The New Way to Straighten Hair

Think of it as a keratin 2.0. Magic Sleek is part of a new crop of healthier hair processes that semi-permanently tame frizz and straighten hair, minus the harsh ingredients. The defrizzing may not be magic but it does offer a new solution for bad hair days.

Traditional chemical hair straightening treatments like Brazilian blowouts often contain chemical compounds that can release harmful formaldehyde when exposed to heat. Magic Sleek is an alternative and Incentives Organic Salon and Spa, which sits inside Fitness Incentive gym in Babylon Village, is one of the first on Long Island to offer this innovative treatment.

Because it’s not technically a straightening treatment (it doesn’t break or bend the bonds in hair) the product is not damaging even to bleached or color treated locks. Michelle Pepito manages Incentives Spa and previously used keratins on her own hair but said Magic Sleek offers better results and lasts longer—the sleekification lasts up to six months while even retaining some of the waves and body of curly hair. And it’s resilient in Long Island weather. Pepito recently spent a long day outdoors in 90-degree heat and high humidity without any of the frizz of a bad hair day.

Pepito and Corinne Brown, owner of the salon and gym, first took interest in the treatment at the International Hair Show in Manhattan. A model there had half her mane treated with the product and the two were struck by the results. But the kinder, gentler ingredient list was the cincher. Since the salon began offering the treatment in the spring, they’ve seen demand grow through word of mouth. Melissa Vitolano, a Babylon resident, first heard about it at the gym. She had previously tried a keratin treatment but the lack of downtime required for Magic Sleek appealed to her. Vitolano is a busy mother of two who finds the treatment is easy to live with, “I like that I can go to the beach and the pool and it doesn’t get frizzy. I can just re-blow dry my hair after I work out instead of having to rewash it every single day.”

The process takes about two hours total. Stylists wash the hair three times to remove all build-up then apply the product, combing it through and letting it sit for up to 45 minutes. The length of time determines how much wave remains in the hair. A shorter applica- tion removes frizz and adds shine but keeps curls intact, while the maximum length of time creates a straighter look. The amount of natural curl will also affect the final result, but Magic Sleek can be used on all hair types, even hair colored the same day, according to Pepito. And the product lacks the strong smell of keratins—clients don’t have to worry about getting their hair wet in the days after visiting the salon, besides avoiding chlorine and salt water for a week.

Once the treatment is rinsed out, a finisher product is flat ironed into the hair. After the very first blowout that caps off the treatment, clients report an immediate improvement in softness and sleekness. Pepito warned that hair may seem flat at first, but that women can still blow dry volume and body into the hair after the treatment. The brand also offers an optional add-on emergency repair product for damaged or very dry hair, which takes another 15 minutes to apply in the salon. For after care, Magic Sleek recommends use of their proprietary shampoo and conditioner to extend the life of the treatment.

While most clients still need to blow dry their hair afterward, the feedback has been positive, especially among the active gym-goers at Fitness Incentive who rave that their dos aren’t ruined by every sweat session.

Jacqueline Sweet

Jacqueline Sweet

Jacqueline Sweet is a freelance journalist and writer who covers local news and writes features for local and regional publications. She has published work in national magazines like Salute magazine, Family (military) magazine, Triathlete magazine, regional publications like Long Island Pulse and Long Island Parenting, and reported local news for online outlets like and She has been covering health, wellness, fitness beauty, spa and travel for Long Island Pulse for several years.