When you’re paying big money for hair treatments you expect big results, so I’m sure you’re wondering if my Bio-Ionic at Tanaz Hair, Body & Nails is really the kind of thing you’d be willing to shell out a few thousand rand for? Is it really something that will change your life in the way Shelene promised it would change mine? Find out below and read part one The Process if you’re unsure as to what this treatment entails.
…Three and a half hours later, I walked out of the salon with soft-as-silk, super-glossy hair (the kind of non-negotiable you expect anyway when leaving a good hair salon) but I was eager to test the results for myself three days later after my first wash.
Armed with a barrel brush, a dryer and a prayer, I set my timer and began the arduous task of drying my hair… except this time, it was anything but. I used the brush to add of volume to my roots but soon realised it wasn’t really needed for the lengths and proceeded to finger-dry the rest. An utterly “gruelling” 5 minutes and 22 seconds later (tough life, I know) and my hair had gone from wet to wondrous in the time it usually took me to muster up the courage to start blow-drying it in the first place. After a few washes, I soon realised the dryer wasn’t even a necessity and I’d finally achieved my dream of being able to wash ‘n go, rather than wash ‘n blow. For me, this was my epiphany moment.
The hours this treatment has saved me over the last year in styling my hair, not to mention to the damage I’ve avoided from those 30 to 45-minute blow-dry sessions or repeated flat ironing have changed my life in ways I never thought possible. And even as I sit here writing this – hair freshly-washed, barely combed through and lying loose against my back – I know that by the time I’ve scheduled this post my hair will have dried smooth and soft, with no awkward bunching or frizzing in sight that leaves me having to rectify the mess with a straightener, by blow-drying from scratch or heaving an enormous sigh and simply giving up before pulling it up into a ponytail.
What to expect
One of the reasons I’ve waited so long to post this review is that I wanted to see exactly how this treatment would live with my hair and what the growing-out process would look like. In terms of change in volume, I did notice my hair became a bit flatter, but after changing my shampoo and conditioner to one for thin hair, I soon saw my natural bounce return. I now alternate the volume-boosting products (L’Óréal Professionnel Série Expert Volumetry) with my trusted Pureology Hydrate range (even though my hair isn’t coloured anymore I just adore this shampoo) to keep my hair soft and retain the body I love.
The first time I noticed my hair becoming slightly less manageable was in October, about six months after my first treatment. By December, I found myself needing to blow-dry it using a brush again to achieve the smoothness I desired, but the process was still fairly easy.
In the interests of a well-rounded review, I decided to test the results of having another straightening treatment on top of this and booked an Inoar Brazilian Keratin Treatment at Sorbet Drybar during the holidays. The treatment has basically extended the life of my Bio-Ionic (and it’s perfectly safe to have one afterwards) leaving my roots straighter (if not a bit flatter than I’d like) and further smoothing the lengths of my hair, which still carry the structural change of the first treatment. It’s meant that I can wait that much longer before going for a Bio-Ionic root touch-up (prices here), which is recommended every three to six months, depending on your hair growth and type.
Another huge plus for me about the Bio-Ionic is that it left my hair with absolutely no change in scent after I’d done my first post-treatment wash, whereas the Brazilian treatments, particularly the Inoar, left my hair with a very strong scent for almost two months after having it that I longed to get rid of. Thankfully, the scent has finally gone and I can now enjoy the remaining time of that smoothness without people asking if I’d just washed my hair with Vaseline Cocoa Butter.
The image below (and the main one for this post) were taken by the awesome Abigail K, who invited me to participate in her CT Confidence project shortly after having this treatment last year. This hair took about six minutes to blow-dry before heading off to her studio, something that would have taken me an hour to do previously and probably would have started to frizz the moment the cool winter air hit.
I can honestly say I’ve put this treatment through its paces over the last 10 months and that I am well-positioned to offer my personal experience and thoughts about what I’ve experienced during this time. Aside from a very small bit of temperamental hair on the side of my head which took a while to settle down, I have only positive things to say about it and if it can change my hair (and essentially my life) in the dramatic way it has, I can only imagine what it can do for someone with genuinely unruly or very curly hair. The only downside of course, is the price. But as a change like this really is as good as a holiday (and you’re actually going to be saving time and money on styling and caring for your hair) I’d say your end of year vacation is well worth forgoing for this one.
Photography Abigail K, Lauren Watters and courtesy images