Sunshine State Solutions + Services

Keratin Curious? Nourish St. Pete Founder Lori Stoller Answers All Your Pressing Newbie Qs

Keratin Curious? Nourish St. Pete Founder Lori Stoller Answers All Your Pressing Newbie Qs

Whether you live here year-round, or just grace us with your presence seasonally, you know what a soul-sucking ‘do destroyer humidity can be. Just this morning - in the middle of February, for St. Pete’s sake - I could feel it start to creep into my locks on the tennis court. By the time I got home - bam! - big ol’ puffball.

Is keratin the solution to all that dang frizz? I’ve never tried it, and given how fake-blonde I am, I’ve always been a little nervous to add yet more chemicals to my personal situation.

But after chatting at length about keratin with St. Pete salon owner Lori Stoller, I might just take the plunge. If I do, I’m definitely going to Nourish Salon & Spa. Lori’s space is soooo lovely and multi-faceted. Yes, cuts and color are a big piece of the beauty pie she and her team are serving up. But there’s also a huge lineup of other services, including nails, skin treatments and massage. No wonder the place is packed…

But back to the topic du jour: keratin. Nourish offers both Brazilian Blowout and Keratin Complex, so Lori’s a bonafide expert, baby. Spoiler alert: “There’s no downside,” she says.

Oooh….we’re intrigued. Off we go.

FBP: Why is it important to you to offer two types of keratin treatments to your clients at Nourish?

STOLLER: We offer both because they’re the two most popular keratin treatments. Brazilian Blowout does a lot of marketing, and it was the original keratin treatment. And at the time it launched, it was delivering one of the best results for the curliest hair. So if you had major curls, it would work. But they only offered really one type of treatment.

So then we moved on to Keratin Complex for a couple of different reasons. One, it’s completely formaldehyde-free, which had become a big issue. And two, they offered different varieties. An Express that lasts six weeks, they do a treatment for blonde hair, they do a treatment for really coarse / curly hair. So it’s more tailored to the desired end result.

And there’s a big price difference between the two: Keratin Complex, for the stronger version, starts at $350, but it will last up to five months. And Brazilian Blowout starts at $150, but really only lasts three months.

FBP: And I think you also told me recently that with Keratin Complex, the products are also built into that price?

STOLLER: Yes, the shampoo and conditioner is built into that price. However, it’s still quite a bit more than Brazilian.

FBP: What do your clients tend to go for with Keratin Complex? Do they like the Express treatment? Or do they spring for the more traditional one?

STOLLER: Most of the time they go for the traditional, because they want the longevity. But sometimes if they really aren’t sure about it, and just want to see what it’s like, they’ll try the Express. Because there’s a concern, with some women, that their hair will be too smooth and flat. So in those cases, we always suggest Express because it washes out faster.

FBP: So would you consider Keratin Complex Express to be the “starter” treatment?

STOLLER: Yes. It’s a good introduction. Or sometimes women, say, ‘Oh, it’s winter, my hair’s not that frizzy.’

FBP: So women are definitely still getting keratin in the winter?

STOLLER: Yes. Because we’re in Florida, and there’s still humidity here. And women also get used to the fact that, with keratin, styling is faster and the hair stays smooth. They like the ease of it. Keratin treatments were really designed to decrease frizz. It doesn’t really decrease curl. So when you style your own hair, it’s a faster process and it stays smoother when you’re outside in the elements.

FBP: Man, I should definitely do it!

STOLLER: You should! So here’s how it works…

It adds a layer of keratin to the hair, and fills in all the ‘holes’ that have been caused by age and chemical processing. So it adds keratin, smooths out the hair and boosts shine. There’s no downside to keratin treatments. The only downside might be is if, like you, you’re super-blonde, and your stylist has over-processed you by perhaps using too much heat. So in other words, there’s a chance for stylist error with a keratin treatment, not a problem with the keratin itself.

Some people do keratin treatments and realize that their hair is in such better condition in the long-term.

FBP: Why? Because they aren’t spending 40 minutes torturing it with a blowdryer or flat iron?

STOLLER: Exactly. And also, just filling-it in that first time with keratin, they see such a difference in their hair. And they may not need to ever do it again.

FBP: So in your opinion - unless someone is completely peroxide-fried - is everyone a candidate for keratin?

STOLLER: Yes, absolutely.

FBP: Is it okay to get keratin treatments one after another, or should you take a break between them?

STOLLER: Definitely okay to get them one after another. We actually suggest getting them back to back to increase the longevity. It’s sort of like Botox; the more you get it, the longer it lasts.

FBP: Do you have to ‘baby’ your hair after getting a keratin treatment?

STOLLER: No. But the most important thing you should do is stay away from sodium chloride, because it deteriorates the treatment.

FBP: So become a label scanner? What is sodium chloride typically found in? Shampoo?

STOLLER: It’s salt, and yes, it’s in shampoo.

FBP: So you can easily spot sodium chloride on a shampoo label?

STOLLER: Yes. So look for labels that say ‘Sodium Chloride-Free’ or ‘Safe for Keratin Treatments.’ And really, if you’re investing in this treatment, you should just go ahead and buy the salon products. Don’t try to get it on Amazon; don’t try to go to CVS and find the drugstore version of keratin treatment products. It’s not the same.

FBP: So keratin treatments definitely makes it easier to blowdry and style your hair?

STOLLER: Yes. It cuts down on the time it takes, and it lasts longer. Yes, you still have to blowdry; it’s not designed to be wash-and-wear. But it was designed to make your styling time shorter and more productive.

FBP: Sold! Life is too short to be welded to your blowdryer or flat iron. Thank you!

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