Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Life Cycle of a 16 week Blowdry- three weeks post treatment

So today marks the official three week anniversary of my 16 week blow dry experience. Regretfully, I feel like the smoothing and taming effects of the treatment have lessened again this week, and I really feel like the texture of my hair is almost identical to how it was before I had the treatment applied at all. I am really disappointed with this because I have been using the recommended aftercare products ONLY since I had the treatment applied. When the treatment was applied to my hair, I left it on for 27/28 hours (even though it almost killed me to do so because it meant I had to spend a day and a half in the office with sticky, tacky hair) because I wanted to give the treatment the best chance possible to work on my hair. I have stopped washing my hair every day to every second or third day, depending on weather conditions outside, and I have been using a shower cap for the days that I do not wash my hair.

I am still using the QOD Gold shampoo and conditioner, and the smell still hasn't grown on me, but I do find that I am getting less sensitive to it as time passes. The shampoo is quite hard to lather and I need at least two generous squirts to sufficiently wash my hair. The conditioner isn't very thick but I think it is sufficiently creamy. My scalp is not irritated in the slightest by this regimen- which is always a plus- and my hair feels light (not flyaway) and clean after washing. It still is easier to brush out when wet- but certainly not as much as it was the first week after treatment. One plus is that my hair is definitely alot shinier!

I still notice that my hair does not stay straight when I have straightened it, as it used to before. Perhaps the treatment relaxed my hair so much that it keeps falling back into it's natural waves after a few hours- I have no idea. My hair is less wavy than it was previously if I let my hair dry naturally, and I have been trying to let my hair dry naturally as much as possible to be a bit kinder to it.

Overall, at the three week mark, I find that the treatment is about 80% less noticeable now from when I had it applied. I expected to notice changes 10 or 11 weeks in, but unfortunately that was not the case.

The Conflict

So I am very relieved to annouce that "Hairgate" is now over, and I am pleased to let you all now that I have gotten a full refund from the Art Team. I got a letter and a postal order in the post last Friday, two weeks since I sent the letter to them. I am hugely relieved that the ordeal is over, and I am more than willing to draw a line under the whole experience. I didn't want the hassle, and I didn't want to cause any hassle, but I had to stand up for myself in circumstances where I believed my rights are a personal consumer were infringed.

I have never ever in my life ever rung a salon to complain about a service before, and this was all new ground to me. I was not comfortable doing it but I felt strongly like it had to be done. I was bitterly disappointed with the service and the results that I received, by the whole experience. All I wanted was shiny, more manageable hair. My hair is my thing and I spend ridiculous amounts of money maintaining it and a ridiculous amount of time tending to it, and perhaps that is why I was so upset and annoyed by the whole experience. Each one of my posts on the matter were 100% honest, and my reflections relate to what I personally experienced and felt.

Thanks again to all of you who sent messages, texts, private messages and emails of support, they were very much appreciated. Hopefully, my painfully honest account of this experience will encourage at least one of you to find your voice and speak up if you feel that there may have been an infraction of your consumer rights. I am pretty well versed in consumer law (as I am in Freedom of Speech and Defamation laws) so if you need a soundboard or an opinion, feel free to ask, and if I can help I will.

As far as I am concerned at this moment in time, my dealings with the Art Team have now reached a conclusion, and I won't be referring to the experience again unless necessary

Thanks for reading x


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

The Life Cycle of a 16 week Blowdry- Two weeks down, fourteen to go...

So it's been two weeks since I got my 16 week blowdry done, and I said I would fill you all in on my hair progress and of course, #hairgate.

The Hair

Broadly speaking, I notice no significant difference to the condition or appearance of my hair to be honest, and certainly not enough of a difference to justify the price of the treatment or the torture I went through, not to mention the damage caused to my hair, courtesy of the Art Team. I feel like it is necessary to reiterate that I believe I had entirely realistic expectations- I was not expecting a permanent straightening solution or the likes, I just wanted an extra few minutes in bed in the morning so that I could style my hair faster before heading out to work at crazy o'clock. I wanted the silky, manageable hair that was promised, and I have not gotten that.

1. As I mentioned in my last post- my hair colour faded quite a bit and is now a more golden brown than the ashy brown I was sporting beforehand. I wasn't told anything about this in the salon, either before booking, as the treatment was being applied or when the treatment was finished. In that respect, if you spend a lot of money colouring your hair and would like to preserve the colour of your hair, I would not recommend this treatment.

2. I have noticed that the ends of my hair are extremely frazzled- significantly more than they would normally be at four weeks and a few days since my last haircut. The bottom two inches of my hair look extremely dry and parched so I will probably have to get a few inches taken off the next time I am getting my haircut which is extremely irritating because the reason I dyed my hair brown and got the treatment done was because I wanted to grow my hair out for a while.

3. I noticed last week that my hair was a bit easier to brush when I got out of the shower and that is still the case but to a lesser degree already. My hair looks quite limp when straightened, and I don't really find it any easier to straighten. Very annoyingly, my hair does not stay poker straight over the course of the day. Before I had the treatment, I could pretty much straighten my hair early in the morning and it would still be straight that evening when I got home from work. My hair always holds a curl or any style well, so I don't really understand why it won't just stay straight anymore.

4. My hair is easier to blowdry- last week more so than this week- but I could dry my hair at the lowest heat and speed setting of my hairdryer and it would come out smoother than it would before I had the treatment applied. I wash my hair every second day and already I have noticed that my hair is a little frizzier when I have finished blowdrying. Considering I waited in excess of the prescribed time for leaving it in my hair, and that I am using the QOD Gold shampoo and conditioner, I feel very hard done by, and have noticed that one of the few "benefits" I did actually notice from the treatment has already began deteriorating just two weeks later. 

5. I have been using only the QOD hairproducts since I got the blowdry done (apart from the very first time I washed my hair post treatment because I had to order the products online and the Art Team did not have any products in stock that day and were trying to sell me products from a competitor instead). The smell of these is really not pleasant, and I am sick of them now to be honest. It's really hard to get the shampoo to lather, and I feel like I have to use a lot of product to get any kind of result. The conditioner is a bit better than the shampoo but I still feel like I need a good bit of conditioner on the lengths and ends. I am going to persevere and keep using the products but I cannot wait to get back to my normal Kerastase routine. 

I feel like I have given it my best shot but I am not really feeling any return for my effort. Ok, my hair is a little easier to blowdry, but it's not significantly so, and not as much as last week already, and it doesn't really save me much time in the morning. I am very disappointed with the results of the treatment (aside from the damage caused during application). I'm not at all sure that the treatment was even applied properly onto my hair or whether enough of the actual QOD formula was used on my hair. All I know for sure is that I certainly have not been feeling the benefits that I was promised on the Art Team website.


So I mentioned in my last post that I called the manager of the Art Team, and she said she would have to speak to the owner. What you don't know yet unless you have been following me on Twitter is that she called me back the next day and asked me to put my complaint in writing. As I explained to several of you at the #sbbcwrapupparty, I wrote a four page letter detailing how I found the advert to be misleading, how I was not afforded a proper consultation, how rough the stylist was, how my hair was getting caught in their GHD and how I was not able to purchase the recommended aftercare products in stock (you may remember that I was told that Moroccan Oil products were better and that the salon couldn't get their hands on products from the distributors etc etc.). I pointed out on what grounds I believed the service that I had gotten was faulty, and I also pointed to the various legislation because I was a consumer acting in a personal capacity. I explained how I found the website and advertisement of the service to be misleading, and that it was based on this misleading advertisement that I was induced to go to the Art Team for the 16 week organic blowdry. I highlighted that the stylist was neither competent nor interested in what she was doing and that she was aggressive with my hair, causing much breakage which cannot be replaced. I pointed out that the consumer has the right to choose redress and that I simply wanted a refund and not a replacement or alternative service. I highlighted how disappointed I was with the whole process. I also included various screenshots and snapshots to back up what I was saying. I asked them to respond to my letter within seven days.

I sent that letter on 4th October and I received a voicemail message last Thursday (10th) from the manager of the Art Team stating that she received my letter and that she had passed the matter over to the owner for investigation. Today, as at 15th October, I have not heard anything else from the Art Team about the complaint I sent on. As soon as I hear anything, i will keep you all posted.

Thanks again for all the supportive emails, text messages, tweets, private messages etc that I have gotten since I put up my first post about this whole experience two weeks ago. I felt like it was my battle at first but all of your support has been amazing and is motivating me to see this through to the end. If this little journey inspires even one more person to stand up for themselves when they have been the subject of a terrible experience chez coiffeur, I would be only delighted and it would make it all worthwhile.



Friday, 4 October 2013

All you need to know about the Irish Beauty Bloggers Meetup on Sunday 6th October

Hello all!

Well I don't know about all of you guys but I am so excited now about the upcoming Irish Beauty Bloggers Meetup/ SBBC Wrap up Party which, in case you have been living under a rock, is taking place this Sunday, 6th October. I know alot of you have questions so I am going to try to answer all those questions in this post, and of course if there is anything else you need to know, please don't hesitate to ask me below, or catch me on Facebook and Twitter. 

"Where is the meetup happening and how far is it from the RDS?"

The meetup is taking place in the Library Room of the Russell Court Hotel on Harcourt Street in the city centre. If you are on Harcourt Street, there is a plaque outside the door and you will also seen signs for Krystle and Diceys in the midst. If you just ask at the reception desk of the hotel, they will be able to guide you along. 

Ballsbridge is very close to the venue and you can either walk/ grab a taxi or get a bus to the venue. If you are walking, it's about a 30 minute leisurely walk. If you fancy getting the bus, the 4 or the 7 go from straight outside the RDS and will bring you to the top of Kildare Street, where you will walk past Dail Eireann and through St. Stephen's Green to bring you onto Harcourt Street and to the venue. The easiest option however, would be to grab a taxi from outside the RDS and ask the taxi man to drop you into the venue- it's not very fair and should only cost a couple of euros. If you are driving, you have the option of on street parking (which might be limited!) or there is a 24/7 car park at St. Stephen's Green. If you want to get the Luas, the Harcourt stop is very close to the venue- just disembark at Harcourt and follow the Luas line towards town and it will be on your left hand side. 

"What time will I be there at?"

I will be there from 5pm onwards so feel free to drop by then. We have some demos and presentations starting at 6.30 and the raffle will follow this. 

"What am I going to do with my bags from the Beauty Show?"

We will be in our own little room in the hotel so you should have your bags in close proximity at all times. That's not to say that you shouldn't keep your eye on them, but it definitely should be a bit easier to keep your eye on them!

"What if I get thirsty?"

In the words of Alf Stewart, stone the flamin' crows! I have managed to secure us some pretty amazing drinks concessions for the night. €2 pints if you are that way inclined, €2 bottles including beers, alcopops, West Coast Coolers, Kopparberg etc. There is also a lovely cocktail menu and you can pick up all the favourites like Sex on the Beach and Cosmos. Not only will the liquor be cheap, we will also have a private bar in the room that I have booked so we won't have to muscle anybody out of the way to get served.

"What if I get hungry?"

Fear not friends, not only will there be a barbeque on site in the garden where you can pick yourself up a tasty burger, some chips or maybe a saucy sausage, I have also negotiated a bargainous grub menu where you can get a stir fry, steak, chicken curry etc for a fiver, and this food will be served up to 10pm! Soakage ahoy!

"What do I need to bring?"

Just your lovely selves.

"Did somebody say there will be goody bags?"

Hell to the yes! Goody bags will be provided to the first 30 beauty bloggers that roll into town on the night. Notice how I said goody "bags"? That was no accident. Bet y'all are dying to know what is in these bags of joy....TOUGH! You will find out soon enough! Needless to say, there might be a lil sumthin' for your face, and maybe a little bitta body bounty, maybe even something for your fave fella!

"I think I heard something about a charity raffle?"

You sure did. In the spirit of October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we will be hosting a wee raffle to raise some funds for the cause. Raffle tickets will be one strip for €2 and three strips for €5, and please buy as many as you want or can afford, because I have experienced first hand the work that the Irish Cancer Society do, and any money raised will be put to such good use. Not only will you get the feel good factor of supporting an amazing charity, but you could also win one of several amazing prizes!

"What can I win?"

Again I don't want to let the cat out of the bag on this one, but we have quite a selection of prizes from our very generous sponsors. We have hair products, face products, body products, something to keep your tootsies in tip top condition, something to keep your teeth in tip top condition, something to help you apply flawless makeup, something to boost your natural beauty, something to add a bit of colour- and this is just a handful. I have been blown away by the responses that I got when I put the word out that we were organising a charity raffle- it was so touching to see. I am sure that you will all join me in thanking all the sponsors and contributors on the night on Twitter, Facebook and in posts because they have really gotten behind the event!

"I don't live in Dublin and I have to go back home on Sunday night, what will I do?"

Kick off is starting at 5 which is quite a reasonable hour and we will have some demos and chats from people in the business in the evening, and the raffle will take place at about 8. Feel free to leave whenever suits, and the city centre location should make catching connecting transport a heck of a lot easier!

"I'm too broke!"

The booze is cheap, the food is cheap and the chats will be a-plenty!

"What can I expect from one of these blogging events?"

To sit back, have a good time and chat to people that you only know through their online social media presence. You can talk about makeup and skincare all night long with no judgment. You can support a good cause and potentially win an amazing prize! You can learn new things about products and brands that you never knew before, and meet and talk to people in the industry! But most of all, it's just a bit of craic!!

So I think that answers most of your questions but if there is anything else you need to know, please don't hesitate to drop me a line!

Looking forward to meeting you all on Sunday, make sure to come up to me and make yourselves known!

2 more sleeps! xx


Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Life Cycle of a 16 week Blowdry- the hair and the conflict

Sorry for not posting this yesterday, but I was honestly too put out by the whole experience on Tuesday to blog about my hair again yesterday. More about that later!

The Hair

I had to endure another day of sticky, parched manky hair in work yesterday, and I swear I didn't make eye contact with anybody all day. It was raining so much outside that I just wish I could go out in it and let the rain wash away all the sludge off my hair. I stuck it out though, and I kept the treatment on my hair for a total of 29 hours which was pretty damn impressive if you ask me. I didn't have my QOD shampoo and conditioner yet because the Art Team were out of stock (I'll come to that) but I have been talking to a QOD Ireland rep and my shampoo and conditioner are in the post and on the way to me. I used L'Oreal Ever Riche Shampoo and Conditioner last night- they were the only products I had that were sulphate free, I shampooed my hair twice and put some conditioner on the ends, and I didn't put a hair mask on because I was interested to see the condition of my hair without me adding to it.

The washing process was easy enough but I noticed a few things:

1. The smell was brutal. Really, if you have a sensitive nose, I think you would have died. I can't describe the smell exactly but I think the closest thing to a description would be gravy granules- before the water or anything is added. It was unusual and I could still smell it off my hair even after washing it. When I was straightening my hair this morning, it smelt like burned gravy granules. It still smells like it now as I type.

2. My scalp is extremely sensitive again today and this is not something that I am used to. In all my years of getting easi meche highlights, I have never had so much hair pulled out of my head in one sitting. The area just above my neck is particularly sensitive. 

3. My hair was less fuzzy coming out of the shower than it usually is, especially considering that I only used one conditioner and no detangling spray. It was still a bit tangled but my trusty Tangle Teezer ran through my hair without pulling out any of the hairs. I didn't blow dry it straight away because I felt like it was subjected to so much heat just the day previously so I let it airdry for an hour or so and use my hairdryer at lowest heat and speed for about 60 seconds just to set everything. 

4. My hair does feel softer since I had the treatment done but I am not convinced as to whether it made my hair significantly easier to style. I ran the straighteners through my hair this morning, and the plates of my GHD were slightly clinging to the hair shaft, something that I have never experienced before. I am not sure if this is just because it was my first time washing it post treatment, but it's something I will be looking out for.

5. The colour of my hair has changed quite significantly. I have heard of hair turning a shade lighter, but I am inclined to think that this was more than just one shade. This could be down to alot of things- I recently have had my hair significantly darkened and that was over a lot of highlights. I am not overly concerned with this but I thought it was worth pointing out in any event.

6. My hair is quite limp and greasy looking today. Again, this might be because I have only washed it once post treatment. The roots are alot shinier than the ends, and the ends of my hair look quite parched. I think I would have expected for the condition of my hair to be improved from root to tip but I would definitely say I notice no difference in the bottom 2 inches of my hair.

The Drama

Now, as to the issue of the hairdressing experience from hell. I am still significantly traumatised after my experience in the Art Team. I get my hair done a lot- I mean once a month for the last six or seven years. I get my hair done so often because it's my thing, I enjoy it, and I like to make sure my hair is ok. I'm not hugely into buying clothes and that but my hair is a priority and I spend alot of my funds trying to maintain it. I know in my heart that the treatment I received in the Art Team last Tuesday was not of an acceptable standard. I have never ever, in any of the 100 times that I have gotten my hair done, felt the need to call the salon to complain about a service. I have had some experiences and chosen not to go back to a particular salon again, but I have never actually been hurt and almost reduced to tears by hairs being yanked out of my head. It was really a mortifying and painful experience.

I called the salon yesterday at lunchtime and asked to speak to the manager. I was told that she was on her lunch and that she would call me back, and in fairness, she called me back within a few minutes. I tried to explain that I had just gotten a treatment and I wasn't happy with the consultation and the application of the treatment. She asked me if my problem was with the 16 week blowdry treatment itself or whether it was with the stylist. I know it will sound silly to say, but I actually felt guilty, like I was getting someone in trouble.

I told her that I had two main problems- one in relation to information and an advertisement which I considered to be misleading and incorrect, and the other problem was the shoddy service that I received in the salon.

In relation to their website, the advertisement and the information available to me before I decided to go to the Art Team, I explained how I was hair savvy, and I had conducted quite a bit of research on where to go for the treatment, I had looked into the process, watched the video they had posted online and read blog posts from customers- all of which had led me to believe that I would be easily able to go back to work with normal, not sticky manky hair (nevermind the fact I put down 1.5 days of this). The manager wasn't really listening to what I had to say about this I believe. She said that QOD (the brand of formula used for the 16 week blowdry) had changed their rules in the last month (go figure!!) and that now it was recommended to leave the treatment in the hair for 24 hours after application and not to wash or tie it up in the interim. This new information was completely at odds with the information that was available on their website, and when I pointed this out, the manager said that they were currently in the process of changing the website. I am highly skeptical of this, but I did take a few minutes yesterday to take a vast array of snapshots of their website before any changes take place. I would never have booked the treatment for a late lunch break on a Tuesday afternoon if I had known that I would go to work looking like a scarecrow afterwards- there is no way in the world I would have done that. I don't even come to work without straightening my hair any given day, so I was definitely more than a little put out, I was mortified. (Disclaimer- everybody I work with is lovely and nobody had anything to say to me about it- it's just how you feel yourself). The QOD video that they had on their website showed a girl leaving the salon that she had her treatment done in with shiny, bouncy hair. I left the salon with sludge on my parched and broken strands.

I then explained how horrible the treatment I had been subjected to was. I explained how painful it was when the hairdresser tried to brush my hair after the cleansing shampoo (no conditioner but I was expecting that)-and how I felt like she could have used a better brush or been a lot more considerate. She told me that I have loads of hair but I didn't really mind that because I do have a grand thick head of hair and I am proud of it. I said that application of the product itself was ok except that I didn't understand why the hairdresser used a comb to untangle my hair before applying the treatment. The manager said that they use a comb to distribute the treatment on the hair and I understand this- I just queried why she used a comb to detangle my hair before applying any of the treatment at all. I said that the blowdrying was painful because the product turned to sludge and the hairdresser yanked my hair and head consistently, but that it was the fact that my hair was getting caught in the GHD as she straightened the treatment in, causing whole hairs to be pulled out of my head from the root, that caused the most discomfort. I have binned GHDs before as soon as my hair started getting caught on them, and I am very surprised that the Art Team "Elite" hair would keep using GHDs that caused damage to their patrons' hair.

The manager was quick to pin all the blame on the hairdresser- she said herself that the treatment does not cause the hair to break so it must have been the hairdresser being rough with my hair that caused that. I also said that I did not have a proper consultation before the treatment, that there was little attention to detail (i.e. asking what side my parting was on) and that the customer service and care aspect of running a professional service business were lacking.

Unfortunately for me, during the course of the conversation, I got a bit upset, and I think that came through in my voice. The manager first offered me a complimentary cut and blowdry, and I said thank you but no thank you- I have a regular hairdresser that I love for cut and colour- and later on in the conversation she also offered me a colour and blowdry, and I explained how I would not be comfortable going back to the salon to get another treatment of any kind done, such was the discomfort and humiliation the first time around. She offered me another 16 week blowdry in March, and said that she would look after me herself if I was worried about the other hairdresser being there, and I also refused- honestly, I couldn't have made it any clearer that I did not ever want to get my hair washed and blowdried in that salon again. She asked me what I did want and I told her that I wanted and expected a full refund- not only because of the false and misleading advertisement on their website which led me to believe that I would be able to tie up my hair immediately and that the treatment would be washed out in the salon for me, but for the shoddy treatment I got, the amount of damage that was caused to my hair, and for the lack of consultation and aftercare products. The manager said that she could not give me a refund because it is not their policy- their policy is to offer another treatment- and I asked about their statutory obligations, she said that they were not obliged to offer a refund, and that in any case, she wouldn't have the authority to do that and she needs to talk to the owner (who will be uncontactable for the next few days because he is having a surgery). I asked to receive a response by Friday and she said she would try to get back to my then.

I received a phonecall from the manager today and she asked me to put down in writing what my issues were- basically translate everything I said yesterday into written form. I will do this, I was probably going to do this anyway, but again, I think it's bad customer service to put a customer out like that. If I was running a business, I would make sure that my customers were happy above all else. I will write the letter (I know some of you on Twitter suggested that I print off my blog post from that night and send it to her but to be honest, when I was writing it, I was upset and annoyed, and I don't really want to bring emotion into it- I am a personal customer, I was induced by false and misleading information relating to the service and I was subjected to a harsh and brutal treatment, without proper consultation, which ended up causing more damage to my hair than I could have imagined or envisioned.

To be honest, I am kind of past sad, and I have moved onto mad now. I am so annoyed that my quest for more manageable hair has taken such a sour turn. I am irritated that the treatment I received was substandard and the whole experience has just left such a bad taste in my mouth.

One final note- I mentioned that I was not able to buy the branded aftercare products in the store in my post on Tuesday night. I contacted QOD Ireland yesterday about getting some aftercare products and they kindly agreed to get these out to me as soon as possible. I was told on Tuesday evening by a girl working behind the desk that the salon couldn't actually get their hands on the product because it was in such high demand and that the distributors couldn't get their hands on enough of it even. I was actually told to use a competing brand instead and that this was much better in any event, and on special offer at the moment conveniently. I asked the sales rep for the salon if this was really the case, and if it was, how was it that I could purchase it online easily but not in a salon, and he said that he was shocked to hear that, and asked me to put down what was said to me in an email so that he could investigate it further. He also said that he was sorry to hear that I had experienced such bad treatment and said that there are other salons in Dublin offering the same treatment. I haven't written that email yet but I will get back to him because from a business perspective, I don't think it was very wise to be strongly recommending the sale of a competing product and lying about not being able to get an order in from the company- they have sales reps on the road every day and I know that QOD were very shocked to hear this.

So this is probably the longest post that I have written on this blog ever, but I was so touched by the well wishes of so many people- some complete strangers- who reached out to me via private messages, on Twitter and on Facebook- telling me about their horrible experiences and urging me to see this through until the end. I am really sick of this situation now to be honest and I still regret ever setting foot in that salon, but I cannot change the past, I just want to be reimbursed and I believe that that is reasonable. I am going to draft a letter and send it to the salon, and I hope to hear back from them as soon as possible.

I'll continue to keep you posted about both the hair treatment and the conflict with the Art Team.

I think it is important to stand up for yourself if you have been wrong done by, don't you?

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Life Cycle of a 16 Week Blowdry- the application at The Art Team, Dublin

As you all may know, I recently returned to my brunette origins in the quest for shinier, healthier looking hair. I've spoken before about my hair journeys, but needless to say, I am a bit of a haircare obsessive- I use high end shampoos all the time, I constantly apply hair masks and intensive conditioning treatment, I look out for my hair. I had been contemplating getting a Brazilian blowdry for the longest time but I kept chickening out of it- I thought it was too expensive, I didn't like the thought of products being blasted onto my hair with heat products, and so on. Hairdressers opinions were very divided- with some telling me that I would be wasting my money, and others recommending it very forcibly! For the best part of 18 months I have grappled with the idea, but I finally took the plunge and did something about it.

I did a LOT of research of the different types of blowdries available, and settled on the 16 week QOD Organic Blowdry. It wasn't that it promises to calm your tresses for four weeks longer than other treatments, but it was the fact that it was an organic, conditioning treatment that appealed to me more than anything else. Condition is key when it comes to haircare. I decided to go to the Art Team on Lemon Street (just off Grafton Street) in Dublin 2 for the treatment. I had spoken to one of their hairdressers before when I was getting highlights and he recommended the treatment and said it would suit my hair type, and I did my research online and off I went. The 16 week blowdry costs €125 (supposedly it's on special offer at the moment but really, to the best of my knowledge, it has been €125 for the last year at least.) One thing I noticed in my research was that there were no extensive posts detailing the life cycle of a 16 week blowdry- from day 1 through to day 112. I found a few posts where people raved about how shiny their hair now was a day or a week later, but nothing extensive that followed the life span of a 16 week blowdry. I was inspired.

(c/o www.theartteam.ie)

What I hoped to achieve was shinier, more manageable hair that would be easier to style in the mornings when I am rushing out for work (alot of the time I am out the door at 7.30 so my time is at a premium in the a.m.). I did not expect a permanent straightening solution- that is not what the 16 week blowdry does. I just wanted my hair to be smoother and more manageable, minimising the need for using heat products and styling creams on my hair, and thus helping the condition. 

I had been to the Art Team before, and whilst I wasn't taken with the place enough to go back for my colour again, I was sufficiently confident that the 16 week blowdry would be executed well enough. It's just a fancy blowdry I thought. The brand of treatment they use is called QOD and on the Art Team website (www.theartteam.ie), they lay out the advantages:

De-Frizzes Hair

Reduces Curls
Smooths Hair
Makes Hair Easier to Manage
Gives Hair a Protein Injection
Repairs Damaged Hair
Makes Hair Feel and Look Healthy
Leaves Hair Revitalized & Rejuvenated
Gives Hair a Natural Silky Shine
Helps Hair Growth
Strengthens Hairs
Can be applied to ALL Hair Types
Made up of Natural Ingredients such as Keratin & 15 Amino Acids
Formaldehyde Free
Does Not Damage or Alter Hairs Structure
No Fumes
Lasts up to 16 Weeks

So I was pretty sure that I would benefit from smoother, less frizzy, more manageable, repaired, healthier looking, revitalised and rejuvenised, stronger, shinier hair after undergoing this treatment. There was a video available on the website which showed the process- washing, blowdry, treatment, leave for five minutes, blowdry, straighteners, wash and condition and hey presto- shiny hair. 

The girl who did it for me was working on the reception when I went in and she took me upstairs to the salon proper and suited me up in no time at all. It was straight to the basin for a pre cleansing shampoo- 2 rounds- which was fine. The shampoo smelt nice. There was no conditioner however, which caused me great concern because I cannot get even a Tangle Teezer through my hair if I don't use at least 2 conditioners. I was then taken back over the the seat and the girl there starting combing my hair- and the amount of knots and tangles I had made for a pretty excruciating session. When my hair was eventually dried, she blowdried it- not straight and not fully, it was still pretty damp, and she went downstairs to get the treatment and came back up and applied it section my section using a COMB and a brush. Emphasis on comb because I actually thought I wouldn't have a hair left in my head the way she was pulling it through my hair. The actual treatment itself took to my hair just fine- again it smelt like bananas but I didn't find it to be offensive.

I was a bit alarmed when she reached for the blowdryer straight away as soon as she had finished applying the product because on the video on the website, the girl was allowed to sit for five minutes and blowdrying was only commenced after a pause. I didn't say anything because I just put my trust in the hairdresser. The actual blow drying experience itself was really painful- there were tears in my eyes- hairs were being pulled from my head and it was desperately uncomfortable. The formula which applied so shiny and sleek turned to absolute sludge on my hair. It was disgusting and definitely not a pleasant experience. There was steam flying out of my head and it was beginning to smell rather like rotten bananas at this stage. But, in the pursuit of shiny hair, I thought that this was bearable and it would all be worth it in the end. When the straighteners were run through my hair, some of my hairs kept getting caught in the actual plates of the ghd causing them to pull out my hairs from the root- it was really sore- and again, the hairdresser struggled to get the comb and ghd through my hair. Rather worryingly, she was clamping my hair with the ghd whilst tearing the comb through my hair which was desperately knotty and tacky thanks to the treatment being blowdried into it.

But the worst part of all was, when she finished straightening it (complete with center parting even though I hate center partings and was not asked and did not arrive at the salon with a center parting), she just went 'oh you can't wash it now for 24 hours to let the treatment work'. To say I was shocked and appalled is an understatement- I took a late lunch from work to get the treatment done, I was returning to work that evening and I had to go back to work with dry, sticky, tacky hair that stuck out like straw from under a scarecrows hat!!) I was under the impression from the video on the Art Team website that my hair would be washed and conditioned and presentable to the world when I left the salon, instead I threw up my umbrella even though it wasn't raining and ran back to the office so people wouldn't see what a holy show my hair was. Interested in this video- here it is-

I have taken photos of my hair tonight, but to be honest, I am too ashamed to put them up online. My hair is like tacky straw tonight, and I was advised not to wash it for 24 hours to get the full benefit of the treatment (or else I have just wasted alot of money). On the Art Team website, it clearly says that you can wash or style your hair whatever way you want as soon as you leave the salon- no 24 hour delay mentioned- and I was also told this evening after the treatment was completed that I couldn't tie my hair up too tightly in case it would affect the treatment. I made it clear that I would be going back to the office after the treatment, and it was never mentioned to me that my hair would be such a holy show. I was so mortified by it that I just paid and ran but when I got back to the office, my fellow co-workers were appalled at the condition of my hair, especially when you pay a not inconsiderable sum of money to get a conditioning blow dry. 

It is recommended that you use paraben/sulfate free shampoos after getting the treatment done to preserve the full effects- but to add further to my disastrous experience, the Art Team did not even have the shampoos and conditioners in stock and instead offered Moroccan Oil alternatives. I have used Moroccan Oil shampoos before and they did nothing for me whatsoever, I would have tried the other brand but I couldn't because apparently the producers of the treatment aren't giving them the shampoos and conditioners to sell- I wasn't going to waste €45 on a shampoo and conditioner that didn't do much for me the first time around. 

I completely and utterly regret going into the salon today to get this treatment done, my hair is in a state. My hair feels like it dry, tacky, greasy straw, and I can't wash it for work tomorrow so I have to spend a day feeling like a leper, and my scalp is very itchy and sore tonight from all the pulling and yanking and that questionable ghd that my hair kept getting stuck on. I am raging with myself that I paid for a treatment when my gut instinct believed that it was wrong, and I will definitely be contacting the salon again in the morning to express my dissatisfaction at what I perceive to be false and misleading advertising (i.e. that the treatment would be shampooed out of your hair before leaving the salon and conditioner would be applied, that you wouldn't have a delay in styling your hair whatever way you want). My hair stinks like burned bananas tonight, and I cannot get a brush through from my roots to my tips. My scalp is itchy, and I can't wash my hair before work tomorrow. I feel like I got half a treatment, and whilst I am hoping that when I can wash my hair properly after my time is up that I have shiny hair underneath this hideous mess, I am worried. At this moment in time, I regret going to the Art Team for this treatment and I would definitely not recommend it- unless the results tomorrow are pretty spectacular, they will not be worth the pain and humiliation of walking into my office with manky, greasy looking straw like hair. 

I will be calling the salon tomorrow and asking why my hair was not washed and conditioned after the treatment was applied- as is suggested by material on their website, in the QOD video embedded on their website and in previous reviews that I have read online. Of course, I will keep you all posted on the outcome, and I will keep you in the loop over the next few weeks as to the life span of the 16 week blowdry, whether it has made a difference to my hair, if I think it is worth it and any other relevant information. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them below.

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