‘The keratin treatment that gave me air-dry-and-go hair’

Digital editor, and keratin virgin, Alison Izzo tried the Goldwell Kerasilk Keratin Smoothing Treatment for herself. And the results? Super-smooth hair that takes half the time it used to to style. 

Have you ever envied those girls who can step out of the shower with freshly washed hair and just get on with their day, without fear of their locks drying into a frizzy, birds nest of a mess? Well, I have. Pretty regularly.

My hair is generally straight… but a not-so-cute combination of cowlicks with years of highlighting means that if I wash-and-wear, my hair dries looking fluffy, frizzy and well… unkept, but unfortunately not in that cool French girl way.

I’d always thought of keratin treatments as the domain of those wanting to straighten curly tresses, but boy was I wrong. There’s a new breed of keratin hair treatments on the market, and the in-salon only Goldwell Kerasilk Keratin Smoothing Treatment is designed to help smooth the frizz and cut styling time in half. I was keen.

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The expectations

I saw salon owner Ali at Wildlife’s Sogo hair salon in Sydney’s Surry Hills, and she put any concerns at ease – as I was expecting to be overwhelmed by the chemical fumes and stuck in the chair for the rest of the day. Again, this is a new-gen keratin treatment, so the process was painless, didn’t require a gas mask, and only took two hours in total. I could also tie up my hair, wet it or even wash it straight afterwards – unlike keratin treatments of old.

The process

During the treatment my hair was washed and roughly dried off, then covered with the Kerasilk keratin treatment lotion, then dried properly again. Then each section was then straightened with about three swipes of a hair straightener. Then, I was shampooed and conditioned (hello, heavenly head massage), and dried off again.

The most impressive bit? At the end, my hair was dead straight, without needing a proper blow dry, let alone a straightener.

The after-care

To my surprise, Ali advised me that I could do whatever I wanted to my hair afterwards (including colouring it if I wanted) – but she did recommend that I use the Goldwell range of smoothing haircare products at home to extend the life of the treatment.

She reassured me that if I was stuck in a pinch it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I had to use something else, but just that it might reduce how long my smooth locks lasted. I’ve been using the shampoo and conditioner since and they seem to be keeping my hair smooth and unusually soft.

The science

So how does this seeming magic happen? According to Goldwell, it’s thanks to the KeraShape Technology that ‘deeply penetrates the hair’s structure’ creating ‘new keratin bonds… that reshape the hair while evenly smoothing its surface.’

The results

I can’t understate HOW SMOOTH my hair was. There’s really no other word for it. My cowlicks were gone, and the frizziness vanished. My hair drying time after washing went from 25 minutes to 10, and I honestly haven’t touched my hair straightener (unless to add waves) in the three weeks since I’ve had the treatment… which is an unexpected delight – not to mention huge time-saver.

Speaking of adding waves – if like me you want to add curls or waves to your hair, this treatment won’t make that harder, or means that the shapes you create won’t stay put. In fact, when I do style my hair with heated tools my waves seems to ‘drop’ less quickly than before (see top photo for proof).

How long does it last?

The Goldwell Kerasilk Smoothing Treatment lasts three to five months – but up to six sometimes, which is pretty damn good in my opinion. Using the Goldwell products at home helps to extend this time.

Who does it suit?

This treatment really is focused on changing the texture of the hair – rather than straightening curls or waves. Perfect for me – because my issue was my frizz, not hard-to-control curls. Saying that, it could still work for those with curly or wavy hair, if you just wanted to smooth out your strands, and not straighten.

It’s also great for those who hit the gym or beach regularly, or are just generally time poor. As someone with a rather active toddler, a full-time job, a five-times-a-week gym habit and a baby on the way this has been the upside I don’t know if I can now do without. My hair is now -almost weirdly – always smooth and manageable, with no kinks or fly-aways.

The downsides

If you want to straighten curly hair, this is not for your. Ditto if you love lots of volume and texture – as I found the treatment made my already straight hair REALLY straight – and without texturising products, especially at the roots, it could look a little flat at the roots. It’s also not cheap.

The cost

The treatment costs between $250 to $450, depending on the length and thickness of your hair, and the salon you visit. You can find your nearest salon here.

Hot tip: Ali did mention that some of her clients come back after three to five months just to get the halo area (around the face and under the neck – ie the bits that often get frizzy and kinky first) done, every second time – which reduces cost and the time it takes to get the treatment. Savvy!.

The verdict

My only question is, why didn’t I know about this earlier? Like with lash lifts, brow tints, this is the kind of semi-permanent beauty treatment that might seem like a luxury but it will save you time and money in the long run. And who doesn’t want that?