How I Finally Learned To Like My Curls

Day1_DSC_0026Photographed by Meagan Long.
Let's get one thing straight from the get-go: I grew up with frizzy hair, not curly hair. Actually, I started out with stick-straight strands, and then puberty hit, and I got a haircut around fifth grade that suddenly resulted in wavy, frizzy, unmanageable hair. It was awful. And, no amount of scrunching and mousse-applying was going to turn it into the pretty ringlets that my curly-haired classmates had. So, I became friendly with a blowdryer with a brush attachment (because, to this day, I can't blow out my own hair with a round brush) and made my way through middle school and high school.
And, then I started Japanese straightening, Brazilian straightening, keratin treating, and flat-ironing my hair. Today, I wear my hair straight (not always clean, but always either straight or up). So, when our beauty director asked for volunteers to test out Discipline, a new curl-enhancing treatment from Kérastase, I wasn't the first to raise my hand. But, I'm a team player if nothing else, so here I am.
Above, that's me, wearing my hair curly at work, for the first time, the day before my treatment. It looks okay in the picture, I'll admit. But, you can't see the back, where things get out of control. And, you can't see how big it feels to me when I look in the mirror.
Click ahead to see what happened, post-treatment.
Day2_DSC_0059Photographed by Meagan Long.
So, this is me, post-treatment, with a really lovely blowout, courtesy of stylist Justin Woods of De Berardinis salon. But, don't be fooled into thinking that's what Discipline is all about. It doesn't straighten your hair or flatten it in any way. And, it doesn't make you wake up with a magical blowout after going to bed with wet hair. It's essentially a treatment that works with the natural texture of your hair, making it softer (I especially noticed that on my slightly fried ends, which felt almost completely repaired afterward) and a little more manageable.
You go in, get your hair shampooed and conditioned, and then get the treatment put into your wet hair. Your hair is then blown out completely and flat-ironed. Then, it's washed again, spritzed with the anti-frizz finishing spray, and styled however you like (in this case, that's the blowout you see above). It took a little over an hour, in all. And, it's worth noting that the blowout at the end was noticeably faster and easier than a normal blowout is for me — about 20 minutes rather than the standard 35. Plus, at the end of it, my hair looked and felt great.

But, the real test was going to be what happened the next day, when I washed my own hair and let it dry curly.

DAY3_MG_4819Photographed by Nicolas Bloise.
Ta-da! Here's what my curls look like, post-treatment, with nothing but the heat-protection spray and some Oribe Gold Lust nourishing hair oil in there. Even my inner curl-hater is impressed. But, nothing in this world is perfect, and below, I've got a breakdown of the pros and cons.

Here's what I loved:
My curls looked damn good. They were defined and stayed in place, even after my hair was completely dry. I didn't spot random patches of frizz anywhere. But, none of it came at the cost of volume. My hair didn't read as flat or lifeless — just in control and...curly. Suddenly, I knew what it might have felt like to be that really pretty older girl in my ballet classes who always had perfect, springy, just-so curls — even after a workout. Hmph.

And, here's what didn't work for me: The spray works when you're leaving your hair curly. But, I would like to be able to straighten my curls on day two and still look good, and that doesn't work out quite as well with this stuff. My straightened strands actually ended up feeling sticky and weird, to the point where I found myself showering and washing my hair even though I was going to be late for dinner. It's not the treatment that's doing that, though. The day after, when I shampooed and conditioned again with the Discipline stuff but skipped the spray, I was pretty happy with the end result. And, my straightened hair looked good in about half the time.
All in all, I'm a fan. I'd most definitely pay the $100-ish dollars for the in-salon treatment again (and I'll have to, because you need to redo it every 21 days). And, I'll probably stick with the products, too, because honestly, getting on board with my natural hair texture for the first time ever is pretty damn priceless.

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