I Tried Magic Sleek, and Can Now Give My Thick, ‘Unmanageable’ Hair a Salon-Smooth Blowout in 6 Minutes

Photo: Stocksy/Javier Márquez
All my life, I've had unmanageably thick and wavy hair. While others seem to be able to blow dry their hair in 10 minutes, it's always taken me at least an hour and a half to style mine into something presentable—which has led to heat damage and a lot of wasted time. I've been through countless products that claimed they could reduce my dry time, but none of them lived up to their promises. So when I heard about Magic Sleek, a salon treatment that promises to make styling thick hair as easy as possible,  I was skeptical yet intrigued... and at that point, willing to try anything.

Keep reading to find out what happened when I tested it out for myself.

What is Magic Sleek?

Magic Sleek is a permanent smoothing treatment that's performed in the salon. It works to straighten and smooth hair without causing damage, and is similar to a keratin treatment but with fewer harsh chemicals (ie formaldehyde). The company behind Magic Sleek is tight-lipped about the exact composition of its formulas, but confirms that it's made with a proprietary blend of amino acids and natural ingredients.

Though people with thick and wavy, kinky, or frizzy hair (like mine) are the most likely to gravitate toward Magic Sleek, the treatment is safe and suitable for almost anyone. “Magic Sleek is great for anyone with hair that they like to blow dry straight and who feels it’s difficult to do that and manage,” says Nicole Crooks, a stylist and manager at Lance Lappin Salon in New York City. “It doesn’t have to be super kinky or curly, it can simply be that you prefer to wear smooth and straight, which would be best achieved with a treatment.”

It's gentle enough to be performed on damaged or chemically treated hair, with one caveat: If you have dyed red hair, you may want to steer clear of the treatment (or do it right before your next dye job), as it comes with a risk of turning red strands a brassy orange color.

When it comes to cost, things vary between different cities and salons, but in general a typical head of hair clocks in at $350 for a single treatment, and hair with my length and density (long, thick) is around $450. And as for how long this "magic" treatment lasts? "Between three to six months," says Crooks. “The less you shampoo, the more it stays in.”


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What happened when I tried Magic Sleek

The appointment

My own Magic Sleek treatment started with Crooks washing my hair three times, which she explained would remove all of the natural oils from my hair so that the treatment had a clean slate to adhere to. Then, she blow-dried my hair straight, which took its usual (long) amount of time.

Next, Crooks sprayed the Magic Sleek treatment onto my strands and let it sit for thirty minutes. When it came time to rinse, she did so lightly, leaving some of the product behind. Then, she blow-dried my hair again and smoothed it out with a flat iron. Because my hair is thick and coarse, she divided it into small sections and went over each one twenty times to ensure it would be as smooth as possible by the end of the process. Finally, Crooks applied a finisher to seal in the treatment, then washed my hair once more to get everything out.

The results

The moment of truth came when Crooks went to give me a final blow dry (which, for those counting, was the third one of the treatment). After a lifetime of listening to stylists marvel at how "unmanageable" my hair was as they were professionally blowdrying it, I assumed that my hair would be the exception to the Magic Sleek rule. To be honest, I expected that it would require vast amounts of styling time and elbow grease to tame into its final form. But—surprisingly—this proved to be wonderfully incorrect.

Crooks lightly blasted my hair with a blow dryer and used only her fingers to brush through it. In less than 10 minutes, my long, thick hair was perfectly straight, dry, and styled. I almost cried.

After our appointment, Crooks sent me on my way with Magic Sleek's line of shampoo and conditioner, which she recommended I use to help the treatment last as long as possible (as mentioned, the fewer shampoos in general, the better).

A second moment of truth came when I had to wash and style my own hair for the first time post-treatment. I've never been able to achieve anything even remotely resembling professional results at home, and I was afraid the same thing would happen even with Magic Sleek. But after washing and conditioning with the brand's products, I let my hair airdry half-way, then hit the rest with my blowdryer and paddle brush. Within six minutes, my hair looked as though I’d had a professional blowout.

Final thoughts

To put it bluntly, MagicSleek has been genuinely life-changing. I’ve kept my hair long despite its unmanageability because I love the way it looks when it is well-styled (as in, it has shampoo commercial vibes). Now, I get to look like a hair model every day without having to pay someone to try my hair once a week or spending hours in front of the mirror trying to style it into submission myself. Though Magic Sleek isn't cheap, I consider the cost well worth it in the time it has saved me alone. I wake up every day with my hair feeling soft, healthy, sleek, and smooth, and I've already got my next appointment scheduled six months in advance.

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