I just read an expository article on the WSJ (The Taming of the Curl) about the keratin straightening processes that are so popular these days.
The requisite warning about the formaldehyde dangers of the treatment was front and center. I'm torn about getting a third Brazilian Keratin straightening treatment. I'm worried about the potential damage from the chemicals. However, the hair is so much easier to style and looks shiny and very professional.
I learned of one new treatment that L'Oreal developed (X-Tenso Moisturist) which supposedly has no formaldehyde at all. I checked their website and found out it only lasts for 60 days--but that's about the same my hair stays straight with the two Keratin treatments I've had so far. I can't wait to see salons in my area start offering this no-formaldehyde treatment.
Cheaper In-Between-Treatment Options
Since I'm undecided about the expensive straightening treatment, and needed a new shampoo anyway, I went to CVS on a recent evening. As I browsed my favorite's shelf, L'Oreal sulfate free, I discovered they added a new line called EverSleek Smoothing System. This is different from their EverPure Smoothing line--which kinda makes my hair a little flat.
There are two products in the EverSleek Smoothing system: Intense Smoothing (creamy shampoo) and Repair Smoothing (clear shampoo). Each comes with their respective conditioner. I've used the products for about a week and a half, so far.
The creamy version of the shampoo has worked well for me: I noticed a decrease in wirey hair and frizzies. The clear shampoo left my hair a little frizzy, but shiny. Both the conditioners seem rich but balanced, and not too greasy. After washing with the repair shampoo, my hair hasn't needed much of a refresh after a day and a half. Which is impressive! I usually need to wash my hair often when using the EverPure Smoothing line.
This line also has a leave in conditioner, a deep conditioning treatment, and a styling serum. Since I'm still using my Aveda Smooth Infusion styling products, I have no need to try these additional L'Oreal ones--but probably will when I run out of the stuff I'm currently using.
I'm surprised how well the L'Oreal products have worked out for me, over the past year or so, considering I had hit-and-miss experiences with their much-pricier Kerastase line. I may still look into whether Kerastase has a smoothing line as well, just to compare a little. But it's definitely very pricey and always makes me tentative.
Tip: on the L'Oreal page, if you do an online quiz to find out which products work best for you, you can get coupons for money off your next purchase.