Going Straight

I’ve always longed for straight hair. As a pre-teen in the Swinging Sixties I envied iconic model Jean Shrimpton, whose flowing mane seemed impervious to the rain, humidity and heat which turned my own careful flip into a flop faster than you could say “Carnaby Street”.

If you’re a woman of a certain age, you’ll remember ironing your hair — yes, bending over an actual ironing board and flattening it with an iron! — or setting it by wrapping your hair sideways around your head or rolling it over empty beer or soup cans.

In fact, the first time my husband saw me, in the summer of ’68, I was walking around the theatre where we both worked with my hair in those giant improvised rollers.

And yet he married me (admittedly, 40+ years later)!

Over the decades, I’ve sort of made peace with my wavy hair, but as I’ve gotten older it’s become harder to manage, with an uneven curl pattern exacerbated by wiry greys that insist on poking through.

I’d been tempted by keratin, Japanese and Brazilian treatments but the potential damage from harsh chemicals (including formaldehyde) scared me off. Then my colorist at Aveda told me about their Smooth Infusion Retexturizing salon treatment.

Aveda’s mission is to use as many organic and natural ingredients as possible, so their gentler formula protects hair during processing with organic jojoba oil and coconut-derived conditioners. Unlike a chemical relaxer, this is a thermal straightener designed to minimize potential breakage, while organic ylang ylang oil contributes a pleasant scent instead of a strong chemical odor.

The Smooth Infusion Retexturizing Treatment is not for the impatient or the faint of wallet. It takes about 3 hours and is not cheap. But after doing this a few weeks ago I’m convinced it’s worth it—and I should only need touch-ups every 6-12 months depending on how fast my curly roots grow.

One great thing about the Aveda system is that it can be customized from stick straight to loose curls. I opted to leave a slight wave so my fine hair wouldn’t be completely flat and would have some texture if I just let it air dry.

This is a multi-step process. After a consult about the desired results, and a caution that it may lighten hair a shade or two (which, for me, was a benefit), here’s what happens:

  • Shampoo and treat; rinse
  • Apply re-texturizing creme
  • Process (about 20 minutes)
  • Rinse
  • Blow dry and flat iron
  • Apply neutralizer
  • Process (about 7 minutes)
  • Rinse
  • Blow dry and finish
  • Don’t wash your hair for 72 hours.

Check out this You Tube video to see all the steps.


(Wet hair before treatment)                                        (Wet hair after treatment)

The result: My hair was smooth and shiny and the process did indeed lighten the color slightly. It’s now much easier to style, barely needs a flat iron to lie smooth, and hasn’t puffed up on the days we’ve had high humidity or rain. If I save 20 minutes whenever I wash my hair, the 3 hours spent at the salon will more than pay off.

Next time, I might even go straighter. All in all, highly recommended!



8 thoughts on “Going Straight

  1. Barry Busse

    I actually saw a girl once using the plastic King-Size Metamucil cans. She had BIG HAAR! It was, admittedly, in Shireman’s Town, Pennsylvania, but part of the ubiquitous movement, none the less!

    On Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 9:38 AM, olderfatterhappierdotcom wrote:

    > adguru101 posted: “I’ve always longed for straight hair. As a pre-teen in > the Swinging Sixties I envied iconic model Jean Shrimpton, whose flowing > mane seemed impervious to the rain, humidity and heat which turned my own > careful flip into a flop faster than you could say “C” >


  2. Elizabeth Bennington

    I used to cut mine super short so I didn’t have to deal with the frizz. Then I read Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey who owns the DevaChan salons. She details how to deal with curls, products, etc. Deva Curl and Ouidad are 2 great “systems” for curly hair. I found a Ouidad hair cutter by me who can cut my hair so it’s controllable. All this has changed my life.


    1. adguru101 Post author

      Thanks so much! The treatment is considered permanent because it actually changes the texture of your hair. As your hair grows, though, any new re-growth will be your original texture so you might want touch-ups if it’s a lot curlier than the rest of your hair.

      Most people’s hair grows 1/4″/month; i.e. only 1″ of new growth in 4 months and it will take a year for there to be noticeable roots of 3″. I should mention that they don’t treat all the way to the scalp because it would be too damaging; they leave about 1/2″.

      So how long it lasts will depend on how curly/how long your hair is. Hope that helps!


  3. Pingback: Beauty Adventures: I Was a Late-Middle-Aged Hair Model | olderfatterhappierdotcom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s