the best keratin treatment in nyc
My hair is naturally curly. And I’m not talking pretty, soft waves that sit nicely on my head. I’m talking constantly knotted, out of control, flying all over the place, I look like I just went for a jog in a tropical storm level of unruly. I can’t stand it.
For years, I’ve experimented with smoothing products, special shampoos, defrizzing agents, leave-in conditioners, you name it in search of a routine that left me feeling put-together on a daily basis.
I battled for a while with the decision to try a keratin treatment. I’m big on natural beauty, and this choice seemingly contradicted that notion. But after booking a week long couple’s retreat at a 5-star resort in Tulum, I decided there was no time like the present to treat myself to some special pampering and hair care.
I’m big on reading customer reviews before making any sort of spa or beauty purchase (I’m also in the process of trying laser hair removal and I’ll be sure to share feedback on that when I’m finished. It’s a long process and the science behind it is new. It was hard for me to find reliable, consistent feedback but so far I’m so happy with the spa I picked) .
For my keratin treatment, I went with belea midtown east, and I cannot recommend their team enthusiastically enough. In doing my own research, I typically found that most salons offered two keratin options- the 24 hour express, or the 3 day. If you’re really interested in long term results, pay a little extra and indulge in the 3 day (the express will usually run you about $180, 3 day costs a little over $300).
Here’s a breakdown of how the appointment will go:
When I arrived at Belea, the staff immediately hung up my coat, gave me some extra literature to read about the keratin process and after care, made me a huge mug of herbal tea, and laid out a big stack of magazines for me - their customer service was on point.
If you haven’t had a trim in a while (luckily I had gotten one a few days prior), they’ll offer to give you one. Apparently if you have split ends, a super straight keratin result will really draw attention to it- so try to remember to get a haircut before your appointment.
Once it’s time to dive in, the first thing they’ll do is wash your hair with a special shampoo…twice. I loved that belea’s shampoo station was right in the window. You’re on the second floor and it was super relaxing to people watch everyone coming and going from Bloomingdale’s on 59th while getting a soapy, warm head massage.
Once that’s done, the technician will apply what feels like a leave-in conditioner all throughout your hair. This is the powerful chemical that actually does the long term straightening dirty work, so they’re very careful to cover your ears and protect your face and clothes during application.
After the keratin has been applied, it’s as simple as a pin-straight blowout. After that, she’ll divide your hair up into super small sections and meticulously straighten each and every one individually.
From start to finish, I was in the salon for about 2.5 hours- but what’s more important in terms of scheduling is the after care. You absolutely cannot wash your hair for 3 days after this appointment if you want the best results. Please try your best to accommodate this. I’ll be honest in sharing it’s harder than you may imagine. My hair was so greasy 70 hours in. You’re really encouraged to avoid all products (like the dry shampoo I was so tempted to indulge in), and it’s really tempting to assume the chemical has done what it needs to do after 2 days and to wash it out. Don’t do it.
For over a month (this included showering and shampooing almost daily, swimming all day in Mexico just 4 days after application, sweaty workouts, you name it) the keratin treatment kept my hair as smooth as the photo shared above. After showering, my hair needed no products whatsoever to keep it looking that silky-smooth. I could blow dry and go with no little fixes. It was absolutely wonderful, and I’m planning to make it a more consistent part of my routine.