Frizz is the bane of my (hairy) life and the biggest hair challenge I’ve struggled with since my teenage years (as if it wasn’t bad enough being a carrot top, though I’m at peace with that now). So it’s with hand on heart that I can say a recent anti-frizz venture has been (temporarily) life changing for me. I had Alfaparf Lisse Design Keratin Therapy at Stafford Hair in Belfast (in whose hands I entrust all things pertaining to my locks). This is essentially a hair smoothing treatment, with results lasting up to 2.5 months. I’ve been curious about having it done for quite a while and was hesitant incase it would cause any damage, but the products used in this particular treatment mean it’s all about the hair benefits.
How the treatment works
The most significant bonus for me is that the Lisse Design Keratin Therapy Treatment is formaldehyde and paraben-free and conforms to international and European health standards, making it 100% safe (for both clients and the stylist).
As my fabulous stylist, Sharon Watson explained, Lisse Design is not a reconstructive treatment, but is designed to replenish the hair, containing Keratin to strengthen and collagen to calm frizz, smooth curls and enhance shine. While the treatment does have a slight straightening effect, it doesn't contain harsh chemicals that break down the hair bonds permanently. It penetrates the hair to repair it internally, which is why a course of treatments can be beneficial. It saves up to 60% of blow dry time (definitely true in my case) and lasts 2-2.5 months, when the Lisse Design sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner are used to maintain the results at home.
I’ve purposely waited 3 weeks to share this experience as I wanted to see how it would work out at home when I didn’t have the experts on hand - and to gauge how the results would look over time. I think the two pics above say it all (taken a few hours apart pre and post treatment), but if you’d like to know what the process involves, read on…
What the treatment involves
The process involved six main steps:
- Deep Cleansing - my hair was double shampooed to remove any product build up
- The keratin treatment (a liquid) was ‘painted’ onto my hair in small sections with a brush and left to do its magic while I relaxed
- Hair was smooth-blow dried
- Hot irons were used in small sections to smooth the hair and heat activate the keratin; this was the longest part of the process
- The keratin was shampooed out of my hair. I also had a colour gloss at this point as the treatment can strip colour a little.
- Final blow dry and styling (thanks to Lena for doing an amazing job on this!)
Results at home
I’ve loved using these Alfaparf products which leave my hair feeling super soft even while wet, similar to when I’ve used a deep conditioning hair mask. The above pic is after I washed my hair for the first time at home and quick dried it - no brushes or smoothing involved - I wanted to know how it would look au natural and I was impressed! (Sorry that this actual pic is a bit fuzzy as the light was rubbish). NB normally when I ‘abandon’ my hair in this way, it looks like the Before pic at the top (and that was second day hair… it was bigger and frizzier the previous day - cringeworthy!).
Three Weeks Later
Three weeks in I’m still really happy and most of the time I just wash my hair, give it a quick blast with the hairdryer and a brush (literally for 2-3 mins) and go. It’s almost dry at this point. It is pretty straight (I’m naturally wavy), moreso than I expected, but still holds a curl easily when I style it. Above left is half of the hair dried in waves using my beloved Babyliss Big Hair (on 80% dry hair) and half rough dried with the hairdryer and a brush. Above right is the final look with both sides Babyliss-ed into waves. This entire process took me 10mins from wet and would normally take at least half an hour.
I’m so glad I did this. I’m really happy with the results - the ease of it all is literally a joy every time I wash my hair - and I no longer have to psyche myself up to the chore of it all. I only wish the results were permanent. My stylist, Sharon Watson, told me that around 3 times a year is the maximum advisable for this treatment - and I’ll definitely be back.
Prices start at £150 for shoulder length hair or £175 for longer length, which includes the recommended shampoo & conditioner for home care. A shorter term service is also available from £45, which includes the blow dry. This will produce noticeable results, though not as dramatic as the full treatment that I had and takes around 45 minutes - as opposed to 3-4 hours for mine.
Find out more at Stafford Hair Belfast
ps congrats to Paul Stafford, who is headlining at UNITE Hair Global Session