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 Kerastase was, for a long time, my favourite brand. Expensive, and at one point difficult to get in India, but oh so luxurious! That is before I went all natural and green and crazy in the head…call it what you will. However,I still have a soft spot for it and it is easily one of the best hair care brands. What they offer you is nothing short of sinful, decadent indulgence, especially if you go for one of their hair treatment spas or what Kerastase calls a “Hair Ritual”. Yeah…hair for them is sacred and anything where you take care of them needs to have the sanctity befitting a ritual..Whatever!!

                         I indulged myself profusely at the then newly opened Kerastase Exclusive Salon-Tress Lounge Prive located in the upmarket Sector 9 of Chandigarh. Probably one of the very few Kerastase Exclusive Salons in the entire country, it was an experience worth relishing especially if you can strike a deal and get them to draw up a package for you.DSC07709

                   Coming to the Rituals themselves, there is a wide variety to choose from and you are most likely to be totally lost. The in-salon rituals include Nourishing Rituals, Smoothing Rituals, Colour Radiance Rituals, Curl Design Rituals, Strengthening and Reconstructing Rituals, Volumising Ritual, Repairing and Firming Rituals, Scalp Care Rituals and Elixir Ultime Liquid- Gold Oil Ritual along with the recently launched “Fusio-Dose” that addresses your primary and secondary hair concerns in one sitting. At the highest end of this high-end brand are rituals like “Chronologiste Caviar Ritual” and “Kerathermie Ritual”. Confused? Probably and rightly so. As if this is not enough, the same ritual can have two variants- “Express” that, as the name indicates, takes lesser time and “Experience” which includes a mist treatment for the hair and takes more time. And then there is a 10 minute “Instant Conditioning Ritual” to accompany regular services like haircuts, blow- drys and hair colour…phew ! Yeah…It is better to tell them your hair and scalp concerns, and let the staff advise you. Luckily, the staff at Tress Lounge Prive is well trained and qualified enough to guide you. Still it never hurts to hear them and apply your own mind at the same time as these Rituals cost a bomb starting from approx. Rs 1600/- and going up to about Rs 3200/- for a Kerastase Chronologiste. So do check up before starting and go with what your budget allows. Even the basic ones are a treat for you and your hair.

                  s_ritual_menuThe Ritual itself includes four steps – Diagnose, Bathe , Treat and Texturise. The Diagnosis starts with a questionnaire followed by an analysis of your hair and scalp with a magnifier. My perennial problem is of dry hair and an occasional dandruff resulting from this dryness. I was advised the “Smoothing Ritual”, a nourishing ritual, meant for dry, frizzy hair. The Kerastase Nutritive (orange coloured) range is the one meant for dry hair and that is what they used for this ritual. The “Bathing” is the shampooing, which thankfully did not turn out to be a nightmare as it often does for me, with water trickling down my back. Comfortable seats, water at optimum temperature and all is neatly done – hair wrapped and you are ready to start

                  DSC07701 Then comes the primary component of the Ritual – “Treatment” of the hair. A small fancy looking glass bottle, consisting of a concentrated dose of what your hair needs is taken, cap is replaced with a spritzer cap and the dose applied to your hair from root to tips. In my case it was the orange coloured cap again meant for dry, frizzy hair. Once the dose is applied, it is followed by a deep conditioning masque. Once that is applied comes the luxurious, relaxing massage lasting about 10-15 minutes…not one of your vigorous “champi” style massages but a very soothing, relaxing massage that can put you to sleep. Thereafter the masque is left on your hair for another 10 minutes or so. If you are going in for the “Experience” variant of the Ritual, the time of the massage will vary and will be followed by another 7-10 minutes of mist spray for the hair. I also tried the “Experience” Ritual later and found the mist to be a high-end version of the steamers that are used everywhere after a hair spa or hair oiling. Only that this one does not scald your scalp and is meant for better absorption of the product by the hair.

                             Finally the “Texturise” part. The masque is rinsed off and thankfully no water dripping down the back again. Then comes the blow-dry. While after other hair spas you are advised not to get a blow-dry, with a Kerasatse Hair Ritual a blow-dry is an integral part of the process as the Kerastase products are activated by heat. In any case, a heat protecting product, Elixir Ultime or Nectar Thermique, is applied before the blow-dry. Ordinarily I dread getting a blow-dry as I have ended with scalp burns way too many times. Besides the styling won’t hold even till the next morning unless a spray is applied to hold the style and I do not like these sprays. My hair is invariably left feeling like straw. But I was in for a pleasant surprise as the blow-dry was done beautifully without burning my hair or scalp. And miracle of all miracles, the style held until my next hair wash. Cannot thank the hair stylist, Mr Ajay, enough for that!!DSC07714

               The results, needless to say, depend to a great extent on the original condition of your hair. If you have totally fried, damaged and ruined hair, don’t expect a miracle in one sitting. When they assess your hair at the beginning, they will advise you a certain number of sittings to achieve the result you desire. Thereafter, probably a hair ritual once a month is what you will be advised along with a home care regimen. Obviously, they will suggest Kerastase products to maintain the results. But no matter what is the condition of your hair, you will definitely come out with much healthier and happier hair and you. The staff at Prive is courteous, attentive and always ready to pamper you with coffee, tea and mocktails while the stylist pampers your hair. Despite my conversion to all things green and eco friendly, I cannot resist the temptation of dropping by to pamper my hair and myself occasionally.