Hair products never work

One woman’s factual analysis


Normally, I’m terribly skeptical about hair products but one day I was googling how to tame frizz and came across a bunch of magical before & after photos for something called the “Brazilian Keratin” hair treatment. It supposedly transforms curly hair into sleek, straight locks. I was hooked. For example, behold:

Image from Dawn Shannon, Intuition Salon & Spa

If it can do THAT, I thought, maybe it’ll work for me? Usually nothing does, but it only feels like I’ve tried everything. I hadn’t yet tried this.

I looked up more info. It appeared that the process involved binding keratin onto the hair using formaldehyde so it must be applied under high heat. The whole routine takes hours and can only be done under the careful precision of a skilled salon artist and costs hundreds of dollars.

I usually try to avoid activities which involve immersing flammable body parts like hair in baths of toxic carcinogens, especially when large amounts of money are required but I was intrigued. I couldn’t give the idea up just yet. Maybe I wasn’t ready for a salon visit but I had to learn more. Time for a visit to the store.

Halfway through hair aisle, I realized with horror that I only paid for 6 minutes at the parking meter. This would not be enough time to sniff, read, and analyze every hair product in stock.

I returned to the car like a good citizen, determined to fix the error, and promptly paid for the spot next me by mistake.

I considered just driving away but a small burst of rage made me boldly defiant. I returned to the store in disgust and rebellion, taunting parking ticket fate. It was easier to just abhor the entire city than fix things at this point.

But success! I found a box treatment that sounded natural and immediately congratulated myself on my superior hair-product-shopping skills.

When I got home, I read directions 3 times. Wait. Why do you need gloves to apply avocado oil?

"DO NOT GET ON SKIN" said the warning. "USE IN WELL-VENTILATED AREA." I hiked open the window and continued reading. "Apply product to dry hair. DO NOT OVERSATURATE."

I oversaturated.

Now I had a half hour to kill before the next step: using a flat iron to “seal” the cuticle.

I decided to use this time wisely and plan my packing strategy for moving in a few days.

I laid on the bed with my head in a towel and considered buying heavy-duty trash bags to transport clothes instead of thin kitchen bags.

That was easy! Moving preparations were now done for the day.

After the treatment soaked in, it was time to blow dry.

No one was home so I thought it was safe to make this part more fun and blasted the radio, sing-screaming Bad Romance. I made SURE my roommate wasn’t home like last time. Right at the second refrain, I saw my neighbor staring in horror at the open bathroom window.

I made the evening’s To Do list:

  • Learn to sing.

  • Google "lack of impulse control."

Then I started ironing my strands, alarmed at smoky steam of residue burning off. Is that what "sealing" keratin looks like? If not, that Halloween wig might actually get more use than expected.

Somehow I neglected to realize that the process involved saturating my hair with the product, blow drying it, then flat-ironing it, but not washing it out. It was supposed to stay on my head for TWO DAYS. I cancelled all plans except for moving — movers don't care if their customers look like greased alpacas. WHYYY did I give away my only hat?

Fast forward 2 days, after moving day when I could finally wash it out & see the results.

As you can see from this actual “after” photo, it didn’t work, and the product isn’t even sold anymore. The End! Thank you for coming to my beauty blog.