One of the things that really interested me about the Kebelo system is that it doesn't contain formaldehyde or keratin unlike many other smoothing treatments, instead the formula is rich in botanical proteins and amino acids. I am aware that the use of formaldehydes in these treatments is becoming a bit of a contentious issue especially as the percentages seems to vary wildly between brands and it doesn't appear to be properly regulated. When proper safety precautions aren't adhered to (such as ensuring a room is properly ventilated) this puts both clients and hairdressers at risk.
Before the treatment there is an initial consultation where your hair type is assessed and you are able to discuss what you hope to achieve from the treatment. I had the great pleasure of having my treatment done my Aeron Beckett, Technical Director and Stylist for Kebelo. Aeron discussed the different stages of the treatment including how long each would take. There was also a visual breakdown of the stages (which you can see behind my head in the picture below) so that you know what to expect. The treatment takes around two and half hours altogether depending on your hair type.
The first stage in the process is preparing the hair for treatment. The Kebelo Clarifying shampoo was lovely, it cleansed and prepared the hair without tangling. A relief if, like me, your hair breaks easily when knotted. After my hair was washed, it was rough dried, sectioned and the treatment applied to my hair in small sections. The treatment comes in individual tubes for each client. I am told they can be kept so that you could return to have a particularly stubborn area 'topped up'. Once the treatment had been applied, my hair was rough dried, sectioned and the treatment heat sealed with straighteners. Unlike many other smoothing treatments, this doesn't need to be left on the hair for three days. Once it has been heat sealed, the hair is ready to wash and blow dry. I was particularly impressed with this as it means that you can enjoy the benefits immediately.
I was amazed at how shiny and smooth my hair looked as Aeron was blow-drying. It worked wonders on the awful layers and got rid of the mushrooming effect. The treatment can lift the hair colour a bit so it is recommended that you wait for a week or two afterwards to colour. The lifting actually helped remove a bit more of the dark dye that remained in my hair and was a welcome side-effect. I love the way that Aeron styled my hair on the day and he very kindly evened up the 'step' in the layers across my face.
I left the salon with gorgeous, glossy hair and a box with my prescribed aftercare products. There are two different aftercare sets, Revitalising and Enriching. I received the Enriching system as my hair and scalp has tendency to dryness. Both sets include a shampoo, conditioner and weekly masque (they're all SLS free). I haven't used the masque yet but I can report that the shampoo and conditioner are really lovely to use.
Of course, we reach the crucial bit. How did I find it once I washed my hair at home? Again, this is where the Kebelo system differs to the keratin treatment I had previously. My hair is not poker straight, it's smooth and shiny but it still has body. It's mostly frizz free though I still find it can get a little tangled up at the ends where my hair was most dry. It's made styling easier and reduced the bulkiness caused by the layers. Although my hair is smoother than it is naturally when left to air dry, I do prefer how it looks when I blow dry it. My hair feels really healthy which is amazing considering the abuse it has taken of late.
|Several washes after initial treatment|
THE BOTTOM LINE
This is a smoothing rather than a straightening treatment. It's not going to give a look of permanently straightened hair but it will give you smooth, healthy looking hair that still has body and can be styled in a variety of ways. I think it's an excellent alternative to keratin treatments that contain formaldehyde, especially as I expect tighter regulations to be imposed on the use of formaldehyde in hair treatments in the not too distant future. I also salute the fact that the Kebelo team knows what is in their products and why and that they have full data safety sheets in their training manuals.
It isn't cheap, at just under £200 per treatment but I feel it's competitively priced compared to other smoothing systems plus the large bottle of shampoo and conditioner required for maintenance are included in the price. Also, you can be safe in the knowledge that all stylists have been thoroughly trained to use the treatment. Believe me, I read the training manual!
Four is one of a couple of salons that currently offer the treatment but Kebelo are in the process of training (Worldwide not just the UK) so the treatment will be available in other salons very soon. You can find out more information about the treatment on their website www.kebelo.com which has an excellent FAQ section. Images of my treatment in the salon were taken from the Kebelo Facebook page and www.twitter.com/KebeloSystem where you can also find out more information about the treatment and where it is available.
Disclosure: The treatment was provided without cost for the purpose of review.