Big Hair… Big Heart?

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My big hair, prior to Keratin treatment, but–after–it had been slightly tamed.

When left to do as it pleases, my hair is: big. I’ve got some wave, and if the length remains above my chin, also some curl. But for the most part, my hair is just big. And big, (as far as I can tell anyway), went out in the 1980s. So, after struggling for almost a year to grow my locks from the short pixie cut that had been my signature style since the late 1990s, I decided to venture into the world of chemical straightening.

In August of 2012, I had a Keratin treatment applied to my hair. This was not something I did without reservation. I had several of those. My father died at a young age of a non-smoking related form of lung cancer, so for me, the fear of breathing in formaldehyde fumes was very real. I took care of that concern by asking my hairdresser to blast two fans on my face. And I also had a washcloth at the ready to cover my nose. My other main worry was that my hair would go from being big–to being flat. I have a long face to begin with, and the drowned water rat look doesn’t make it appear any shorter. This potential problem was addressed by leaving about an inch to an inch and a half of my hair (at the root) chemical-free.

My initial reaction to the straightening was one of excitement. Prior to having the process done, I spent a lot of time with my blow dryer  and flat iron. My hair is big–remember? Big hair does not go down without a fight. After the Keratin treatment, my hair was so straight that I could have let it air-dry. But I didn’t want to do that, because the one or two times I did, I kind of looked like a drowned water rat. Oops.

It’s now the first week of January, and the Keratin treatment is almost grown out. And I don’t think I will have it applied again. Here is why:

  • My hair, despite overuse of the flat iron and blow dryer, had been very healthy prior to the treatment–and now it isn’t. I have a lot of breakage, most noticeably in the areas that surround my face.
  • The smell of the chemicals, (even with two fans blowing on me, the front door of the salon open, and a wash cloth pressed to my nose) was at times overwhelming. My eyes teared up often during the process, which tells me that my body was not reacting well to the odor.
  • The treatment definitely reduced the time I had to spend styling my coif. But in the end, even when using a blow dryer (and not the air), my hair was too flat.

So in 2013, my mantra will be: bigger is better! And once again, I’ll be cranking up the flat iron. If you need me, I’ll be in the bathroom.
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My hair immediately following the Keratin treatment. Note: the drowned water rat look is not yet in full effect.