Like many of you lovely ladies out there, I have always wished for frizz free manageable locks. My natural hair texture is wavy and frizzy, and don’t even get me started on what humidity does to them! I had always thought about getting some sort of hair straightening treatment done but never had the guts to experiment, but last year when I planned a tropical vacay, I knew it was time. I did not want to spend 2-3 hours every day doing my hair, while being on vacation, just to have it frizz up after a few hours. I wanted to be picture ready all the time and be able to go for a dip in the ocean without worrying about my hair.
I have never been much for dead straight hair, I just wanted wave and frizz control, but call it the upside or downside, every de-frizzing treatment mostly makes your hair straight.
I had three options:
- Extenso (L’Oreal X-Tenso)
Rebonding was absolutely out of the question because it is an old fashioned, chemical treatment, which will make your hair tips toasty. Rebonding has evolved over the years but I won’t recommend it to anyone unless you have an Afro.
Keratin is the mildest treatment, as you are just adding protein to your hair (with least amount of chemicals) to control the frizz. I was very much allured by Kertain but my researched showed that it washes out of your hair after 4 to 6 months and the results are mild, so there were chances my hair would have remained wavy. I would recommend Keratin for people who naturally have straight hair but want to make the more manageable, frizz free and shiny.
Extenso is in the middle of the two, as it milder than rebonding with added benefits of Keratin and it lasts much longer (up to a year!). So I finally mustered up the courage to get L’Oreal X-Tenso treatment done on my hair. I found a salon (with horrible customer services I might add) that had a 50% off deal going on. They charged me PKR 10,000 ($100) for my mid-back length hair and I had Olaplex added to it to minimize the chemical damage. I won’t go into the details of Olaplex hair, because that will make this too long, but you can read all about it here: http://olaplex.com/
The treatment along with a dose of Olaplex cost PKR Rs.13000 (around $120). The results were good, I had very frizz-free, shiny, straight hair, and all I had to do after taking a shower was blow dry my hair just using my fingers and they would be ready to go. It didn’t make my hair too stick straight (like rebonding usually does) and I had a bit of a volume on my roots. But since Extenso is a chemical treatment, the hair fall was quite a bit. Over all, Extenso is a good treatment if you want very straight hair, it will do the trick, but it can be harsh for chemically treated hair (I have colored my hair several times). I would recommend it for people who have very curly hair but haven’t done too many chemical treatments before. The results can last from 4 months to 1 year, depending on your hair growth. The new hair which grows will be of its original texture. I did notice that x-tenso had started to wear off slightly from the length of my hair as well.
There are some very basic precautions you have to take and extenso will give you the hair you have dreamed of.
- Choose Extenso, if your hair is not chemically treated and you don’t have much of a hair fall issue
- Don’t use any oil or natural masks on your hair for at least a month after the treatment
- Only use sulfate free shampoo and conditioner
- Always blow dry your hair after washing it. You don’t have to go crazy with a brush, just use your fingers. Blow drying helps your extenso last longer
- You can let your hair air dry if you are in a bind, they will dry straight, but if you make a habit of it, your Extenso will last only for 3-4 months
- Start using hair masks and oils regularly after 6 to 8 weeks of getting the treatment done
Your new hair growth will be the same as your natural texture but the frizz will be a lot less. Trust me on that! I have had this treat now for more than 4 months now. I started oiling my hair two months back and the hair fall has reduced immensely. There is a slight wave in a few bottom chunks of my hair but nothing too extreme. My roots are back to their wavy frizzy self (since my hair grows fast) but the frizz is definitely a lot less than before.
Overall I would say L’Oreal X-Tenso is worth a try if your hair is wavy, curly and you want more of a straighter look that will last a while. Extenso was a good experience and saved me a lot of hassle on my vacation. My hair styling time has gone down from 2 hours(blow drying and straightening) to just 15-20min.
Here is before and after pic of extenso. The hair looked just as slick even after washing.