The Salon Solved It… From unruly strands to smooth and sleek

Layered Online writer Kelsey has relied on hair straightening tools and smoothing products for as long as she can remember. While she’s been graced with thick hair, when time is of the essence each morning, something has got to give. Can P.Kai Hair in Peterborough help her regain control of her unruly locks?

When it comes to my hair (and its thickness) I have a never-ending love/hate relationship with its appearance and upkeep. I was always taught to be grateful for its natural volume and ‘oopmh’, which is great when I’m trying to look glamourous for a girl’s night out. Any other time, maybe not so much (think Monica in Friends with that humidity). For more than 10 years now, straightening tools and smoothing products have been daily essentials to keep the masses of hair under control and looking semi-straight without odd kinks or waves. 

Now no longer a student with time on my side, my daily commute to London has me up at 5am most mornings in order to run the straighteners through my tresses before a quick dash out of the door. With the constant upkeep of my unruly locks, could a salon help me achieve smooth and straight hair for more than just a day?

P.Kai Hair in Peterborough’s Serpentine Green is like an oasis of calm from daily life, with modern interiors and delicious coffee on offer, while runway shows play on the screen in the lounge area. One of three salons owned by Kai Wan, all of the staff are incredibly friendly and welcoming, immediately making you feel at ease – pretty important for anyone radically switching up their style. 

First up was a consultation with Kai, where I discussed my on-going battle, as well as the importance of keeping my hair in good condition on the bleached ends. 

Can he smooth my hair without doing more damage? 

After assessing my (somewhat) grown out balayage, Kai discussed how the KeraStraight treatment would work – essentially it’s a treatment that repairs and straightens hair at the same time. First Kai would tackle the lighter ends before leaving the treatment on for longer at the roots, as they were my natural ‘virgin’ colour. Like any regular hair appointment, it all began at the backwash with a quick shampoo using the pre-treatment cleanser, before getting down to the nitty gritty.

Following the application of the pre-treatment spray, the Ultimate Treatment was applied in sections across the mid-lengths to ends before being left to work its magic for a few minutes before applying the treatment to the roots. This was then left for another 25 minutes – just enough time to relax with some magazines and another coffee (bonus!)

After a quick rinse and application of Moisture Lock to nourish the hair, it was the REALLY exciting part – the grand reveal. Within just a few minutes of blow-drying, the difference was immediately obvious. No longer unruly and resembling Hagrid’s mane after drying, my hair was easy for Kai to brush through and already so much smoother. Finally, out came the KeraStraight irons, which were used through separate sections of my hair to complete the treatment and give the ultimate straight and smooth finish my strands so desperately needed. 

For anyone who may be more time conscious, from start to finish it took around three hours for my pretty thick, mid-length locks. Given the fantastic end-result, I would say this is totally worth it thanks to the amount of time it’ll save during blow-dries and styling in the long run, and is meant to last four months. For anyone who is a regular colour fiend like myself, time-wise it’s really no different than heading to a salon for some root touch-ups or a bit of balayage. 

As for the finished look, my hair is far straighter, way more manageable and feeling a lot healthier. Not only great for making the hair sleeker, it’s a brilliant treatment for nourishing hair too – ideal for reviving tired tresses like my own. While the treatment will fade after time, you must make sure you’re using the right shampoo and conditioner, otherwise the treatment will be stripped out. You need a sulphate-free range, and I grabbed the KeraStraight Moisture Enhance shampoo and conditioner.  Also be aware that you have to time this treatment carefully of you also have colour – you have to leave it two days before or after a colour to ensure it works.

Overall, my morning routine is about to get a whole lot easier and my hair is looking happier than ever – I think I may have found my new BFF…