No-Fuss Hair On The Road

Extras, New York City, Spa & Beauty — By on August 14, 2009 at 7:58 am

Pierre Michel SalonMy hair isn’t exactly curly or straight, but somewhere in between. To tame frizz and look more polished, I blow dry it smooth with a curl brush and then use a flat iron for shine. When I went on a cruise to the Bahamas this week, I didn’t want to load down my suitcase with a hair dryer, curl brush, and flat iron. And the last thing I wanted to be doing when I got to the Caribbean was straightening my hair. Luckily, I found a fix that made my hair easier to style and eliminated frizzies caused by humidity when I visited the Pierre Michel Salon in Manhattan.

Stylist Elena Quaglino recommended a keratin treatment, which is basically a protein that’s sealed into hair’s cuticles with a flat iron heated to 450 degrees. Unlike Japanese straightening-which uses harsh chemicals and leaves hair pin-straight-the keratin treatment has more natural ingredients, cuts frizz without sacrificing body, and fades out slowly over three to six months.

Pierre Michel Salon FloridaElena took about three hours to do my treatment, skillfully working a flat iron over small sections of my hair to seal in the keratin so my style would fall just right (she said if you iron the ends too much you can burn strands). When she was done, my hair was glossier than I’d ever seen it, and my cut went from looking frumpy to stylish. The drawback? I couldn’t shampoo for 72 hours in order to let the keratin fully set, or pull back my hair to avoid making any imprints from a rubber band or barrette. These before and after pics shown aren’t actually my hair, but similar to my length and texture, and the results I got.

When I landed in Florida on the first day of my trip, I washed my hair for the first time since the treatment after going barefoot water skiing. I used my hotel room’s blow dryer once my hair was mostly dry to smooth my style in less than five minutes (the process normally would have taken me 20). Rather than having straw-like strands as I’d typically have after a day spent in the surf and sun, my hair was glossy and hung straight. On the cruise two days later, I could get shiny, frizz-free hair that didn’t take forever to style with only a five-minute blow dry (which made it easy to go from a day spent snorkeling to a cocktail party).

Pierre Michel Salon FloridaThe treatment typically costs about $350, and you have to use a shampoo that doesn’t have sodium laurel sulfate to keep from breaking down the keratin so it lasts longer. But I can honestly say it’s the worth the price to have guaranteed good hair days when you’re traveling without a lot of maintenance.

If you can’t wait three days to wash your hair, Elena just started doing the new Brazilian Blow Dry. This treatment uses a dryer to infuse keratin followed by a flat iron, which is rinsed out so you can shampoo immediately. The drawback? It doesn’t last as long as the traditional keratin treatment. Elena actually offers a full menu of treatment choices customized to your unique hair type and lifestyle. There’s the Chocolate Treatment for people who want to keep their curls while smoothing frizzes, and it lasts about three months. And you can sample a keratin treatment without paying full price with the Keratin Bangs and Blow Dry. This lets you get a keratin treatment on only your bangs so they fall flat, and is just $150. Any of these treatments will make your hair look healthier and slash styling time, which makes life much easier when you’re on the go.

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  • Camels & Chocolate says:

    Holy cow, your hair looks amazing, woman! I, too, can't deal with the fuss of primping on the road; at the same time, I think I might have a little too much hair to do this treatment. (I have to get it thinned regularly!)

  • Cheryl says:

    This sounds like a great idea! I bit pricey but a great idea for traveling! My hair is wavy but not in a nice way. In order for me to wear it down (especially since I live in FL) I have to flat iron it. I will have to look into this for when I go to London in June since my hair turns into a poof ball when it rains!

  • Casey says:

    I hate that airlines never let me carry my hair products on board anymore…I need to look good for meetings and what not right off the plane! I just came across this article on (a great lifestyle website with a whole travel section) that recommends all regulation sized travel kits so the necessities can safely be carried on. Here's the link for your readers to check them out, I really like them!