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Get on the straight and narrow

Safe DIY keratin treatments

Cooler weather is no guarantee that those with frizzy, unruly or just problematic hair will miraculously transform into having super straight hair. The good news is that those wanting straight hair have a multitude of options -- one being keratin treatments. Let's look at your choices.

Woman with smooth hair

Keratin, a protein found naturally in the hair, helps to seal gaps in the hair cuticle that may be dry or damaged, yielding straight, sleek hair. This treatment, however, has had its fair share of critics, due to the varying levels of formaldehyde that many of the treatments contain. But now, there is a way to achieve that desired Pantene hair while also avoiding this dangerous chemical. We've found three at-home keratin treatments that are formaldehyde-free and give you that desired straight hair that never seems to go out of style.

1Organix® Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy

Organix® Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy is an at-home hair straightening system that will smooth even the most unruly types of hair. As the first to market this salon phenomenon to food, drug and mass retailers, Organix features organic active ingredients in a formaldehyde-free formula. A safe alternative to pricey salon straightening treatments, this eagerly anticipated collection is bound to refresh hair and reduce styling time -- not to mention it is also the least toxic way to keep frizzy hair at bay.

Organix blends the nourishing ingredients of rich organic cocoa nut oil with enriching keratin proteins that strengthen and soften the hair. Organic avocado oils and cocoa butter smooth the cuticle for straight, strong tresses. The fusion of these natural oils yields hair that will shine for days and a smell that will take you to the tropics (even if it is coat weather).

The Organix Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy collection includes:

  • Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy 30 Day Smoothing Treatment ($15): This smoothing treatment infuses a high-potency keratin complex deep into the hair cuticle, reducing up to 95 percent of frizz and curl, leaving hair shiny and luxurious. The treatment remains in your hair for 48 hours and during this time, the hair cannot become wet or bent.
  • Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo ($8): Formulated with keratin proteins for lasting protection and a nourishing blend of organic cocoa nut, avocado and cocoa butter oils, this sulfate and sodium chloride free shampoo leaves hair with a relaxed, smooth and frizz-free appearance (ideal for use after the 30 day treatment).
  • Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy Conditioner ($8): This silky and luxurious conditioner provides lasting nourishment while protecting hair from the heat of styling tools and maintaining its shine and body.
  • 14-Day Express Treatment ($8): This treatment is easier and faster to apply than the original 30 Day Treatment. It eliminates up to 95 percent of frizz and curl and dramatically reduces styling time. Apply with ease -- no gloves needed. Just spray from root to end.

The collection also includes a Flat Iron Spray (so the iron glides smoothly), Anti-Breakage Serum (to be used before or after blow-drying), Masque (deep conditioner) and Shimmering Oil (leave-in conditioner and shine spray). The Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy collection is available at drugstores and mass retailers nationwide. Visit www.beautypureandsimple.com for further information.

2L'Oréal Paris EverSleek Sulfate-Free Smoothing System

The desire for straight, smooth hair and the increasing popularity of professional straightening treatments has resulted in women clamoring for products that protect, smooth, maintain results and really work. L'Oréal Paris' EverSleek Sulfate-Free Smoothing System offers an advanced yet gentle way to achieve smooth results without spending salon prices. Free of harsh sulfates, unnatural silicones and parabens, EverSleek technology contains argan oil, olive oil and sunflower oil to penetrate hair fibers and smooth the cuticle for natural, long-lasting frizz control. With seven products, including the first-to-mass silicone-free serum, EverSleek offers a complete hair care system for 48 hours of frizz control.

The EverSleek collection includes the following products: Intense Smoothing Shampoo/Conditioner ($7), Reparative Smoothing Shampoo/Conditioner ($7), Smoothing Deep Conditioner($7), Humidity Defying Leave-In Crème ($9) and Frizz Taming Crème Serum ($9). All products are available at www.lorealparis.com and chain drug and market retailers.

3Keratin Earth

Keratin Earth is an amazing system of products that has been proven to make curly and unruly tresses shiny and sleek. The system contains keratin and other proteins to help hair look and feel healthy. When the system is used as directed, the effects of the Keratin Earth can last for 30 days or longer, depending on the hair type.

Keratin Earth employs a unique combination of ingredients to deliver straight hair while minimizing damage (and it is formaldehyde-free). The system is said to work on all types of hair, from extremely coarse and unruly, to color treated or chemically-processed hair, to those who just want to take some of the frizz, or as I call it "pouf," out of their hair. The thing I love is that hair will not be "pin" straight after using it, but it will merely be a better version of your natural hair, giving it an overall manageability and incredible shine.

The straightening system eliminates frizz and will loosen the curls in even the most coarse hair types, allowing for straighter results, without being compromised by the weather. If hair is already super straight, it will still enhance shine and allow you to forgo using other styling tools. The treatment can last anywhere from 30 days to three months, depending on your hair type, and it's recommended that the treatment be applied every 30 days for best results.

I used the system and my somewhat unruly, frizzy hair remained straight and shiny for several weeks, allowing me to put my flat iron away and enjoy the comforts of having easy hair! The best part? After applying the treatment, you can wash hair, swim and return to your normal routine without any wait or worry. The system contains a Shampoo, Conditioner, Straightening Therapy and Masque, and the steps to use the system are as follows:

  • Step 1: Shampoo: Shampoo and rinse hair twice with Keratin Shampoo.
  • Step 2: Straightening Therapy: Starting at the nape of the neck, use one inch sections of hair and apply Keratin Straightening Therapy starting at the base through ends. Comb the treatment into hair. Repeat procedure, saturating entire head.
  • Step 3: Nourishing Masque: Comb through, detangle hair and remove excess moisture. Apply Leave-In Conditioning Masque and leave masque in hair for two minutes and rinse.
  • Step 4: Protein Conditioner: Apply Protein Conditioner to hair and rinse. Blow dry hair until 90 percent dry (when hair appears dry but is still cool to the touch). Use a flat iron as the final step to lock-in the treatment.

To learn more, visit KeratinEarth.com.

More tips for smooth hair

Fight frizz with a keratin treatment
Secrets of a perfect salon blowout
How to blow dry your hair smooth and shiny

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