Sponsored by bhave
(Editor’s note: This post was first published in May, 2014 and I have continued to get these treatments on my hair ever since.)
My hair is no stranger to all kinds of in-salon treatments designed to bring it under some kind of manageable control.
Chemical straightening? Yes, I’ve been on the receiving end of that. Had it done a couple of times about a decade ago and used to marvel at how I’d wash it and it would dry as if someone had snuck in and ironed it with styling irons while I wasn’t looking. Not so good when it started to grow out and you’d have a boofy bit up top and straight towards the ends. Also not so good for long-term hair health.
Then keratin treatments came along. I jumped on board that hair-taming train as quickly as my salon got its hands on it. Jumped off just as quickly when it was revealed the main system in circulation in Australia at the time contained formaldehyde.
So when I rocked up three months ago to put my hair on the line to experience an Australian in-salon, keratin hair taming treatment that didn’t contain any nasties, I did so with open and highly excited mind and hair cuticles.
You see, I loved the results of treatments I’d received in the past – they made my life easier. I just didn’t want to sacrifice my hair or potential health in the process.
So if there was now a treatment available that meant I didn’t have to sacrifice anything for more manageable hair then I wanted in.
And in is what I got with bhave Smoothe.
About bhave Smoothe
1. bhave is NOT a straightening treatment. Yes, at the end of the in-salon process and until your first hair wash it will be straight because of the process involved (more on that below) but it doesn’t restructure the hair cuticle. It infuses it with keratin. Curls are softened, waves are smoothed. Hair retains movement and body. All is right in your hair world.
2. bhave improves the health of your hair. My hair is fine but there is lots of it. It easily dries out so it “drinks” up this kind of treatment. The Smoothe formulation employs innovative amino cell rebuild technology that improves and restores every hair strand with keratin, argan oil, collagen and silk amino acids.
3. bhave smoothe is free of chemical nasties and not tested on animals. It’s formaldehyde-free and doesn’t contain parabens, sulphates or sodium chloride (salt, which affects coloured and keratin-treated hair). It’s not tested on animals.
I’m no stranger to spending quality time in the salon chair. All up this treatment took just under three hours on my shoulder-length, thick head of hair.
If you colour your hair using bleach highlights, it’s suggested that you have your colour freshened up a couple of weeks BEFORE this treatment. For brunettes and redheads, it’s recommended that you have a colour touch-up one week or two to three washes AFTER treatment.
First your hair is shampooed with a special shampoo designed to open up the hair shaft ready for the keratin. It will feel scratchy and straw like. Just go with it.
It’s then fully dried off with a blow dryer before the Smoothe system is applied with a brush and comb to 1cm sections of hair – much like you would apply a semi-permanent colour. The formula smells like a banana paddle pop so pleasantly devoid of any chemical-type odour.
My hair “drunk” in the formula. Couldn’t get enough of it.
Any residue of product not absorbed by the hair was rinsed off before being blow dried again to 100% dry. You can still feel the product in the hair as the hair cuticle is still open.
Closing the hair cuticle happens with a styling iron working on ironing 1cm sections of the hair. Leaving you with a poker straight finish as you walk out of the salon.
For 48 hours after your treatment, there are steps you need to take to ensure your treatment does just what it should for your hair.
Don’t shampoo or use styling products in your hair during this time.
Don’t use clips or hair ties to avoid bends in the hair forming. If hair becomes wet (in the shower do use a shower cap!) or bends do form, then the section of hair affected should be blow dried straight and straightened with a flat iron as soon as possible.
It’s not overly restrictive but does require a bit of planning to make sure your hair fits in with your life for a couple of days.
Two days later I washed my hair and let it dry naturally. And this was the result. I was impressed. That’s my natural wave at the back “tamed”, my hair is shining and there is a distinct lack of frizz … with zero styling on my behalf.
How long will it last?
bhave Smoothe will last up to four months. This depends on your hair type, how you care for your hair and how often you wash it. At the three month mark, I’m now starting to see and feel the ends of the hair not being as manageable as they were but the overall hair health is still vastly improved.
To ensure you get maximum benefits from the Smoothe treatment, use care and styling products that are free from sulphates and sodium chloride as these chemicals will pull the keratin that has bonded to the cuticle layer of the hair.
bhave has its own range of products that your hair will get benefits from even without a Smoothe treatment. It’s also paraben-free. I’ve been consistently using the Scalp shampoo (very good on my dodgy scalp), interspersed with Bombshell Blonde shampoo and then finishing with either the Rescue Intense Repair conditioner or Deep Intense Conditioning Masque.
When it comes to styling, my number one go-to bhave product has been the Leave-In creme. It leaves my hair incredibly soft and even easier to style. Now, I find that Fresh Ends is a real help with the drier ends of hair that are starting to want something more as my treatment nears the end of its effect on my hair.
You should also protect your hair before swimming in sea or pool water – this is as easy as applying the Leave-In Creme before swimming.
I also take all my care and styling products along with me if having a salon blow dry or colour at a salon that doesn’t stock bhave. Doing this keeps consistency in my after-care and longevity in the treatment.
The cost of bhave Smoothe is dependent on individual hair length and density but starts from $199. For my hair it would be about $250.
For about $60 a month (based on lasting about four months) I’ve been able to devote significantly less time to styling my hair.
I don’t wear my “busy” status as a badge of honour, more as a matter of fact. And I know many of you are in the same boat.
It’s the nature of what I do that I aim to look presentable most days. Good hair also makes me feel good and if I can achieve good hair with less effort on my part then all my lazy-girl beauty prayers have been answered.
The bhave Smoothe treatment reduced blow drying time because you don’t have to work so hard at getting a smooth finish with brushes but the big time saver for me is at the styling iron stage. It takes a lot less time to achieve a styled look when hair is already smooth, shiny and frizz-free.
Even when I had my first professional blow dry after the treatment, my stylist commented how much easier it was to wrangle my thick mop.
So, even though I was a guest of bhave three months ago and they wanted to work with me on this post, I fully intend to book in for another Smoothe treatment soon and continue getting these treatments as part of my hair management/wrangling plan.
Anything that makes my beauty life easier and improves my hair health at the same time gets a big tick from me.
I now have my bhave treatments done at the same salon that does my cut and colour – Cheveux Design and Espresso – after convincing them to take on the treatment!
To find a salon near you that offers the bhave Smoothe treatment, phone 1300 40 20 64 or visit the bhave website and fill in the salon locator form.