Straight Talk

A kinder, smoother hair treatment.

Sam Rollinson

They say having a baby changes everything. For me, one of those things included the texture of my hair, which went from stick-straight to crazy-frizzy. Ever since, I have wanted to try keratin hair straightening, but have been hesitant because of the controversies surrounding formaldehyde and its potential damage—to both hair and lungs.

Cezanne Perfect Finish Keratin Smoothing Treatment, a new formaldehyde-free formula that Kattia Solano at New York’s Butterfly Studio and Salon introduced me to, relies on a low-pH blend of keratin, seracin (the protein produced by silkworms) and glycolic acid which lift the hair cuticle, then ease it into a smoother shape. “Anything that coats the hair will, in time, break the hair, ” explains Butterfly stylist Nicole Descoteaux as she rinsed the formula out of my hair after 30 minutes, then sealed with a flat iron. “Cezanne gets into hair’s cortex, like a semi- or demi-permanent does. And the added bonus there is that, like semi or demi, it fades out slowly, and it’s subtle.”

Results generally last between three and four months. Even eight weeks out, my hair, which was lightly ironed, is still noticeably kink-free, and is also much softer. A 5-minute swipe of the dryer, and a little help from Cezanne’s Perfect Finish Thermal Protectant, puts it all straight.