SOS: Save Our Strands: Two NYC Salons Give Us a Frizz Free Summer

(Candice Sabatini also contributed to this story)

Erin’s experience: It’s true, I live for summer! The sun, sand, ocean, outdoor eating and drinking…it’s my favorite. My not-so-favorite part? Dealing with the makeup meltdowns and havoc the humidity can cause on my kinda wavy/kinda straight/definitely frizzy hair. I’ve tried the smoothing shampoos, no-frizz treatments, beach sprays and even at-home straightening treatments, and the results never impressed me enough to stick to any one routine. In search of a solution this summer, I stumbled upon Sam Brocato and his salon’s Supersilk Treatment.

To fill you in on Sam, his career spans three decades: he is a stylist and product developer with tons of honors and accolades under his belt, but he still cuts hair at his namesake NYC Salon in SoHo. His salon uses healthy, non-toxic treatments for hair, nails and skins and also uses his line of paraben and sulfate-free hair care products, Brocato. The salon on Wooster Street is a beautiful industrial space that’s equally chic and zen – definitely a place you wouldn’t mind camping out in for a few hours. With knowledgeable staff, state-of-the-art furniture and cutting-edge treatments, one would think this salon would be out of reach for the average New Yorker. Fortunately, you need not worry about Sam’s prices breaking the bank.

Sam’s most recent endeavor was pioneering his own non-toxic formaldehyde-free smoothing systems, called Curl Interrupted and Supersilk. Supersilk has been hugely popular in NYC and hundreds of salons worldwide. Naturally, I couldn’t wait to check it out.

Supersilk is said to transform frizzy, unmanageable locks into sleek, resilient hair at its most optimal, healthy condition. The treatment begins with a regular shampoo/condition with Brocato’s signature products and then back at the stylist’s chair, the treatment is sprayed on wet hair and combed through to ensure saturation. You then sit with a shower cap over hair for 45 minutes to let the treatment do its magic. I’ve heard rumors of terrible smells and burning/stinging eyes and skin from straightening treatments, but luckily the only downside of having this treatment applied was a bit of a strong smell that went away immediately after the stylist was finished spritzing. Totally fine. After 45 minutes, the stylist blow-dried my hair (which was pretty wet still, so it took some time!) and then meticulously straightened each strand of hair with Brocato’s own proprietary flat iron. The iron is said to seal in the treatment so that post straightening, hair is SUPER straight. I liked the look. It felt clean, looked glossy and there was not a frizz in sight.

I was told not to wash my hair for a day and not put any rubber bands/ties in as to not crease the hair (that part was harder!) I went the whole next day without washing my hair and it stayed straight and polished despite hot temperatures. The following morning, I washed my hair with the shampoo/conditioner from Brocato and let my hair air-dry. I can truthfully say my hair has NEVER air-dried so straight, perfect and frizz-free. It was truly a miracle. The next time I washed my hair, I decided to blow it out. To my surprise it took half the time it usually takes and again, my hair came out straight and glossy…no need for a flat iron, hair spray or the usual glosses/oils I use. I’m amazed at the results and can’t wait to get back to the beach to test my new do in some real salty/sticky humidity.

Brocato says the Supersilk Effect will last for up to 12 weeks. Because of the Nano Silk Complex, the treatment has protective, restorative properties that smooth and control hair to leave it exceptionally silky and strong and is performance-proven to be, not only safer, but stronger and more durable than keratin formulas. Perfect for any hair types; it’s amazing for reducing frizz, cutting blow-dry time, eliminating other hot tool usage and is all-around amazing. Unlike Japanese/keratin formulas there are no toxic chemicals to worry about, no awkward grow-out to deal with and hair will still keep some of its intended wave/bounce, so it won’t be completely stick straight.

Post treatment I’ve been using the Pure Indulgence Shampoo and Pure Indulgence Leave-In Treatment. The shampoo gently cleanses and delivers silk amino acids that bond to the cuticle layer to optimize the Supersilk effect. The leave-in treatment reduces frizz, shields against dryness and locks in color with a weightless formula. Finally, the Restorative Hair Infusion is a shine serum that adds a finishing touch of shine and hydration. These products have been wonderful and definitely leave my hair feeling clean, light and healthy.

The treatment cost ranges from $350 – $450, takes about two hours and includes take home Supersilk Pure Indulgence Shampoo and Leave-in Treatment to maintain the Supersilk Effect.

Sam Brocato
42 Wooster Street

Candice’s experience: I’ll echo everything Erin has said about her love for summer, other than loving the beach. But I do adore being outdoors (wearing a lot of SPF products) and enjoy summer in the city with rooftop bars and outdoor cafes. A humid day really ruins it for me though as I leave my house with freshly blown hair that quickly frizzes once the humidity hits it. Ugh!

For my anti-frizz treatment I went to the Julian Farel Salon.

Julian Farel’s 30-year career is impressive. He started in France working 10 years for Jacques Desange, which then blossomed into running the education and training programs for Frederic Fekkai in New York and LA. In 2001, Farel opened his first salon in NYC and has since opened two more, along with one in Miami and one in Cabo San Lucas. His rich and famous clients include Lauren Bush Lauren, Ivanka Trump and Salma Hayek, among others who can easily drop $900 on one of his gorgeous haircuts and styling sessions. Farel’s mission is to create hair that is resistant to aging. He works with a team of experts to incorporate anti-aging skin and healthy body treatments in his salons.

I visited the beautiful salon in the Langham Hotel (aka the Setai 5th Ave), which is airy and elegant with pretty wood décor. The Zero Frizz Quickie Treatment isn’t like keratin treatments in that it doesn’t make hair super straight and flat. For me, this was a big plus. I have heavy hair with a lot of natural body, and with my long, thin face, the last thing I want is for my hair to be super flat and close to my head. Many people who opt for anti-frizz treatments want their hair to look different – straighter and sleeker – than usual. Not moi. What I want is for my hair to look exactly like it usually does when I blow-dry it on a non-humid day, meaning it has body and volume. And judging by the others at the salon that day who were having the same treatment, that’s exactly what it this would produce. None of us walked out with pin straight hair, but with hair that still can be curled and still has body. Hair that is not going to frizz when the rain comes down and the humidity goes up.

The process starts with giving the hair a deep cleansing shampoo followed by the exclusive odorless anti-frizz product applied all over to coat hair. After that, the stylist proceeds to rough dry it. Once that’s done, small sections of the hair are flat ironed with a 450-degree iron. Then the hair is rinsed again, and finally it’s blow-dried or styled as usual. In only about 45 minutes, you’re free from the dreaded frizzies! Unlike other processes, it’s okay to wash your hair the next day, and/or to use elastic ties if you wish.

They recommend that you use Farel’s specially formulated Zero Frizz Shampoo, Conditioner, and Frizz Relaxing Balm to keep hair tamed. My fave product, Zero Frizz Restore is an unusual anti-aging cleanser/conditioner that is used once a week instead of shampoo and conditioner. I know, sounds weird, but really makes hair healthy and voluminous and contains hyaluronic acid and other anti-aging ingredients.

The Zero Frizz Quickie Treatment costs $200, and is supposed to last six to eight weeks. Mine lasted just about five weeks, but this has been an extremely rainy, humid summer and my hair is thick and hard to tame. My guess is that if you have thin and/or fine hair, it will last longer. YMMV (your mileage may vary). The treatment is offered in both of the NYC salons.

Julien Farel
400 Fifth Ave (Langham Hotel) and 605 Madison Ave.

If you’re not frizz free for summer yet, check out one of these two places and tame that mane!

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