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Blown Away

October 7th, 2010


A two-step system that gets it straight.

imageSalon straightening trends continue to be the buzz, whether it's from Japan or Brazil. I haven't tried either, and with the latest debate, I am happy I've waited. Between the long appointments, repeated applications and noxious chemical ingredients (most recently being falsified by a reputable brand) I hope for a better way. Reverting back to the straightening method used by poor Skeeter, a character from The Help, is a lot safer, but timely to say the least.

Her mother "chased her"- as said in the book- with the Magic Soft & Silky Shinalator kit, which consisted of a cream, a Miracle Straightening Cap fastened by a hose to a machine, plus she had to sit for two hours. And these results only lasted ONE washing. Back in the '60s this was the only way to rid a hair full of frizz and keep it straight, but now we can do it easily thanks to Garnier's Sleek & Smooth Blow Dry Perfector. Today's version has been modernized sans cap and hose, and replaced with a serum, cream, blow dryer and twenty minutes of your time. This at-home straightening newbie is about to get a lot of copy cats. It reminds me of those DIY perm kits famous in the '80s, yet offers the complete opposite result.

Watch this video to see how it is done.

I put it to the test, and loved the results, but will share a few concerns.

This multistep treatment takes 20-minutes, and is $10.99. You apply the Smooth-It-Serum formulated with a protein building block, a protein akin naturally in hair, which helps smooth and tame your hair. You wait the allocated time and rinse. Next, apply the leave-in Heat-Activated Cream, using a blow dryer to seal the formula. A flat iron ensures long-lasting results.

What I loved about this immediately was the sense of mastering a salon blowout at-home, and it took under 20-minutes. My hair felt straighter, yet still thick. It looked sleeker, yet not 'pin-straight'.
Insider tip for extra volume: Apply the serum everywhere, rinse, and then apply the cream starting at the middle strands to ends. This avoids build up on the scalp and as a result your hair will be super bouncy without the weight.

A drawback for me was after the rinse in step 1, since I couldn't use a conditioner; my mid-length hair was hard to comb-thru resulting in stress to the strands. This is something I did ask the experts at Garnier, unfortunately, if you add conditioner it coats the hair and prevents the serum from being effective. Also, just like the at-home perm kits of the '80s smelled chemically this does too, and there are risks of damage to the hair caused by the direct blow drying and flat iron use. Thankfully, there is no formaldehyde in it, and the odor is created by the active ingredient, cysteine, which leaves a chemical scent on hair and will dissipate after a wash, maybe two.

One thing is for certain your future styling time will be limited and virtually flat-iron free for 7 shampoos- I'm approaching that now and feel like I can easily gain ten.

This product is not a relaxer or a straightener, it is a chemical process. Therefore, it is not recommended for hair that is extremely damaged from coloring nor should it be used on "just" colored hair or hair that's already been relaxed or treated with a Brazilian procedure. Be sure to read all the directions on the box to be certain it's right for you.

Even though the detangling annoyed me and the smell wasn't the best part, the results and ease of handling my hair regularly make it worth it.

One expert shared, "repeated applications should have a cumulative relaxing effect."
That's enough to make me go back for more!

Here's your chance to get $2.00 off.


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If your hair looks's going to be a good day.