What is the ENVIE Hair Straightening System?
Tired of dealing with frizzy hair? The ENVIE Hair Straightening System claims to offer a solution; at least for 90 days. This one-time, formaldehyde-free hair treatment is purportedly designed to penetrate deep into your hair shafts in order to relax the bonds that cause it to curl. In this way, you can experience silkier, straighter hair instead.
This at-home hair straightening system is advertised as being hassle-free and far cheaper than a professional hair stylist. The four-part treatment program includes a clarifying shampoo, straightening agent, and aftercare shampoo and conditioner. In total, the straightening process is expected to take about two hours and create straight hair for up to three months.
Is it right for you, though? Here’s what we learned during our research, starting with the basics.
What Causes Curly or Straight Hair?
The Popular Science website states that having curly hair, or not, is entirely thanks to your genetics. Curly haired genes are dominant over straight, which is why textured hair is more common around the world, and perhaps why hair straightening treatments like ENVIE are so popular.
What makes each strand twist is based on the shape of the hair follicle. Asymmetrical follicles make an oval shape, which curls as they grow out, while symmetrical ones tend to grow in straight lines.
Part of the reason for this asymmetrical growth pattern, we found on the site, is that curly hair has a naturally uneven distribution of the protein keratin. As keratin is the primary component of hair, it’s responsible for creating a smoother, straighter appearance when fused to strands through heat or chemical treatments.
Frizz, on the other hand, is caused by the cuticle layer of hair being roughed up to the point that the strand doesn’t lay flat, so WebMD states that hair straightening treatments work to smooth cuticles when applied through heat treatments from blow dryers or straighteners. Afterwards, hair lies smoother, is frizz free, and takes half the time to straighten.
What are Traditional Methods of Straightening Curly Hair?
Allure educated us that a traditionally popular way to straighten hair is with a ‘Japanese Straightening’ treatment, which uses ammonium thioglycolate and sodium hydroxide to permanently break the protein bonds in your hair in order to relax it straight. The straightening effects of this treatment last until the hair grows out, but it can cause irreparable damage and lead to a fried, frizzy appearance.
Another popular treatment, called the Brazilian Blowout, relies on a formaldehyde solution to bind keratin to hair strands and straighten them. These treatments are less damaging than Japanese Straightening, but they expose you to formaldehyde, which the United States Department of Labor reports is a known carcinogen.
Some keratin-based straightening agents like ENVIE are made without formaldehyde to make them safer for home use, and instead use heat to fuse keratin to the strands.
How Long Do Keratin-Based Straightening Treatments Last?
Formaldehyde-free products might be better for you, but these heat-based products are criticized on websites like Allure and All Things Hair for not lasting as long as treatments that rely on chemicals.
The natural texture of your hair will dictate how long a keratin treatment can last. In general, we found on ENVIE’s website and Allure that the curlier your natural texture, the quicker your curl pattern will revert back to its regular shape.
It’s important to note that the more you wash your hair, the faster the effects will wear off (no more than 2-3 times per week is recommended). In the same way, keep your hair out of chlorinated pools and salt water as much as you can, as they will leach out the active ingredients.
What exactly are these ingredients? Let’s explore now.
What is the Science Behind ENVIE’s Ingredients?
According to the ENVIE website, their hair straightening product is clinically proven, safe and delivers guaranteed results. However, we didn’t see any references to these specific clinical studies on the site, and our requests for information went unanswered.
What is listed on the company website are “key benefit driving” ingredients used in the straightening products, which are below. We researched the effects of these ingredients through reputable health websites like WebMD and the Cosmetics Database.
- Panthenol: As a form of either plant-based or animal-based vitamin B5, panthenol is considered to be a safe, moisturizing ingredient that helps hair withstand breakage. It’s common in shampoos and conditioners.
- Surfactant System: Surfactant is the property of soap to lower the surface tension between two materials, which is essential for relaxing hair’s curl pattern.
- Conditioning System: Though ENVIE doesn’t provide details on their conditioning system, they claim that it is a proven formula that delivers exceptional performance.
- Sclerocarya Birrea Callus Extract: Coming from a West African tree, this extract also goes by the name Marula oil and is claimed by ENVIE to give hair more shine and slow down oxidation in cells.
- Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter): As a naturally moisturizing ingredient in many cosmetic products, including hair systems like ENVIE, shea butter is used to add moisture back to the scalp and keep hair looking healthy after the treatment.
- Syringa Vulgaris (Lilac) Leaf Extract: The sweet smelling extract provides natural antioxidant protection against free radical formation on your scalp.
- Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract: As a potent plant source of antioxidants, this extract is claimed by ENVIE to help keep your scalp healthy.
The website also notes that the hair formula is completely free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and formaldehyde releasing preservatives.
While we aren’t scientists at HighYa, the clinical evidence reported on sites like WebMD and the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database indicate that most of the ingredients in ENVIE (at least the ones we’re told about) are natural substances, instead of harsh synthetic chemicals like sodium hydroxide, guanidine hydroxide, or ammonium thioglycolate.
However, without getting a better understanding of the proprietary ingredients in its straightening and conditioning agents, it’s hard for us to speak for the system’s effectiveness for straightening hair from these ingredients alone.
We also don’t know what portion of the formula these natural ingredients make up, meaning that they might constitute only a trace amount of the formula.
How Much Does ENVIE Cost?
On the product website, ENVIE can be purchased for $79.99 plus $6.99 shipping and handling. This includes the entire hair straightening system and an optional bonus offer of a 30-day supply of shampoo and conditioner (plus another $6.99 for S&H).
The site also offers “Deluxe Membership,” meaning that every seventy days you will receive a new 90-day ENVIE hair treatment, as well as a 90-day supply of shampoo and conditioner. This offer costs $129.99 per installment, plus $9.99 for shipping and handling. It’s also possible to sign up for membership without the shampoo and conditioner supply for $69.99 plus $6.99 S&H.
ENVIE comes with a 60-day guarantee, meaning that you can contact the company at email@example.com or 857-263-8683 within 60 days of your order to request a return.
What Products are Similar to Envy?
There are lots of keratin-based at-home hair treatment options available today. When making a comparison to ENVIE, we chose to look at two.
Popular on Amazon, the Brazilian Keratin Hair Straightening Treatment Kit claims to give you straight hair for up to three months and includes a clarifying shampoo, keratin straightening treatment, and post-treatment conditioner, just like ENVIE, though it doesn’t include a post-treatment shampoo.
Overall, the product has positive feedback, averaging four stars after 100 reviews, and retails for $67. This makes it quite similar to ENVIE, so your preference between the two is likely to come down to fragrances and other minor details. It’s also worth noting that this treatment is free of formaldehyde.
We also chose to look at a formaldehyde-free saffron smoothing treatment to see what else is on the market besides keratin for hair straightening.
This formula is advertised as taking half the time of traditional formulas to work, thanks to the high concentration of vitamin B12 in the treatment’s 100 percent organic saffron. Though the results are advertised as lasting 3-4 months like ENVIE, the product is considered to be for professional use only.
To use, this treatment is applied directly to the hair like other straightening agents and blow dried and/or flat ironed before the hair is straight, and then rinsed out. Unlike ENVIE, you need to provide your own shampoo and conditioner for the post treatment.
Though each bottle costs $109, the product averages well over 4.8 stars after 15 reviews on Amazon, meaning it might be a good option to try if you have a professional friend to help with the details.
When choosing a hair straightening treatment, keep in mind that some harsh chemicals will be necessary if you want long lasting results. While home-based treatments might be formaldehyde free, they also lack the power to permanently change the structure of your hair to straighten it.
For this reason, if you want results that last longer than two to three months, you’ll need to consult with your hair stylist to see what they recommend for your hair type.
Our View: Who Should Try the ENVIE Hair Straightening System?
Keratin-based home hair treatments are getting more popular, and ENVIE seems to stand with the crowd in offering a non-toxic alternative to formaldehyde straightening systems. The product is at a similar price point to the other keratin- based straightening products we looked at, and it costs less than professional treatment.
However, ENVIE claims to provide just 90 days of straightening, which is less than what salon treatments that rely on harsher chemicals can provide. We also don’t know much about what customers think of this product, or what specific ingredients it actually contains, despite reaching out to the company for more details.
ENVIE looks like a promising product from the information that we found on the website, but there simply wasn’t enough information available about the ingredients or their concentrations for us to recommend it either way for you. Without knowing much about the active ingredients, there’s little way to know how well this product will straighten your hair.
If you do try out this hair system, be sure to leave a review about your experience so that others consumers can gauge how well it works before buying.