My hair, dried naturally, used to be as curly as Mariah Carey's. Now, I can get loose Blake Lively waves without even trying. Photos: Evan Agostini, AP | ELIOT PRESS/bauergriffinonline.com

As a lifelong sufferer of frizzy, curly hair, I've always been intrigued by the idea of a magic potion that could show my genes who's boss. I have found that magic potion.

The Brazilian Blowout is the latest iteration of the popular Brazilian keratin treatments, only this one takes as little as 60 minutes and you can wash your hair right away (other brands require you to wait 1-3 days to let the product take hold).

How it works: Hair curls and frizzes due to gaps in its structure which cause the hair to bend and coil. The gaps in the strands (also known as porosity) also cause hair to absorb moisture from the air like crazy -- explaining why many of us turn into Bozo the Clown on a rainy day. The keratin formula coats each strand with proteins, filling in the gaps and creating more solid, sleek strands that lay flat and repel humidity. Sounds fabulous, right? Even so...

Taking the Plunge

I was afraid to put chemicals of any kind in my admittedly pampered hair (I've had many a hair experiment go horribly wrong in the past). But when I heard that Jennifer Aniston (the poster child of good hair) had tried the Brazilian Blowout, I was willing to change my mind. It also didn't hurt that my mother, sister, sister-in-law, and best friend had all become keratin converts, and were throwing around words like "life-changing" and "miraculous." It was definitely my time.

I booked my appointment at the Rita Hazan salon with one of my go-to stylists, Eugene Toye, since I know and trust his work. Then, I panicked and phoned the Brazilian Blowout people for a pep talk.

When I spoke to the company rep, she immediately calmed me, explaining that the treatment simply coats each strand, and that there would be no damage. Then came the statement that ultimately made me feel totally at peace with my decision:

"It's like a condom for your hair," she said. After wiping that image out of my mind, I slept soundly, looking forward to my appointment.

The Day My Hair Changed Forever
When I arrived the next day, I was shocked at how simple and quick the process was: The stylist washed my hair several times to remove all residue, applied the solution, blow-dried my hair, and then flat ironed the entire thing. The heat from the iron is what fuses the keratin to the cuticle, and while I was worried about that part -- which my best friend refers to as "flat-ironing the crap out of your hair" -- it was no different from your typical meticulous salon finishing. I left with stick-straight, shiny hair, and couldn't wait to wash my hair to see how it would react.

Even though you can wash your hair immediately, I can't bear the thought of ruining a fresh blowout. So I waited three days anyway. When I finally was ready to shampoo my hair, I decided to let it air-dry to see if the usual frizzy ringlets would form. I settled into bed to watch TV, then got up at the end of the show to check my hair in the bathroom mirror. And I was shocked -- SHOCKED -- at what I saw.

My hair had dried into very loose, frizz-free waves -- an entirely new hair texture. It was as if I had already blow-dried my hair, but all I did was sit in front of the television. Now I understand why this treatment is so popular. And yes, I would use the word "miracle" to describe it.

A Brazilian Blowout Convert
Today, as I write this, it's one degree shy of 100 in New York City, and my hair is sleek and smooth as if it's been blow-dried (but again -- no blow-drier required!). I still can't believe my hair -- I feel like it's someone else's. The results generally last about three months, so I'm using the brand's products religiously to try and see just how much time I can squeeze out of my first treatment (and will report back to let you know!).

I'm so glad I did it -- even at $300 (and up). To have frizz-free hair all summer long and be able to swim and laugh and picnic without worry? That's money well spent.

That's me. It only takes 10 minutes to go from curly to this. Photo: Joshua Kessler Photography


One Week Later...
Here's the update now that I've been living with my new hair for over a week. Yes, I still love the effects of the treatment and am glad I had it done. It's the kind of thing any girl with frizzy or curly hair should try once, just to see what it would be like to not be a slave to your blow-dryer!

I did notice a change in my scalp after the treatment. I used to easily go 4-5 days between shampoos, but now I feel like shampooing after a day or two. I also noticed that my scalp was flaking a little and immediately took to the internet to see if anyone else had the same thing happen. Indeed, it's fairly common to see a flaky or oily scalp after the treatment, but most said it went away after a week or so. And they were right.

My advice? Shampoo more often if you need to -- it will help regulate your scalp back to normal. And remember, you can use any brand, but avoid the ingredient sodium chloride (salt, which breaks down the keratin treatment). As long as you're willing to use new products and shampoo a little more often, you'll be rewarded with hair that's infinitely less frizzy and easier to style.