Hair Botox treatment gains popularity as heat rises, coronavirus restrictions ease

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Dubai’s notorious summer heat and humidity can mean frizzy hair for many women. But in the world’s hottest spot, a new treatment is being hailed as a savior: hair botox.

Invented in Dubai, hair botox is now available in cities across the Gulf region and the US. It promises a short-term fix to frizz with shiny and silky hair for up to five months, without chemicals typical of other relaxers.

The name is misleading - the drug Botox, typically used for reducing skin wrinkles, is not part of the process. The ‘botox’ label derives from the treatment’s rejuvenation of the hair, promising to reverse years of damage by adding keratin protein and natural collagen to the hair’s strands.

The twin minarets of a mosque are seen with office towers along Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. (AP)
The twin minarets of a mosque are seen with office towers along Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. (AP)

The problem

Frizzy hair is caused by a lack of moisture in the strands, which causes hair to seek moisture from the air around it, according to French hair care company Garnier. High humidity, when there is an increased concentration of water vapor in the air, “often makes matters worse,” according to Garnier.

Hair botox goes straight to the source of the problem: dryness. It intensely conditions the hair in a process that takes between two to four hours at a salon. The result is hydrated and strengthened hair left looking shiny, conditioned, and less frizzy.

Unlike its rival, the popular Keratin treatment, hair botox “typically does not have any formaldehyde in the solution,” according to Adryanna Galarce, owner of Miami-based hair salon Hair Healers, which offers hair botox to its customers.

“Depending on the client’s texture there is about 50 to 70 percent removal of frizz,” said Galarce in an interview with Al Arabiya English.

Hair botox works for all hair types, according to Aboudi Fakhreddine, owner of Dubai-based Hush Salon, which offers the service.

“It’s not a harsh product and it won’t totally take away the natural hair waves or make it stick straight like Keratin does,” said Fakhreddine in an interview with Al Arabiya English.

The process

The procedure must be done by a certified professional and begins by washing the hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove all buildup from the hair, according to Galarce.

The thick hair botox product is then applied and brushed through the hair.

“Once hair has been completely saturated with the product we do a wrap-around and put on a cap,” said Galarce.

The product is left on the hair for 30 to 50 minutes, before being rinsed out. The final steps are blow drying and flat ironing the hair, and finishing by applying a sealing spray.

The demand

Fakhreddine said his salon in Dubai noticed a “huge volume” of clients coming in for the treatment in late April after the city eased its lockdown intended to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“We also see a high demand during the summer months,” said Fakhreddine.

Galarce said her salon in Miami also sees high demand for botox hair services during the summer when the city’s average humidity is around 80 percent, according to the Florida Climate Center.

2020 is on track to be the hottest year ever - with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimating a 75 percent chance this year will break the global heat record. In the warmer climate, hair botox may help people avoid bad hair days.

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