Courtesy of Julien Farel
Whatever the reports of climate change across the globe, high humidity remains a major force to reckon with when it comes to having smooth hair. Numerous treatments, from Brazilian blowouts to Japanese straightening, have dominated the market with some scary consequences. “If not done correctly, Japanese straightening can break hair that’s damaged,” says Rudy Peña, a hair-treatment specialist at the Julien Farel Salon in Manhattan. “The formula is so strong, it strips out all the vitamins and protein that strengthen and protect hair.” And Brazilian treatments have faced controversy over their use of formaldehyde.
Hair that is color-treated, over-processed and damaged from frequent blowouts loses body and luster, becoming uncontrollably frizzy when humidity hits its high point. The solution, according to Peña, is the Zero Frizz Quickie, a new treatment developed exclusively at the salon using Julien Farel’s own line of JF Zero Frizz products. Depending on hair’s length and thickness, the entire process can take no more than 45 minutes. (The treatment is currently available at the salon’s New York locations and will be offered at the Miami and Cabo San Lucas outposts later this year.)
I was heading to Miami Beach for the weekend and decided to give it a true road test. Peña began with a shampoo to make sure my hair was extra clean. He then towel-dried it and massaged the treatment—a mix of JF Zero Frizz Restore and keratin protein—into my scalp at the sink. He blow-dried my hair thoroughly and flat-ironed it to seal the product into each strand’s cortex. We returned to the sink for another application of a deep mask and finished with a final blowout and style.
My hair is naturally curly and wavy, and I don’t really like it stick straight, so I was concerned that some body would be lost, but that wasn’t the case. The treatment made blow-drying easier, and though I still needed to use a smoothing product, I definitely noticed a change in my hair’s texture. The best part? My blowout survived four days in 100 percent humidity and didn’t fall flat or frizz.
The Zero Frizz Quickie lasted almost three months, making the $200 investment a real bargain. (Peña said it would last about two months, but I found using the JF Zero Frizz shampoo and conditioner helped extend the results.) As a final test, I returned to Miami six months after having the treatment and found the frizz had returned and a blowout was useless; my hair fell flat and was unmanageable. I had to retreat to my old system of swimming in the ocean and keeping the saltwater in my hair for as long as possible—not the most aromatic styling process. 605 Madison Ave.; 212-888-8988; 400 Fifth Ave., 4th fl.; 212-613-8720; julienfarel.com.