For a smooth crowning glory



If you have frizzy hair cut in layers, this could be your story, as much as it is mine. My hair was as bad as this, after several years of abuse with hair colors and blow dryers and curling rods.




Then, came a face shape evaluation done in my Image Consultancy classes. I was informed that my face was trapezoid, not round as I had always believed, and the existing hairstyle was totally wrong for my face shape. Merci ! I already had enough trouble on my hands, sorry, head ….

My hair care routine to keep hair frizz-free included the following :

Hair care at home

  • A weekly application of warm coconut oil for an hour, followed by a hot towel treatment and a shampoo. I had experimented with coconut, olive and almond oils, and the special ones sold by Kerastase and L’Oreal.
  • A weekly application of a hair mask of banana paste, two beaten eggs, curd, olive oil and honey for 30 minutes before a shampoo.
  • Wrapping the hair in an old T-shirt to dry, rather than a Turkish towel, to keep the static away.
  • I had tried all possible serums from L’Oreal, Matrix and BedHead Tigi to an expensive one from Kerastase. All Tigi hair products had to be acquired from Mumbai, on business trips and holidays, since they were not easily available in Gurgaon.

And the results —–  lasted for 2-3 days after a shampoo. Whoosh !

Salon treatments

The magic began with a Keratin treatment, advised by a Juice Hair Salon stylist in Mumbai. Hair was unbelievably smooth, but ugh.. straight, and accentuated my already broad face further. Sulphate-free shampoos were advised. I hated it, and was back to the sulphate shampoos, with a vengeance, to restore the bounce and slight waviness in the hair. To top up woes, hair loss was enormous. I swore off the treatment forever. My pillow, hair brush and drain filters in the bath tub were always clogged with hair.

4 years later, I wanted to grow the short steps out, and start the layers below the chin, as advised in the face shape evaluation. Another journey commenced.

I was advised a hair smoothening treatment, which would last for months, till my hair grew to the desired length. I had asked for 2 inches at the tips to be spared from the treatment, to maintain a slightly wavy look. It was absolutely wash and wear hair, with a keratin shampoo, conditioner and serum being the only products used. One could afford to skip the serum, at times. It was convenient, for sure, and looked better.  But the  hair loss continued, and the same recurring problem of hair falling too flat.  I used an aminexidil product to reduce loss of hair.

Too flat look I hated 

Reena Lavasa

After 6 months, the hair grown-out look.  This is still in a transition stage, till I get the bangs right.


This is when I took the trouble to read up on the various treatments :

  • Ammonium thioglycolate and sodium hydroxide permanently break the bonds in the hair, and that is how it remains straight, shampoo after shampoo.
  • Any sulphate-free shampoo like Body Shop RainForest, Tigi BedHead Foxy Curls or a keratin shampoo like L’Oreal Extenso, Kerastase Bain Satin or Tresemme works, irrespective of what the hair stylist tries to sell.
  • A Keratin treatment lasts for a few weeks, while a smoothening treatment lasts for about 6 months.
  • Straightening or re-bonding gives pin-straight looks, which look sophisticated, but not natural. And they may not suit a heavy face.
  • The ceramic or metal straightening iron used to seal the cream in, adds to the damage, with the intense heat produced. But, there appears to be no alternative.
  • Extremely curly hair needs straightening therapy, which is a similar treatment with different products.

A note of caution 

Several hair straightening products have been banned in the US, owing to its high formaldehyde content, which is known to have a carcinogenic effect. In the short run, one may experience respiratory and sinus infections, palpitations and painful blisters in the nose. If you experience any of these, it is advisable not to repeat the treatment.

What does one do ?

If your hair is extremely curly, and you need to keep it tied-up, go for the treatment, but only before special occasions. It might last a few months.

If you are in a transition stage like I was, it makes sense to get a treatment done, to maintain sanity during the transition phase. You need not freak out, every time you look in the mirror.

If your hair is naturally wavy, and not frizzy, just get the right hair-cut. Salon straightening treatments are not worth the price that one has to pay.

Use an aminexidil product, during the 4-6 months, as per directions given on the pack. Your hair stylist can advise one. L’Oreal has a good product going.

Happy Hair Days ahead ….




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