In response to my recent article on Suave’s now discontinued at-home keratin smoothing treatment, the makers of Cezanne reached out to me to highlight their own product that just became available in salons this November.
The Cezanne (pronounced Say-Zan) smoothing Keratin treatment seems to pick up where the Brazilian keratin treatments went wrong: it contain no harsh chemicals and is actually meant to help improve the overall health of your hair.
Jim Morrison, president of Cezanne professional products who has been in the beauty business for 30 years, 9 of them as the president of the professional salon division of L'Oreal, stands by this new product.
"It's a complete lifestyle change, inside out," says Morrison. "This product actually helps improve the hair over time. The lead ingredient is aloe vera. Instead of covering the hair shaft like other treatments, Cezanne works with the hair from the inside out."
When asked why it took so long to come up with this product, he laughs. "It took two years of intense research and financing to develop this product. We are really focusing on developing products that help improve hair, and that's what you're going to see from us in the future."
As part of the assignment I was booked for a hair appointment with New York's Butterfly Studio on 5th Ave, one of the hair salons that are offering the Cezanne smoothing treatment to clients. My styling team was also very optimistic about the product.
"I remember when we first got it, I kept making faces because they were saying the same things we heard when the keratin treatments first debuted. I kept thinking, c'mon, what's the catch," says Taylor Brock, stylist at Butterfly studio. "But my girlfriend got the treatment, and her hair is actually healthier now."
"I can't wait until I get it on my hair," says Maisha Cogle, who processed my hair with the Cezanne treatment and was nice enough to take pictures throughout the process. "It really is a great product and personally I am very excited."
To apply the Cezanne smoothing treatment, the hair has to be washed with a gentle clarifying shampoo to remove buildup. The hair is then dried about 90% of the way, and sectioned off. The product is applied on small sections of the hair, making sure each strand is covered. then left to sit for 30 minutes.
After the treatment was left to sit, Maisha washed it out with warm water. "It's okay if a little is left in. The hair doesn't have to be washed clean completely."
Maisha then blow dried and flat ironed my hair straight to seal in the treatment. Then Taylor trimmed off the split ends. I was left with was with the straightest, smoothest hair I've ever had.
Having the product sit on my hair felt cold. Not like the burning sensation of relaxers or the intensely strong smell of texturizers. The Cezanne smoothing treatment smelled pleasant, and while I could detect the smell of something strong in the treatment, it was nothing like the chemical smell of other processes I've used.
I got to touch my hair right after the treatment had been washed out, and it was definitely softer and the curls felt looser. I also noticed that it took Maisha a lot less time to blow dry my hair, and did not have that burned hair smell I've gotten so used to after a visit to the salon. The Cezanne treatment has all the markings of an intense deep conditioner, and doesn't not alter the hair in the long term.
"This is not like other products where you have new growth and the roots have to be touched up. When you come back in about 3 months, the process will be exactly the same."
Though the Cezanne smoothing treatment is not available for at-home use, it does give curly-haired gals a viable alternative to chemical treatments that alter the hair shaft. It also provides a level of moisture that curly hair often lacks, and it's working on improving the hair, not break it or damage it in some way.
I've used relaxers, texturizers, hot combs, press and curls, and used flat irons that have burned my hair in sections. This has been the first product I've used that has actually attempted to improve my hair, not the other way around, and that in itself is a huge deal.
It has only been a week, but I am in love with my hair. Let's see if it stands up to the test of time.