Let me start by saying, I’m a proud curly girl. Yes, it took me a good many years to figure out how to work with the curls (the key: let it do what it do, baby), but I have to be honest and say that I also love a good blowout. And I read with great interest Judith Newman’s “Straight Story,” in *Allure’s February issue (on stands now)*. Newman, also a curly girl, took the plunge into keratin straightening—something I’m not likely to do, but I understood why she did. If you also decide to go that route, there are some basic after-care things you need to be mindful of. I spoke to hairstylists to find out how to care for your newly curl-free locks.
Will I still need my blowdryer and flatiron? It depends on the look you’re going for. “What most women love about getting a Brazilian blowout is that they can get away with a good natural look,” says hairstylist Robert Vasquez of the Garren Salon in New York City. But if you want hair that’s ultra straight and sleek, you may have to use your heat-styling tools, though it should take much less time to achieve the look.
Can I get my hair colored? You can, but do it after your straightening treatment, not before. “The shampoo that starts the treatment is a clarifying shampoo,” says Vasquez. “If you’ve just gotten color, the shampoo can take the color out.” He has clients wait four to five days between coloring and straightening, to give the color a chance to fully process.
How soon can I wash it or get it wet? Wait at least three days to a week before washing your hair: “Your hair is in a fragile state after you’ve gotten it straightened,” says hairstylist Ted Gibson. “Sweating, moisture, and humidity can interrupt the [straightening] process.” Use sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners, such as L’Oréal EverPure, since sulfates can strip the straightening chemicals from the hair. “Chlorine and ocean water can also pull it out of the hair,” says Vasquez, something to note if you’re a committed swimmer.
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