If you are someone who is tuned into the beauty circles, you’ve probably already heard of hair botox. If not, perhaps you are thinking, ‘Whaa! Wasn’t botox something that’s meant for your skin!?’ Well, for the uninitiated, hair botox is a thing—and we’re telling you all there is to know.
What is hair botox?
Unlike actual botox that’s done on the skin, hair botox (thankfully) does not involve any injectibles. Rather, it’s a type of deep conditioning treatment meant to repair damaged hair. The reason it is called hair ‘botox’ is an indication of the treatment’s potency and ability to transform the hair.
“Typically, non-chemical and natural ingredients like vitamin B, vitamin E, collagen complex and caviar oil are used in this treatment,” informs Dr. Madhuri Agarwal, dermatologist and founder, Yavana Aesthetics Clinic. The treatment is recommended to anyone who struggles with hair that is dry, damaged or has split ends. It is recommended for all hair types from straight to curly. “It boosts hair volume, adds strength and moisture, replenishes the hair fibre, repairs damaged hair and makes straightening hair simpler,” says Yuba Khan, a certified stylist for curly and wavy hair and co-founder, Manetain.
What to expect at the salon
After a detailed consultation, the first step in the process involves washing the hair and scalp to get rid of any kind of dirt, oil and product residue. “Following a thorough drying of the hair, the botox treatment is administered and left in place for at least 45 to 60 minutes. It is applied along the mid-lengths and ends of the hair,” explains Khan.
Next, while you have the product on your hair, the stylist will use heat to further lock it in, as is done in the case of keratin and cysteine. However, unlike those treatments, it’s important to note that hair botox is formaldehyde-free and the formula contains nourishing ingredients like peptides, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Visible benefits after hair botox
So, what are the visible effects that you can expect after the treatment? For starters, it won’t give your hair that unnatural poker-straight look (thankfully) that is the case after a straightening job at the salon. Instead, you can think of hair botox as a really potent deep conditioning treatment. You can expect your hair to look fuller, silkier and frizz-free.
Also, considering it’s a nourishing treatment, it’s suited to all types of hair. “I am often asked if hair botox will damage the hair. The answer is no. It even works for curly hair without damaging the bonds because ultimately it’s a deep conditioning treatment,” shares Khan. So, while your curls might look a bit flat immediately after the treatment, you can rest assured that they’ll bounce back after the first wash.
This treatment is completely safe, with no harmful side effects. Khan however suggests informing your stylist about your entire haircare routine with a list of ingredients. “If you currently follow a protein-rich routine and your salon's hair botox recipe has a lot of proteins, in rare cases, you could have a protein overload which could result in dry and limp hair,” says Khan.
The treatment’s longevity depends from person to person. It is subject to your hair’s original texture (how coarse or smooth it is) and how well you maintain it. This brings us to the next aspect of the treatment.
How to maintain your hair after hair botox treatment
Once you leave the salon, your stylist will leave you with a list of dos and don’ts. “To prevent dryness, you should start using a sulfate-free, silicone-free, and paraben-free hair cleanser followed by a good conditioner. In addition to this, you should apply a hydrating mask from the roots of your hair to the tips once a week,” recommends Khan.
She further suggests covering your hair with a scarf when stepping out as dust, heat and excessive sweating will make the effects wear off faster. You could also consider a spray-on sunscreen for your hair before stepping out. Further, it is recommended that you avoid heat styling as far as possible. If you must, use a heat protectant spray to lessen the damage. In most cases, oiling is not an issue after hair botox, unlike cysteine and keratin. However, it would be best to check with your stylist since the exact composition of the treatment differs from salon to salon.
To summarise, hair botox is essentially a rich, deep conditioning treatment that restores your hair’s health. Considering it will minimise everyday styling time and make your hair more manageable, it’s definitely an option worth considering.