Whether you’re hoping to fight frizz, loosen up curls, or maintain pin-straight locks, Redken Shape Control gives you the option of making a time-saving tweak to a major mane makeover and everything in between. Shape Control is the latest (and believed to be among the safest) permanent retexturizing treatments on the market. Time to tame those tresses without risk or fear!

Our tester Meghan Kane, franchise sales manager at Sports Illustrated and Divaliciousblog.com contributor, went to Dop Dop Salon in New York City where Guru Stylist Lori Zabel performed the formaldehyde-free thermal reconditioning. And over the course of three hours, we got both to dish on it…

Meghan “The Tester” says...


Q: What is your natural hair texture? Any hair challenges?

A: It’s wavy and a little coarse…it’s actually straight on top and wavy on bottom. And it’s so thick that I let it air-dry a lot [because it takes so long to blow dry] but that never looks as polished as when it’s blown straight. With my job, I need it to look more professional, so I end up spending a ton [of time and money] getting it professionally blown out. I was getting blowouts every three days.

Q: Your hair looked pretty amazing to begin with…Why did you want to test Redken’s new Shape Control?

A: I’ve been frustrated with my hair texture my whole life. To now have something that’s better for you than the Brazilian Blowout, which terrified me from the beginning, is amazing. I also will be in a tropical environment (St. Barts) for my honeymoon that’s less than a month away! And I have BAD beach hair—such a mess!—so this will make it so much easier to manage and style. I’ll be able to focus on my new husband instead of my hair.

Q: Did you try Brazilian Blowout in the past?

A: I did not try Brazilian Blowout in the past because I was afraid of the chemicals. I had a bad experience with hair straightening in high school—an experience that left me with basically an inch wide Mohawk due to breakage—so I didn’t want to go near anything that harsh. I’m actually a little nervous now. I don’t color or chemically treat my hair. It’s been all-natural to date.

Q: Are you feeling any tingling, stinging, itching?

A: Nothing. I have pretty sensitive skin and I feel nothing. It also doesn’t smell so bad—smells like perm solution but softer. Not bad at all. And I have so much hair, I thought I’d be here for five hours. It’s only going to be three hours.

And a week later…

Q: Do you think the results are worth the time and expense? Would you pay to have it done it again?

A: It’s absolutely worth the time (three hours was a lot faster than I expected), and I would say the money as well. It’s not an inexpensive service, however, these days my time has become more and more precious and the fact that I can do my hair done in 10 minutes now is wonderful.

Q: How has your hair texture changed since the process? Quicker to blowout? Less frizz? Looser curls/waves? Totally straight?

A: My hair texture is much less coarse and my hair is softer. It now takes me 10 minutes from start to finish to blow dry, versus 40, previously! Overall, it’s been extremely easy to style and makes lunch hour gym sessions less stressful knowing I can get myself back in order in no time!

Lori “The Stylist” says…

Q: How much does Redken’s Shape Control cost?

A: It varies by hair length, texture and amount of time for the service. Generally $500 for a senior stylist.

Q: Why does the treatment take 3+ hours?

A: The stylist has to take care in keeping it nice and smooth, making sure it’s rinsed really well. There’s a soft perm smell, it’s actually a similar technology, and we want to make sure no odor or product is left in the hair. The stylist also has to blow dry and flatiron very carefully in sections and blow dry gently at the end.

Q: Does the process require any protective measures? Visors? Fans?

A: I always wear gloves for any chemical services. I’ve been doing this for 24 years, so I always want to take care of my hands, which are my business. But there are NO toxins in this at all. It uses dithio, a more modern technology that is permanent but very conditioning. Clients can also use any hair products after. We recommend the Redken line as it was made to work with the treatment but other products won’t ruin the results like they would for Brazilian treatments.

Q: With some Brazilian keratin treatments, women couldn’t wash their hair for a week. Do women need to wait a specified amount of time with this process?

A: Yes. No wetting, no clips, no ponytails, no tucking it behind the ears for 48 hours. No working out or sweating advised—nothing where you need to wash your hair—for 48 hours.

Q: How does the Redken Shape Control process differ for waves, curls or straight styles?

A: For women who want straight hair, we perform the full process with a blow dry and add a flatiron in-between. To cut frizz and loosen curls but keep waves, we blow dry and use a curling-iron, then transfer to sponge rollers We rinse and dry hair on the rollers. With this process, we can customize it however you want. Some clients have waves in the back and not in the front—they just want the hair in back and front to match. Some want to cut bangs and want to make sure the fringe is perfectly straight. Some already have straight hair but it’s frizzy. I can smooth out just the frizz for them. There are soooooo many options. It’s all about what the client wants. For Meghan we made it straight but not “angry straight” where it’s pin straight without any motion. Meghan’s hair will still have body and movement.

Q: How often do you advise women have the treatment done to maintain results?

A: That depends on how fast the hair grows out. Just the regrowth needs to get treated. You can refresh the ends, but it will mostly still be straight since the process in permanent.