F is for Formaldehyde-Free Frizz Fighter: X-tenso Moisturist Smoothing Treatment an Alternative to Keratin

by Janine on 3 June 2011 · 177 comments

Looking for a long-lasting, truly formaldehyde-free frizz-fighting treatment? One that releases no stealth formaldehyde fumes? I’ve mentioned L’Oréal Professionnel X-tenso before as an alternative to keratin smoothing treatments/brazilian blowouts. Now a new, improved, conditioning formula is about to hit salons, and given the controversy surrounding keratin treatments, it couldn’t be more welcome.

I became an X-tenso fan nine years ago when it first hit salons — I look like a baby in the photo for this story #agingsucks. I’m already a bigger fan of the new generation, X-tenso Moisturist. (See goofy grin in above photo.)

what X-tenso Moisturist does

An in-salon smoothing treatment, X-tenso Moisturist significantly reduces frizz and unruly volume, as well as softens hair and adds tons of shine.

It serves as a styling aid, speeding up the blowdry and making it much easier to style naturally curly or wavy hair straight. (Without X-tenso, it takes me an hour and 10 minutes to go from wet to sleek using a blowdryer, round brush and flat iron. With X-tenso, I can go from wet hair to sleek in 15 minutes — without the flat iron.)

It locks style in until your next wash. If you blowdry your hair straight, the results will last perfectly for days, even in the worst humidity or dampness.

how X-tenso Moisturist does what it does

X-tenso is a thioglycolic-acid based chemistry. That’s the same chemistry used for perms and relaxers. Zero formaldehyde in the mix, nor will it mysteriously appear as fumes during the treatment process. (And unlike the Keratin Complex Express treatment I had, X-tenso didn’t make my eyes sting.) There is a perm odour, but it’s very faint during the appointment. You might smell it in your hair afterward, but that will go away with your next shampoo/conditioner session (wait 48 hours, advises L’Oréal Professionnel education consultant Georgia Reynolds).

According to Reynolds, the Moisturist formula also conditions the hair with a cocktail of emollients, softening wax and cationic polymers (positively-charged polymer ions attracted to the negatively-charged ions in damaged hair). My hair certainly feels more supple post-treatment, and it’s wicked glossy.

The treatment itself, which costs about $200, takes about an hour to do. The two-step process begins with the even distribution of the cream formula throughout the hair. The cream stays on for about 10 to 20 minutes, depending on hair thickness, texture and smoothing required. After a thorough rinse comes an application of neutralizing cream, which then stays on hair for about five minutes before a final rinse.

If you want to enhance your curly-curl structure, your technician can twist your hair into curls during the first cream-application step.

If you want extra-sleek results, your technician can run a flat iron through your hair after the first thorough rinse, before the neutralizer application.

who should NOT consider X-tenso Moisturist

Really, X-tenso Moisturist is for anyone with frizzy, unmanageable healthy hair. If yours is extremely fragile, super highlighted, or fried from over-processing, X-tenso isn’t for you. A pre-treatment consultation is a must.

X-tenso is also for those who regularly blowdry their hair straight. A blowout brings out the best in X-tenso’d hair — it looks shiny, healthy and smooth, and holds the look for days even in extreme humidity.

how long X-tenso lasts

The original X-tenso lasted about 12 to 16 weeks — that’s four or five months in case the math confounds you (it does me). But X-tenso Moisturist is permanent. Depending on how quickly your hair grows, after several months you’ll notice your natural texture growing in at the roots. But the treated hair will continue to respond well to blowouts and hold the style. Results are enhanced with the use of frizz-minimizing, smoothing hair care products, which you’re probably already using, right?

For more information, hit www.lorealprofessionnel.ca.

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Kelly May
4 June 2011 at 3:25 am
12 August 2011 at 11:39 am
Elysium Hair Beauty
17 September 2012 at 6:58 am
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{ 173 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracy 3 June 2011 at 6:33 pm

I am going to get this done! I am going to Europe in September, and if this helps with frizz and make the curls/waves smoother then I am in! That will mean less anti-frizz styling products to lug around! Thanks! :)


Janine 5 June 2011 at 1:15 pm

It’s made my hair nice and soft, Tracy, much less frizzy. Love it!


Sam 8 June 2011 at 3:57 pm

I have curly hair that is a bit on the dry side…I have heard that after the treatment wears off your hair is left a bit dry…did you find this?


Janine 8 June 2011 at 4:27 pm

Hi Sam,

No, I don’t remember my hair feeling any more dry. That was a long time ago, though — this formula is different, made with enough conditioning ingredients that technicians can actually manipulate the hair during the process without worrying that they’re causing damage. (With the original X-tenso, they didn’t touch the hair until the process was finished.) My hair will probably feel dry in a few months, but only in comparison to how it feels now after the treatment, rather than how it felt before. Know what I mean?


Tenzing 14 June 2011 at 1:33 pm

I was wondering where i could get this treatment. I will be away for 2 months and I am contemplating whether to get the keratin treatment or this one. I have dry, bushy hair :(.

If you have any recommendation for salons in Toronto, that would be awesome!!


Janine 14 June 2011 at 9:11 pm

Hi Tenzing,

You’ll definitely want to have a consultation with a salon technician to determine which treatment is better for you. If, despite being dry and bushy, your hair is strong and in good condition, X-tenso Moisturist is an option. If your hair is damaged, bleached or brittle, you might do better with a (formaldehyde-free!) keratin treatment, which coats the hair to add strength and shine.

X-Tenso Moisturist will be available at L’Oréal Professional Salons, such as Salon Daniel locations in Yorkville and at the Soho Met hotel downtown. You should be able to get more info re: salons at http://www.lorealprofessionnel.ca


Tenzing 15 June 2011 at 8:34 am

formaldehyde-free keratin treatment as in ???? I thought all the keratin treatment had some kind of formaldehyde in them.


Janine 15 June 2011 at 7:04 pm

Someone is always trying to tell me theirs is formaldehyde-free. But the problem is that formaldehyde isn’t always listed in the ingredients (or maybe people don’t know what methelene glycol is) — it seems to show up mysteriously in fume form when stylists hit the hair with a flat iron. A brand called True Keratin claims to use vinegar (what’s the scent like, I wonder??) instead of formaldehyde or any other aldehyde. But they don’t list their ingredients on their website, so…

Safer for now to assume that yes, all keratin treatments contain formaldehyde, in which case, I take back that suggestion. X-tenso all the way — as long as your hair is healthy to start with.


Tenzing 20 June 2011 at 9:09 am

thank you for all your help!! here i come X-tensooooooooooooooo


Anne 9 July 2011 at 11:55 am

Any salons in Charlotte area do this X-TENSO treatment?


Lala 13 July 2011 at 12:03 pm

I just tried the x-tenso treatment 2 weeks ago and my hair has never felt softer and more manageable. The only downside is my hair gets oily the day after I wash it (I only use Moroccan oil at the tips, so I figure my roots should be fine). But, my stylist told me that curly hair tends to get more oily with these kinds of treatments. My only saving grace, my dry shampoo and an up do for the second day!

My only question is, is there another product I could use for my hair, which tends to be quite dry at the ends?


Janine 13 July 2011 at 1:34 pm

Yay! I’m happy your hair likes the treatment, Lala!

Makes sense that curly hair would seem oilier after such a treatment, actually — sebum finally has a straight route to travel down the hair shaft. It doesn’t do that as well with curly hair; that’s why curly hair is so dry.

To temper that oily-root issue, though, you could always try a volumizing shampoo, and use a smoothing conditioner on your ends. Shouldn’t mess much with the general results of X-Tenso.

Also to help with those dry ends, maybe a leave-in conditioner is what you need there, or a bit of styling cream. If you like Moroccanoil, you could check out their Hydrating Styling Cream. And consider deep conditioning the ends of your hair once or twice a week.

Let me know how it goes, ‘k?


Lala 2 September 2011 at 7:00 pm

Hey Janine,

I bought the Nexxus Pro-Mend Overnight Treatment for my split ends and let me tell you, it delivers! I apply it to the ends of my hair before bed and wash it off in the morning and it feels and looks like I never had any split ends. Of course it works better with continued use, so looking forward to having split-end-free hair!


Janine 3 September 2011 at 12:44 pm

I’ve heard good things about that treatment, Lala! I mentioned it on The Marilyn Denis Show, here. La Coupe also does an overnight-repair product that got a Good Housekeeping seal of approval as the top budget type (they do their own independent product testing; cool, right?).


Marley 8 September 2011 at 12:13 pm

Where can I get this done in NYC???


Vonetta 1 December 2011 at 12:04 am

I’m interested in NYC salons too, that do this treatment on ethnic, textured hair.


Tita 4 January 2012 at 11:50 pm

Hey Jasmine!

I have wavy hair frizzy and lots of volume on it but I haven’t had any chemical treatments like smoothing coloring etc, so is it right to have X-Tenso right now? and after months will it back to basic form of me hair or it will be better?


Tracy McCulloch 18 January 2012 at 2:22 pm

Do you have to use any special shampoos or conditioners after the straightening? I would love to have this done, but hate the shampoos and conditioners they force you to use.


Janine 19 January 2012 at 12:41 am

Not after X-tenso, no :-) You’ll probably be encouraged to use “professional” sleek-hair shampoo and conditioner, but any shampoo and conditioner designed to minimize frizz will do.


Berry 29 January 2012 at 12:54 pm

How can u get it in Egypt ? Is there any website can I get it buy shipping ?


Rony 2 July 2012 at 12:03 am

I just did it Berry here in Egypt. There’s a beauty salon in Oboir city called Splash which does this treatment. They are very professional and specialized in loreal products. Go ahead :) it’s great


Renita 4 February 2012 at 10:57 am

Hi Janine,

I had the X-tenso Moisturist treatment done yesterday (Friday) morning. I’m so excited to see the results!

Before I had the treatment I was told that I would have to wait 48 hours after the treatment before washing my hair again. However, when I left the salon my hairdresser said I should wait until Monday morning to wash – that is 72 hours.
I usually wash daily and after 30 hours I’m already feeling very irritable and can’t see myself waiting till Monday.

Would it be ok to wash after 48 hours or would I be jeopardising the treatment results?

I would appreciate your advice.



Janine 4 February 2012 at 10:16 pm

Hi Renita!

The X-Tenso chemistry is basically perm solution. The more time you give it after your salon treatment, the better you safeguard the results. But if waiting 72 hours is a near impossibility — I totally understand why! — at least give it the full 48 hours :-)


Theresa 4 March 2012 at 1:06 pm


I have had the Permanent Blowdry (at least that’s what my hair stylist in London calls their version of the Keratin treatment) done for three years. It used to work miracles, until they reduced the percentage because of complaints about hair losing volume, (i gather they probably were health complaints about the formaldehyde). I have noticed slowly though, that I have much less hair than I used to a couple years ago. Not bald spots or anything, but seriously my ponytails now is super thin compared to three years ago. So I had heard about this Moisturist, and was wondering if you had ever heard complaints about hair loss, etc.

Thank you for your help,


Janine 5 March 2012 at 10:30 am

Hi Theresa,

I think the first thing to note is that X-Tenso Moisturist is still a chemical treatment, a perm solution that is combed through hair rather than used with rollers. If your hair is in a seemingly delicate state, it’s probably wise to avoid it, especially if your colour is double-processed (highlighted with peroxide) :-(

A friend of mine experienced a lot of breakage in the months after X-Tenso; it made her hair drier and more brittle. She’s a dark blonde who lightens to a pale blonde. I’m a natural brunette, and although I’ve found the straightening effects of X-Tenso Moisturist have lasted far longer than they did with the original formula, I’ve suffered no breakage or hair stress. But my hair was technically virgin hair before the process.

What’s your natural hair texture? Have you given a thought to trying some of the newer home-smoothing options? Ojon Super Sleek is getting good buzz and provides wonderful conditioning besides.


Theresa 20 March 2012 at 10:40 am

Thank you for answering,

Did you friend -the one who experienced breakage, etc, do the Moisturist or the original X-Tenso? My hair is naturally wavy (they go in curls rather ran waves) but it’s thin so even the keratin (which only de-frizzed my wavy/curly friends) made my hair almost poker straight, because it’s very easily mouldable (it takes me only 10 minutes maximum to blowdry my whole head of hair, which is very long by the way).

I’m having a look at the Ojon option, thank you! Nevertheless was still hoping to have a treatment because my hair is rather beautiful naturally air-dried with a keratin or smoothing treatment, but gets too curly if I don’t do anything, and it’s been all to nice to have to go back to the old blow-dry times :(


Theresa 20 March 2012 at 12:24 pm

By the way, I have just found this. Know of anyone who has tried it? It’s called Zerran Realisse.



Janine 21 March 2012 at 5:20 am

Yes, as a matter of fact I do. A friend of mine tried it; results didn’t really compare to the results of a keratin treatment. Her hair looked nice immediately afterward, but she felt the results lasted only through the first or second shampoo (she used their maintenance products, but still didn’t love the results).


Janine 22 March 2012 at 6:55 am

She did the Moisturist version.

Have you ever tried Phyto’s botanical smoothing balm? Phytolisse goes onto sopping wet hair after your wash. It cuts the blowdry time down and works in a cumulative fashion — the more you use it, the more it reduces frizz and improves the blowdry. It’s good stuff, available at select salons.


Alisha 22 March 2012 at 9:49 pm

Hi Janine,
Just stumbled upon your wonderful beauty blog while Googling Xtenso Moisturiser…
I had an original Xtenso straightening treatment about 4 years ago; it relaxed my curls, which was great, but my hair became very brittle and snapped easily. The strange thing was that I had healthy, black, thick, curly hair and I’d never bleached/coloured it!
I’m hesitant to try the new Xtenso Moisturiser because I don’t want to ruin my hair like last time… So, would you be able to tell me how your hair is, strength-wise? Does it snap when you style it?
Thanks in advance!


Janine 23 March 2012 at 6:06 am

Hi Alisha,

Thanks for your comment!

I think you need some kind of “patch test” to decide. You know, where you test the product on a small section of hair you can hide afterward?

I had zero negative effects from the original version of X-Tenso. My hair was just less frizzy, and five months later its original texture seemed to return. I liked the process enough to do it three or four times over a couple of years.

This time, my hair hasn’t recovered quite the same way. It isn’t dry or brittle — no snapping either — but nine months after the treatment, my natural texture hasn’t returned. X-Tenso Moisturiste straighted my hair more than the first formula did. When it’s blowdried, it looks and feels super shiny and healthy — perfect. When I don’t blowdry (the normal state of things!), it’s much straighter than it used to be, but in a needs-a-blowdry-to-look-better way. It’s not a huge problem, but sometimes I miss my natural wave :-)


Alisha 24 March 2012 at 4:39 am

Janine, thanks very much for your reply!
You’ve helped me quite a bit :-)


Janine 24 March 2012 at 10:04 am

I’m glad! Hair-texture treatments are tricky!


Aziza alattar 30 April 2012 at 1:19 pm

I used to apply keratin treatment to my hair, I would like to try x-tenzo moisturist, is it safe to use it after coloring my hair.
Thanks for your replay.


Janine 30 April 2012 at 10:17 pm

It depends what kind of colour you have, Aziza. If it involved bleach or peroxide, you have to be very, very careful. Best to book a consultation with a technician, and if you decide to go ahead with it, make sure the technician does a patch test.

Good luck!


Iris 13 May 2012 at 6:56 am

Hi Janine !

Your inputs are very helpful.

Could you please guide me further..I have got hair straightening done 4 times. 3 times with extenso and once with schwarzkopf. With schwarzkopf my hair felt like cactus and only after lots of hair spas they started looking n feeling normal. I use loreal excellence to colour my hair.

Its been15 months since I got my straightening done. Want to try extenso.moisuturist this time. What do you recommend ? Should I go ahead ? How long will it last?


Janine 13 May 2012 at 7:18 pm

Hi Iris,

You should be okay with X-Tenso Moisturist if your hair is healthier now, but you can’t really take my word for it. You’ll have to check with your stylist or have a consultation with a stylist that does X-Tenso Moisturist. There is no guarantee your hair will respond the way it did to the original, and definitely no guarantee it’ll respond like mine did.

I’m actually not fully certain how long the results last — definitely at LEAST as long as the original would have for you. But for me, it’s been nearly a year and my original hair texture hasn’t returned, and blowouts still last nicely.


Fiona 15 May 2012 at 6:47 am

Hi Janine,

I have fairly straight hair but it is prone to turning into a kinky/wavy mess is the rain, drizzle or damp weather. Holidays are always a nightmare due to humidity!!
My hair is lightened with “nice and easy” champagne blonde but is in good condition……..would x tenso cure me of my “holiday hair” nightmare?


Janine 13 June 2012 at 3:05 am

Hi Fiona,

Sorry for the reply delay! You’ll need a consultation with an X-Tenso-trained technician before moving forward. I’m not sure how X-Tenso Moisturiste will react with lightened hair. An industry colleague who also tried X-Tenso Moisturiste when I did is naturally dark blonde with a lift to make her hair light blonde. The process made her hair significantly drier; she’s also been dealing with some breakage.

Short answer? Proceed with caution.


Joanne Martin 23 May 2012 at 12:00 pm

I am considering having extenso done for my daughter. She is 12 years old. Has very thick and very curly hair. She is tired of it and frankly I am too. My concerns are, her hair is dry, and she goes to the pool during the summer. Would this be a good option for a kid? Is it ok to go swimming in chlorine once you have had the treatment?
Thank you very much for your input.


Janine 13 June 2012 at 3:09 am

Hi Joanne,

Sorry it’s taken me a bit to come back to you, Joanne! I think it’s best to consult an X-Tenso-trained technician. The idea of chlorine + X-Tenso Moisturiste makes me a tad nervous…


jawad maphoto 30 May 2012 at 3:00 pm

i tried it today on ethniq hair it gave me amazing results


Aziza alattar 12 June 2012 at 3:53 pm

Hello Janine,
I just saw your replay, thanks a lot, this Friday I m thinking to color my hair, and use x-tenzo on next Monday, the hairdresser suggest like you to do a patch test. I hope everything will be fine, I will come back and tell what will happen inshaalah.


Janine 13 June 2012 at 3:10 am

Looking forward to hearing about your experience, Aziza!


Liz 15 June 2012 at 4:01 pm

Hi Janine!
I recently moved to South Florida. I asked my hair dresser what I could do to deal with the frize. I have had both the Brazillian Blow Out and the Keratin Treatments. I suffered with both because they made my hair too straight with NO body. Michael told me about X-Tensol and he said it has been used in France very successfully. I had it done and I have never been more satisfied! My hair is shinny and and smooth and looks like naturally straight hair. Depending how you work with the hair, it can be styled straight or with movement. The process took less than an hour including shampoo and blow dry. It also cost much less than the other methods.


Janine 15 June 2012 at 4:21 pm

Oh yay! Did you have the X-Tenso Moisturiste version, Liz? It lasts and lasts — I had it done last June, and just the other day, fellow Beautygeek Liza Herz asked me why the humidity hadn’t turned my day-two blowout into a massive ball of frizz as it had hers. The answer, of course, is X-Tenso Moisturiste. My hair looked as freshly blow dried as it had the day before.

I do miss my natural waves, though — Moisturiste affects natural texture much more and for longer than the original X-Tenso formula, which quietly left hair after about four months.


nadia 16 July 2013 at 3:58 pm

Can i ask where you had it done.
I am having trouble finding a place in the USA that does xtenso.
Please let me know.


Liz 15 June 2012 at 4:42 pm

Janine, I forgot to ask about the growing out process. Unlike the Karitin Treatment which washes out, I was told X-Tensol grows out from the root and that only the root needs to be redone. What happens to the rest of the hair?


Janine 16 June 2012 at 8:05 am

Yes, that’s right. X-Tenso grows out. The treated hair will continue to hold blowouts longer and better than before X-Tenso.

It’s like colouring your hair with permanent dye — colour grows out, so you have your roots done to match the rest of the colour. With X-Tenso, though, you’ll be able to go several months before you’ll need a touch up because the difference between the new growth and the previously X-Tenso-treated hair shouldn’t be that obvious, especially if you’re blowdrying regularly.


Aziza alattar 16 June 2012 at 8:02 am

Hello Janine,
I colored my hair just yesterday with Inoa color without ammoniac, I m still confused shall I do use the x-tenso moisturist, or the QOD keratin, because I used to apply keratin every 3months for the roots, could you please advice me?. Thank you very much darling. I forgot to tell you that my hear is hard and too much wavy.


Janine 16 June 2012 at 8:09 am

Hi Aziza,

I think you’ll need a consultation with your technician to decide. The thing to remember about X-Tenso is that its formula is based on perm chemistry — same chemical structure. If your technician usually avoids perming someone’s hair after colour, even if ammonia-free, then X-Tenso isn’t a good idea. Keratin may be better because the chemistry is different, but you have to check because I’m not as familiar with it.

As well as asking about potential damage, you also want to ask about whether the treatment will change your fresh colour at all — it might. Might be best to have your technician do patch tests on a small part of your hair that is usually invisible.

Good luck!


Aziza alattar 16 June 2012 at 3:16 pm

Thanks darling for your replay, I appreciate.


Janine 17 June 2012 at 4:46 pm

My pleasure — hope the information helps!


Vy 17 June 2012 at 2:20 pm

Hi janine,
Is xtenso applied to the roots and scalp? And can a pregnant woman use xtenso? What are the side effects?


Janine 17 June 2012 at 4:34 pm

Hi Vy,

X-Tenso Moisturist is applied the same way a perm solution or hair colour would be applied. Not deliberately to the scalp, but it would certainly come into contact with it.

The fear regarding chemical hair treatments for expectant mothers is that the chemicals will be aborbed by the skin and get into the bloodstream. I don’t know that it actually happens — there haven’t been any studies — but I understand about not wanting to take the risk.


nayrouz 30 July 2012 at 2:58 am

hi dear,
could u please tell me if i can use X-TENSO for my nine years old daughter?


Janine 30 July 2012 at 3:05 am

X-Tenso has the same chemical base as a perm; it should be fine for your daughter’s hair as long as it’s healthy and hasn’t been highlighted. Thanks for your question!


LONA 30 July 2012 at 8:00 pm

can u tell me please how i can find it in qatar?


Shruti 5 August 2012 at 7:02 pm

I want to buy x-tenso products can anyone please share where I can order them, I live in Philly?


Janine 5 August 2012 at 8:27 pm

Hi Shruti,

They’re professional salon products; you’d have to get them from salon supplier.


Suzanne kell 7 August 2012 at 3:08 pm

Has anyone noticed they have lost any hair at the front after having xtenso done? Just have and noticed at my scalp hair has come out?


Janine 26 August 2012 at 7:41 pm

Hi Suzanne,

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to answer your comment! I haven’t had any such problem. Was your hair fragile before the treatment? Previously highlighted or lightened?


Sun 16 August 2012 at 6:36 am

Dear Janine!
i have got scwarkolph rebonding done twice. . .and now as my roots are grown out. . .my hair stylist recommends me to have LOREAL x-tenso treatment done over the roots . . .she says its mild and less harmful as compared to rebonding. . .my hair is wavy and very little frizzy. .do u recomment LOREAL X-tenso for my roots?i have no idea about it. . .will be waiting for ur reply . . .thnk u


Janine 26 August 2012 at 7:39 pm

Hi Sun, I’m sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to your question! You may not need it any more, but I think what your stylist suggests is worth trying. I don’t know enough about the Schwarzkopf rebonding treatment to compare, but your stylist should have a good idea of how each treatment affects the hair — she’s done the Schwarzkopf process before, right? But you need to ask her what happens if it doesn’t work. X-Tenso is a perm-based chemical treatment, so it will cause some damage, which can be as simple as extra dryness. You’ll want to avoid adding more damage by putting another process over it.

Whatever you do, treat your hair with moisturizing masks and hydrating products to keep it supple, okay?


sheema 24 August 2012 at 10:26 am

hi there! i am planning to go for extenso for the first time and i have few questions regarding this. first of all: does this treatment damage hair and secondly has any one reported hair loss after getting this treatment and kindly post some pictures so that people an get some idea about the results . waiting for your reply. thanks


Janine 26 August 2012 at 7:28 pm

Hi Sheema,
X-Tenso Moisturiste is in effect a perm that is combed through your hair to straighten it. It doesn’t make hair sleek like a Keratin or Japanese treatment — instead it reduces your hair’s natural curl or wave, which makes hair easier to style straight and helps it hold onto your shiny blowout (even in extreme humidity) until you wet or wash your hair again.

After the treatment, you may find that your hair is drier than it was before. Anything that makes hair drier can make it more fragile, especially if it’s been previously highlighted or lightened. Breakage may be a problem if your hair is already delicate.

I don’t know if anyone’s reported hair loss; you might like to google about that. I certainly haven’t. My medium/coarse, think hair was strong and super-healthy before X-Tenso. It’s drier than it was before, and I miss my natural soft-wavy texture, but it holds a blowout for days, which makes a blowout worth it when I need one. I experienced almost no breakage before X-Tenso; that hasn’t changed.

Your best bet to keep your hair supple after X-Tenso is weekly nourishing hair masks to help keep it moisturized and hydrated.

Hope that helps!


sheema 1 September 2012 at 10:16 am

thanks Janine! you helped me a lot.


Janine 1 September 2012 at 4:54 pm

My pleasure!


Adii 8 September 2012 at 12:29 pm

I want to try the treatment at home. I won’t do it myself, my mum will help me with it. But I am confused whether the hair should be blow dried just after using the moisturist smoothing cream and after that applying the neutraliser? Or should I wash off the smoothing cream,apply the neutraliser and after that blow dry and use flat iron?
Thanks in advance.


Janine 9 September 2012 at 10:01 am

Hi Adii — forgive me but I’m about to get a wee bit strident:

X-Tenso Moisturiste is a professional product for use by professionals only, and there are very good reasons for that.

All those questions you have? A trained professional has those answers and is properly qualified to use the treatment correctly and safely so your hair remains healthy.

Do NOT try this at home — you run the very real risk of damaging your hair so badly that you’ll have to wait for regrowth.

Applying this yourself, and putting your mum in a position of trying her best to help you is a BAD IDEA. How do you think she’ll feel if something goes wrong? How do you think you’ll feel? No one needs that kind of pressure. It’s like trying to drive a car without getting your licence. Looks easy when others do it, seems easy when you look at the steps, but missing the details and education can be extremely hazardous. Get one step wrong and your hair is toast.

If you’re trying to save money, believe me — you’ll end up paying more in the end to correct terrible mistakes (or to wait for them to grow out). PLEASE, see a professional for X-Tenso.


Parul 19 September 2012 at 5:42 pm


I was visiting India this past summer and had smoothing treatment from Loreal. my problem is that I had very beautiful long curly hair it was a bit dry just a little so when I was at this salon the stylistic told there is a smoothing treatment that will eliminate this dryness without taking away the curl (i really.liked my curly hair and I told the stylist that are you sure the curls will stay? he said yes) so i had the treatment done. but he didn’t straighten my hair as i wanted it curly after.applying the solution he sprial curled my hair with his fingers. left the solution on for about 15 minutes and than washed it… guess what the hair was straight i was almost in tears he than didn’t apply the neutralizer he shampooed my hair. the result very frizzy hair that was straight. i cried becuz he ruined my hair and a day later i went to him and asked him if this is permeant or will my hair be curly again he said yes it will be as he as not flat ironed it or used a netulizer. it has been 6 weeks post treatment and my hair and the ends are little wavy. my question
is do you think my hair will return to its state? i am okay with the dryness becuz that’s something i can treat with deep moisture treatments but i am scared my curls will not return. plz help sorry for the ling rant
the treatment done only thing is that he


Parul 19 September 2012 at 5:46 pm

sorry for the long rant. i would really appreciate you input. thanks in advance.


Janine 20 September 2012 at 7:57 am

Hi Parul,

I’m sorry you had such a horrible experience! I’m puzzled by the stylist’s decision not to use the neutralizer — I’ll have to check into that to find out more. There is a chance you’ll have to wait for your natural texture to grow back in, I’m sorry to say. You won’t know for sure until at least a couple of months from now.

In the meantime, keep deep conditioning to alleviate the dryness. I’ll see if I can find any more information for you.


Parul 20 September 2012 at 9:51 am

thank you Janine. When you say grows back in what does that exactly mean? like my hair may return to its natural form on its own? I am considering to cut it off but my hair is still long (at my waist) but if there is a chance that a few months down the road that it may return to its natural form than I”ll wait. I am so praying that this treatment is not permanent :’(. thank you again for the quick response. i appreciate the little ray of hope you are giving me.


Janine 22 September 2012 at 11:35 pm

It depends on the treatment you had, Parul. If you had X-Tenso Moisturiste, the newer formula which was released last year, you’ll likely have to wait for the changed texture to grow out. That’s what’s happened with my hair.

The original X-Tenso formula only lasted about 5 months; my hair gradually returned to its natural wavy texture without showing any signs of having ever been chemically treated. But the Moisturiste formula appears to be permanent.

All that said, I’m not sure what will happen with your hair give the fact that the stylist didn’t use the neutralizer. Have you seen any indication that it’s is recovering its natural texture so far?

I’m still trying to get some more info for you. Stay tuned… :-)


Parul 24 September 2012 at 8:49 am

Hi Janine. Yes I have noticed a change in my hair texture since the tx like the hair underneath my neck are really curly as they were b4 and rest of the hairs are wavy and curly and some hair is still very straight. Also when I got the tx my hair was really limp wihout any volume but now some of the volume has also returned. Do you think doing protein tx will help? Thanks again for you help.


Janine 24 September 2012 at 9:29 am

Okay, that sounds encouraging. Now I think the stylist’s decision not to use neutralizer allowed him to rinse it from your hair rather than lock it in. Keep conditioning as needed; I’ll find out about protein etc. Should have answers for you soon.


Parul 24 September 2012 at 9:55 am

Thank you so much Janine :-)


Janine 11 November 2012 at 6:36 pm

Hi Parul,

I’m sorry about the delay, but I have some answers for you from the L’Oréal Professionel team in Montréal:

1) Was the technician right to skip the neutralizer?
“Unfortunately, I don’t have good news. The neutralizer is a very important component of the smoothing service as it recreates the bond of the hair. When the service is not done correctly or completely the hair may be left dull and lifeless.”

b) Will the natural texture rebound fully because the neutralizer step was skipped?
“The natural texture will grow back in as it was before the smoothing service. The mid-lengths and ends may come back slightly with time but it will not become what it was before the service.” (Parul, how is your texture doing now? — JF)

c) What can Parul do to encourage the return of her natural texture and improve the health of her hair in the meantime?
“I suggest she have a series of Fiberceutic treatments done to help rebuild the internal structure of her hair. To increase softness and manageability I suggest this client use Serie Expert Liss Ultime or Absolut Repair shampoo and conditioner.”

Please keep me posted, Parul — I keep wondering how your hair is recovering! Do you happen to live in Canada, by the way?


Solange 26 September 2012 at 8:30 am

I would like to apply Keratine or Krystal Keratine on my hair, but I heard that they both contain formaldehyde which may cause cancer . is it right? if yes, what alternative do I have?


Janine 11 November 2012 at 6:41 pm

Hi Solange,

I’m afraid I’m unfamiliar with those brands. There are SO many, and there are no guarantees that any of them are formaldehyde-free. In many cases, formaldehyde isn’t actually an ingredient — it forms as heat is applied during the process.

If you’re concerned about formaldehyde, your best bet may be one of the home processes that promise similar results. Ojon has a nice smoothing trio, and Sephora sells hair-smoothing kits too that offer 30-day results. The formulas for such things are different from what the professionals use at the salon.

Good luck, lady!


Prachi 1 November 2012 at 12:18 am

Hey Janine,

My hair was very very dry and very frizzy. very long and too much volume. Too much frizz. I went in for the brazilian keratin treatment.
I am happy with the results. Its been 4 days. I never left my hair open before.
However I know this is not permanent.
I wish to go for something more permament.

Should I wait for the Keratin treatment to wear out? and then go for a permanent ‘rebonding’ one?

Is it advisable to go for Xtenso Moisturist straight away. Will it “lock in” the the keratin that is applied?
Is Xtenso Moisturist doing rebonding?

Since there is distinct difference between the current hair texture and the original hair. If I retain the same texture , I expect a distinct line of debarkation when my new hair grows out. To minimize this, should I go for Xtenso Moisturist with “softer” curls. Is it worth it ? or is it that the frizz that will return will be hard anyways.


Janine 1 November 2012 at 7:45 am

Hi Prachi,

I’d certainly give your hair some time before having another treatment of any kind — doing anything too soon could cause visible damage.

X-tenso won’t “lock-in” the keratin. Instead it’ll subject your hair to a perm-like chemical process in addition to the chemical process it just went through. Too much, I think. I’d be worried about frying my hair.

Regrowth is always going to be something you’ll have to work with, which isn’t a bad thing. Regrowth is new, healthy hair, although the texture might not be what you want.

I think your best bet is a consultation with your stylist or a technician who knows a lot about keratin treatments as well as X-tenso Moisturist.


Samia 10 November 2012 at 10:33 am

Hi! I got Xtenso done in Pakistan and LOVE it. I really changed my life :) But now I’ve moved to Dallas, TX and I can’t seem to find a salon here that does this. Do you have any recommendations?


Janine 11 November 2012 at 6:47 pm

Hi Samia,

I checked the US L’Oréal Professional site, but it doesn’t seem to mention X-Tenso, not even in the Salon Services section. Your best bet for answers may be to post a question on L’Oréal Professional’s Facebook page.

Glad you like your results! It’s so good if you regularly blowdry your hair. Good luck re: a salon!


Parul 11 November 2012 at 8:53 pm

Hi Janine.
Thanks for the reply. Well you know what I did? About 3 weeks ago I chopped my below waist length hair upto my neck . I could not go through the torture of seeing my hair to what it had been reduced to. So I just went for a big chop. The texture of my remaining hair it still dry. I am doing lots of moisture treatments some of my hair is still straight and some of it is curly but I know eventually I will have to chop off whatever hair I have remaining from the treatment. It’s so sad what one persons greed can do to your whole 5 years of work but life goes on and hopefully in the next few years my hair will be long again :) again thanks for all your help I appreciate it :)


Janine 11 November 2012 at 9:47 pm

Oh lovely, I’m sorry you had SUCH a disappointing experience. :-(

I know you’re mourning the loss of your long curls, but do you at least like the new cut? And does your hair grow fairly quickly? You do seem to be taking a pretty practical approach to getting past the experience — well done, you.

One more question — do you live in Canada?



ohud 3 December 2012 at 11:35 am

i am in united state where can i find any salone can do it for me


Janine 4 December 2012 at 8:40 pm

Hi there — I think your best bet is to post your question on L’Oréal Professional’s Facebook page.


Parul 23 January 2013 at 10:51 pm

Hi Janine :)

Sorry it’s been a long time but no I hate my new hair cut as its too short and basically looks like a poodle if I don’t straight it :(. E en after getting it cut above my shoulder I will still have to cut it again. Basically I have to start from the roots :(. Anyway I curse the hair dresser everyday (what else can I do? ) the texture has a mind of its own where some days it’s half curly and half straight and some days it’s just straight. Funny how mu BEST feature is the worst now. But life goes on.
I am from Wisconsin although this week our weather certainly has been like Canada’s weather :)


Melanie 4 March 2013 at 2:32 pm

Hi Janine,

I”m dealing with breakage due to hot iron and hairloss as well at the moment and I really need to straighten my hair, I’m considering a keratin treatment or x-tenso moisturist could you help me decide which one will be more beneficiary for my hair I don’t want more hairloss or breakage.

Thank you


Janine 17 May 2013 at 7:34 am

Hi Melanie,

Sorry I missed your question until just now! Sounds like your hair needs regular deep conditioning to help offset the drying and damage from your hot tools. And it needs a heat-protection spray before the application of heat, always.

Re: straightening, x-Tenso is a perm-based product that penetrates the hair. Keratin treatments coat the hair. I’m not a hair doctor — you really need to consult with a good stylist who has been in the industry for a long enough time to gain experience with both services and observe how clients’ hair has reacted. But, if the formaldehyde issues around keratin treatments aren’t an issue for you, I’d probably go that route.

That said, I don’t think we know enough yet about how that truly affects the health of your hair. You might do better to add some short-term straightening products to your everyday routine, such as straightening kits from Garnier, or John Frieda (they both have 3-Day Straight products) that make styling hair straight easier and last several days. Ojon Super Sleek is the one you might like to try first. Click here for the Ojon website.


dr.purvi 16 May 2013 at 1:40 pm

Need your guidance….i have done rebonding many times.
i have got hair fall currently for which i go for hair spa.but still its there.
My straight effect is going…..not that i had curl hair…but to look neat i did rebonding.
considering my current hairfall…what should i go for xtenso or keratin??
Which is safer option.


Janine 16 May 2013 at 11:31 pm

Hi dr.purvi,

I think rebonding and x-Tenso are the same sort of process, same chemistry. But I’m not certain what you mean by hairfall. Are you losing hair?

If you’re looking for a treatment that makes your hair sleek without having to blowdry, a keratin treatment can give you that. You just have to decide whether the health-risk controversy about keratin treatments and formaldehyde is an issue for you or not.


dr.purvi 17 May 2013 at 1:11 am

Thanks janine
Yup im losing hair as off…hence need safer option this time for smoothing of hair…. So need your expert advice to choose between keratin or xtenso


Janine 17 May 2013 at 7:55 am

Ahh, okay. I’m not a hair doctor (not that there are hair doctors, per se, but there should be); I can only suggest something based on my experience with the two services. X-Tenso is a perm-based solution that permanently changes the structure of the hair and requires heat-styling to deliver smooth, straight results. Keratin coats the hair and renders hair more sleek and smooth with less everyday styling effort than X-Tenso. So if I had to choose, and I could get past the controversy around Keratin treatments, I’d probably go with Keratin.

Good luck!


shery 28 May 2013 at 5:15 pm

Hello Dear,
Does sea water affect the treatment? and what in general can i do to protect my hair while swimming? Thanksssss


maham 24 June 2013 at 4:03 pm

hi janine
i am little bit confused to do loreal xtenso my hairs are frizzy and damage it has no much volume some people says if i will straigth my hair after some time it will get more frizz and damage so what should i do?? i want natural treatment which will not damagr or harm my hairs
thamxx waiting for your reply


Janine 24 June 2013 at 5:08 pm

Hi Maham,

If your hair is already really damaged, x-Tenso may cause more damage. You might do better with a keratin treatment if you can handle the health risks.

Your best bet is to arrange a consultation with a good hairstylist in your area; get recommendations from friends with great hair.

As for “natural treatments,” I don’t know of any that work all that well, I’m sorry.


Diane 25 June 2013 at 2:35 am

Is it possible to treat my hair with xtenso hair straightening after dyeing my hair?


Janine 25 June 2013 at 11:33 pm

That depends on the type of dye process you undergo, Diane. If you’re using any kind of bleach, or lightening your hair in any way, you don’t want X-Tenso — you run the risk of frying your hair. If you’re using a single process colour that is the same shade or darker than your natural colour, then maybe. Best to consult with your stylist.


swati sulekha 30 June 2013 at 9:23 pm

ì hav done the loreal xtenso moisturist smoothining 4 months back,.i can see that the hair near my roots has outgrown and regained its original structure,.i go for regular spa visits to the salon, my hair was initialy very frizzy, bt after xtenso it has become very very manageable and i just love it..i do my regular loreal hair spa..but this time the stylist recommended that i should opt for the keratin hair spa, so i am confused about which hair spa to opt for, and as it has already been 4 months that i had undergone the treatment, after how many days is it advisable to go for the touch up ?? Plz reply :)


Janine 2 July 2013 at 10:10 am

Hi Swati,

If you love X-Tenso Moisturist, you might as well continue with it. (Results are permanent, so you just need a touch up at the untreated new-root area every four to six months, when you notice frizz growing back in.)

We still don’t know enough about the health risks of keratin treatments; avoiding them seems like a good idea.

Hope that helps!


Ellen 1 July 2013 at 11:49 pm

I had XTenso done a week ago. I am very unhappy with the results ( I had the keratin treatment 3 times in the past year with great results). This time I decided to try the XTenso because I had heard it was safer. The problem is the crown of my head. It parts dramatically and looks horrible. I cant place the hair to hide it beacause it is so fly-away. I never had a problem with the hair on top of my head before. My question is, is there any treatment I should use to condition my hair because I am afraid the XTenso treatment dried it up. Also if I wash my hair very frequently, can I get this treatment out of my hair quicker? How long dies it usually last? Thanks.


Janine 2 July 2013 at 9:53 am

Hi Ellen,

I’m sorry your experience hasn’t turned out well. When you blowdry your hair, do you still have that dramatic, unwanted part? Does using a round brush during your blowdry help?

Unfortunately, X-tenso is permanent. Washing your hair immediately after the procedure might have helped lessen the effects, but overall, it isn’t possible to wash it out once it’s taken hold. You’ll have to wait for your hair to grow enough to cut off the affected length.

Once you’ve got enough new growth to fix your part issue, though, when you blowdry your hair, it’ll look great for days.

Any deep conditioning treatment will help put some moisture back into your hair. Many shampoo/conditioner lines also offer a deep conditioner. Veteran celebrity stylist Danilo, who works with Eva Mendes and Naomi Watts, highly recommends Pantene Pro-V Restore Beautiful Lengths Replenishing Mask.

Hang in there; your hair situation will improve. In the meantime, you just need regular, wicked blowouts.


Ria 10 July 2013 at 10:23 am

Hi Janine. I am so happy i found this article of yours because i am so fed up with my wavy frizzy hair. I had gone for rebonding about 2 years ago and that left my hair really damaged. I mean the results lasted for a long tome but the new hair was seriously bad, like the texture was worse than my previous hair. After that I went for a lot of natural remedies like oiling regularly, eggs, yogurt etc. and my hair is now nice and healthy. But the texture is still the same. I read in one of your answers that this is the same as rebonding. Will the damage be the same?? I mean i am so done with these hair of mine i am desperate for this treatment but i just wanna know what i am getting myself into so that i don’t regret the after effects.
please reply asap as i am thinking of going for it within the next 10 days or so.
thanks anyways.
much love. xoxo


Janine 10 July 2013 at 10:55 am

Hi Ria,

When I get my hair blowdried, it looks and feels SO perfect: healthy, shiny, bouncy, silky and soft. And it holds the blowdry for days without frizzing.

When I let my hair air dry, it looks different: drier, duller, straighter but not smooth — a bit frizzy, actually, like it’s been processed in some way.

If you blowdry every day, you’ll be happy with the results. If you rarely blowdry, this isn’t the treatment for you. You’d be better off with a keratin-style treatment if you can get past the formaldehyde issues.

Basically the treatment is a type of perm solution combed through the hair to make it straighter. If your hair is already damaged, it will probably make it worse. Best to have a thorough consultation with a stylist who is very experienced with X-Tenso. You might also want to ask questions on a L’Oréal Professionnel Facebook page. Here’s a link to the Canadian page: https://www.facebook.com/LOrealProCanada; here’s the US page: https://www.facebook.com/LOrealProUS

Hope that helps! xo


Ria 11 July 2013 at 1:47 am

Thanks for replying so early janine.
Well, no i actually i rarely blow dry my hair because i’ve heard the heat is bad for your hair. But if this treatment gives the results as you say they do, i am willing to do this.
Thanks again. I hope this treatment works for me. :)


Janine 11 July 2013 at 7:56 am

You’re right, blowdrying is tough on hair. Happily, X-Tenso will make your blowdry faster, so you’ll need less time with the blow dryer. As well, you can use conditioning shampoo and conditioner to maintain suppleness, protect hair with a heat-protection blowdry spray, and keep some of your deep-conditioning remedies in your routine. You also want to make sure your combs/brushes are in good condition — clean with no rough or broken bristles to snag and break hair.

Another bonus: a blowdry after X-Tenso will last for three or more days, especially if you like to use dry shampoo. So you won’t have to blowdry more than twice a week (unless you swim or work out a lot…) :-)


Ria 17 July 2013 at 4:47 am

Hi Janine.
I went for this treatment and i thought i’d tell you how it went because i am really worried right now.
So first, it took me a lot of time to explain these people at l’oreal what i wanted and so i showed them this article of yours. they said this treatment is called a ‘Permanent Blow dry’. So, i went for it. But I think I was given some other treatment because of the following things i noticed:
1. It took about 2.5 hours to complete the whole thing (whereas in your article you mention that it takes 1 hour or so).
2. My waves and curls are completely gone and my hair is pin straight (which i didn’t want, i just wanted my frizz gone)
3. They said it’ll last for about 6 months (whereas in your article you say it lasts for 8 weeks only).
4. They said after I wash my hair i don’t need to blow dry them they’ll be just like this, i mean straight.

I was so angry and sad yesterday after the treatment i actually started crying in the salon because i didn’t want this. I had a bad experience with rebonding and what they gave me was the shine bond rebonding treatment i guess. I just don’t know what to do. I am really REALLY VERY SAD. How long do you think these pin straight hair will last? I miss my waves. :(


Janine 17 July 2013 at 7:48 am

Hi Ria,

I’m going to have to check with L’Oreal myself to find out if they’ve changed things — and to find out what this “Permanent Blowdry” thing is, too. X-Tenso Moisturiste is the name of the service I had; it doesn’t seem to be the name of what you had done. If they say it is, then they’ve changed some things and it’s not the same treatment at all. And they should have been very clear that it would make your hair pin straight without a blowdry — which would have been a warning sign for you.

And I’m sorry to say, it’s unlikely your hair will bounce back to your natural texture; you’ll have to wait for it to grow out.

I was told X-Tenso Moisturiste lasted for 8 weeks, but I don’t know anything about this “Permanent Blowdry.” I suspect you’ll have optimal sleekness for six months, but that the effects are permanent. After six months, you’ll have some new growth at the root (that new growth will be your natural texture), but the rest of your treated hair will probably still look like it’s been processed unless you blowdry it.

I’m going to do some research into this “Permanent Blowdry” and get back to you, okay? But unfortunately, from what you describe, I think your waves are going to have to grow back in :-(


Ria 17 July 2013 at 12:48 pm

okay, thanks anyways Janine. This is probably the last time i am ever getting anything done on my hair. It just doesn’t go well for me. Please let me know if you come to know anything about this ‘permanent blowdry’ thing. That’d be very helpful. Thank you.


aisha 2 August 2013 at 5:37 pm

hey janine , i have small hairs and they are not even much thick i m loosing my hairs day by day because of hair fall problem i am very upset because of this now i am thinking to do x-tenso treatment on my hairs what do u recommend ??


Janine 3 August 2013 at 4:26 pm

Hi Aisha,

Sounds like your hair is a bit fragile — I think it’s better to avoid any chemical treatments for the time being. You don’t want to risk making the hair-loss issue worse by damaging what you do have. And if your hair is thinning, making the hair look straighter will only emphasize the problem, make your hair look thinner. Instead use a de-frizzing oil (try pure coconut, maybe pure argan) to smooth and nourish your hair, and to keep it supple.


Sarah 4 August 2013 at 6:31 am


May you please tell me if l’oreal x-tenso moisturist is suitable and safe for a breast-feeding woman?

Thanks a lot


Janine 4 August 2013 at 3:38 pm

Hi Sarah,

It’s the same chemistry as a perm; I don’t see why it shouldn’t be safe. But that’s just a guess — you would do better to ask L’Oreal via their facebook pages. This is a link to the Canadian page. Click here for the US page.


aisha 4 August 2013 at 12:48 pm

hey , thanks for ur advice but u knw my hairs look very ugly i even hate my hairs now they are being curly now so i use straightner for this and juxt because of straightner they are more damaged and my cousin wedding is very near so i want my hair to be good so please advice something for me :(


Janine 4 August 2013 at 3:29 pm

In good conscience, Aisha, I can’t recommend a chemical treatment that would only damage your hair more and could cause more fallout. You might like to try a conditioning line of hair care, something to help make up for the damage you already have. Better hair starts with the right shampoo and conditioner; you may also need a weekly hair mask. The right styling products with heat-protection are also important.

Check out L’Oréal Paris Arginine Resist x 3, which is supposed to help reduce hair fall. Get details here.

To help protect your hair from your flat iron, as well as keep it straight for several days, try John Frieda 3-Day Straight spray (click here for more info). It’s a temporary fix, but it’ll be better for your hair than risking chemical damage. And it’ll work for your cousin’s wedding.


uzma 16 August 2013 at 12:38 am

Dear Jenni,i want to know the side effect of Xtenso, my hair is culry and wants to looks like a stright hair of girl but need to know if any side effects of Extenso tratment


Janine 19 August 2013 at 5:29 am

Hi Uzma,

You might want to read through some of the earlier comments; there’s lots of info on the side effects of x-Tenso in the thread above. Basically, you need to know that x-Tenso can dry the hair out, and it is NOT for you unless you regularly blowdry your hair straight.

If you get X-Tenso done and don’t blow dry your hair, it will look dry, a little rough and partially straightened. Hair after x-Tenso only looks great after it’s been blowdried.

If your hair has been highlighted recently, avoid X-Tenso. It could fry your hair.

X-tenso is permanent. You can’t wash it out. The only way to get rid of x-Tenso if you get it done and don’t like it is to cut off the treated length when enough new growth has come in.


mariam 13 September 2013 at 2:25 am

Hi Janine,

I need some advice. I got my extenso treatment about 5 weeks ago. Originally my hair was wavy and really frizzy in the morning after a wash, and oily by the end of the day. Now, its nice and straight, too flat..and gets oily by mid-day and is dry at the ends. I just started using the Loreal Instant Clear pure shampoo from the expert series, and use the Liss serum after a wash. My stylist said that I should apply oil lightly (avoiding roots) for 5-10 mins before each wash, skip the conditioner, but apply the serum. Another stylist said not to apply oil because my hair is already oily.

What should I do for the oil production? Oil no oil? serum or no serum? anything for volume?



Janine 14 September 2013 at 7:51 am

Hi Miriam,

Increased oiliness is common when curly hair becomes straight — natural sebum travels down a straight hair shaft much better and faster than it does down curly hair, especially if you run your hands through your hair a lot.

I am not a hairstylist, so at the moment I can only offer suggestions based on my own experience and the tips I’ve got from professionals over the years. I’ll check with some pros that I know, but for now, here’s what I think:

Excess oil is sometimes the skin’s way of compensating for dryness, a lack of moisture. I worry the Instant Clear is drying your scalp out further, which could be making it oilier. Is your hair oilier since you started using it? If yes, switch to a gentle, sulphate-free shampoo.

Now this part is weird, but true: there are oil treatments designed to reduce scalp oiliness. MoroccanOil has one that seems worth a try; check it out here.

You may also want to think about using a dry shampoo as a daily styling product. It’ll add volume at the roots and absorb oil, too. Klorane has a nice one for sensitive scalps; the Dove dry shampoo is very popular, too.

If I get new information from one of my sources, I’ll add another reply.

Keep me updated, okay?


Nina 13 October 2013 at 5:13 pm

Hi Janine,

I just recently moved here in Toronto and im really having a hard time looking for a salon that offers X-tenso. The Loreal website is not very helpful. Do you know where I can go and who to look for. I’m desperate and would really appreciate your help.



Janine 13 October 2013 at 9:30 pm

Hi Nina,

I know Salon Daniel in Yorkville (there’s a Soho Metropolitan Hotel location, too) offered X-tenso; it’s where I first had it done years ago, where the media event was held. You might like to try asking via the L’Oréal Professional Facebook page. It’s a L’Oréal Professional product; they should be able to help.

Thanks for your question!


Marwa 22 October 2013 at 5:52 pm

Hi Janine,
Thank you for your frequent updates.
I’ve tried the xtenso around 10 months ago.. and i had a great result.. ..
My my hair roots are growing ofcourse and i need to do it once more and now am pregnant in the 19th week and my hair is falling since the begining of my preganancy and its volume decreased alot..
Regardless the idea of skin absorption, do you think it will increase my hair fall?


Janine 23 October 2013 at 12:15 pm

Hi Marwa,

Unfortunately I have no idea whether the treatment will contribute to hair loss. Your best bet may simply be to wait until your baby comes. Congratulations, by the way!


karthika 10 December 2013 at 8:31 am

i have done hair smoothning with loreal extenso products but ater that to kill the frizzyness i done keratin treatment can i use the old loreal products for my hair wash…? did it have side affect?


Janine 22 December 2013 at 10:17 pm

What you use as shampoo and conditioner probably won’t damage your hair, but your hair will need a more moisturizing formula than before.


Vinu 22 December 2013 at 9:29 pm

Hey there,

I got loreal Ctenso treatment in India about 2 months ago I loved the way my hair looks but I am also seeing hair fall which I had even earlier but kinda more now… Is it the treatment that’s doing this .? I have been following my hairstylists instructions to shampoo and use masque and hair spa every 20 days… Please tell me a solution I’m worried…



Janine 22 December 2013 at 10:20 pm

Hi Vinu,

Could be that you notice falling loose strands more because they don’t get stuck in straight hair the way they would have in frizzy or wavy or curly hair. Does that help? :-)


Aya 6 March 2014 at 6:24 am


My brother uses this product every 10-12 days it looks nice and healthy but is it ok he uses it that much? Every 10-12 days?
Thank you


Janine 6 March 2014 at 7:50 am

Hi Aya,

Are you sure it’s X-tenso Moisturiste? It’s a professional product, and it takes time to apply, process and neutralize — about an hour or so. It’s also based on perm chemistry, so yes, if he were really using it every 10 to 12 days, there would be an impact on his hair. Plus, it simply doesn’t need to be applied that often. It’s a permanent process; once should do it until the hair grows out and the roots need doing.


Demi 4 May 2014 at 9:35 am

Hi Janine,
I really want to do the x-tenso traitment. I have thick blond long … hair with (I think) 50 % higlights. But why do the official sites recommend that you can only do the traitment with 30% highlighted hair? I can’t find it on the internet? I have ordered the x tenso Moisturist Natural, but is x tenso Moisturist Sensitised not better for my hair? Is it possible to put the x tenso Moisturist Natural on my hair? And if you use the x-tenso Moisturist in combination with a Liss Unlimited mask from l’oreal, is that enough for a good result? My hairdresser will do the traitment but in my country they are used to other traitments, so I have to search it out. Maybe you can give me advise?


Janine 4 May 2014 at 5:06 pm

Hi Demi,

X-Tenso is the same basic chemistry as a perm. If you put that on 50% highlighted hair, it might fry your hair — too much damage to control. You might also want to ask your question on a L’Oreal Professionnel Facebook page. You don’t have to live in the US for them to answer your concerns. Here’s a link.

I think in this case, it would be smart to pay attention to the recommendation that X-Tenso be used in hair no more than 30% highlighted. There is NO GOING BACK from bad damage.

Please be careful, okay?


Demi 6 May 2014 at 5:42 am

Hi Janine,
Thankyou for your answer.
Then this treatment is maybe not so good for my hear, unfortunately.
I will search for another solution.


Asma 22 May 2014 at 7:23 pm

would you please tell me how i can use it !!???
i meant the steps ??!! because i search in the web without any result !!
help me with a link in the web or the youtube …


Janine 23 May 2014 at 11:16 am

Hi Asma,

I’m sorry, I can’t tell you how to do it or show you the steps because I don’t know them. I’m not a hair professional — X-Tenso is a professional product for use by professionals in salons. The risk of ruining your hair through improper use is too big. If you want the service, you’re better off finding a salon that offers it. You might want to ask on a L’Oreal Professionnel Facebook page.

Good luck!


sarah 5 June 2014 at 5:41 pm

Hi i just had L’Oreal xtenso yesterday in a salon but the hair dresser put it on my hair and left it for about 30 mins and then blow-dried and ironed my hair with product on without washing it and asked me not to wash my hair for 3 days is that right cuz I’m afraid that will harm my hair?


Janine 5 June 2014 at 7:04 pm

Hi Sarah,

Oh that troubles me. I can’t answer for sure, however, because maybe they’ve changed things again since my last treatment. Let me see what I can find out quickly.

You might also want to post your question on a L’Oreal Professionnel Facebook page; the US has one and so does Canada. Cross fingers; hope to have info for you quickly.


Janine 5 June 2014 at 9:53 pm

Hi Sarah,

I won’t know anything until tomorrow; will post an answer as soon as I talk to a L’Oreal Professionnel expert.


Sarah 6 June 2014 at 5:26 am

Thanks Janine for responding and I wish it’s okay cuz I’m so scared and my wedding in next week I wish this doesn’t harm hair. fingers crossed


Janine 6 June 2014 at 11:57 pm

Hi Sarah,

How’s your hair today? I’m guessing you washed it — it’s been three days, yes?

Is your hair highlighted at all? I spoke with someone at L’Oreal; he says that if your hair was healthy before your x-Tenso treatment, then you should be just fine. Blowdrying will be faster and your hair will maintains its straightness for several days.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! xo


Sarah 8 June 2014 at 9:17 am

Hi Janine
I wanna tell u that I washed my hair and nothing AT ALL happened I can’t see any difference in the shape or the texture of my hair and it still frizzy and curly. Some people tell me it’s the way u did it (the hair dresser mixed the product and the neutralizer together and put them on my hair and blow-dried them without washing them and asked me to leave it for 3 days)
I wanna do again in my hair can I do it right now or it will harm my hair so I should wait for a little while?


Janine 8 June 2014 at 10:01 am

No, that’s GOOD! X-Tenso IS NOT A STRAIGHTENING TREATMENT! It is a styling aid.

All the magic happens when you BLOWDRY your hair. It’ll be way easier, way faster, and your hair will be way smoother for waaaaay longer — days, even if it’s humid or rainy outside. That’s EXACTLY what x-Tenso is supposed to do.

After x-Tenso, if you let hair air dry, you shouldn’t see a major texture change. You get a big difference ONLY when you blowdry. That’s why it’s great for people who blowdry their hair straight a lot. For people who hardly ever blowdry, it’s a waste.

If you do it again, yes, it WILL harm your hair — it’ll be really dry and prone to breakage until the x-Tenso grows out.

Try blowdrying your hair straight then tell me what happens and how long it lasts (don’t forget to use heat-protective spray).



Sara 11 June 2014 at 9:15 am

Hi Janine, I got xtenso moisturist done a few days ago, I’ve had two washes and I’m loving the results. I wanted to know tho, how long does this last? My wedding is in exactly two months and I thought I’d get it done way before my wedding to avoid any hair damage during intense back combing and styling.. My hair dresser said it’s permanent and only the extra hair at the roots will have it’s original texture. Is this true or does it tend to wear off as time passes? Because a lot of websites say it lasts for 60 days.


Janine 15 June 2014 at 9:36 am

Hi Sara,

Yes, x-Tenso Moisturiste is permanent; your orginal texture will show itself only in your new growth. But you’ll find you’ll get your greatest ease of blowdrying in the first two or three months. If your texture has changed visibly with the treatment — if it looks different even if you just let your hair air dry — it’ll stay that way until you cut it off.


Moushumi D 15 June 2014 at 3:04 am

Hi Janine,

This is a great blog you have here!

I just had a quick question. I live in Los Angeles and unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a salon where I can get the X-tenso done. I had it done once in 2013 in another country and I loved it! Any clue on where I could get it done in LA?

Thanks in advance


Janine 15 June 2014 at 9:29 am

Hi Moushumi,

I’m afraid I don’t know about LA, but perhaps a L’Oreal Professional Facebook page moderator might? Or you could try searching the L’Oreal Professional website for L’Oreal Professional salons and giving a couple of them a call to ask?


Pao 16 June 2014 at 3:38 pm

Hi Janine!

Love your blog!!!
I hope you are able to help me!!!…. I have used this product for years! Even though I live in Costa Rica I found an excellent salon a couple hours away from where I live and the stylist/owner has applied this treatment for years now… I absolutely love and recommend this 100%. However, after approx 5 years of doing this for some stupid reason I thought I wanted my curls back…… I don’t know what got into me! My hair was very long, like down to my waist and I just decided to cut if all off and let the curls grow… After almost a year of having to deal with curls again… I definitely want to get it straight again… The only thing is…. I’m now pregnant…! I called the salon owner directly to see if she knew if this was safe and she said shed rather have me ask my OBGYN.. .. I am going to talk to my doctor about it in the next appointment but Im trying to find out the ingredients this product may have that could be harmful or if anyone knows for sure if this is safe… I don’t know if the labels on it say anything about pregnancy…

Sorry about the long explanation and thank you so much for your time!



Janine 16 June 2014 at 3:53 pm

Hi Pao,

Congratulations on your Expectant Mother status!

Basically x-Tenso is essentially a perm solution used to straighten the hair instead of curl it; that’s all you have to tell your doc. The key ingredient is thioglycolic-acid.

Again, congrats on your pregnancy!


Naina 15 July 2014 at 8:44 pm

Hi,I also have the same issue but I washed it off my self after few hours, but my crown looks horrid and I don’t have enough Hair to hide it, please tell me is there a way out-


Janine 16 July 2014 at 8:08 am

Hi Naina,

I’m sorry to say there really isn’t — you have to blowdry your hair straight to make it look better until it grows out. At least your blowdry will be faster and last longer.


Ana 16 July 2014 at 6:11 am

its been a year, i had done extenso, and i felt good, my hair is more manageable and shiny ( i do care with home remedies also), i wish to go for this treatment again for an occassion coming inJuly, will my hair still be like this smooth and shiny or will become frizzy.

please suggest.


Janine 16 July 2014 at 8:00 am

Hi Ana,

If you had good results before, and it’s been a year, you should be just fine having the treatment again. Best to go back to the same person, I think.


Ana 17 July 2014 at 2:33 am

thank you!!


Seemab 26 July 2014 at 11:21 am

Hello janine,
I have wavy sometimes curly hair. I want my hair straightened with the least amount of damage. I am not sure thats even possible. I was wondering if i get extenso done will i have to blow dry every time i shower? I believe my hair is unhealthy and brittle to begin with thats why i avoid blow dryer for more than 5 mins. I use heat protecting sprays as well. However, the salon i went to said they think my hair is good to have xtenso done. I dont know if they are being honest or just want business. My only concern is i dont want to lose hair or get rough dry hair. I already have dry hair. Please suggest. Thanks a lot in advance.


Janine 26 July 2014 at 7:18 pm

Hi Seemab,

x-Tenso Moisturiste is a perm-based chemistry. If your hair is unhealthy and brittle already, x-tenso is going to make it worse.

Questions I have to ask you:
How long is your hair?
Why is it unhealthy and brittle?
Is your hair highlighted or coloured blonde from a darker shade?
What kind of shampoo and conditioner do you use?
Do you deep condition regularly?
How often do you blowdry and for how long?
Do you use a professional blowdryer?
What kind of heat protection do you use when you blowdry?


Seemab 27 July 2014 at 11:12 am

Hello Janine,
Thanks for your prompt reply. My hair down comes upto my upper back. I feel its unhealthy because i lose a lot of hair and over the time i have lost volume. A little bit split ends. I coloured my hair in 2012 so i am guessing it has grown out of it? I use zerran shampoo and conditioner and sometimes tresseme keratin smoothing shampoo. For heat protection i use zerran protein spray. I have stopped blowdrying these days. I just dry it out just enough so its not drenched..say about 5 minutes. i used to do deep condition but i noticed after any conditioner or hair mask i lose more hair in the shower. Which blow dryer do you suggest? I use revlon tourmaline dryer..waiting for your reply. Thankss!!


Janine 20 August 2014 at 4:12 am

Hi again, Seemab!

Okay. Well, longer hair does tend to be more weathered and stressed than shorter hair, simply because it’s older and been through more wind, blowdrying, etc. Before you do anything, it would probably be best to have a good trim to get rid of any split ends so they don’t get worse through the treatment. (A split can travel up the hair shaft really easily.)

Losing hair in the shower is normal, and yes, it will get a bit worse as we age. I lose hair every shampoo, too. If I brushed my hair regularly (it’s wavy, so I don’t), I’d appear to lose less in the shower because the brush would help remove some of the loose strands (they’d end up in the bristles instead of the bathtub). How much do you think you lose each time you wash?

When you coloured your hair, what colour did you go? Did you go from brunette to blonde? (That’s the most damaging colour change.)

Re: a blowdryer, I rarely use one. But I prefer professional-grade dryers that are capable of drying hair superfast — the less exposure hair has to the dryer, the better. T3 dryers are good, and the new Schwarzkopf Professional Dryer is good too. There’s a new one coming from Conair, the 3Q dryer ($120) that isn’t a professional dryer, but seems amazing.

You may want to try deep conditioning with coconut oil — it’s the only natural oil that penetrates the hair shaft deeply enough to help make it more supple overall. (Other oils really just smooth the surface.) You want to do that on a weekend when you don’t have to go out — leave the coconut oil in your hair (under a shower cap if you like) for as many hours as you can before you wash it out.


sarah 5 August 2014 at 5:26 am

Hi, i ve got my loreal extenso moisturist done yesterday that is on monday the stylist told me not to wash hair before 72 hours i go to university everyday have very long hair i want to ask when will i’ll be able to tie my hairs like before like in the pony tail up or any hairstyle please reply me this treatment definitely has given shine to my hairs but iam just concerned about when will ill be able to tie them up in ponytail thankss please reply me


Janine 5 August 2014 at 9:20 am

Hi Sarah,

It’s probably best to wait until after the 72 hours, after you’ve finally washed your hair. You might want to call your salon and ask your stylist to make sure :-)


Veena 5 August 2014 at 7:26 pm

Hi am veena,
I have been on with loreal extenso hair smoothing since 3 years. I am very happy person with no blow dry and easy manageable hair
My question to you is that, I hv done this almost 8 to 9 times , how safe is it to continue doing it. Will it have any sort of health hazards how formaldehyde solutions had?
Please reply to me at the earliest


Janine 5 August 2014 at 7:31 pm

Hi Veena,

No, you shouldn’t have any of those risks. The formula for x-Tenso is completely different, like a perm solution. Just give your hair occasional deep-conditioning treatments to keep it shiny and supple, and that’s it. :-)


Seemab 16 August 2014 at 8:04 pm

Hello..anyone know any good place in greater Toronto area that does extenso? Thankss! Seemab.


Janine 20 August 2014 at 3:49 am

I used to get it done at Salon Daniel in Yorkville; he also has a salon on Blue Jays way. He may still offer the service. You could also ask on the L’Oreal Professional Facebook page if they have one for Canada.


Seemab 18 August 2014 at 11:25 am

Hello Janine,
Thanks for your prompt reply. My hair down comes upto my upper back. I feel its unhealthy because i lose a lot of hair and over the time i have lost volume. A little bit split ends. I coloured my hair in 2012 so i am guessing it has grown out of it? I use zerran shampoo and conditioner and sometimes tresseme keratin smoothing shampoo. For heat protection i use zerran protein spray. I have stopped blowdrying these days. I just dry it out just enough so its not drenched..say about 5 minutes. i used to do deep condition but i noticed after any conditioner or hair mask i lose more hair in the shower. Which blow dryer do you suggest? I use revlon tourmaline dryer..waiting for your reply. Thankss!!

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yen 20 August 2014 at 2:20 am

Hi. I had my hair permed but im not happy with the results so i had the treatment. Though my hair is naturally straight, i am worried with the regrowth. How bad it is?


Janine 20 August 2014 at 4:13 am

If your hair is naturally straight, Yen, you have nothing to worry about. Your regrowth will be fine, probably almost indistinguishable from the treated hair.


Seemab 7 October 2014 at 12:13 pm

Hello Janine…how often can this treatment be done?


Janine 7 October 2014 at 12:19 pm

Depends on your regrowth, Seemab — every three months or more, I think. You’d want to confer with your stylist as insurance :-)


zohre 24 October 2014 at 4:56 am

i used the x-tenso treatment 6 month ago, and im gonna re- do it in 2 weeks and also i want to color my hair for the first time in my life after the x-tenso.

i went to same salon to do it and they told me that they should use a very professional kind of hair color on my hair after the x-tenso otherwise it will affect the x-tenso treatment. they didnt mention what kind of hair color, just said its loreal amouniac free hair color and it will cost me almost as much as the x-tenso treatment.
i have two questions:
1. do i have to use this method of coloring?
2. if i use normal loreal amouniac free hair color will it affect the x-tenso treatment?


zohre 24 October 2014 at 5:02 am

plus : i want to my hair coloring me myself at home after the x-tenso , and not go to the beauty salon. is it possible?
what kind of hair colors can use at home without affecting the x-tenso treatment. i will really appreciate if u give the specific name so i can search it online.

thanks in advance dear


shona 29 October 2014 at 7:23 am

I did my rebonding 25 days back but my hair still feels dry so i mplanning for xtenso smoothening can i go for it as its jst been 20 days for rebonding.


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