Recently I was contacted about trying out the Global Keratin Hair Taming System and writing about it here on Brown Bombshell Beauty. Naturally, my curiosity was piqued, as keratin hair treatments are all the rage in the hair care industry right now. But I also had a lot of trepidation about the process. What is it? How does it work? It it safe for African-American hair? Is all my hair going to fall out?! Needless to say, I had a lot of research to do before considering this hair treatment!
So, after much due dilligence, I decided to go ahead with the treatment. Before I give you my thoughts on Global Keratin and how it turned out, I want to give you a play by play account of how I came to the decision to try it, as well as give you info on just what Global Keratin is. Ok, here we go!
Before we get started, I want to make it very clear that this is my experience with the Global Keratin treatment, and yours may or may not be the same. Reading my review here shouldn’t be the only research you do! Please keep this in mind!
My Hair’s Backstory
I went natural back in 2008, went back to relaxers, then decided earlier this year to go back to natural hair. After growing out several months on new growth, I fell off the wagon and relaxed my hair about two months ago before I attended The Makeup Show NYC. Transition fail! After I got back home, I decided to rededicate myself to going natural and have since sworn off relaxers. I’ve been trying to find ways to transition to natural, as I made “the big chop” last time, and quickly became frustrated with my TWA (teeny weeny afro), and how slowly it seemed to be growing. I wanted a big head of wild, sexy natural hair, but was too impatient to wait for it to grow. Yes, another transition fail. So this time, I looked into getting twists (and failed at finding someone in my area who does them well) and even seriously considered getting a weave to let my hair grow out underneath the hair extensions. After balking at the outrageous price and upkeep of getting a weave, I was left right back at square one, facing the fact that the TWA might be my only option. It was right around this time that I was contacted by Global Keratin.
In my research I found that are are NUMEROUS kinds of keratin hair treatments around, and they are NOT created equal. I asked my beauty blogger friends Lianne of The Makeup Girl (who has had a non-Global Keratin keratin treatment) and Kitiya of Mischo Beauty, who is a licensed beauty pro. I even consulted my old hairstylist in NYC, celeb hair guru Keith Campbell (follow him on Twitter @hairmankeith and his blog on Essence.com). I then read tons of other beauty bloggers’ experiences with different keratin treatments, and read every online forum I could find about the subject. Some people’s experiences were positive. Other’s were not so positive. We’re talking major hair loss here people. It seemed like every brand of keratin treatment I researched had it’s share of pros and cons. Needless to say, I needed to investigate Global Keratin’s treatment further.
Global Keratin Hair Taming System: What It Is and What it Does
Here is a description of the Global Keratin Hair Taming System from their website:
The Global Keratin Hair Taming System with JUVEXIN™ incorporates our unique and patented keratin formulation which is found exclusively in Global Keratin Products.
JUVEXIN™ is the only keratin compound scientifically proven to protect and restore hair back to its youthful state. Unlike over-processed hydrolyzed keratins found in the market today, Global Keratin’s Hair Taming System with JUVEXIN™ is an active compound, delivered to the hair in its raw, natural state. Critical amino acids and proteins remain intact, conditioning the hair and protecting it from damaging environmental effects, aging and daily styling. It works on all hair types, leaving it more manageable, soft, shiny, smooth and frizz-free for up to 5 months.
According to Susan, the Global Keratin representative I met and spoke with, Juvexin is Global Keratin’s patented, proprietary protein. She explained to me that unlike hydrolized proteins found in other keratin treatments and in most shampoos and conditioners, Juvexin is keratin (a protein that hair is made up of) in its purest, most active form. This is supposed to allow Global Keratin’s Juvexin to help improve the health of your hair.
Global Keratin Hair Taming System comes in three different formulas. Here are their descriptions from the Global Keratin website:
- Light Wave/Colored – This formula is for clients who want to keep their natural wave or curl but want to eliminate frizz and cut their styling time in half. This system comes in Chocolate and Strawberry fragrance.
- Curly/Colored – This formula is for clients who want a sleeker look to their hair while making it soft, shiny, smooth and frizz free. This system comes in Chocolate and Strawberry fragrance.
- Thick/Coarse/Resistant – This formula is for clients who have unruly hair and are looking to get it perfectly straight. This formula will not only give a straighter look to the hair but also leave it silky soft and smooth to the touch. This system comes in Chocolate and Strawberry fragrance.
Now, one thing that concerned me was the use of formaldehyde in the Curly/Colored and Thick/Coarse/Resistant formulas, which have 2% and 4% formaldehyde, respectively. I was aware that many nail polishes contain formaldehyde, but wasn’t knowledgable about its use in hair products. So I did some digging around for information about formaldehyde and it’s use in beauty products, and found this definition from “Cosmetics Cop” Paula Begoun:
formaldehyde-releasing preservative. Common type of preservative found in cosmetics (Source: Contact Dermatitis, December 2000, pages 339–343). Despite some claims, there is no higher level of skin reaction to formaldehyde-releasing preservatives than to other preservatives (Source: British Journal of Dermatology, March 1998, pages 467–476). In fact, there is a far greater risk to skin from a product without preservatives, because of the contamination and unchecked growth of bacteria, fungus, and mold that can result if no preservatives are used. However, there is concern that when formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are present in a formulation that also includes amines, such as triethanolamine (TEA), diethanolamine (DEA), or monoethanolamine (MEA), nitrosamines can be formed, and nitrosamines are carcinogenic substances that can potentially penetrate skin (Source: Fundamentals and Applied Toxicology, August 1993, pages 213–221). Whether or not that poses a health risk of any kind has not been established.
I also found this info in an article online:
What Are The Effects Of Formaldehyde?
1) Some people are naturally highly sensitive to formaldehyde, others may not be as sensitive but over time develop an allergy to it. It’s in the chemical’s make up to stir the immune system and cause sensitivity.
2) Runny nose, sore throat, headache, itching, and irritated eyes can occur with low levels of exposure.
3) It is also a known carcinogen, and smokers in particular are at a greater risk for cancers of the airways, including nasal passages when they are exposed to formaldehyde.
After all my research, I found that the primary concern about formaldehyde is its carcinogenic (cancer-causing) properties when inhaled on a regular basis. Most of the concerns I found online were from hair-stylists who didn’t want to breath it in to perform this service, and I can’t say that I blame them. I gathered two things: 1.) The service probably wouldn’t cause me harm after one use, as it would a hair-stylist who breathes in in every day; 2) There are tons of dangerous chemicals in hair relaxers, and I’ve been using them for years! So, after discussing my concerns (at length) with Bethany (the stylist performing the service) and Susan, I decided to go for it…and told my mother to keep her schedule open in case I needed to do some emergency wig shopping!
After consulting with my stylist Bethany of Salon Dye*Namics in Shawnee Mission, KS, she recommended that I receive the third formula for Thick/Coarse/Resistant formula, in the strawberry scent, which I must admit, smelled amazing! So here was how the service went down:
Me and all my new growth, pre-Global Keratin…
First, Bethany shampooed my hair with a Global Keratin clarifying shampoo.
Then, she sectioned my hair, and applied the Juvexin keratin mixture to my hair and rubbed it in with her hands. I must disclose that towards the end of the application process, my eyes did start to burn a little bit. It wasn’t terribly major, but I want to make sure you know everything!
Next, Bethany blow dried my hair straight…
Then flat-ironed my hair with a titanium flat iron, set at 450 degrees to seal in the Juvexin keratin.
After 2 1/2 hours, the finished results!
The First 48 Hours
After receiving Global Keratin Hair Taming System, you CANNOT get your hair wet in any way, shape or form for 48 hours. I super paranoid about washing my face and showering, because I didn’t want to ruin my hair! Also, you can’t put your hair in a bun or ponytail, or use any clips for the first 48 hours, as doing so will result in a bend or crimp you can’t get out. Bethany said I could wrap my hair like I usually do, but I was too scared my scarf would leave a dent. So, I slept with my hair down on a satin pillow case, which worked great!
First Wash and Global Keratin At-Home Products
When it came time for me to wash my hair the first time, I was so scared! I’d been reading the forums on Oprah.com about another brand of keratin treatment (who shall remain nameless…), where women were saying their hair fell out in clumps after the first wash. I’m one of the biggest, most paranoid scaredy-cats you’ll ever meet, so I just knew I was going to end up bald! I was being so dramatic, I refused to wash my hair until my best friend could come over and help me up in case I fainted. I know…I was doing the most!
I washed my hair with Global Keratin Balancing Shampoo and conditioner (which both contain Juvexin), and blow dried it with the Global Keratin Serum. I was able to hop in the shower, stand around in fright for five minutes, shampoo and condition my hair, blow dry it and flat iron it in under 30 minutes. Whoa. I have never been able to style my hair from start to finish that fast in my entire life! The treatment makes your hair dry super smooth, super fast. In fact, if you wait to long to blow dry it, your hair will have air dried on its own.
After washing my hair several times since receiving this treatment, I have found that I don’t really care for the Balancing Shampoo and Conditioner. My hair feels rather stripped and has no slip. Not a good look. I’ll be checking with Bethany about alternative products to use. I do, however, love the Global Keratin Serum. It contains argan oil, the same key ingredient in my beloved MoroccanOil, but it much lighter than MoroccanOil. I find that I can use this on my hair when it’s dry and it still doesn’t weigh my hair down. Product love!
UPDATE: I received the Global Keratin Moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, and they are MUCH better than the Balancing duo. Much more moisture, and much better results!
Final Thoughts and Advice
I must say, I have been very pleased with my results with the Global Keratin Hair Taming Treatment. Despite all my unfounded worry, I don’t regret doing all my research and asking Bethany and Susan a litany of questions. It only made me feel more secure in the treatment! This treatment is no substitute for a hair relaxer, if that is what you’re looking for. When I don’t hit my roots really good with my flat iron, I can still feel the new growth I had when I went in for the service, but the new growth is a lot less frizzy, which keeps my hair from standing on end (like in my “before” picture!).
What I plan to do from here on out, is to continue to grow out my hair and not relax any new growth. As my hair grows out, I’ll cut off my relaxed ends, and work my way down to the Global Keratin formula for Light Wave/Colored hair. Bethany and Susan said that this is the formula that many African-American women with natural hair choose to define their natural curl pattern, without having to resort to relaxers or texturizers. My experience at Salon Dye*Namics was awesome, and I’ll be getting the service there in the future. Susan was incredibly informative, and Bethany was a total sweetheart, who can do a mean blow-out!
Let me leave you with a few final tips if you are considering getting Global Keratin or any other brand of keratin treatment:
- Please, please, puh-leaze do your research! Research the brand of keratin treatment, the stylist who will be performing the service, and the salon where you will be getting the service done.
- If you can, get referrals from friends or family members who have had this treatment done. Ask what they liked and disliked, where they got it done, and if they would do it again.
- Once you get to the salon, ask the stylist to see her certification to perform this service. No matter which brand of keratin treatment you use, the stylist MUST be trained and certified to buy the products and perform the service. If she isn’t certified, run away! For all you know, she bought the treatment on Ebay!
- Ask to see the bottles for all the products being used. Make sure they are authentic!
- Ask your stylist how many times she has performed the service, and ask to see an album of her personal client before and after pictures. Not pictures from the manufacturer!
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions or voice any and all concerns. This is your hair and your money, and you have a right to keep them both! This is a major investment (prices range from $250-800 depending on where you live, and the length of your hair). If you don’t feel 100% comfortable, close your purse and leave the salon!
- Finally, please don’t buy a keratin treatment on the black market or Ebay and try to apply it yourself. I don’t care how good a “self-stylist” you think you are, or how many hair relaxers you’ve given to yourself, DON’T DO IT!
Ok, I’m off my soap box now! LOL! I just wanted to make sure that I gave you guys every last bit of info I have on this treatment. The Global Keratin system last from 2-5 months, depending on your hair, so I’ll be keeping you all posted on how my hair continues to respond to the treatment, as well as my journey transitioning back to natural!
Thanks for hanging in there and reading this hella-long post!
For more info visit the Global Keratin website at http://www.GlobalKeratin.com. If you’re in the Kansas City area and would like to receive the Global Keratin Hair Taming System, check out:
7803 W 151st St Shawnee Mission, KS 66223
(913) 602-8488 (Ask for Bethany!)
*Full Disclosure: The Global Keratin Hair Taming System service was provided to me as a complimentary service, by the makers and public relations team of Global Keratin Hair Taming System.