elizabeth mckay

henri bendel cross body bagdesign darling

three jane map necklaceelizabeth mckay striped shortsmackenzie horanKate Spade sunglasses ($145 c/o)  //  Old Navy wrap top ($17)  //  Elizoebeth Jensen monogrammed necklace ($285 c/o)  //  Three Jane map necklace ($175 c/o)  //  Elizabeth McKay striped shorts ($135 c/o)  //  Henri Bendel crossbody bag ($198 ℅)  //  Madewell d’Orsay flats ($108 $89, more options here)  //  Photos by Bekka Palmer

Big news, people. I treated myself to the Kerasilk smoothing treatment! First, a bit of history about my hair: it’s always kind of been the bane of my existence. In college, I started several years of Japanese straightening treatments that completely fried my hair and left me with curly roots and lots of split ends. I finally committed to stopping the treatments and letting my hair grow out in its curly, frizzy glory, all the while having to cut the dead ends shorter and shorter. It took about two years for my hair to “recover” and even then I’m not sure it will ever be the same. (If you’re considering a Japanese straightener, learn from my mistake: don’t do it!)

When I moved to New York and discovered Drybar, I was sold. I signed up for a monthly membership that gave me discounts on blowouts and left my hair feeling silky smooth after every visit. I’d get my hair trimmed at barber shops and schedule blowouts strategically around dates, meetings, events… I know how ridiculous this sounds to those of you with straight hair. 😉 Frequent blowouts were really a Bandaid solution, though, since getting my hair wet meant returning to its natural (though perhaps permanently altered) state of unruliness.

So a couple weeks ago I made an appointment for a Kerasilk treatment at Arrojo, recommended by several friends in the city. The treatment took about two hours and I waited 24 hours before getting my hair wet and seeing the results. Here’s the deal: it’s not perfect. I can’t air dry my hair and walk out of my apartment feeling like a million bucks… But I’m not sure I ever will. I definitely still have a little curl but it’s more smooth and it takes less time to zip through it with a curling iron. (I’ve been using this cheapie in the 1″ size and I love it — the curls look a little ridiculous at first but fall into perfect waves when I run my fingers through them.) Kerasilk is supposed to last five months so I’ll let you know if I decide to do it again come 2015!

 Since I just talked your ear off about mine, who else has a hair saga they care to share?

44 thoughts on “OUTFIT + A HAIR UPDATE

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  1. I have really frizzy and curly hair as well. When I was younger, I would wash it at night, and straighten it in the morning after spraying a thermal protectant in it, and it was always amazing (nominated best hair, right here). But earlier this year, I cut a lot off, and started blow drying it all the time (a habit I first adapted over a year ago). I noticed that my hair was looking really dry, lifeless and horrible. I can’t justify paying for a keratin treatment (and my hairdresser doesn’t think I need one), but I’ve been loving doing at home treatments. The L’oreal repair mask is amazing, as is the John Frieda oil. I actually did a blog post a few days ago on my healthy hair routine. You have to try the Bamboo creme for when you blow dry your hair–it’s the most amazing product I’ve tried. While I just cut my hair again, I know I’ll have to pay extra care for all the extra heat I’ll be adding to keep the curls at bay. (P.s., you have gorgeous hair!)


  2. I dont have crazy curly hair, i have a frizz ball of mostly straight hair, I damaged my hair by getting a perm (yeah i know a PERM…) over heavily bleached hair. Its still not the same and its almost 2 years later. I got a keratin glycolic treatment in March and it has helped my hair sooo much! Its been growing, and looks less damaged and is less frizzy. I love Keratin treatments, and swear by them, and lather up in coconut oil with castor oil as often as I can to deep condition. Enjoy your treatment, if you dont like it try Keratin!

  3. I can completely relate, Mackenzie! I’ve had crazy curly hair since birth and have fought it ever since. Flat irons never gave me the smooth, sleek locks I lusted over! I discovered a fabulous salon in my hometown and scheduled my blowouts around dates, events, etc. I loved going in and getting my blowouts, but everytime I had to to my hair by myself I’d get so frustrated! I knew I would never have wash and wear hair, but geeze 1 .5 hours to get semi-smooth hair? Not okay. So I decided to seek a more permanent solution to the problem. I talked to my stylist and decided to have the Aveda Smooth Infusion Keratin Treament done. After there days of not being able to tuck my hair behind my ears (so difficult!!) or put it up in a ponytail, I was anxious to see the results! I washed my hair, let it air dry and it wasn’t perfect, but it was better! It cut my blowout time in half. Now my treatment was permanent in the sense that it doesn’t wash out, it grows out. So 2 years later, i have about 1 inches of the treated hair left and I’m contemplating whether or not to embrace my inner Carrie Bradshaw curls or to have the Aveda Smooth Infusion Keratin Treatment done again. Thoughts?

  4. Your hair looks lovely! I have done the keratin treatment and loved it! i don’t know how different it is from the kerasilk. I fried my hair going from dark brown to blonde for a wedding and it saved it, probably the best thing I ever spent money on beauty-wise.

  5. My mom has a very similar hair history to yours- she grew up with ringlet curls, like mine, but she fried it through years of straightening, chemicals, blowdrying, etc. She’s been getting the Keratin treatments for awhile now and it really has done wonders for her hair. It’s a lot healthier and less dry/prone to frizz. I love my curls, but oh man does that Kerasilk look tempting some rainy days!

  6. This outfit is too cute! I love how it is warm weather appropriate but doesn’t scream summer – it’s a nice transition to fall fashion!

  7. Have you ever tried getting a cut at the Ouidad salon? I used to fry my hair with lots of flat ironing, but in the past three years or so I’ve been getting cuts by them since they are the curly hair experts. I have finally been able to feel good about wearing my hair down and curly (and without any curly hair “triangle”). I get a deep condition with my hair cuts to keep the frizziness at bay, but I have found that I reach for my straightener way less than I used to. Cheers!

  8. Hmmm…I’m interested in this kerasilk treatment now. My hair is definitely not the prettiest when it’s air dried. It’s frizzy and boring, so I always have blow dry it then curl or straighten it and it is so time consuming! I love the waves in your hair with this kerasilk stuff. I am glad you introduced this option…I am going to look more into it. It’s definitely time to do some taming for my wild hair!


  9. My hair story is the lovely combo of having traditionally Irish ringlets and then throw in some Puerto Rican genes along in there. I have suffered many years of having a mix between Shirley Temple and a 1970’s afro. (It depends on the humidity level) I used to relax my hair when I was younger just because that was all we could do to manage it, but it destroyed my hair. It’s almost taken 20 yrs to have my hair past my shoulders. But 2 years ago I discovered the Kerasilk/Keratin treatments and I’m in love. My hair has never been healthier. It’s shiner, and its growing! I still get frizz, but blame that on Texas humidity. It is the greatest thing for my hair. I got my hair done about 2 weeks ago before my vacation, and it lasted through the Carribbean humiitdy. Greatest thing ever for curly gals.

    1. Is it still curly with the kerasilk ? I want my curls , but smoother and shapelier without the frizz.
      I don’t want to straighten it again as I did years ago with Brazilian blowout. So straight and long term damage. Thanks

  10. Your hair looks amazing!! But I have to admit that as a fellow curly girl, I’ve always been a little bummed you don’t wear it curly more often. Embrace the wild hair! 🙂

      1. I know that feeling 🙂 Unfortunately it takes (seemingly endless) trial & error to find what works for your hair, so I get not wanting to put in the time. Just sayin.. curls are an awesome accessory!

  11. Oh, our stories are all too similar! My hair has always been naturally curly/frizzy so I got a treatment in high school that FRIED it and left it with no body whatsoever! I eventually just learned to embrace my curly mess letting it fall in its natural state sometimes and blowdrying it straight the rest. After I had my daughter it actually went to more of a loose wave…not the cute kind. I will definitely look into the Kerasilk treatment to see if that makes life easier! Aaaaand your top is everything – seriously, Old Navy?? Love!

    1. I just added the link for you — so sorry about that! It’s the Henri Bendel Carlyle “wallet on a string” — it looks like the yellow is no longer available but they have some gorgeous new colors for fall!

  12. My hair saga: i had rather long and nice hair (without sounding pretentious 🙂 ) I then thought my hair was too straight so I did a perm to curl my hair for years result = lovely on wet hair, not so lovely when the hair dries and you end up with Lion’s mane … I then asked for a straightening treatment and then my hair got dull and too straight … I then cut my hair, hated it grew it back and then burnt it with my straightener to finally attached it everyday and had terrible slip ends … got told off by my mom for not taking care of my hair and finally some sense knocked into me and i finally started taking care of my hair (precision that this was only 1 month ago) (oh and I colour my hair as well) I am 24 and I am sad to say that I still don’t know what to do with hair 🙂 will we ever be happy? I believe straight hair girls want curly hair and vise versa 🙂 hahah

    xo Sylvia 🙂

  13. I have the exact type of hair! I understand those with straight hair don’t understand. It is constant work especially with the humidity in the summer! My stylist recently told me of these treatments. I might have to check it out! Thx for letting us know !
    Your outfit is adorable!

  14. I love your hair! If I could choose, I would have your hair color for my own. Love it 🙂 and I can totally relate to having damaged.. I’m also embracing my natural hair at this point in my life!

  15. I long for you locks! The grass is always greener, right? My hair has always been super straight and fine, but within the last few years it has been thinning like crazy! And I’m only 25. It comes out in chunks. Literally have tried everything besides a hair transplant or a wig.

  16. Is Kerasilk the same as the Keratin straightening? I’ve gotten that done twice and it works really well. Basically takes out all of the frizz but leaves most of the body. I did a formaldehyde-free one this year which you keep in for 24 hours before washing and it worked okay but didn’t last as long as the one I did years ago. It’s good to do it for the summer humidity but it’s definitely expensive! Plus some need to sit for three days before washing which is tough. I think your hair looks great so I guess the Kerasilk is a good treatment!

  17. I love love love the keratin treatments I get. My hair is naturally straight with an awkward bump here and there and the treatment just knocks it right out. My favorite part isn’t even the straightening, but the frizz reduction. I’m at the University of South Carolina and I don’t think I’ve ever dealt with this much humidity. The treatment makes me feel like less of a frizz ball running to class!

    I hope you love it as much as I do!

  18. looks awesome!!! junior year of college i had a highlight fiasco – it was too dark, then i made someone else do it again and then i thought it looked brassy, then i made someone else fix it again and i still hated it. then my hair was totally processed and fried and it took about 2 years to recover. lesson learned – if someone highlighting your hair does a bad job, make them fix it because they will know what they did or suck it up and let it grow out. my hair was a disaster!

  19. Oh boy! How come hair always seems to drive us crazy. I have the problem of naturally insanely straight hair (holds a curl for about 30 minutes) – that is frizzy. And then I’ve been on chemotherapy for 4 years for my severe RA, which means hair falling out off and on for the past 4 years and just making my hair overall this annoyingly frizzier but still straight mess. Still haven’t quite figured out how to best manage it, but I’m getting there!

  20. My mom is a hairdresser and actually does a lot of the Kerasilk treatments! I got one a couple years back and was happy that it cut my blow drying time in half! I haven’t had any bad hair experiences since my mom has always done mine!