Saturday, July 17, 2010

What Keratin Complex Infusion taught me about finishing strong

You may already be aware of this but I have been riding the Coppola Keratin train all the way to healthy hair land. Ever since I first used this product, not a week has gone by where I have not treated my hair to this wonderful keratin delicacy. As long as I can remember, elasticity has always seemed to allude me. At one point, I even questioned if such a thing as "elastic relaxed hair" even existed. Was elasticity nothing more than a legend? Was I wasting my time as one who scourers wooded areas in search of big foot?

I almost gave up on this search when I stumbled upon my beloved Intense Rx. Because I experienced such magnificent results, I thought I'd go back to see what else I could find in Coppola's keratin line-up. So I find myself, once again, standing in front of the Coppola section of my favorite BSS. I grab a product called Infusion Keratin Replenisher and immediately begin reading these words on back of the box.

"Coppola Keratin Complex Infusion Keratin Replenisher is a keratin replenisher that automatically opens the cuticle and infuses keratin protein. Keratin Complex Infusion repairs, enhances and strengthens the hair.

Keratin Complex Infusion Features and Benefits:

*Unique formulation with advanced infusion technology Adds high pH replenishers to automatically open the hair cuticle

*Infuses keratin proteins and emollients into the hair.

*Repairs and revitalizes hair during blow drying and ironing.

*Closes the cuticle to entrap nourishment.

*Leaves hair silky and smooth.

I was highly intrigued by the claim that Infusion actually opens the cuticle layer, allowing for deeper penatration of the keratin. Immediately, visions of my hair strand opening up to receive the goodness of my Intense Rx Keratin serum swrilled around in my head. Just as I was about to pick up the product and skip over to the register, a question popped up in my mind. "How am I going to close the cuticle layer once this product has been applied?" Since this is a leave-in, I won't have the luxuary of sealing with a cold water rinse. According to the box, blow drying and flat ironing closes the cuticle. My mind, however, would not allow me to accept that as a viable method of sealing the strand. Logic tells me that, traditionally, excessive heat nomally opens the cuticle. So in an attempt to satisfy my curiosity, I contacted Coppola customer service. I was immediately connected to a wonderful person who took the time to answer all of my questions. Unfortunately, at the end of our conversation, I got the same response to the closed cuticle question-"use the heat from the blow dry and flat iron."

So I continued to let that question marinate in my mind for a couple of days then "eureka"! I knew I had to counter act the Infusion with a low pH leave-in. The lowest pH product I could think of was my trusty apple cider vinegar. "What if I were to create a leave-in consisting of distilled water and ACV?" Once I felt comfortable with the ACV water as a viable solution, I went back to the store to pick up the Infusion.

Then came the day where I got the chance to give Infusion a test run. After deep conditioning, I towel dried and began applying the Infusion. It wasn't long before my hair began to react to the high pH. All of the sudden my hair felt stiff and somewhat brittle. I had to take special care as I parted each section to apply the Rx serum so I didn't cause any manipulation breakage. The good news is that the moment, Intense Rx touched my fragile strands, all was right with the world again. Softness and flexibility was instant. After, the serum was applied I finished the section off with my low pH leave-in then rollerset as usual.

Believe it or not, I have now developed the ability to sleep in a full head of magnetic rollers. So after my rollerset was complete I went to bed and let my hair air dry overnight. The next morning I removed the rollers and va-va-va-voom, my hair was gorgeous. Soft, supple and magnificent. I must say that I truly enjoyed the process of opening the cuticle, applying a powerful product, and sealing it in for maximum effectiveness. I think I will apply this practice going forward no matter the products I use. What good is all the time I spend pre-pooing, washing, deep conditioning, if I don't take the time to complate that final step to seal it all in? I think the ACV/h20 leave-in will be something I incorporate consistently. Not sure how that will work long term but I'll continue to monitor the results. Hopefully, this will be a healthy hair practice where I can reap the rewards from for years to come.

I enjoyed this experience because, not only did I find a couple of amazing products, I also was reminded of the need to finish strong. I read somewhere that the pH level of hair strand is lower near the scalp and higher close to the ends. This process of incorporating a lower pH leave-in helps bring balance to the entire strand. It's all about finishing strong, thank you, Coppola, for this valuable reminder.
  1. great post! what was the ratio of ACV to distilled water that you used?

  2. HMMM,haven't heard of this one...

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Tai, I used 3 droppers full of ACV and added it to a standard spray bottle. I hope to take a more accurate measurement next time I do this process so I can share and replicate.

  4. So, is the Infusion too much for the hair alone and will give you protein overload or is the combination of the two the preferred application? It sounds like you noticed stiff,almost breakable hair after the first Infusion application.

  5. The Infusion made my hair feel almost as if I had air dried my hair loose without product. The strands felt rough and unruly. I'm not sure how I would have managed without the serum. I'm not sure I'll take the chance. The serum brought elasticity back so quickly I was amazed. The next morning, my hair showed no signs of protein overload even though I used 2 keratin products. On the Intense Rx box it states that the hair only uses what it needs. Maybe they're right.....

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  7. Nadege,

    I hope not to offend...and maybe give you a good laugh. I found your blog from my blackberry driving to x-mas last week but couldn't see any pictures. I have to say I like the way you write, your curiosity, and way of questioning things.

    Anyway, I've just come back to find out your ACV/h2o ratio and realized you're...not white. Please, please forgive my naivety that may come out with this question...but do you think your experience would be the same/similar on "white people hair?"

    I found you while desperately searching for a solution to my mother's coarse, brittle looking, straw-like, fuzzy over-processed red hair. She smokes and drinks no water so I know it's dehydrated but she constantly looks for help with her hair.

    I got so excited after reading your post that I ordered both products for her and had shipping I'm back on your blog and realize you're...not white...and my mom is...shit!

    Will it work for her too? That stuff was expensive and I'm pretty sure there is a difference in chemical processing of black and white hair. (I have a girlfriend that always goes to a "white" salon until she wanted to highlight her hair and then her usual stylist told her she needed to go to a "black" salon cause she didn't know how the chemicals would react...don't know if that's true but that's where we went.)

    Also, second question...Do you not notice any problems from sun sensitivity in leaving the ACV in? I've used it as a rinse for a while but I then rinse it out with water.

  8. Hi Anon!
    Thanks for your comment. If your mom has dry brittle, damaged hair, chances are her cuticle layer may be compromised which is similar to relaxed textured hair. Although my hair texture may differ from you mother's, if her hair is dry and brittle, we will still benefit from the same things i.e protein and moisture. The Keratin Complex is great for supporting the strand of the hair. All hair is made up of keratin no matter the texture. The ACV will help seal the cuticle layer which will help with the frizziness. If she's not drinking much water, I'm guessing she may suffer from dry hair. I just wrote a post about the importance of drinking water for moisturizing the hair strand from the inside out. I also recommend she incorporate the pre-poo step before she washes. She can add a little Olive Oil to her conditioner which will help greatly with the dryness. It's also a good idea that your mom limit the use of flat irons/curling irons if she uses them regularly.
    To answer your other question, I recommend you rinse out the ACV because of it's low PH. When added to the hair, then diluted with water, it helps to balance the pH levels of the scalp and hair strand. If left on alone, you may bring the pH levels of the hair/scalp too low which could possibly contribute to stiff hair. I'll be happy to answer any other questions you have. You can also email me at!