FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When it comes to eliminating frizz or excess curl, Brazilian keratin treatments are the first choice of stylists for their own hair. But salons routinely charge $200-$500 for Brazilian Blowout™ and Keratin Complex, Coppolla Express Blowout, GK with Juvexin, etc., placing them out of reach for many. Uncurly DIY Brazilian Keratin equals or exceeds any salon keratin treatment, and outperforms  every at-home keratin treatment, yet it costs only $15-$25 per treatment for a typical client, depending on hair length, volume, and porosity.

Uncurly has radically changed the way to smoother, frizz-free hair. Unlike relaxers, which chemically dissolve the hair’s molecular bonds and cause severe damage, Uncurly coats each strand with a restorative keratin layer to gently override excessive curl and block frizz. Hair is left straighter, frizz-resistant (even in high humidity or sweat), stronger against breakage, softer, and shinier for 3-5 months. Drying/styling times are cut in half or more. Clients describe the effects as life-changing.

Relaxers, perms, texturizers, chemical straighteners, and Japanese thermal reconditioning work in a completely different manner from Uncurly, and produce different results. They are chemical processes which break the hair’s molecular bonds so it can be manipulated into a straight position. The resulting molecular damage leaves hair extremely breakable, a fragility which increases over time with exposure to routine “stresses” like combing, shampooing, heat styling, and coloring.

Another serious drawback is that new growth is immediately apparent due to the stark line of demarcation visibly dividing previously treated and untreated areas. Moreover, the previously treated hair is so weak from the chemical process that overlapping previously treated pieces while retouching roots causes nightmarish breakage.

By contrast, Uncurly works by means of a protective keratin coating applied to each strand that gently holds it in a smoother position while blocking frizz and “pouf,” deep-conditioning, and strengthening against breakage. Uncurly is not a straightener per se, but depending upon the natural curl pattern and several other individualized factors, all hair will air-dry looser, straighter, and resistant to frizz, “pouf,” and shrinkage from humidity and perspiration.

Types 3 and 4 hair will generally air-dry into looser-curled, longer, and frizz-free versions of themselves. Results vary from head to head as some hair air-dries straighter than others due to fundamental individual characteristics as well as previous relaxer/bleach/color/heat use. Most Type 2 curl patterns air-dry straight and frizz-free.

Even more dramatic effects are seen when a bit of heat is used. Types 3 and 4 hair may be easily straightened, stretched, and styled by blow drying or flat ironing with minimal heat and in less than half the previous time. And of course, these styles resist “pouf,” frizz, and reversion from humidity and perspiration — maybe the most welcome change of all.

Such easy manageability and frizz control is a life-changer for those accustomed to a torturous, wrist-straining workout yielding a mediocre style that frizzes soon afterward. For perhaps the first time in your life, you will be able — on your own — to make your hair look like it’s had a professional blowout or to have it air-dry into a look you actually like, and your hair will keep its style without frizzing, poufing, or shrinking.

Uncurly’s effects last 3-5 months on average, and longer with successive treatments due to accumulation. As it wears off, the hair gradually returns to its previous form, leaving no obvious line between treated hair and regrowth. **Note that in rare instances, hair may take longer than this to fully return to its original level of curl. If this is an unacceptable risk, Uncurly may not be suited to you.

Uncurly is safe for permed, relaxed, bleached, colored, thermally reconditioned, or severely damaged hair. Not only is it safe for these but it will dramatically improve their condition. In general, the worse the hair’s condition, the better Uncurly performs as roughness and porosity provide an ideal surface for keratin attachment, similar to sanding before painting.

  • Silkier, shinier, extremely resistant to frizz…and straighter.
  • Depending on the degree of curl and porosity your hair had before, it will air dry somewhere between a looser version of itself and straight. However, keratin is heat-activated so you will notice a huge difference when you style it with a blow dryer or flat iron. In rough terms, fluffy, frizzy, wavy Type 1  hair will become smooth and straight but with a natural look. Type 2 and 3 hair will be relaxed to a flatter wave and Type 4 hair will drop to a softer ringlet. The hair may have a softer, flatter, frizz-free wave, but not be bone-straight when air dried.
  • Your styling time will drop to half or less of what it was before–and your look will endure humidity with about 95% less frizz. Your hair will be more responsive to heat styling, so you can also turn the flat iron temperature down.

That’s not necessary. Unlike haircuts and color, where professional expertise matters, the keratin process is so easy that an at-home user can get as good a result as any stylist as long as a high-performance product is used. In fact, our clients frequently report that their results with Uncurly surpass prior salon keratin treatments. The fact is that nobody cares more about your results than you. Unlike what sometimes happens in salons, you won’t skimp on product or rush the job because the next client is waiting. And of course, we’re here to help if you need us but no one ever really seems to…

The salon industry discourages DIY keratin treatments not because they’re difficult but because they’re profitable, and their arguments against them are flawed. One website says:

“Like DIY hair color, DIY keratin is just never as good. A salon treatment will last three to four months. The DIY approach will only last one month.”

Wrong if you’re talking about Uncurly (although we readily acknowledge that most at-home brands are poor performers, which is why we got involved in the first place.) And for another thing, the keratin process should never be compared to coloring hair, which is both an art and a science with many ways to mess up, from choosing a bad shade to over-processing the hair. With color, expertise is needed to do a great job, and a bad job can cost hundreds of dollars to correct.

Uncurly, by contrast, is beginner-friendly. There is no processing, no measuring, no timing. Second, Uncurly lasts as long if not longer than a salon keratin treatment. While virtually all DIY keratins are weak knock-offs with short-lived, barely noticeable results, Uncurly’s  quality and longevity match or exceed any salon’s.

Another salon industry tactic is to create a “professional mystique” that makes Brazilian keratin sound so complicated that even stylists need lessons. One website says:

“Q: Do stylists need special training to do Brazilian keratin?”
“A: Yes, they should be certified.”

Seriously? The professional certification clinic we attended was so commonsensical that  we felt cheated out of our tuition dollars. In fact, Uncurly’s original motto, “If you can wash, dry, and iron, you’re overqualified,” originated as a sarcastic remark made on the drive home. Tens of thousands of Uncurly clients have been doing their own keratin for years with fantastic results. Given the ease, quality, and savings, shouldn’t you?

Yes. Uncurly is totally safe for hair that’s had any of these processes. It is not chemically capable of damaging hair, period. What’s more, it will dramatically restore hair that’s been damaged by these processes or from those or other sources. In fact, hair that is damaged often sees better results than “virgin” hair because its roughness and porosity provide an excellent surface for keratin attachment. But either way, Uncurly is a superb deep-conditioner and bonds a layer of keratin to the hair that visibly strengthens, softens, shines and fills porosity.

No. It is chemically impossible for Uncurly to damage the hair. It is not a process treatment but rather, a temporarily deep-conditioning keratin coating.

However, any time you use a flat iron, damage can occur if you’re careless, but we’ve had no reports of it. Our experience is that people who need a keratin treatment are motivated to improve their hair and consequently, they pay attention to what they’re doing and they know their hair’s condition and limits. Applying Uncurly is foremost a very common-sense process.

Yes. Uncurly is widely used and loved by natural hair devotees. First and foremost, it doesn’t break, dissolve, or in any way alter the hair’s natural molecular bonds. (Bond-breaking is the source of relaxer damage.)

Instead, Uncurly works by coating the hair with a  protective, conditioning keratin layer that temporarily loosens the hair’s natural curl pattern, allowing a looser-curled wash-and-go style or easy stretching and straightening in a fraction of the previous time and with minimal heat. After styling, it blocks humidity to prevent frizz, shrinkage, and “pouf.”

Transitioning is a brilliant move, but the process can be extremely stressful during the initial stages. Uncurly solves many of the headaches that are often part of the natural hair journey.

  • Eliminates reversion, shrinkage, or frizz from humidity and perspiration
  • Blends textures — harmonious blend of relaxed hair, new growth, and mixed curl patterns
  • Often prevents “big chop” — Restores hair with relaxer and heat damage, or naturally coarse hair, to soft, shiny like-new condition
  • Dramatically easier manageability — dry and style in minutes, even thick, heavy hair
  • Versatile styling
    • fast-drying, loosened-curl wash-and-go or twist-out
    • quick, easy straightening with minimal heat
    • gorgeous roller/curlformer set
    • any other style you’d like
  • Supports length goals — powerful strengthening against breakage for longer growth than ever before

Uncurly is a superb conditioner, dramatically restoring strength, softness, and shine to relaxer- and heat-damaged hair. It strengthens hair against breakage for longer length than ever before. In many instances, these improvements have eliminated the need for a “big chop.” Uncurly is also tremendously helpful in blending and unifying the mix of textures and curl patterns many of us have either by nature or as a result of transitioning from relaxers.

Uncurly allows tremendous versatility in styling, from loosened natural wash-and-go curls to fast, easy straight styles using minimal heat. And it prevents the pouffing/frizzing that can ruin a great look in a matter of minutes.

After. That way, you’ll ensure a cut that works with the way your hair looks and behaves following Uncurly. The exception is hair that’s extraordinarily damaged and has tons of split ends. Sometimes portions of hair are so damaged that nothing can salvage them. Rather than wasting product and effort on these, we recommend trimming them off and then getting a style-conscious haircut after applying Uncurly.

Before. One benefit of using Uncurly on top of hair color and henna is that the keratin “topcoat” tends to lock in the color and reduce fading. For lighter to medium tones, color can be done on the same day immediately before applying Uncurly. We recommend that darker shades be done 3 days to a week before Uncurly because on occasion dark colors can lighten 1-2 levels or slightly redden if done on the same day.

Here are the words of one seasoned professional whose entire business is devoted to Brazilian keratin treatments:

“Keratin treatments can, on rare occasions, yellow the hair slightly or cause artificial toners to fade, thereby exposing any underlying brassiness. The lighter the hair color, the more obvious the yellowing and brassiness can be. If someone’s color becomes brassy with keratin, make sure they have Redken Blond Glam, Clairol Shimmer Lights, or another similar purple color-correcting shampoo or conditioner on hand to use during the first 2-3 shampoos afterward. It works well to counteract the brassiness that can occasionally happen.

 

Dark-colored hair or deposit-only colored hair usually has no change but on occasion it can lighten one to two levels if done on the same day. Stylists have asked if certain brands of hair color change more or less than others, and the truth is I see no definite pattern. Coloring dark hair at least a week before a keratin treatment is optimal.”

Uncurly can be thought of as a topcoat for your hair. Any processes done on top of it, including some types of color, can compromise this topcoat, potentially causing it to wear off sooner, and thus should be avoided if possible.

Easy instructions are included with each order but in general, the steps are as follows:

  • Wash with clarifying pre-shampoo to remove product residues and scalp oils.
  • Blow dry or air dry hair – no need to style it. Remove knots and tangles.
  • Apply Uncurly with tint/color brush or gloved hands, combing for even distribution.
  • Let sit 20 minutes, then blow dry or air dry thoroughly. No need to style it.
  • Flat iron to seal Uncurly to the hair.
  • If desired, you may wash it out immediately after flat ironing. However, we’re “old school” and think that for maximum treatment longevity, it’s best to let the keratin cure for at least 24 hours. You may leave it in even longer if you’d like, although this will not increase treatment life or hair straightness.
  • You may wear your hair any way you like during the leave-in period as long as you avoid getting it wet or using hair products for the first 24 hours.

Technically, Uncurly may be washed out immediately after the flat ironing step of the application process. HOWEVER, we recommend leaving it in for 24 hours afterward as we are convinced that the cross-linking process continues during this period and will promote longer treatment life. After 24 hours, you may continue to leave Uncurly on the hair but it is unlikely to affect treatment results.

Fortunately, Uncurly DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT THE HAIR BE KEPT STRAIGHT during the leave-in period, so most people find it painless. Any style at all may be worn as long as water and styling products are not used for the first 24 hours. After 24 hours, you’re free to use styling products and water or to wash it out altogether.

What about the immediate rinse-off products now offered by many salons? In truth, these formulas are the same as earlier keratin treatments which at the time were thought to need an extended curing period of up to four days. What’s changed is the understanding of how they perform. The whole four-day thing is no longer considered necessary, and salons were happy to abolish it because clients no longer needed to return for a (free) shampoo and blow-dry. However, most stylists readily admit that immediate-rinse treatments give shorter-lived results — somewhere around 80% of a treatment that’s allowed to cure.

Many of our clients choose to wait even longer than 24 hours before shampooing out the treatment as their hair looks great during this period. The fact that Uncurly allows unlimited styling choices makes it a painless process as opposed to many salon keratins which demand that the hair be kept obsessively straight — sometimes forbidding even the wearing of sunglasses. From what we can tell, curing beyond 24 hours does not increase treatment life or smoothing action.

No. Use the shampoo of your choice except for those labeled deep cleansing, clarifying, anti-residue, or otherwise known to contain strong detergent. The only time to use those is when you’re preparing to reapply Uncurly, in which case scalp oils and product residues need to be removed for best adhesion.

As a rule, the more frequently you shampoo and the stronger the detergent in your shampoo, the faster the keratin wears off, although the rate itself is individualized. Our best advice for long-lasting keratin is to use a mild shampoo (such as one labeled safe for color-treated hair) and to wash your hair no more frequently than necessary. Consider omitting or going lightly on the second lather. You may use any conditioner you like or none at all; it has no impact on keratin longevity.

FWIW, salons make big money on aftercare products touted as “specially formulated for keratin-treated hair”. Clients are told that these are essential to prolong treatment life, and after spending so much money on the treatment itself, they’re understandably reluctant to take chances. But are such products really necessary? We say no. We don’t use them ourselves and our keratin lasts long and strong.

Years ago, we noticed a curious difference between the keratin aftercare advice given by salons in the eastern and western United States. In the east, clients were instructed to avoid shampoos containing sodium chloride; in the west, they were told to avoid sulfates. It sounded suspicious to us. Even more suspect, both groups were told that it was okay to swim in the ocean (full of sodium chloride) and in chlorinated pools (full of sulfates). If sodium-chloride and sulfates were really damaging to the treatment, wouldn’t these be off limits?

We were also aware of clients who thought they’d been scrupulously avoiding sodium chloride only to learn later that it had actually been present in their shampoo under a different name (e.g., sea salt, salt, oceanic minerals, sodium PCA, or NaCl.) Nonetheless, their keratin showed no signs of premature wear.

Ultimately, we conclude that hair responds individually to keratin for reasons we cannot fully identify, some of which are innate texture and condition, frequency of shampooing, pH of rinse water, the use of process treatments (bleach, color, perms, relaxers) either before or after keratin, and whether it’s an initial or repeat keratin treatment. It’s possible that some clients’ treatments are negatively affected by sulfates or sodium chloride and that we simply aren’t aware of it. If that’s of concern to you, there are many retail shampoos without them in all price ranges. It’s not necessary to purchase expensive keratin aftercare products which is why, in the spirit of honesty and affordability, we do not sell them.

Uncurly can be likened to a “topcoat” for your hair. Services performed on top of it cause wear. The foremost causes of keratin wear-off are 1) process treatments (i.e. bleach, process color, relaxers, perms, etc.) and 2) shampoo.

As for process treatments, it’s best to plan ahead and do them before applying Uncurly. Sooner or later, you may need a touch up that will require you to work on top of your keratin, but you may as well put it off as long as possible by doing an application before your keratin.

Bleach, henna, light to medium color, relaxers, and perms may be applied on the same day as Uncurly. After using them, wash out as normal (and neutralize in the case of a relaxer or perm), making sure NOT to apply conditioner or styling products. Get hair mostly to totally dry, then apply Uncurly.

Dark colors are best applied 3 days to a week before Uncurly, as it is possible for these colors to lighten 1 to 2 shades or slightly redden if a keratin treatment is done on the same day. This doesn’t always happen but why take chances?

To minimize the wearing effects of shampoo on a keratin treatment, use a gentle formula such as one labeled safe for color-treated hair. It doesn’t need to be “high-end” or expensive. Avoid harsher shampoos (e.g., clarifying or anti-residue varieties).

More frequent shampooing equals faster keratin wear, so focus most of your lather at the root area and consider skipping or going lightly on the second lather. (Have you ever noticed how many more suds are produced on the second wash? That’s because the hair is already clean…) If you’re a daily shampooer, rethink that. If you’re feeling oily, try dusting a little cornstarch onto your hair, particularly around the scalp and temples, then raking it through with your fingers and letting it sit a few minutes. Then towel off or not.

Having said all this, we certainly don’t mean to suggest that Uncurly is fragile and needs to be treated with kid gloves. On the contrary, it’s very robust and even more so as a base develops from successive treatments.

There is no minimum waiting period for reapplying Uncurly, as it is not a process treatment and makes no structural changes to the hair itself. Previously treated hair may be re-treated at any point whatsoever with absolute safety.

There is no need for concern about incurring any heat damage whatsoever in applying Uncurly. The sealing step, in which Uncurly is flat-ironed to fuse it to the hair, can be done at a range of temperatures from 325F to 450F (163C-230C) with good results. The choice is largely a matter of personal preference and knowledge of what your hair can accommodate. **However, we’d summarize our philosophy as follows: for best results use the hottest iron temperature that your hair can tolerate.

In general, hair that is very fragile, extremely damaged, heavily bleached, or dyed very light should be addressed with a lower flat iron temperature than hair that is normal or coarse. The Uncurly Instructions provide easy guidelines for selecting the right flat iron temperature for your hair, but even then you may confidently use a different temperature if you prefer.

**The flat iron sold by Uncurly is configured for Type A and B plugs at 120 volts AC electricity.  It can be used as-is in USA, Canada, Central America, Japan, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, and a few other places. Elsewhere, it requires the use of voltage and plug adaptors. If you do not already own adaptors, we recommend using a flat iron configured for your locale instead of purchasing the Uncurly flat iron and adaptors.**

You do not need to use the flat iron we sell provided yours gets hot enough to perform the application process. Ideally, that means 450F, although as discussed in the question above, some people will choose to use a lower temperature. The best results are obtained by using the hottest temperature your hair can handle.

Most people considering a keratin treatment already own a flat iron or two. Who needs another? You, if yours doesn’t get hot enough. Consumer flat irons, even high-end models, frequently max out in the range of 320F-365F.  Professional flat irons are typically hot enough but are expensive, heavy-duty workhorses capable of maintaining high temps all day long, day after day, which is overkill for the several-times-a-year Uncurly user. We spent a lot of time researching the market to find an inexpensive model that met our criteria:

  • it gets hot enough;
  • has ceramic plates instead of titanium or tourmaline (better for steady heat and for temperature recovery);
  • it has floating plates for tight hair contact;
  • it doesn’t have a thermometer (unreliable, inaccurate, added expense);
  • and it’s made by a recognized high-quality manufacturer (Babyliss PRO/Conair) at a price we consider a bargain.

We’ve been extremely pleased with this model’s performance and durability — our oldest is currently over 4 years old with nearly daily use and still going strong.

Yes. If the child can sit still long enough to be worked on, there is no reason not to. A video can be helpful.

Yes, Uncurly is safe for use during pregnancy and nursing.  None of its ingredients reach the reproductive tract or are associated with increased risk of illness, birth defects, low birth weight, miscarriage, or infertility.

During the application process,  some users may feel a brief eye watering (as from cutting an onion) or a slight burning sensation in the nose/throat due to pH differences with the eyes and sinuses — not due to toxins, ets. These effects can be avoided by using a fan to divert any vapors, which subsequently break down and dissipate in minutes rather than lingering in the air.