There are SO many things that I love about living in New York City – the electric energy, that iconic skyline, the Hudson River (which I get to spy from my window daily), every possible cuisine you can think of at your fingertips and of course those endless New York summers! But if there’s one thing that I hate about NYC that unfortunately goes hand in hand with summer it’s the unbearable HUMIDITY!
I have never experienced humidity like it. Seriously, some days just walking outside feels like you might as well be running a marathon. It gets hard to breathe, it feels like you’re in a sauna and you’re just constantly damp…..not a good look! Besides the general uncomfortable-ness, my hair – which is naturally wavy and which I usually straighten most days – just turns into a completely huge puffball at the slightest hint of humidity.
No joke. Take a look, this was me (and my lovely youngest brother J) last summer in NYC. My hair had been poker straight and fairly sleek when I left my apartment but less than an hour in the dreaded humidity had left it looking like I’d been pulled through a hedge backwards…..
No matter how much I straighten my hair and use serums, oils, straightening balms or anti humidity sprays, my hair gets frizzy, kinky and just all around big, in the worst way! Annoying day to day – but even worse if I want or need to look pulled together.
After enduring two summers of bad hair day after bad hair day, I decided this had to be the year to find some sort of solution.
I contemplated booking another keratin treatment. I’ve had a couple of keratin straightening treatments a few years ago in London but to be honest I wasn’t the biggest fan – the process is an ordeal, the smell of the product makes me gag and I can’t stand the three days post treatment where you can’t wash your hair, get it wet/ sweaty, tie it back or basically do anything. All that and then to find that on my hair, it barely lasted a month (rather than the three months it is meant to). Sigh.
So I started looking for alternative treatments and stumbled across Magic Sleek. I was curious to learn more, especially as I hadn’t heard of it previously.
I was intrigued to read some of the supposed benefits of Magic Sleek:
- 100% formaldehyde free
- There are some chemicals in it but FAR less than in keratin straightening
- You’re able to wash your hair and tie it up if you wish the day of the treatment
- Promises to last upto 5/ 6 months post treatment
As well as the fact that Sarah Jessica Parker is apparently a fan. Hmmm, there might be something in this.
On doing some further research I found that it’s a fairly low key treatment in New York. Not many salons offer it and there are hardly any customer reviews (there are some on the Magic Sleek website but they aren’t from NY salons) which is always a bit concerning. It’s a fairly lengthy treatment, around 3 – 4 hours depending on the length of your hair. It’s also expensive – around $300 – $450, depending on what salon you visit and your hair length. Considering I didn’t know how well it would work on my hair, I didn’t really want to pay top dollar if I could avoid it.
As though the stars were aligning, I found a spot in midtown, Eruan Salon, that offers the service, had positive customer reviews AND I was able to purchase the treatment with them via Groupon at a much discounted price! Total no-brainer to go ahead and get it booked.
So on another sweltering Saturday a couple of weeks ago, I made my way to Eruan Salon for my 8.30am appointment with a book and a huge iced coffee in tow! My stylist Jose, was a complete dream – super friendly, professional, very knowledgeable about Magic Sleek and I really appreciated the fact that he had fit me in at short notice (thanks Jose!) The salon itself is large and clean but nothing super fancy, to manage your expectations. My main concerns were how good a job they would do and how professional they were and I have to say I was very impressed on both counts.
Jose asked me what I knew about Magic Sleek, filled in some gaps, asked about my hair and also what I hoped to achieve with the process. I really liked that he took the time to explain things in detail (and continued to do this throughout the appointment) and wanted to make sure I knew exactly what I was likely to end up with and avoid any nasty surprises!
Specifically, he made sure that I knew I might not be getting dead straight hair but that this process would guarantee eliminating that pesky frizz and would also help with controlling the puffball! Secondly, he saw that my hair has colour in it (I have blonde balayage at the moment and it’s the lightest I’ve ever gone before) and warned me that the treatment could possibly lighten my hair even more or worst case scenario turn it green! Slight moment of panic as I hadn’t read anything about this possible side effect. Jose seemed unconcerned and said if either happened, he would be able to colour correct it. Putting my trust in him, I decided to go ahead.
So What’s In Magic Sleek?
The information on the Magic Sleek website states the main active ingredient is tannin, used in tanneries to leave leather waterproof, soft, flexible, and unbreakable. Also a natural Argan oil extract as well as Amino Acids. which both provide moisture to the hair. The exact ingredients can be found on here.
Is a little tedious! So come with something to read/ watch or some work to do! But actually, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. All in all I was there just over 3 hours with my just below shoulder length hair. The process involved using the Magic Sleek product system to wash and treat my hair a couple of times over. After the treatment was applied, very generously, to my hair, I sat under a dryer to help the product really get in there! Jose was checking along the way and watching for any tinges of green!
Once almost dry, Jose methodically and repeatedly straightened my hair – this is the bit that takes the time. He went over each section around 25 times with straighteners….eeeks! Once finished, I looked a little greasy and my hair looked a little flat….
Then it was another wash and another application of the treatment. I also opted to have an additional Magic Sleek Emergency Oil applied for extra conditioning and nourishment. It’s optional but not needed and can also be used in between treatments as a top up of sorts.
More drying under the heater. This time, the treatment was washed out of my hair before the next round of epic straightening! Leaving me looking like this….
My hair looked great and more importantly felt AMAZING immediately after treatment. Really soft and silky, and just super nourished – far superior (on my hair and in my opinion) than how it feels after keratin. I was very happy with the immediate results but the real test was how would this hold up post treatment.
I spent the next few hours out and about, enjoying Bryant Park and a street food market. It was a pretty steamy day and under normal circumstances, I should’ve looked akin to the first photo in this post. I got home later that evening and found my hair still looking like this…. pretty amazing.
I was excited to wash it a couple of days later (using the recommended Magic Sleek shampoo and conditioner and see what happened. Now here’s where I found the real magic! I could not believe how little time and effort it took me to style! I usually have to blow dry sections of my hair fairly aggressively and then straighten in sections too. It usually takes me around 20 minutes. This time, with just a little bit of brushing but mostly rough drying, I was able to get it super smooth and straight!
I could have cried thinking about the time I could save going forwards! I also realised I would need to use far less product to tame my hair. Using my normal amount actually made my hair a little flat….
But I soon figured it out and here I am one week later….
And two weeks later…… still looking sleek and feeling gorgeous!
It’s been nearly three weeks and I’m still very happy. The real benefits I’ve been seeing and quite frankly loving are:
- The (amazing) lack of my usual frizz
- My hair remaining sleek despite the weather conditions
- It feeling super nourished and healthy (much more than normal)
- The time I’m saving on styling it – honestly life changing
Super curious to find out how long it will last on me. I will continue with the aftercare system and will probably go in for a top up of the oil treatment in a month or two to help it along. But if this can see me through a couple more months and help me win the battle against the NYC humidity, I will be a full on Magic Sleek convert!
Have any of you tried Magic Sleek? How did you find it?
Leave me a comment below!