Hair care

This New Straightening Treatment Spanks the Brazilian Blowout

Want perfect, frizz-free hair without the formaldehyde exposure? Keep reading

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About three months ago, me and my unruly, mind-of-its-own hair went to the Fernando Romero Salon in Beverly Hills for the new Agave Healing Oil Smoothing Treatment. I was hopeful, but skeptical.

I've had a couple Brazilian Blowouts in the past, but the results never wowed me (and definitely never justified the $300+ price tag). I'd end up with smooth hair for a couple weeks, but then it'd go back to being a poof ball -- one that worsened in any kind of humidity. Plus, the formaldehyde exposure that comes with a Brazilian Blowout always freaked me out.

But the Agave Treatment sounded different. Like the Brazilian, it's a straightening treatment that promises to smooth frizzy hair without totally eliminating natural waves. But unlike other straightening treatments, it's formaldehyde-free -- formulated instead with blue agave plant extracts (the sugars from the plant help hydrate hair). And you don't have to wait those torturous three days before you can wash your hair or tie it back with an elastic.

When I got to the salon, my stylist told me a story that sold me on the Agave treatment even more: While the Brazilian Blowout has been banned in Canada, where they have stricter guidelines on chemicals that can be used in salons than we do in the U.S., the Agave Healing Oil Smoothing Treatment is widely used there.

All it takes is one whiff of the treatment to believe it's more natural than its chemical-filled counterparts: I felt like I was in a bakery while the stylist painted what looked like thick conditioner onto every last strand of my hair. The sweet scent got even stronger as she blew my hair dry and then straightened it with a flat iron.

The result? After the 2-hour treatment, I walked out of the salon with super-soft, pin-straight hair. The next day, I washed it and dried it myself, and I couldn't believe how quickly I was able to get it looking just as great. I'm talking about 5 minutes of blow-dry time compared to my usual 15-20 minutes. Three months later, my friends are still asking me how I get my hair to look so smooth and shiny.

If there's a downside, it's this: For the first month or so, my hair had a weird texture when it was wet -- almost as if it was stiff with product overload. But that texture totally transforms into something I'd describe as crazy-soft once you blowdry (or even after your hair has air-dried). And the weird wet texture is gone now.

To find a salon near you that offers this service (prices range from $200-$400), check out agaveoil.com.

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