Find the Best Salon Hair Straightening Treatment for You

Goodbye curls, frizz and waves, hello smooth, straight locks (7 Photos)

Ingrid Schmidt on Jan 11, 2011 at 4:20PM

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Keratin Complex

a Ingrid Schmidt on Jan 11, 2011 at 4:21PM

Excluding a cringe-inducing '80s perm blip, our dream hair has always been sleek, super-straight, and silky-soft. But, it takes skill and hours of styling time to tame a mane to perfection. Enter magical salon services -- relaxers, Japanese straightening and the latest keratin treatments that work even on bleached and damaged hair -- for an instant (and sometimes permanent) transformation. Hundreds of dollars and a full day at the salon may be the price to pay, but what wouldn't we do for dream hair?

That's a big question right now, given the current controversy over the safety of formaldehyde gas (a carcinogen) said to be released during some keratin treatments. Many prominent salons we called including Sally Hershberger, Kim Vo and Kim Kimble, who respectively work on the heads of Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson and Beyonce), have discontinued keratin treatments as the FDA investigates.

We'll go to great lengths for great hair. But how much is too much? "Put it in the context of hair color. How much ammonia is safe to breathe?" says David Abrams, co-owner of Luxelab salon in Los Angeles. "It's just something we're used to. This is a newer thing. We have to figure out what the potential health risks are." Amy Ho, a Rusk educator with Square Colour Salon & Spa in Las Vegas, says her clients are in two camps: the very health-conscious who don't go for any harsh chemicals and those "who are very aware and just don't care. Is it damaging to the health? I don't know. In the end, if you want to straighten your hair, the question is what type of chemical do you want to put on it?" So, what's a straight-hair obsessed girl to do? Here's the lowdown, to help you decide which (if any) salon straightening service is for you.

Keratin Treatments

Japanese Straightening

Hair Relaxers

After-Care Tips

Other Options

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