Any woman with damaged or lackluster hair can add natural shine to her frizzy locks with a treatment known as the hair manicure. This professional service offered at certain salons and beauty parlors involves using a colored cream to add a slight tint of color and a shiny gloss to the hair. The treatment is similar to deep conditioning procedures and also comparable to the cellophane hair treatment.
Women can choose between a colored hair manicure cream and a clear cream meant to add shine but no color. A hair manicure is not the same as hair dye. While it can touch up dull color or enhance natural hair color, it provides only a slight tint and will not show any drastic changes in the color itself. Most women seek the treatment for the healthy shine it gives them, not for the color. Typically, someone receiving a hair manicure will choose either clear or a color that matches her current hair.
After choosing the right color, the stylist mixes together the hair manicure cream in a bowl. Using a soft brush, she applies it to sections of the hair until the entire head is covered. Next she carefully wraps the hair and places the person under a dryer to let the color set. The entire process takes from 30 to 45 minutes, the same time it takes to do a traditional hair coloring process. After the correct amount of time has elapsed, the stylist checks that the color has properly set in and rinses the cream out.
Major advantages of receiving a hair manicure include livening up dull hair and repairing hair with mild damage, such as frazzled or dry hair from overuse of heated hair products or hair dye. Unlike the chemicals found in hair dye, the cream used for a hair manicure does not cause damage or dryness. While it can help treat unhealthy hair, it can only do so much and works best on those with minimal damage. A stylist may suggest an additional treatment first to help repair the hair before using the manicure cream to add shine.
Pricing for the procedure can be expensive depending on the salon and the stylist. It usually costs about the same as a professional coloring job and for those with extremely damaged hair it may be ineffective and a waste of money. The cream used on the hair is available to buy for use at home, but the process is meant for a professional and it is discouraged for those without professional experience to try the procedure on their own.