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Straightening May Distress Tresses

June 21, 2002|Valli Herman-Cohen

Now that retexturizing treatments, or "straight perms," are all the rage at beauty salons, some patrons, especially those with colored hair, are telling us they have learned that not every treatment guarantees the desired result.

At Tina Cassaday's Beverly Hills salon, the stylist and "fix-it-doctor" has treated more than 500 cases so far this year of post-straight-perm problems on colored and on natural hair. As a trichologist who studies the hair, its molecular structure and diseases, Cassaday has found that many of the processes used around town are drying or changing the color of the hair. She uses a microscope to be sure that her straightening process doesn't overdry the hair, she said.

Wavy-haired writer Susan Hayden had a retexturizing treatment on her shoulder-length, colored and highlighted hair at the Gavert Atelier salon in April. Her $300 treatment, which used a hot flatiron and the same kind of chemicals that are in curly perms, did straighten and add shine to her hair, "and it looked really nice," said the Santa Monica writer. But a few days later, some pieces looked "fried."

"I looked like I had escaped from a burning building, but not soon enough," Hayden said. After getting most of her auburn hair cut off at another salon, Hayden is happy about her new look, and many people have complimented her new short 'do. "My husband fell in love with me all over again," she said.

Salon co-owner Stuart Gavert said that his salon has had good results with the more than 2,000 treatments performed throughout the past three years. "If the ironing is not done correctly, you can get little fried spots like that," Gavert said. "There is no excuse for that when you are charging that kind of money. Had we known about this, of course, we would have refunded all of her money."

Hayden said she was promised a refund from the salon this week.

Valli Herman-Cohen

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