Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Behind The Scenes, Photoshoot: Zelo Brazilian Keratin Straightener

It’s not everyday a girl gets to go backstage of a photoshoot. Unless you’re me…then you sometimes find yourself on the better side of random. In any case, this weekend I was fortunate enough to sit in on Zelo’s Photo shoot, take some great backstage pics, and interview Miami hair stylists Gustavo Tundela for professional tips on applying the much talked about Brazilian Keratin Treatment.

Marion Before and After
The Brazilian Keratin treatment, a treatment that allows you to temporarily straighten your frizzy/kinky/curly hair without permanently altering it, has been trending for the past few years, and has recently fallen under fire because of its levels of formaldehyde. Boo, hiss, jeer, throws stones! Fortunately, I didn’t have to bring my face mask, because Zelo’s Professional Grade at home Keratin Treatment is formaldehyde free.

Michelle & Marion Waiting to get their hair done
 Zelo is an at home Brazilian Keratin treatment that straightens your hair with a combination of heat and keratin protein that temporarily changes the pattern of your hair strand and lasts up to 12 weeks, even with washes. Because it coats the hair with helpful proteins, it can actually strengthen your hair strand, adding elasticity.

While the models, who’s hair ranged from frizzy Caucasian, virgin curls, to mixed hair, prepped for their shoot, I sat down with co-founder Gisela Basilio and got down to what I really wanted to know: Can Zelo straighten African American hair? Because I’ve really had it up to HERE with the damaging effects of relaxers.

Sistas, come here for a second; I’m talking specifically to you. Yep, Zelo actually works great with African American textured hair. If your hair is relaxed, Zelo coats and fortifies the strands with protein for added sleekness from the otherwise stiff brittleness relaxing causes. If your hair is natural, Zelo softens the kinks and curls for a much sleeker manageable affect without the texturizer. For African Americans, Gisela specifically advises treating the hair with keratin again, four weeks after the first application. This allows the product to build up on your hair and extends the time it lasts. Yep, I cannot wait to try my sample this weekend! Stay tuned.

Spraying Michelle's hair in sections

Okay back to the shoot. I was lucky enough to quiz Miami hair stylist Gustavo Tundela on the best techniques for applying Zelo at home.

Tip 1: After you wash and rinse with the clarifying shampoo, you’ll want to blow-dry your hair straight until your hair is only slightly moist. The more damaged the hair, the damper you’ll need to leave it.

Tip 2: Spray Zelo Keratin Gel in small sections (like above) then with a fine tooth comb, comb it in from the root to the tip. Spray just enough so that no keratin comes out on the comb.

Tip 3: Start in the back and work your way to the front; this gives each part enough time to saturate while you’re working. (BTW each girl used about 1/2 a bottle)

Tip 4: Use a round brush while you blow dry on high heat to seal it in. (Again, from back to front)


Tip 5: Do NOT set your flat iron higher than 380 degrees Fahrenheit.  In 2 inch sections, straighten from root to tip.

Tip 6: Processed and otherwise non-virgin hair needs to be treated with an oil based conditioner before treatment day. Marion's hair had been colored and processed; although straight, her hair came out greasy and waxy to the touch. Just wash your hair as usual and the waxy feel will go away.

Michell's "After" Shoot
 I’m genuinely impressed with the results. The treatment especially impressed me by passing the South Florida humidity test, as the models were transported back and forth from office to photo studio. The girls looked amazing and their hair felt ridiculously silky. Michelle, (above) who is bi-racial, actually used to have to relax her hair to get it this straight.

However, this is definitely not a five minute process. Definitely plan to spend some time doing your hair in small sections to get these bone straight results. Lazy old me would love to get this done in a salon, but for $400, I'll definitely pass and do this at home myself with Zelo.

Anyway, I'm impressed! I have my sample with me at home and my fingers are twitching to try it. Since my hair is all braided up in extensions I'm going to try this out on my Brazilian Columbian friend this weekend, she has VERY kinky curly hair, and my Jamaican naturalista friend next week, so definitely stick around for the results.

Thanks Zelo for letting me attempt to hijack your photo shoot by calling out "You're a tiger! No, you've got a secret! Think Mona Lisa smile!" to your models and thanks ladies for letting me snap you girls and play with your hair.

And of course:
Gustavo Tundela: GustavoTundela@yahoo.com | Facebook
Kel Thompson: America’s Production Company, Inc.

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