You only need one reason to visit a salon but Sunday I had three: me, my sister, and the fiance. Now I still haven’t found my go-to salon but Lance was pretty happy with his last salon experience so we decided to visit Azta in Eastwood (previous post: here).

We ordered color change for Jo and haircut for Lance while I hesitated in getting hair treatment (had very dry roots after the haircut I got here). Waiting for them to finish was too long though and since there was very little to see in the Eastwood Citywalk side, I decided to try their NouNou Pak, which was also running a special promo.

Like the previous trip, I enjoyed my in-salon experience. The salon isn’t big but they were very smart about layout: cashier/reception counter, 12 styling seats, a couch (which transforms into mani/pedi stations), and 2 wash stations.

One thing that really fascinated me is they do the shampooing in your chair. Impressively smart plus they never made any mess! Azta serves unlimited iced tea (or juice or water) to their customers and provide a back & shoulder massage on every hair treatment (yey!).

Lance was the last to start but first to finish.

And then me with my temporary curly-at-the-tips hair…

And then Jo in her red (but looks brown) hair.

We were pretty happy with the result but it wasn’t until the next day that I was truly impressed.

After showering, I combed my hair once and let it air dry. Normally if I do this, my hair is a nest-mess within a couple of hours (I always get asked to brush). But Davines NouNou Pak left my hair silky, shiny and super smooth even after 12 hours! Those shampoo commercials where they slide a comb through your hair? I bet my hair could do that today.

And more good news for people that have hair problems like mine (which is probably everyone since it’s summer and all), Azta has an ongoing promo that slashed the price on their NouNou Pak Treat. Until May 31, it’s only Php449, Php649, and Php849 for Short, Medium and Long Hair.

My last 2 words: Try it! 🙂

Fixing Fried Hair

I’ve had my hair straightened thrice, relaxed once, and rebonded about 6 times. Rebonding has always been great until the last one and I ended up with really brittle hair with most strands breaking at the point where it was last flat-ironed. I’ve been trying to revive it with BenchFix’s Kerastase treatments but it could take months and probably would require chopping all the damage off, which might leave me with about ear-length hair. Cry!

After trolling a ton of health & beauty websites and several weeks of contemplating, I finally decided to try out Permanent Blowdry (also recommended by Marjh). Since we were somewhere in Quezon City, I chose to checkout Great Cuts Salon in Timog. The receptionist was nice enough to inform me that they actually have an ongoing promo with CashCashPinoy  and even offered to use their PC so I can buy it online. Unfortunately, vouchers can only be redeemed starting 5th of November. Given the crazy schedule at work, I knew if I didn’t do it that day, it probably won’t happen for months so I opted to pay the full price.

Though I asked for the permanent blowdry, the salon staff were all recommending the Brazilian Blowout instead. I was very hesitant as there’s a great deal on the net about the “aldehyde” concerns with this treatment. I voiced out my concern but was assured that their products/supplies were tested and all have BFAD approval. Convinced, I decided to have the Brazilian Blowout, some hair coloring, and a trim.

Like what I would normally do in a salon, I left my extremely fried hair to the expertise of the Sr. Stylist and my only condition was it needs to look good. First thing that they did was wash my hair with clarifying shampoo. This was to remove all dirt and products from the hair so treatment will be more effective. Hair color needed to be done first and the plan was to lighten my hair and put a color that will blend well with current hair color. He ended up choosing a Tobacco Beige mixed with Very Light Blonde.

While we were waiting for the color to soak, I asked on what maintenance should I have after the treatment. Using a sulfate-free shampoo is a definite must, which would preserve as well as delay the stripping of keratin in the hair, but what they absolutely recommend is to use a sulfate-free shampoo with keratin. My questions opened the opportunity to upsell their Keralove maintenance kit (shampoo, conditioner, and leave-on). The set seemed promising but I never heard of the brand so I decided to google Keralove before deciding to buy it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any useful review so I decided to pass until I get to compare it with Keratin Complex.

The next few steps were pretty standard: another shampoo, applied keratin treatment, another wash. As they were finishing the nth wash, the stylist then informs me that we will be going up to the Blowout lab. I imagined the lab they were talking about and asked why there was a special lab. Apparently the next part of the treatment can get very smoky. They joked that the next step was like being in the clouds thus, the lab was placed on the second floor and was equipped with exhaust fans.

The lab was not much different from the ground floor salon except that we would need to wear hospital masks and optional goggles. I sighed because I knew that this definitely not the formaldehyde-free process they had earlier assured. They applied treatment, explained that flat-ironing will seal the keratin into the hair but a by-product evaporates causing all the smoke. This was the most uncomfortable phase of the whole process. Though I didn’t smell the fumes like what most people wrote in their blogs, whatever chemical was being used stung my eyes like hell. I had goggles on but still had to keep my eyes closed throughout most of the flat-ironing process.

Alas, we finished that step! We went down to rinse and apply the Brazilian Blowout masque. They kept the mask twice longer than usual because of the damage that my hair has. The last step for the day was a haircut and the stylist was hesitant as he kept saying that the treatment had already fixed most of my hair issues but I insisted since I read somewhere that getting healthy hair involved chopping off as much of the damaged length as possible.

Like every other person who had Brazilian Blowout, I cannot deny that the results are just simply amazing! I have never been happier with my hair. I would have been completely satisfied if the treatment didn’t sting my eyes so bad and if I could only get rid of the worrisome potential side effects of formaldehyde exposure.

Most of you are probably curious how it was after the first wash, below are a pictures taken  7-days after the treatment. I am simply loving it.

And just to compare, here’s my hair before the treatment:

Friends kept on asking me what I did to my hair and I was more than happy to tell them about Brazilian Blowout however, I can’t help but tell them about the flat-ironing process and all that’s being said on the blogs. I personally feel that each person who decides to get the treatment should know all the risks they’re taking for that shiny, straight hair. Personally, I don’t think I will go for a second Brazilian Blowout — unless they actually invent a credible formaldehyde-free version. I think having it done once would not cause health issues but multiple exposure can definitely be harmful.

But I am positively-head-over-heels-in-love with the my hair so I am already in search of similar but safer alternatives. So far, I am considering Great Cuts’ Permanent Blowdry or Piandre’s Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy. In the meantime, since I had already endured formaldehyde evaporation, I intend to try and keep my fabulous hair as long as possible. Thus, the search for keratin maintenance begins…

Salon: Great Cuts Salon
Services Tried: Brazilian Blowout, Hair Colour, Haircut
Stylist: Jun Almencion
Cost: P6500 – Brazilian Blowout & Haircut; P1500 – Hair Colour
How long will it last: about 4 months
Total Pampering Time: 3 hours