This Non-Toxic Hair Treatment Is My Secret To Smooth, Shiny Hair

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If you deal with pesky frizz, coarse texture, or both, smooth and silky hair can seem like a pipe dream — especially during summer or living in humid climates. No matter how much product or heat-styling you try to combat it, taming efforts too often feel wasted. Keratin products and treatments are popular go-tos for achieving sleek, more effortless hair, as are Brazillian blowouts. But there’s a downside: harsh chemicals and possible damage from protein build-up. Whether you’ve experienced said unfavorable effects (you’re not alone) or have been entirely deterred by their potential, a Pura Luxe treatment is a non-toxic alternative to try for smoother hair.

Like other protein smoothing and straightening systems, a Pura Luxe treatment is applied by a stylist in a salon and can be used on any hair type — even the color-treated and severely damaged — to achieve smooth, soft, and shiny hair. However, unlike popular Keratin services, it’s a customizable treatment formulated with gentler ingredients. The proprietary formulation contains six amino acids that penetrate the hair strands and straighten them by transforming the internal textural memory of the hair fiber, while still keeping natural thickness intact. That means you’re not thinning or damaging your hair in pursuit of a glossy finish.

Before and after Pura Luxe treatment

Courtesy of Mark Ryan Salon
Courtesy of Mark Ryan Salon

How Does A Pura Luxe Treatment Work?

“Pura Luxe is a natural, formaldehyde- and sulfate-free formulation that reduces frizz and delivers straighter, smoother, stronger shinier worry-free hair,” says Lucille Javier, color and transformation specialist at Mark Ryan Salon in New York City. Pura Luxe’s lack of formaldehyde is its most notable advantage. “For the Keratin in a Keratin treatment or Brazilian blowout to adhere to the hair and make it smooth, it needs some form of formaldehyde,” Javier explains. “A chemical reaction is formed when this active ingredient is combined with the high flat iron heat, and there’s a release of toxic, carcinogenic fumes [which] can also lead to hair breakage with prolonged use.”

Also, “There is no downtime,” Javier continues. Meaning, you can wash hair immediately after application and receive color, highlight, and toning services following the treatment. “Swimming in chlorine water will not affect the treatment either,” Javier says. If you have color-treated or highlighted hair, Javier recommends adding Pura Luxe Purple Gloss to the treatment mix and using a lower heat on the flat iron to minimize any color shift and reduce brassiness. And because it’s customizable, the Mark Ryan specialist says you can have a different formula applied to various sections of your hair, which is particularly beneficial for portions of the hair that are more damaged, like the ends.

What’s more, Pura Luxe can straighten hair, like Keratin, but it can also be formulated to keep natural waves or curls intact with a smooth, frizz-free finish — it does both. “[Pura Luxe] makes hair straighter, just like a Keratin, but can be altered just to cut the frizz,” says Javier. “So, someone with curly or wavy hair won’t lose their natural shape if their desired effect is to keep it intact.”

What Happens During A Pure Luxe Treatment?

As Javier explains, the overall process is approximately three hours, beginning with a hair assessment so your stylist can precisely prepare the straightening formula based on your hair length, type, texture, porosity, color, and damage level. Then, a cleansing shampoo is used to remove any oil and dirt, and hair is roughly blow-dried before the Pura Luxe formula is applied all over. Once the product is applied, you’ll sit under infrared heat for 30 minutes and then another 30 minutes to cool. The Pura Luxe product is then thoroughly rinsed out, followed by a blow-dry before the hair is flat-ironed to your desired smoothness.

Of course, everyone’s hair is different, but Javier says Pura Luxe’s results last up to six months on average. “Some hair is more resistant than others,” says the colorist. In between those six-month periods, Javier says you can get a Pura Luxe root touch-up to treat the new growth. “You don’t need to worry about damage from overlapping [treatments],” she continues. “I typically suggest for anyone who just needs it to be smoother to do it once a year in the summer.”

As for maintaining and prolonging the effects of a Pura Luxe treatment, Javier recommends using a sulfate-free shampoo, nourishing and hydrating hair mask once a week, and light hair serum after heat styling (especially for processed hair) for maximum results. At Mark Ryan Salon, pricing is based on hair length, texture, and condition, starting at $650 going up to around $850 for long, thick hair; however, pricing will vary nationwide. A steep investment? For sure. But for more manageable and shiny hair, it can most certainly be worth it.