When health was restored to my hair with the bhave Rescue Therapy hair treatment I found myself searching for a definitive answer on how I would like my hair to be. I’ve been a hair chameleon over the years having died it every colour of the rainbow, tried every chemical and non-chemical treatment, and cut it into all kinds of shapes, but my interest of late has been finding a hair cut, colour and style that just works with my life.
I’m lazy with styling my hair but I always want it to look neat and styled. I love long hair because it’s more versatile and I can tie it back when I don’t want to bother with it. How could I get the best of both worlds at once? The answer was hidden in a lob and a keratin treatment.
I went back to Neil Cleminson, the Creative & Technical Director for bhave, and told him my woes. I was hesitant about cutting off my long locks but with summer here it was just getting messy anyway. The decision was made to cut my hair into a long-bob (lob) and the rest of my hair troubles would be solved with the Smoothe + Keratin Therapy treatment. My review takes you through it.
- I’ve had dozens of chemical straightening and Japanese ionic straightening hair treatments in my life but this is the first one I’ve tried that doesn’t contain formaldehyde so it’s already a big positive.
- The treatment is applied in-salon. The first step is to have your hair washed with the special bhave preparator shampoo to completely remove any build-up and open the hair cuticles. The treatment is then painted on to the hair and left to soak in. Duration will depend on thickness and length of hair (I have thin hair and we cut it before the treatment so it was short) but for me it was about an hour.
- My hair was then rinsed to remove any excess treatment that my hair didn’t soak up, then comes the second most important part of the process is the heat activation. My hair was blowdried and then ironed straight, which seals the cuticles and activates the treatment to start setting. How straight your hair turns out will differ for everyone but I had pretty straight hair already with just a slight wave so my hair went straight pretty quickly and easily, but I repeat this is NOT a straightening treatment per se, it’s a hair relaxing treatment. Zoe Foster reported similar straightening results and she has fine hair but curly – so it seems to have quite an effect on fine hair no matter what level of curl you have.
- As you can see from my before/after photos, immediately after the heat styling my hair is dead straight, flat and even the little broken bits of hair on my scalp are standing up tall. Those stand-up hairs settled overnight and the poker straight result is a glimpse into the result you’ll have after the treatment is complete.
- The first 48hrs is really important – no washing, no wetting, no styling products, no clips or hair ties and no putting your hair behind your ears. I learnt all these from the Japanese straightening but they still apply to this treatment too. By day 2 my hair was looking oily and extra flat but having fine hair means that happens fairly often. Definitely keep this 48hr period in mind if you want to get the treatment done for a holiday or something special.
- My old, fading hair colour was revived slightly during this treatment, just like it did with the bhave Rescue Therapy treatment. I feel it toned the blonde a bit and took some brassiness out.
- To keep the keratin in my hair and working it’s best, I have to use sulphate-free hair care. Naturally, all bhave products are free from sodium chloride and sulphate free so I returned to using the bhave Rescue Intense range.
- Unlike other hair straightening treatments, Smoothe is a keratin taming system so it doesn’t break down or rebuild the bonds like a permanent chemical straightening treatment. It means that this treatment isn’t for “wash & wear” (although the result is pretty close) dead straight results, you need heat to achieve a straighter result.
- My “wash & wear” result with this treatment is smooth, soft, shiny, tamed hair with a slight wave but when I blowdry it after washing it’s extra smooth, soft, shiny, tamed and straight. If I also iron my hair it’s poker straight just like it was immediately after the treatment.
- My hair dries much quicker than before and only needs a light blast with a hairdryer to get it to do as I desire. I can curl or tong it after blowdrying and it will form the shape beautifully. The treatment doesn’t seem to have an effect on the ability to still curl or heat style my hair so that’s a big win for when I do feel fancy and want to do something different.
- I’m not currently dying my hair as I want to get rid of the old colour first but if I were to, it’s recommended you wait two normal wash cycles (approx 1 week) before colouring your hair. The treatment can be applied to already coloured hair but it can leach the colour out so it’s best you don’t do it on a fresh dye job.
- I find my hair does get oily a little quicker than before the treatment and I believe this is because I can’t stop touching my hair!!! It’s so frickin soft and silky I just adore how it feels.
- Unfortunately the treatment does have an incredibly strong scent but it’s a scent I really liked during the treatment application so it didn’t bother me, and anything smells better than the coating of formaldehyde that used to get applied to me hair. The scent remained noticeable for the first week and thereafter it would become quite noticeable every time I washed my hair. After the first few washes I started to really dislike the scent but it would become more faint each time.
- It’s now been over a month since the treatment and my hair has yet to see weakened results. Bhave advise that the treatment can last around 2 to 4 months on average. It’s already gotten me through a summer vacation and a very hot spring without any frizz. It has kept my hair looking slick and styled even when I haven’t bothered to brush it that day.
- Chlorine and sea water can reduce the life span of the treatment so avoid that during summer you should pre-wet your hair with fresh water (tap water) and apply a leave-in treatment. After swimming rinse your hair again with fresh water. If you fail to do this it’s not like the treatment will be immediately rendered useless, it will still have a great result but it just won’t last as long.
What bhave say ….
A versatile and customizable smoothing therapy suitable for all hair types. Whether you lust after less frizz, want to maintain body, bounce and waves or if your desire is to change your look entirely with a straighter result.
A professional in-salon hair smoothing therapy that will last up to five months without causing damage to the hair.
- Sedates frizz
- Rejuvenates and protects hair
- Smoothes and enhances shine
- Drastically reduces styling time and maintenance
- Improves overall condition and appearance
- Repairs damage
- Protects against harmful elements i.e. sun, daily styling and ironing, chemical treatments etc.
Australia $199 (depending on your hair length & density). Find a salon near you.
USA & UK – Unavailable at time of publishing.
Does your hair need rescuing? Have you tried a similar hair treatment? Let me know by commenting below!
bhave’s own claim is that they don’t test on animals, however they aren’t certified by any official animal cruelty organisation and don’t have a published animal testing policy.
None of bhave’s products are suitable for vegans but may be suitable for vegetarians.
Complete ingredient list is unavailable at time of publishing. The website outlines some information about bhave’s key ingredients.