Let's make up with Bina Khan
But come the Karachi summer and no amount of anti-frizz and epic blow dry skill are going to beat the hair’s desire to go back to its natural state. I have never dyed my hair or indeed put any chemicals in to it, so it was with great trepidation that I approached our head hair whizz, Nadya Hussain, about a more permanent solution. Here is what I found out.
The Silk Route
The path to frizz free hair
I am obviously rather particular about my hair and was terrified of hair fall, a loss of body and roughness. I have a short bob (a classic Vidal Sassoon cut that Nadya has maintained and tweaked for the last two and a half years) and we thought that while the cut would be all the better for loss of body in the front, we needed the back to stay textured and rounded.
Nadya suggested that we relax the front sections of my hair, leaving the back to do its own thing.
At our salon we use L’oreal X-tenso Moisturist, a formaldehyde-free hair smoothing treatment. Formaldehyde carrying Keratin treatments were banned by the Canadian government last year due to their cancer causing properties, and for this reason we do not offer this service at our salon. It poses a risk to clients and salon workers alike.
L’oreal has introduced a new nutri-cationic technology (which basically means that positively charged ions attach themselves to negatively charged ions in damaged hair). So in a layman’s terms the moisturising and smoothing agents in this treatment get where they need to go, attaching themselves to the areas where your hair needs the most help. The moisturist formula contains a mixture of emollients, softening wax and cationic polymers, leaving your hair smoother and shinier than ever before.
A relaxant is applied to the hair, the hair is rinsed, partially dried, straightened with an iron and then a sealing agent is applied. After this you get your final rinse out and a gentle blow dry. You can’t get your hair wet for 3 days after this process, tie it, or even tuck it behind your ears.
The initial result is a little flat with slightly crunchy roots, but Nadya assured me that the body would return and the roots would soften up. I have had 3 washes now and I have oodles of body…but NO FRIZZ WHATSOEVER. This is supposed to last up to 8 weeks, and as your new hair comes out it will grow out with it’s original texture.
This is a life changing experience for me. As a lifelong frizzy hair line sufferer, to look smooth, pulled together and unwilted, even if I am standing in the hot afternoon sun, is nothing short of a miracle. And the time it takes to style my hair is easily halved. I am going to struggle without this, as Nadya doesn’t advise doing it too often. Since the winter is coming (frizz-free season!), she advised me to wait till next summer. I hope I manage without!
As with any treatment (like facials) home care is the key. The entire Liss range (shampoo, conditioner/masque and serum) will help extend the life of your X-tenso. I have also added L’oreal’s Smooth instant smoothing serum to my regime. I found my fingers getting caught in the ends of my hair, but with this I can run my fingers through the strands without impediment or roughness. (This is a great product for anyone with dry or rough hair — smells great too).
If you have thin hair, this may not be the product for you. But if you have unruly, frizzy or unmanageably curly hair, this is definitely the product for you. I am so thrilled with my smooth but full-of-body hair that I find myself stroking my hair wonderingly. I can’t believe my luck.
The job has its perks indeed!
Bina Khan is a make-up artist, photographer, skin technician and writer who owns a salon and photography studio in Karachi.
All images and content are the property of Bina Khan. Any unauthorised use of the same is illegal and liable for prosecution.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2013.