Step 5: Do it!
I had planned on dyeing my hair before doing the keratin treatment but gave up after it got too late in the evening. It hadn’t been that long since I dyed my hair so I decided to chance it but next time I will be more diligent about making sure the gray is covered first (more on that later).
So the next thing is to read your product directions and get to it! This gets tricky because the instructions vary based on the product. My product said to towel dry my hair until it was 80% dry, then to comb it (very difficult), and section it off and start applying the product in two-inch strips starting with the underneath part and working to the top. Mom was a pro at this, quickly parting my hair into sections, spraying the product, and combing it. She hated the spray bottle top and kept dropping it. I’ve seen articles that recommend putting it into a bowl and brushing it on with a brush or transferring the product to a better spray bottle and now I see why. Surprisingly, there was very little cursing, but that is probably only because she is a professional. There were very little fumes but we kept the ceiling fan running just in case.
Could I have accomplished this part on my own? Sure, I would have just put the top part of my hair in a clip and sprayed the ever-loving crap out of my hair with the product and combed it through. Then I would take the clip out and do it again.
After the product was all prayed on and combed in, we had to wait 30 minutes so we set an alarm and hit “play” on the movie we were watching.
After 30 minutes, we hit “pause” and got to business. This is where the flat-ironing comes in. Yeah, I’m not sure that my husband could have accomplished this and this is where I struggle in accepting that people do it themselves at home. I bought the handy-dandy heat resistant comb. This was recommended because your hair is going to be so freaking hot that you can barely touch it and because regular combs can melt. One site suggested you should just buy a new cheap comb every time and in retrospect, that is probably what I will do if I keep this up. The handy-dandy tong-like comb was very difficult to use, especially with a tong-style smoking hot flat iron in your hand or your other hand. Mom, the professional hairdresser gave up on that thing and just used her gloved hands. I wasn’t sure if we did enough flat-ironing. The internet varied from 7-12 swipes on each section.
Advanced player tip: put a towel around your neck or wear a high necked shirt with sleeves because your hair touching your skin is HOT!
Where the internet was particularly not helpful is when it came to photos. Most of the articles I read used stock photos or supermodel-style “after” shots only without showing the process. I only found one or two bloggers willing to show their own frontal before and after shots but again, no pictures of actually doing it. I really wanted to see some photos of someone doing it themselves who claimed it was so easy to do alone because I don’t think they exist and still don’t due to the lack of photographic evidence.
INSERT PHOTO GALLERY OF THE PROCESS
So to summarize, I got professional help and it didn’t cost me anything except dinner. I watched a movie and got my hair did with very little cursing or troubles. It was very straightforward and “simple” in that there were very few steps. I am not coordinated enough to do this myself right now and despite seeing it done, the husband still claims that he cannot do it for me next time. I applaud those brave souls that tackle this themselves and would love to see photo evidence that they exist.
I have also learned I should have dyed my hair first. Although the gray didn’t show much when I do my hair on a normal day, now that it is parted and pin straight, you can see the swath of gray. I’m hoping that once I am done with the process and can brush the part out of my hair that it will be less noticeable but in the future, I’ll make the time to color first. There were also all these little sprigs of broken hair that stood straight up, but again, after the process is done, I can hair spray them down.