What is Uncurly Brazilian Keratin Straightener?
How is Uncurly different from chemical straightening or Japanese thermal reconditioning?
Shouldn't keratin straightening be done by a professional stylist?
Does Uncurly contain formaldehyde? Is it safe to use?
What will my hair be like afterward?
Do I need to use special shampoos and products afterward?
Uncurly Brazilian Keratin Straightener has radically changed the approach to smoother, frizz-free hair. Unlike relaxers, which severely damage the hair by chemically dissolving its molecular bonds, Uncurly coats each strand with a restorative keratin layer that gently overrides excessive curl and blocks frizz. Hair is left straighter, stronger against breakage, shinier, softer, and frizz-resistant (even in high humidity or sweat) for 3-5 months. Drying/styling times are cut in half or more. Clients describe it as life-changing.
Brazilian keratin treatments (BKTs) such as Brazilian Blowout are the first choice of stylists for their own hair, but salons routinely charge $200-$500, placing them out of reach for many. Uncurly matches or exceeds any salon BKT (not to mention every at-home keratin) yet costs only $20-$30 on average, depending on the length, volume, and porosity of the hair being treated.
Chemical straighteners/relaxers and Japanese thermal reconditioning strip the hair’s cuticle and break its molecular bonds, leaving it damaged, brittle, rough and breakable. By contrast, Uncurly is a protective keratin coating, gently holding strands in a straightened position while deep-conditioning, strengthening against breakage, and blocking frizz.
Because Uncurly isn’t a process treatment, it’s safe for permed, relaxed, bleached, colored, thermally reconditioned, or any severely damaged hair and will dramatically improve their condition. In fact, Brazilian keratin was originally created to repair relaxer damage; its smoothing and frizz control benefits were discovered only later. Miraculously, the worse the hair’s condition, the better Uncurly performs because roughnes and porosity are an ideal surface for keratin attachment, much like sanding before painting.
Uncurly is semi-permanent and wears off gradually over 3 to 5 months, leaving no obvious line between treated hair and regrowth, whereas chemical and thermal straightening leave a noticeable permanent line between the two.
No. Unlike haircuts and color, where professional expertise matters, you can do as good a job as any stylist — or better, because nobody cares about the results more than you. You won’t skimp on product or rush the job because your next client is waiting. We’re here to help, too, but no one ever seems to need us.
The salon industry discourages DIY keratin only because it’s profitable, not because it’s difficult, and their arguments against at-home BKTs 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. For one thing, keratin cannot be compared to hair color, which is both an art and a science with many ways to mess up (from choosing a bad shade to over-processing the hair). Expertise is needed to do a great job, and a bad job can cost hundreds to correct. Uncurly, by contrast, is beginner-friendly: no processing, no measuring, no timing. Second, Uncurly lasts as long as salon keratin because it is one. 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 the professional mystique: making keratin sound so complicated that even stylists need lessons. One website reads:
“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 much common sense that we felt cheated out of our tuition. In fact, the Uncurly motto (“If you can wash, dry, and iron, you’re overqualified”) was originally just a sarcastic remark one of us made afterward. Truth: thousands of Uncurly clients have been doing their own keratin for years with fantastic results. Given the savings, shouldn’t you?
Does Uncurly™ contain formaldehyde? Is it safe to use?
Like many new technologies, keratin straightening experienced some initial controversy, now settled, that had do with the inclusion of formaldehyde—not because of any actual incidents but because it was unfamiliar territory. The issue was NEVER clients' safety because they use the product at most several times a year. Rather, the question was about safety for stylists, who could conceivably work with the product many hundreds of times a year. However, the discussion was greatly mischaracterized by the news media, whose zeal for a story made them careless with facts. Having followed the issue closely, we offer our perspective on the matter.
1. Formaldehyde is a basic part of the natural world and is not harmful in appropriate concentrations. Our own bodies produce it during normal metabolism, causing us no harm. The FDA-approved H1N1 vaccine injected directly into us contains formaldehyde. It's found in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the products we put on our bodies. Humans metabolize formaldehyde quickly, meaning it doesn't accumulate in our tissues. Nor does it accumulate in the environment. Rather, it breaks down within several hours from exposure to light or bacteria. Formaldehyde is the simplest of the -aldehyde compounds, consisting of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon and having a pungent smell. It sometimes goes by the names formalin, formol, methanal, methylene glycol, methylene oxide, and methyl aldehyde.
2. The question of formaldehyde's safety arose not because of any actual incidents but simply because the FDA had no guidelines on formaldehyde exposure. After reviewing the issue, the FDA still does not plan to issue any. The precipitating action took place in Oregon, USA, and focused on a product known as 'Brazilian Blowout™'. A final report published by Oregon's Occupational Safety and Health Administration treated client safety as a non-issue and concluded that “...short-term exposure to the levels of formaldehyde found in keratin straighteners [Author's note: in other words, the sort of exposure experienced by salon clients and self-users] can irritate the eyes and nose and may cause coughing and wheezing.” That's it. Nothing more. And these effects may be avoided by using a fan during application to direct any fumes away from the face. Once the application is complete and the product is washed out, so is the formaldehyde. It does not linger in the hair for the 3-5 month duration of the treatment.
3. Frankly, we believe the media hype was largely due to the negative connotations of the word “formaldehyde.” Formaldehyde is used by thousands of industries, but the one which instantly springs to most people's minds is its use by morticians as a preservative. Thus, to be blunt, when people think of formaldehyde, they think of cadavers and funerals. No one claims formaldehyde caused those deaths (clearly illogical), but the mere association unfairly gives formaldehyde creepy, macabre connotations. This emotionality characterizes most news coverage and laypersons' discussion of the keratin-formaldehyde matter.4. In response to the formaldehyde frenzy, a flurry of products claiming to be formaldehyde-free began to appear. But most of those really aren't formaldehyde free, and those that are simply don't work. Period. The vast majority of keratin straighteners advertised as "Formaldehyde Free" either 1) contain formaldehyde under a different chemical name, or 2) contain ingredients that combine to behave as -aldehydes, or release formaldehyde during the flat ironing stage of application. For example, at this writing, Brazilian Blowout™and Escova Progressiva™ are both aggressively marketed as formaldehyde-free, yet both contain glyoxylic acid, which acts as an -aldehyde, as well as methyl siloxane, which releases formaldehyde at temperatures above 302ºF. So, are they really formaldehyde-free? Of course not–they just don't have to list “formaldehyde” among their ingredients.
5. Why don't manufacturers just leave it out altogether? The reason is that truly formaldehyde-free formulas do not produce satisfactory results. They don't make hair straight enough nor do they last more than several weeks, despite costing as much if not more, and requiring just as much labor to apply. Formaldehyde -- NOT keratin -- is the essential element for a professional result. It's what bonds the keratin to the hair in the initial application step, after which it washes down the drain. It doesn't linger in the hair for the 3-5 month duration of the treatment. Keratin without formaldehyde contributes only a conditioning effect. It has nothing to do with straightening hair, which is why, as one stylist wryly pointed out, "hair does not straighten all by itself even though it's made of keratin."
6. Can formaldehyde be used safely? Yes. It's done all the time. On the basis of our research and experience, we agree with the State of Oregon's OSHA, which concluded the same thing after spending a year immersed in the evidence. They produced a document which counseled salons to “...provide training and information to their workers and ensure their workers are not overexposed.” Client exposure, being negligible, was not even addressed in the report. At this writing, we do not know of a single health-related issue on record in the US that is due exclusively to the keratin straightening process.
Off-gassing can occur when wet keratin straightener is first applied to the hair, as well as later during the flat ironing stage of application. Some people don't smell a thing; others notice it immediately. Some clients experience temporary physical sensitivity from the smell, which can include watering eyes or tickling in the throat. We recommend avoiding irritation by using a fan to blow fumes away from the face during these phases. Thereafter, the fumes dissipate and break down quickly on their own, and after the application phase, once the solution has been washed out of the hair, there is no further hint of them. People with asthma or chemical sensitivities are likely to be more affected by the smell than others. Salon professionals performing several treatments daily may do well to consider some type of air handling equipment, but for the several-times-a-year user, we consider it a non-issue.
7. We regard the formaldehyde controversy as unwarranted hype with no relevance to the do-it-yourself keratin user. Similar concerns could be raised about hair color, perm products, nail polish and remover, depilatory, household bleach, and so on, yet people continue to use them safely and responsibly. It's the same with keratin straightener. Nothing else performs as well and there is no evidence to suggest that it's not safe when used as directed. Uncurly™ contains formaldehyde and it makes hair straighter, shinier, and more frizz-resistant than any other technology currently available. BACK TO TOP
What will my hair be like afterward?
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. Your styling time will drop--probably 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. BACK TO TOP
Short answer: No. Use the shampoo of your choice, except those labeled deep cleansing, clarifying, anti-residue, or otherwise known to contain strong detergent. The exception is if you are preparing to reapply Uncurly, in which case scalp oils and product residues need to be removed.
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 normal to mild shampoo and wash no more often than necessary--maybe even omitting or going lightly on the second lather. Use any conditioner of your choice (or none at all, if you prefer); it has no impact on keratin longevity.
Long answer: Salons make big money on aftercare products “specially formulated” for keratin-treated hair, and routinely tell clients that these are essential to prolonging treatment life. After spending so much on a keratin treatment, clients are understandably reluctant to disregard the recommendation and feel compelled to buy them. But are they actually necessary? We say no. We don't use them ourselves and our keratin lasts many months.
When we first started Uncurly, we noticed a curious difference between the aftercare advice given to Brazilian Blowout and other keratin clients in the eastern USA and the western USA. In the east, clients were instructed to avoid shampoos containing sodium chloride, but in the west they were told to avoid sulfates. Same keratin, different aftercare protocol. It sounded suspicious to us. Even more suspicious, 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 either sodium-chloride or sulfates were damaging to the treatment, why wouldn't these be forbidden?
We also noticed that certain clients who thought they'd been scrupulously avoiding sodium chloride later learned that it had actually been in their shampoo under a different name. (Its sometimes listed as sea salt, salt, oceanic minerals, sodium PCA, or NaCl.) Yet nonetheless, their keratin had lasted as long as expected.
In the end, we've concluded that hair responds individually to keratin for reasons we cannot fully isolate. Natural texture and condition, frequency of shampooing, pH of rinse water, whether it's an initial or repeat keratin treatment, and who knows what else, are only some of the factors affecting keratin performance. While our own keratin does not appear to be affected by the presence of sulfates or sodium chloride, it is altogether possible that there are some whose is. For such clients, there are plenty of inexpensive drugstore shampoos not containing those ingredients. In our opinion, it is not necessary to purchase expensive salon keratin aftercare products and in the spirit of honesty and affordability, we do not offer them for sale.
How long will Uncurly last on my hair? How can I make it last as long as possible?
Uncurly is semi-permanent. It typically lasts 3 to 5 months following the first application, and longer for repeat treatments. As it wears off, the hair gradually reverts toward its original state. In general, the more porous and damaged the hair when Uncurly is applied, the longer it lasts. The more frequently hair is shampooed and the stronger the shampoo's detergent, the faster the keratin tends to wear off.
Uncurly can be likened to a topcoat for your hair, instead of your nails. Services performed on top of it cause wear. The foremost causes of keratin wear-off are 2)shampoo and 1) process treatments (i.e. bleach, process color, relaxers, perms, etc.).
We advise avoiding harsh shampoos (e.g., clarifying or anti-residue varieties), instead using mild or even diluted shampoo. More frequent shampooing equals faster keratin wear, so 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 into it, particularly around the scalp and temples, letting it sit a few minutes, then toweling it off.
As for process treatments, it’s best to plan ahead in order to 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 right before your keratin.
Color, relaxers, and perms may be applied on the same day as Uncurly. Treat, then 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.
All this said, we 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. BACK TO TOP
Will I still need to blow dry or flat iron my hair?
Keratin straightener is heat activated. When the hair is air dried, it will be a looser version of itself. However, with minimal blow drying or flat ironing, it quickly smooths out. In other words, heat is required to achieve maximum straightness of style after Uncurly™ but the hair will be more heat-responsive, enabling you to blow dry and flat iron for less time and at lower temperatures. Plus, the styling will be humidity resistant so it will last much longer. BACK TO TOP
the advent of Brazilian keratin, no straightener was this
versatile or restorative. For example, using a lye-based straightener on top of a thio-based relaxer would ally dissolve the hair, whereas Uncurly noticeably revives it. BACK TO TOP
Does Uncurly work on African-American hair?
Yes, extremely well. Uncurly is a major breakthrough for African-American hair. It leaves it super-conditioned, shiny, soft, frizz-resistant and straighter, allowing many clients to grow their hair longer than previously possible due to breakage. How straight will it get? All types of hair, including African-American, vary from person to person in the level of air-dried straightness Uncurly will achieve. However, because keratin is heat-activated, the change shows up most dramatically when the hair is heat-styled. The least amount of styling heat causes the hair to immediately straighten. After Uncurly, flat ironing, blow drying, or any other heat-styling can be done at much lower temperatures for much shorter times and with longer lasting results.
Uncurly is not a chemical straightener and does not act on the hair's molecular bonds, making it safe for hair that has previously been relaxed, straightened or process-colored. Indeed, such hair is porous and damaged from those processes, and the more porosity or damage, the better Uncurly adheres to the hair, giving the straightest and longest-lasting result. BACK TO TOPDo I need to apply Uncurly with a 450F (230C) flat iron? I'm concerned about heat damage.
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 equally good results. The choice is largely a matter of personal preference and knowledge of what your hair can accommodate.
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.
I don't want my hair to be flat. Will it be?
No. One advantage of Uncurly™ is the ability to tailor it to your look rather than receiving a one-size-fits-all salon treatment. Some people want their hair flat against the head. Others prefer more volume and root lift. To this end, we offer the following tips:
For more root lift, apply Uncurly™ from 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch away from the scalp and roots. Then, take care not to iron the root area before washing out the Uncurly™ solution lest you activate any that has gotten onto the area you are trying to avoid.
Some people prefer a mixed effect. They use Uncurly™ right down to the scalp in selected areas--maybe bangs or temples--but keep it 1/2” to 1” from the scalp on the rest of the head. Others keep some distance from the scalp over the entire head. Or, some use Uncurly™ on only the upper layers of hair (crown, top of head) and leave the under-layers in their natural state for extra volume, maybe treating the ends--or not.
Take a few minutes before applying to think about the look you want for your hair. Identify any areas where you want to maximize lift, and consider leaving those untreated or treated farther away from the scalp. Determine the areas where you need maximum straightening. But don't sweat it. You can always go back and add more Uncurly™ later, or avoid other areas in the future.
After treatment, when styling, blow drying, or flat ironing, you will need to do only a fraction of the work you did before to get hair smooth and straight. This may also mean that you need to change your technique. If in the past you pulled, stretched, and rolled when blow drying, you may now need a more passive approach to get the look you want. Maybe flipping your head over and drying the roots with the hair hanging upside down (which you could never have done before, right?) Maybe just holding the hair in place with a brush rather than vigorously stretching and rolling. BACK TO TOP
Easy instructions are included with each order. In general, the method is as follows:
· Wash with clarifying pre-shampoo to remove product residues and scalp oils.
· Blow 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.
· Wait 2 days, during which you may style any way you like without the use of water or products. Shampoo out and style. (Alternatively, you may leave it in as long as desired.)
long does it take to apply Uncurly?
Applying Uncurly™ takes 2 hours on average, including waiting time between steps, with the most time required by the flat-ironing step. Length and quantity of hair are the major determinants. After Uncurly™ has been applied, a 1-2 day waiting period is needed for the treatment to "cure" (or speaking technically, to crosslink) before the hair should be washed. We recommend curing for 2 days with the first application, and 1 day for repeat treatments. However, we know of some people who waited 3 days following the first application because they thought their hair might be somewhat resistant and wanted to make absolutely sure they got the best possible result, but most go 2 days. BACK TO TOP
Yes. Uncurly is widely used and loved by natural hair devotees. First and foremost, Uncurly doesn’t break or in any way alter the hair’s natural molecular bonds.. the source of relaxer damage. Uncurly works by coating the hair with a protective, conditioning keratin layer that temporarily loosens the hair’s natural curl pattern and blocks frizz-causing humidity. It allows tremendous versatility in styling, from loosened natural wash-and-go curls to straighter styles using minimal heat. And it prevents the pouffing/frizzing that can ruin a great look in a matter of minutes.
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.” BACK TO TOP
if I mess up?
You can't. It is chemically impossible for Uncurly™ to damage your hair. It can't burn like traditional straighteners, and since no processing is going on, there's no timing to worry about. For instance, if you were to get interrupted during application, you could walk away from it and pick up where you left off hours later. (Not saying you wouldn't look weird, just that it could be done.) The worst thing that could happen is NOTHING--as in literally no change at all to your hair. But we've never heard of that happening--it would require a prodigious combination of failures to follow package directions for there to be no result. If we know one thing about people with our kind of hair, it's that they're motivated--not slackers. You can do this. Relax, it's easy. BACK TO TOP
Can Uncurly™ damage my hair?
No. It is chemically impossible for Uncurly™ to damage the hair. Of course, any time you use a flat iron, damage can occur if you're careless, but we've had no reports of it. BACK TO TOP
Is there a waiting period after application?
Some keratin formulations offer immediate rinse-out. We think they're a poor idea because they invariably give weaker, shorter-lived results. We consistently achieved superior, long-lasting results when a "curing period" was included. BUT UNLIKE OTHER KERATINS, UNCURLY™ DOES NOT REQUIRE HAIR TO BE KEPT STRAIGHT DURING THE WAIT. It can be worn up, down, pony tailed, braided, in a hat or under a scarf, etc.
The first time Uncurly™ is applied, it should remain on the hair for 2 days. Some clients have shortened this to one day and claim their results were just fine, but we still recommend 2 days for the first application. If you know your hair to be more resistant, consider extending the waiting period to three days following the first use. With repeat treatments, one day is generally sufficient, although some still choose to go a full two days before washing it out.
During the wait, hair should not be shampooed or otherwise gotten wet. Don't panic if you get a a touch of rain or shower spray. Just iron it dry. Unlike other formulas, which require that hair be kept totally straight during this phase, Uncurly™ allows you to wear your hair any way you like as it cures.
This step should not be skipped. Our perspective is that if you're making the effort in the first place, the additional time is well worth it for outstanding results. In fact, we find the waiting period to be so easy we don't even notice were doing it. BACK TO TOP
Do I have to wear my hair
totally straight before I wash Uncurly™ out?
No. We put ours up, we wear ponytails, we do whatever we like with no effect at all. The conventional wisdom is that hair must remain entirely straight during the curing period. No ponytails, headbands, clips, scarves, etc, are allowed for fear of creating permanent kinks in the hair. This belief is probably based on the protocol for Japanese thermal reconditioning, which leaves hair so highly impressionable that it must remain totally straight for days afterward.
But this is not the case Uncurly™. Nonetheless, each person should experiment on
their own hair. Check periodically to see if what you're doing is leaving bends or impressions. If
so, iron them out and discontinue.
During the waiting period, you may flat iron or blow dry your hair for styling, but avoid ironing any areas you don't want straightened. In other words, some people purposely avoid applying Uncurly™ to the root area, 1/4” to 1” off the scalp, in order to preserve lift and volume. If that's your intent, don't iron those areas until after washing the product out. Otherwise you may unintentionally activate any Uncurly™ solution that accidentally got there during application. BACK TO TOP
I cut my hair before or after Uncurly?
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.
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I color my hair before or after Uncurly™?
Before. One benefit of using Uncurly™ on top of hair color hair is that the keratin shield tends to lock in the color and reduce fading. Color can be done on the same day immediately before Uncurly™ although this may not be best for every shade. Here is what one seasoned professional, whose entire business is devoted to hair straightening, says:
"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. 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 the hair at least a week before keratin straightening is optimal."
Uncurly™ can be thought
of as similar to a top coat on the nails. Any processes done on top of it, including some types of color, can compromise this top
coat, potentially causing it to wear off sooner, and thus should be
avoided if possible. This brings up one more advantage of using
Uncurly™-- the ability to redo it as needed inexpensively. BACK TO TOP
How soon can I reapply Uncurly?
There is no minimum waiting period for reapplying Uncurly, and it is safe to reapply Uncurly on previously treated hair. BACK TO TOP
Yes. If the child can sit still long enough to be worked on, there is no reason not to. Fortunately, time breaks can be taken as needed in case the “client” needs to run around for a bit. Just resume where you left off.
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