If dry ends, frizz and unmanageable locks are the bane of your existence, then you’ve come to the right place, ladies. As someone with very thick, long locks combined with a love to experiment, I can only blame myself for my once-enviable hair turning super dry, dull, frizzy and just generally unhealthy. After colouring my hair constantly - I can’t help it, I love a good balayage, and heat styling my mane often, my super thick locks had officially crossed unmanageable territories. So much so, that I would dread every hair wash, because not only would it take forever (thanks to my long and thick locks,) styling was such a task because of the frizzy state of affairs.
I was advised way too many times by hairstylists and professionals in the field to try a cysteine hair treatment, but I was always apprehensive. I wasn’t sure about trying yet another new thing on my mane. However, after resisting for more than a year, I finally gave in and tried it - and I have never been happier! A few of my friends swear by it and after seeing their unruly locks transform into shiny and healthy-looking strands, I was definitely tempted. That coupled with sheer frustration that nothing seemed to be helping the unmanageability of my mane and an impulse decision one day at the salon is how I ended up sitting for the 3-hour cysteine procedure.
While the process felt super long and I couldn’t wait to get out of the chair, I must say the results are pretty amazing. I wouldn’t say that my hair is super straight (I’m glad, since I’m not a fan of the poker-straight look) but it is definitely much smoother, softer and healthier-looking. Plus, there really is no frizz, which is pretty damn fantastic! I can now just wash my hair and let it be - no styling or blow drying required. Of course, if you do wish to style, it makes that even easier and quicker since your hair is so much easier to manage. But I wouldn’t book that hair appointment just yet. Let’s answer some important questions first, to help you decide whether you should invest in cysteine treatment or not.
1. How different is it from Keratin Treatments? (We’ve all wondered about this, right?)
Also known as the Brazilian blowout, Keratin treatments have been around for longer and are a great solution for women with frizzy, unruly hair that requires heavy-duty taming. While cysteine treatment is super effective in giving you a blow-dried look after every wash, it has received loads of flack for using a harsh chemical, formaldehyde, that can cause skin allergies, watery eyes and isn’t safe for pregnant women. This reason alone is enough to make me pick Keratin over Cysteine - as the former is free of any such harsh chemicals. Both treatments are semi-permanent, they last about 2 to 4 months and are both pretty pricey. Check out all the pros and cons when you compare the 2 here.
2. Who and why should one opt for a cysteine treatment? Should you?
Anyone who has experimented with a lot with heat styling, colouring and chemical treatments. If you’re dealing with dryness, damage and frizz, you should consider it to restore your locks and make them look shiny and healthy again. Cysteine hair treatment contains no strong chemicals, instead it is rich in amino acids and natural proteins. These nutrients penetrate the hair shaft to help repair damage.
3. So all that sounds great, but what’s the catch?
While cysteine as a semi-permanent solution is a boon for many women with hair that is thick, curly, frizzy or unruly, it can have certain drawbacks. Of course, being expensive is a big concern, but here are some points that are important to be informed about:
The cysteine treatment procedure involves the hair being washed and dried, then, the solution is applied section by section with a brush. It is left on for about 20 minutes before a blow dryer is used to help dry the hair and let it absorb the solution, following which the hair is flat ironed. This takes about two and a half hours, longer if your locks are particularly long and thick. You’re then sent away with straightened locks with the solution still on, making for a flat effect. Naturally then, the texture of your strands will feel a bit sticky thanks to the solution, ladies, but don’t worry it won’t look like it. You have to leave cysteine on for 24 hours before you can wash and that’s it.
You’ll now have to invest in a special sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner, this is mandatory after a Cysteine treatment. Almost all salons will recommend De Fabulous reviver hair repair shampoo and conditioner, you can buy them on Amazon as a set for Rs 2,199. Also, the best serum to use now would be Amazon Series Acai Oil Treatment (Rs 1,500) but my stylist said I could continue using my favouring Moroccanoil Treatment (Rs 2,885) too. It’s important to be prepared for the long cysteine hair treatment procedure which can cost anywhere between 7,000 to 16,000, depending on the salon as well as your hair length and thickness, and also the cost of buying special hair care products.
All in all, I’m pretty happy with my decision to finally get cysteine treatment done. Life seems much easier without having to worry about frizzy hair. Plus, I can simply wash my hair and rush out the door, which is something that I absolutely love. I’m pretty sure I will do it again after 3 months, it has definitely spoilt me.
If you’re keen on getting a Cysteine treatment, a few salons that me and the girls at the POPxo Mumbai office recommend are Jean Claude Biguine, Juice salons, Dessange Paris and Lemon Salons. Here’s to happy hair days, ladies!
Internal Images: Shutterstock