Among all Brazilian exports, from Giselle Bundchen and Samba to Caipirinhas and churrascaria, the hair-straightening blow-out may be the best. Essentially, a stylist paints a keratin protein solution onto your hair and seals it with a flat iron. Lasting around 12 weeks, the treatments repair previous damage, fight frizz, straighten hair and make you look as though you belong in a slow-motion shampoo commercial. Prices vary. Count on these Chicago spots for a healthy keratin treatment and emerge with smooth, shiny locks.
900 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
Chicago's original day spa, Mario Tricoci has been spiffing up men and women with cutting-edge treatments for more than 35 years. The popular salon offers two versions of its de-frizzing treatment: the Hair Therapy Treatment and Hair Therapy Express. Choose the former smoothing treatment and keratin will be infused deeply into the hair cuticle to eliminate up to 80 percent of frizz and 70 percent of curl for up to three months. It's like Xanax for your locks. An abbreviated version, Hair Therapy Express, takes an hour, reduces frizz and curl for around six weeks and costs about half as much starting at $150. Choose an experienced stylist and you'll save time on either choice. Crystal Lake technician Blanca Hoy is so adept that she can knock out two or three in a day and says since everyone loves their hair's condition and gloss afterwards, you may as well save up and commit to Mario's longer treatment. Check the website for other Chicago locations.
361 W. Chestnut St.
Chicago, IL 60610
You'll see the Swedish native's Chicago salon lauded in pubs like Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, InStyle, Glamour and Allure. Known for her precision and attention to detail, Strokirk and her technicians currently use the keratin smoothing treatment by Coppola, which has been reformulated and OSHA approved. There are two formulas, one just for blondes, and the cost is $350 and up. At Strokirk, it's not just about eliminating frizz and curl but also giving women more options for the latest haircuts. The salon (there's another location at 41 East Oak Street) offers free WiFi and discounted parking in nearby lots, which in this neighborhood is a godsend.
Exsalonce Salon & Day Spa
2150 W. Roscoe St.
Chicago, IL 60618
Led by master stylist and founder Tony Odisho since 1995, Exsalonce is an Aveda salon and spa that uses GK products for its keratin treatments. "Global Keratin is one of the most pure forms of keratin," Odisho explains, "it's not damaging because it's not chemically based." Odisho offers both express ($150) and full ($350) treatments that deliver shine, smoothness and manageability. If you want to add volume to your mane, consider Tony Odisho Extensions for 100 percent human hair applied with a patented keratin protein bond that doesn't damage hair and is easy to install and remove. Odisho warns against using hair clips, ties or bands before your first subsequent wash since this could cause dents and lines in the hair that cannot be removed. And, for heaven's sake, carry an umbrella and nix the hot yoga - you don't want to get your new hair wet for the 72 hours after treatment.
Blade Hair Skin Body
1415 W. Belmont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
Linda Licocci, owner of Blade Hair Skin Body, was not above purchasing Coppola Keratin Smoothing products directly from the owner before it was even available in Chicago. After trying other systems, the salon owner found that Coppola gives the most complete customer satisfaction and consistent results without damage. The Original Keratin Complex Treatment ranges from $350 to $400 (depending on the stylist) but first-time users get a nice $75 lobbed off. The Express Blow Out last six weeks, costs $150, and for summer 2013, you can get a $25 discount. Licocci notes that the treatments are life changing for the terminally frizzy and other clients opt for it once yearly during summer to quell humidity's evil doing.
712 N. Rush St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Whether you long for a multi-tiered ponytail or a trendy top knot, a Keratin treatment can ease your hair down the road to fabulous and Maxine Salon can be your starting point. The Gold Coast salon, in Chicago for 26 years, offers the Coppola Keratin Smoothing Treatment (pricing starts at $350). Stylists offer the treatment all day Monday and at 8 a.m. only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Afterwards, you'll realize quicker drying time, hair that laughs at humidity and strengthened, de-frizzed gleaming tresses. If experience matters when choosing a salon, know that owner Maxine Kroll began her career as a stylist at Vidal Sassoon and opened her own place on Walton Street in 1986, and moved to the Rush Street location in 1997.
Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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