What is 'Hair Botox'? I tried the deep conditioning treatment which is brimming with potential hair benefits – from frizz prevention to a silky-smooth finish - read more
I'm forever on the hunt for products that will aid me in achieving my hair goals – think smoother, silkier locks with a much-coveted high shine finish. Imagine my elation when I first caught wind of "Hair Botox" – a cutting-edge salon treatment which aims to deliver all of the above, without eliminating my natural curls.
Much to my relief, despite a rather loaded name, hair Botox involves precisely zero needles. Earlier this month I headed down to Santi's London, a newly-opened eco-friendly Aveda salon located in the heart of London's Soho – think plants aplenty, warm, glowy lighting and a general cosy-but-chic vibe – to put the treatment to the test.
What is hair Botox?
Hair Botox ultimately bears no resemblance to a traditional muscle-relaxing Botox procedure – it is entirely non-invasive and doesn't contain botulinum toxin (aka the main substance used in Botox injections).
Instead, it is an umbrella term used to describe a new wave of deep conditioning treatments that aim to restore and smooth hair while simultaneously nourishing damaged fibres. There is no specific brand of hair Botox, and so formulas vary from salon to salon.
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My hair pre-treatment
I opted for the express version of Santi's London's 'Hair Botox Deep Conditioning Treatment' which was administered by senior stylist Sophie Graham. She explained that the term essentially refers to the softening effect that Botox injections has on fine lines, somewhat similar to the smooth finish granted by the hair treatment.
Hair Botox infuses the hair cuticle with nutrients - think of it as a supercharged deep condition. The formula I tried was infused with a combination of ingredients that boasts reparative and nourishing properties such as caviar oil, antioxidants, vitamin B5, vitamin E, and collagen.
What happens during hair Botox?
The hair Botox process involves applying a deep conditioning treatment
After shampooing, Sophie rough dried my hair, sectioned it out and then applied the deep conditioning treatment with a tint brush from root to tip. The formula was left on my hair for a few minutes (if you have the full version, it will stay on for 15-30 minutes), and then she blow dried my hair – the treatment requires heat to seal it into the strands.
What are the benefits of hair Botox?
Hair Botox is designed to give you a smooth, frizz-free finish. The reparative, nourishing element is suited to people with damaged or dehydrated hair and it can also add lustre – ideal hair types that often appear dull or flat. Crucially, hair Botox does not eliminate natural curls, unlike a Brazilian blow dry for instance, as it is not a straightening treatment.
How long does hair Botox last?
The treatment is semi-permanent, and exactly how long it lasts can vary depending on how often you wash your hair – anywhere between three and five months is expected, and then the express treatment will generally last around six to eight weeks.
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Is hair Botox worth it?
My hair after the treatment was complete
Herein lies the million-dollar question. My hair is reasonably healthy because I don’t colour it, but it is chronically both dry and dehydrated in the mid-to-end lengths. My mixed-heritage hair sits somewhere between 2B and 2C on the curl typing system (think unruly beach waves rather than uniform ringlets), but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
A month on from my treatment, I am thrilled that my natural curls have remained intact as this is one of the reasons why I have previously shied away from keratin treatments. I was seriously impressed by the smoothing element – a mere suggestion of drizzle on the weather app prompts frizz - and yet my hair has the same amount of body as before. Granted, my split-ends are still present, but my hair is super soft to the touch, and the ends certainly appear glossier. I’m hooked.
How long: 1 hour or 2.5 hours, depending on whether you go for the express or full version
Where: Santi's London, Soho
Cost: Prices for the Express Hair Botox Deep Conditioning Treatment start at £85, and for the full version at £205
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