Over the years I’ve adopted some simple, plan-ahead practices that make packing for trips more efficient: decant toiletry products into leak-proof small containers. Always travel with your own snacks. Use washable, nylon bags for shoes and bring one designated for dirty laundry. Pack neutral shoes that go with everything. Etc, etc.
And as of this week, I’m thrilled to add a new one to the list: ditch the blow dryer.
When allowed to air dry, my hair is frizzy and unruly in summer’s heat and humidity. If I don’t attempt to control it and style it, I feel, in the wise words of TLC, “damn unpretty”. Since the dawn of man, hair and confidence are in cahoots together. And so, I’ve felt powerless to detach myself from styling products, round brushes, and heat styling tools even when I travel. Many of you might be in the same boat.
But when we are on the road we want ease. We want efficiency. We want to be out sightseeing, not cooped up in a small hotel bathroom wrestling with our hair. And there’s the whole wattage issue – more than a few of us have laid to rest a styling tool due to a foreign outlet incident. Most importantly, we want a lighter suitcase with more room available for local purchases.
So? What’s a girl to do?
The answer is a seriously game-changing hair treatment, offered at Mario Tricoci Salons and Day Spas called Hair Therapy Express. Hair Therapy is an express keratin treatment. (It’s express because it only takes 1 hour and you can wash your hair 8 hours later as opposed to the 3-day waiting period prescribed with a full keratin treatment. If you have particularly coarse hair or desire a very straight look, you may want to consider the full treatment.) This restorative treatment doesn’t change the natural composition of your hair like a perm or relaxer, it simply fortifies the inside of the cuticle with keratin protein. The effect is smoother, silkier, and shinier hair. With the express treatment, you can still style body and volume into your hair (blow drying takes half the time it normally would), but if you want to wash and go, it will dry tamer and without the frizz. Exactly what I want for vacation.
I’m leaving for Europe this week and decided to book a Hair Therapy appointment for the first time. I expected to be in good hands with the pros at Mario Tricoci but I had no idea I’d love the results this much.
Here’s how it works.
Ariana, my stylist for the treatment at the 900 North Michigan Ave. location, coated my hair with the keratin formula from roots to ends.
Then, she blow dried my hair in sections and ran a flat iron through it.
Voila! Sleek, controlled hair.
The treatment fades with washes – it usually lasts between 6 weeks and 3 months depending on how frequent of a shampoo-er you are. To get the most longevity you should use sulphate-free and sodium chloride-free shampoo, conditioner, and styling products. Sulphates are those detergent agents that are added to create that “lather” effect. They’re useless, even damaging for hair. Sodium chloride (literally, table salt) can be used as a preservative in hair products and tends to show up in thickening products and beach sprays.
Ariana instructed me to expect a slightly filmy finish in my hair until the first wash and to wait at least 8 hours to shampoo (but if possible 24 for good measure).
This treatment is spectacularly useful for those facing daunting summer heat and humidity, a busy travel schedule, or even leading up to an event such as a wedding.
Oh and if you color your hair (as I do) it actually makes you a better candidate for Hair Therapy Express because your cuticle is already open. Time your keratin appointment so you get it either directly following your color treatment or two full weeks following.
Hair Therapy Express ($150-175) is available at all 14 Mario Tricoci Salons and Day Spas (book by phone: 847-202-1900).
Now, I’m off to the airport (and feeling triumphant about my lighter suitcase)!