I had Shirley Temple ringlets as a child, my hair has changed a lot over the last few years. More than curly, I guess it is frizzy, unpredictable and puffy?

What was your pre-keratin hair routine?

My routine varied, but I would never wear my hair down naturally. It’s pretty dry, so I can straighten it and wear it for days without washing. If my hair isn’t straightened, I default to braiding it in a crown around my head. People tell me I look like Sansa Stark, which is validating.

How would you describe your hair after the treatment?

Definitely softer and less frizzy. It hasn’t changed much, but the improvement in texture is noticeable and makes my hair considerably more manageable.

What is your post-keratin hair routine?

It’s pretty similar. I still straighten and braid my hair a lot, and it’s much easier to style in general, but I’ve also started wearing it naturally loose and curly on occasion and feel good about it.

Final review?

Overall I feel good about the treatment. I noticed changes in the texture, and it is a huge improvement for me to be able to get out of the shower, let my hair air dry and go to work without having to style it in any specific way. I’ve always had an intense love/hate relationship with my hair, and after getting the treatment, the typical aggravation I would feel toward my curls three hours into wearing them natural has more or less dissipated. It’s cool to finally feel comfortable and confident about it.


Amy

Treatment by Jackie Fusco

Why were you interested in getting a keratin treatment?

I have damaged ends with a lot of breakage from bleaching, so I hoped that a keratin treatment would help strengthen my hair and repair it.

How would you describe your natural hair (pre-keratin)?

My natural hair is thick and smooth, but my bleached ends are brittle and crunchy. Two totally different textures (but both delicious if we were talking about peanut butter).

What was your pre-keratin hair routine?

I would wash my hair once a week, and it usually involved at least 40 minutes of physical and mental stress. First I would wet my hair, coat it the ends in conditioner and detangle. While that marinated, I applied shampoo just to my scalp area (I always left the shampoo in until the end of my shower because I use one with tea tree oil, peppermint, eucalyptus that works like an anti-dandruff scalp treatment). I would then do multiple rounds of conditioning and detangling before finally rinsing everything out.

I applied a small amount of coconut oil almost every day to prevent my from getting dehydrated throughout the week. I never ever used any heat styling tool, not even a blowdryer. I would usually just put it in a braid to protect it from breakage and keep it out of my face.

How would you describe your hair after the treatment?

My bleached ends feel smoother and less crunchy. Also, I didn’t apply any coconut oil or any hair treatment on my ends the week after my keratin treatment, and it definitely didn’t get as dry as it used to before. My natural hair feels a little bit sleeker, too (the difference is much smaller compared to my ends because my natural hair was never subjected to any harsh chemicals or high heat).

What is your post-keratin hair routine?

The same steps but with WAY LESS CONDITIONER AND DETANGLING TIME (AND CRYING). I also don’t feel like I need to use coconut oil in my hair every day. Once or twice a week is enough now.

Final review?

I really enjoyed the experience. My stylist Jacquie listened while I explained my hair history to her. She was so patient and careful with every step of the treatment so as to not strain and cause any further damage to my ends. The treatment has definitely made my life A LOT easier because my ends no longer become a tangled, matted mess upon contact with water. My shower time has almost been cut in half. Since this treatment was gratis, I’m not sure if I would do it again just because of the price. I might try an Olaplex treatment next time; it’s more affordable and is supposed to work miracles on bleached ends.


Priyal

Treatment by Natalie South

Why were you interested in getting a keratin treatment?

I like the natural thickness of my hair, but it’s always difficult to keep the frizz under control. I wanted to address the frizz without making any dramatic changes to its overall appearance, and keratin seemed like the best way to do that.

How would you describe your natural hair (pre-keratin)?

Thick and wavy with a lot of frizz near the hairline and more defined curls at the bottom.

What was your pre-keratin hair routine?

I washed three times a week with shampoo and conditioner (any drugstore brand), plus a Kérastase hair product to tame the frizz. Then I spent about 20 minutes blow-drying the hair near my forehead every morning.

How would you describe your hair after the treatment?

So soft! The frizz is almost completely gone, but my curls are still visible.

What is your post-keratin hair routine?

Wash and condition three times a week with sulfate-free hair products (I’m using ones from Living Proof).

Final review?

I don’t have to blow-dry my hair anymore! I can snooze my alarm twice every morning because I’m no longer factoring in the extra time after a shower. Major win. I’m very happy and will definitely do it again.


Harling (me!)

Treatment by Cristina Boatman

Why were you interested in the treatment?

I wanted a break from letting my curly hair run my life. I wanted it to be easy for once.

How would you describe your natural (pre-treatment) hair type?

Curly, thick, dry and very frizzy.

How would you describe your hair after the treatment?

Wavy, silky and touchable with basically no frizz.

What was your hair routine pre-treatment?

I washed it once a week with Devacurl Low Poo Shampoo and Devacurl One Conditioner. Then I would scrunch some Devacurl Styling Cream into it while it was still wet and let it air-dry.

What is your hair routine post-treatment?

The exact same thing minus the styling cream (I don’t need it anymore because my hair isn’t as frizzy).

Final review?

I love, love, love, love not having to think about my hair. If I want to exercise, if I’m going swimming, if I’m riding in a car with the windows down, if I’m walking around outside in the humidity, it’s finally a non-issue. I have more time to think about more important stuff now, like whether or not low-rise jeans are coming back.

Photos by Edith Young. Keratin treatments by Takamichi Hair; follow the salon on Instagram here

Get more Beauty ?

Hi! If you're in the UK or EU and have trouble loading Disqus comments on Man Repeller, that could be a result of updates we've made to the site to be compliant with GDPR. The good news is, you can elect to allow Disqus tracking, which will enable comments to load! You can do this by going to Manage Choices and making Disqus active. See screenshots for how to do this below.