Of all the physical traits I’ve thought about improving or tweaking over the years, my hair was never really one of them. As the proud and fortunate owner of thick, naturally highlighted, blond hair that grows at a rapid pace and only requires two or three shampoos a week, I always chose to devote my attention to other facets of my appearance when it came to beauty treatments and products. But when I found out that HydraFacial, the company behind one of my favorite exfoliating facials, had just launched a new, highly anticipated treatment targeting scalp and hair health, I knew I had to see what all the excitement was about.
I immediately made an appointment for HydraFacial Keravive at LUXERGERY with plastic surgeon Sachin M. Shridharani, MD on New York’s Upper East Side, and days later, my unwashed hair and I were ready to be pampered. As I slipped into a robe and slippers and nestled into the treatment chair, I learned that HydraFacial Keravive, like the original HydraFacial treatment, is a three-step process. First, the brand’s signature vortex technology would cleanse and exfoliate my scalp and hair follicles, extracting dirt, oil, and often leftover product while simultaneously stimulating circulation; then a peptide complex solution would be applied to nourish the area and stimulate it with growth factors and skin proteins to deliver thicker, healthier-looking hair. Finally, I was told I’d be sent home with a peptide complex spray to apply to the scalp daily in the following weeks in order to extend and enhance the benefits of the in-office treatment.
Kasha, the nurse who would ultimately be administering my HydraFacial Keravive, explained that most patients require the treatment only in the front half of the scalp, from temple to temple, and that since my hair and scalp were relatively healthy, I was no exception. She draped my hair over the chair so that she could move it to target different sections and warned me that, as the cleansing and exfoliation began, I would feel some friction. “Some people find it to be super pleasant, and others find it to be a bit more scratchy,” she noted. “But it should feel a little scratchy because I need to get all the dirt out of there so the product will fully penetrate.”
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Much in the same way that it’s crucial for our faces, exfoliation, Kasha said, is incredibly important for our scalps, where we often pile on hairspray, dry shampoo, mousse, and dozens of other products. With that in mind, she explained that Keravive was really great for anyone. “It will increase circulation to the scalp and make hair look healthier, and it will help other products you use at home really penetrate because all of a sudden, the skin there will be really clean,” Kasha said. “The same thing happens in a facial: if you don’t exfoliate, all of the creams and lotions and toners that you spend so much money on will just sit on the skin rather than penetrate the skin.” Patients would see results after just one treatment, but she recommended that for continued scalp and hair health, most people should do the $500-700 HydraFacial Keravive (which includes the take-home spray) once every season, or four times a year.
As she moved the vortex tool around each section of my scalp, it seemed Kasha’s prediction was right. The cleansing and exfoliation definitely resulted in a weird sensation, though it was not at all unpleasant or painful. About 15 minutes later, the first step was done, but before moving on to the peptide complex infusion, it was officially time for the best part of a HydraFacial: seeing all of the gunk that had come out of my head. Kasha reached for the container, and as I caught sight of the dead skin and dirt-filled liquid, my jaw literally dropped. I was astonished and honestly in disbelief that my scalp could be in such need of a deep clean despite my strong hair health and rare use of products. I realized that every head, even mine, could benefit from exfoliation like this, and I grew even more excited to see the final results.
Over the next few minutes, Kasha applied the peptide complex to different areas of my scalp, rubbing it in to each row. She advised that my hair wouldn’t necessarily feel oily or dirty from this, but that it would seem wet for a little while, and suggested waiting at least 24 hours before washing my hair so that the proteins could sink into my scalp as much as possible. When the Keravive treatment came to an end, I pulled my hair into a loose bun and headed home. When I finally washed my hair the following afternoon, it immediately felt softer and thicker, even in the shower, and once I applied the at-home spray and used the blow-dryer, it truly felt luscious.