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I left the salon and couldn't stop staring at myself. My hair was so much sleeker, shinier, and blonder! And because my curls were uncoiled, my style looked longer, making my face appear thinner. Back at work, my coworkers kept telling me how much "healthier," "longer," and "smoother" my hair looked.
A sweaty scalp can compromise the treatment in its early stages, as my stylist explained. It was definitely a challenge to take it easy at the gym (I'm a full-throttle boxing junkie!). But I emerged from my Zumba workout with still-straight strands. Mission accomplished.DAY 3
Since I had to wait three days before washing my hair -- 72 hours is key to getting maximum benefits from the treatment -- I woke up looking pretty greasy. I sprinkled some baby powder on my roots so I could feel confident at work.DAY 4
Finally -- shampoo day! I found my styling session to be easier than ever. Prior to the treatment, I'd air-dry rather than blow-dry; a blast of heat turned my hair into a bushy mess. With a tame mane, however, I could use the blow dryer and leave the house looking sleek and styled, not with a wet head. I felt more professional and put-together.DAY 5
Getting in and out of the gym was a breeze! My steamy cardio boxing class once brought on serious frizz; now, save for a little wave at the sweaty nape of my neck, my hair stayed smooth for the full hour.DAY 10
I officially shelved my curl gel and anti-frizz cream. I was down to one product: the Coppola Shine Infusion Therapy Spray ($40, keratincomplex.com for locations), which protects against heat damage. Using fewer products bought me an extra day or two between shampoos.DAY 25
I ran into an old friend on the street and waved to her. She ignored me until I was right in front of her face. "I didn't recognize you!" she said. "How is your hair so straight with all of this humidity?" I didn't reveal my secret. (Guess she knows now!)DAY 40
It was raining cats and dogs, so I walked into work with a wet head. After an hour of air-drying, I saw a little wave (the first since the treatment). But there was zero frizz -- a big victory.DAY 60
I've never been able to brush my curls for fear of tangles. But two months into the treatment, brushing had become a bedtime ritual. I loved the relaxing feeling of the bristles on my scalp.DAY 80
At the beach, frizz and flyaways were once inevitable. This summer, my hair stayed smooth all day -- even after multiple dips in the ocean.DAY 90
After seeing the frizz-free, time-saving benefits of the Keratin treatment, two of my friends decided to get the treatment, too. I'll definitely be booking my second appointment soon!
I have to admit, I was a little overwhelmed and nervous at seeing my hair so straight. My mind raced with questions: Would I ever have body again? Why did it feel so fine? Did I make a mistake?DAY 2
After my treatment, my stylist warned me not to shampoo for a couple of days because it might wash out the formula. She also said that I shouldn't put my hair in a ponytail or headband because it could create a crease. While my hair felt a little weighed down -- and looked greasy -- I reluctantly followed her rules.DAY 3
My hair was so oily in the front that I had to wear a loose silk scarf to work to cover up the roots. That night I washed my hair and it felt amazing! Even better, it took me four minutes -- as opposed to my usual hour -- to style my hair straight.DAY 4
My boyfriend, who saw my frizz-free do for the first time, said he loved it. This treatment might have to be his next big gift to me!DAY 5
This summer, the weather in New York was more like that in Seattle. Typically, rainy days meant arriving to a last-minute dinner or get-together with huge hair. I soon became the queen of spontaneity, embracing impromptu invites without style stress.DAY 10
A surprise benefit of the treatment: it made my coworkers happy, as my daily complaints (frizz! wonky curls! poufy ends!) finally came to a halt.DAY 25
At almost one month in, my wavy texture was starting to creep back. Rather than just using my fingers to blow-dry my hair, I had to start using a brush.DAY 40
Waves turned into curls, especially on the ends. If I let my hair air dry, it was very visible. The good news: the texture was never frizzy, so I didn't mind the bit of body.DAY 60
I went camping in California for a week and had no hair issues -- this despite the fact that shampooing meant dumping buckets of water over my head! My hair looked so much better after air-drying than it would have ever looked without the Keratin treatment.DAY 80
I noticed my hair was growing faster than before the treatment. Perhaps it was due to all those healthy-hair proteins my stylist was telling me about. At any rate, I was very excited!DAY 90
I started to feel nostalgic. My hair was still holding up, but I noticed I was getting back into my old, near-hourlong hairstyling habits. I started hinting to my boyfriend that gift-giving season was just a few months away!
Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, September 2009.