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Hair Treatments - Rusk - Rusk Radical Anti-Curl

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rated 3.4(24 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 3.4
  • 66% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.6
  • Price: $$$

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rated 2 of 5 on 2/1/2012 11:29:00 AM More reviews by Pearfish

Age: 36-43 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Hazel

I am an idiot. I was complaining about frizz on my half-wavy, super thick, medium length healthy hair, and a hairdresser friend recommended a keratin treatment. Huh? She said it was easy, wouldn't take all the wave out, just the frizz and I could DIY it. Well, I've had some luck lately with home coloring (believe it or not), so decided to head over to the beauty supply store and see what I could find.

I came across this product which contained the word "Kerashine" and was obviously for straightening, and, thinking I was getting the right stuff, took it home. As soon as I got the product on my hair and smelled that "perm" smell, I knew something was up, but I continued through the process, leaving it on for the least amount of time for the desired "still wavy" effect.


Fast forward however many minutes of combing, rinsing and drying and I was looking at a heap of straw. The texture of my hair changed completely and the damage was just phenomenal. It is indeed pretty straight, but not "pretty" straight, if you know what I mean. All the volume was sucked right out, so there's not too much frizz anymore where there used to be -- instead it's all on my damaged ends, which my hairdresser is helping me cut off as it grows. I'm not really blaming this product, just myself, and it does produce straight hair, if that's what you're looking for, but I wanted more of a relaxed effect, was hoping to keep some of the wave and volume and would never have done this if I had realized how damaging it is. Should have stuck to product to keep frizz away -- instead I'll be slowly cutting off the results of this little experiment for the next 3 years.

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rated 3 of 5 on 12/20/2010 4:41:00 PM More reviews by dany06

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Black

Rusk anticurl has the potential to be a very good product but the directions causes a bit of problems. I used the resistant formula and performed the smooth loose wave procedure rather than the frizz free curl procedure. The directions say to gentley smooth the hair to one direction, then the other direction and to the back for a full 20 minutes.

I just did a very small section in the back of my head 10 days ago. I followed the directions and I came out with crimply straight hair with no curl at all. It looks like kinky straight hair extensions. I naturally have curls. I've been natural and I have had texturizers before. The smoothing processes outline in the directions is what cause this problem.

the only good thing about this product is that all I had to do was pay for shipping/handling to get it and it leaves my hair feeling soft. It also has very important details pointed out in the directions which are necessary to follow with any thio based relaxer; however, I think that I will go with Jheri Redding's Curl remover. I used it once on my brother and it simply loosened his hair although the directions were not as detailed. They both smell the same and the only difference in ingredients is that the anti curl has about 3 protiens added toward the very end of the list. I will probably place some type of protein filler or porosity equalizer product on my hair before cold smoothing to put back proteins in to my hair with the Jheri Redding product.

Overall,it really does cost too much and is not available locally. I doubt that tiny jar will even cover my whole head.

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rated 5 of 5 on 10/3/2010 10:29:00 PM More reviews by susanwhittaker

Age: 44-55 Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Red, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

To alyj64, have your daughter try Rogaine for women on the bald spot; there's an excellent chance her hair will grow back. However, from my own experience, your daughter's was truly the exception and not the rule: either an allergic reaction or user error. I've used Rusk Radial Anti-Curl on myself several times and had excellent results. My shoulder length hair is EXTREMELY curly, thick, and soft, and Rusk's product saves me huge amounts of time having to iron my hair. I've also used the Radical Anti-Curl for harsh/stubborn hair on both of my daughters (they're bi-racial) since they were 8 & 6 years old with NO negative effects whatsoever. I'd still be using it on them, but even the strongest formula left on for the longest suggested processing time didn't have much effect on them. It's been more than a year since I last used Rusk's Anti-Curl and I'm a couple of months overdue. I won't be saying that this time next week, though!

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rated 1 of 5 on 9/21/2010 9:47:00 AM More reviews by alyj64

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

DON'T DO IT!!! At least 1/3 of my 15 year old's hair fell out! I took her to an experienced stylist who had done a friend's hair several times. It's like hair roulette...you may do it and your hair is fine..or you may end up partially bald. Some of my daughter's hair never grew back. She still has a bald spot right in the front of her head. She had hairs sticking straight up everywhere as it was growing back. It was extra traumatic since she was 15. Run..don't walk from this horrific treatment.

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rated 5 of 5 on 9/5/2010 2:20:00 PM More reviews by jennsh85

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Red, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

I had my straight, waist length hair permed last year as I wanted more volume and thought a nice curl would look pretty. However, my hairdresser ended up giving me very tight, small curls, which no matter how much product or how carefully I tried to style my hair, it would always come out frizzy and tangled. I hated my hair for ages, and was upset cos I loved having long hair and showing it off. It was over a year before I finally decided to risk a chemical straightening procedure, even though years before I had had one done and it had ruined my hair, which was very short back then.
I went to my local hairdresser suppliers store, and she recommended Rusk as it was very popular. I thought it would cost a fortune, but it was about the same price as a decent shampoo! I thought it must not be very good stuff if it was so cheap, but bought it anyway.
The box sat on my shelf for months before I finally plucked up the courage to try it. I read the instructions over and over, as it was supposed to be used by a professional - which I am not!
I was surprised how easy it is to apply - the first pot stinks of perm lotion, but pasted onto my hair easily, and towards the end of the all the continous combing through, it was starting to look straighter. I was pleased, but not convinced yet.
After rinsing out the first stage of product, my hair felt a bit like elastic, but didn't look too bad, so i started the second stage. This one was easier as the paste was a lot more liduidy so smoother to paste on. As I was combing this stage through I could already see that the curls had basically gone - I was really happy at that point, even if it did mean that my hair wouldn't actually be that straight.
After rinsing out stage 2 and applying some leave in conditioner, I started to gently comb and blow dry my hair. I couldn't believe that even with a minimal amount of brushing and drying, my hair was basically poker straight. Once it was completly dry, I checked for bits I had missed, but was very pleased to see I hadn't missed any at all.
I couldn't stop looking at my hair and stroking it - I couldn't believe how well it had come out, and I didn't even go to a hairdresser. I wouldn't recommend doing it yourself if you are not very confident, it is relatively straight forward, but to be sure I would go to the salon. i just didn't because I couldn't afford it.
I would definitely recommend this product though, while it does cause some damage, as anything like this will, it does leave your hair soft and shiny, and so long as you keep up with lots of conditioning and care afterwards, you will be happy with the results for a long time.
I only planned to do this once, as it was only ever used to get rid of a perm gone wrong - and I am so glad I did. I only wish I had done this a long time ago.

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rated 5 of 5 on 6/26/2010 5:41:00 PM More reviews by HunieBzzz

Age: 36-43 Skin: Sensitive, Medium, Warm Hair: Brunette, Curly, Fine Eyes: Brown

My hair dresser does this for me and I love this product!!! I have very curly fine hair and it works wonders. I couldn't imagine do this treatment myself, not even to save money. It's worth paying extra for a professional to do this. The treatment only last 3 months, I usually go back for another treatment in 6 months (that is the longest I can go without it).


This trumps every relaxer I've ever tried and I've tried them all (even regular perms brushed straight). I've never had any other product leave my hair this straight and silky. I don't think anyone else has mentioned this, but you can not wash your hair for 48 hrs after a treatment. I don't even get my hair wet. I just do a quick touch up with a flat iron and spray a small amount of shine oil. After that, wash as normal and style how you want.


I've had these treatments for 2 yrs (almost 3 yrs) and I have nothing negative to say. I should also mention that I don't highlight my hair and I rarely dye it either (1 a year max).

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rated 3 of 5 on 4/16/2010 12:05:00 AM More reviews by TheSinfulSim

Age: 30-35 Skin: Sensitive, Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Straight, Fine Eyes: Black

This thio based relaxer comes in 3 strengths. The black box is the original formula and works best for finer hair types. I do not have any experience with the other 2 formulas. I do this myself (although I don't necessarily recommend it for an inexperienced person). Where you buy it can make a big difference in cost. If you know someone with a cosmetology license who can purchase this for you from a beauty wholesaler, it can be as cheap as $4 or $5 a box. Otherwise, you can purchase it online for close to $30 including S&H (Amazon, American Beauty Supply, etc.) Make sure you follow the directions exactly as written. I have an instruction video by Rusk that was incredibly helpful. Use a WIDE tooth comb and don't comb the hair against the scalp while processing. The latter will cause flat hair. The neutralizer is hydrogen peroxide based so your hair will be lightened and may have a reddish or golden tinge afterward. IME damage results from overtiming, excessively pulling the hair while processing, burning the hair (watch the temp of your flat iron - for me, 360 degs is max) and/or having hair in poor condition prior to treating it. This is thio based (same stuff used in curly perms) so you shouldn't wet your hair for 48 hrs after the treatment. Like someone said below, you must take care of your hair post treatment. Condition, condition, condition. Lay off the heat whenever possible.

**Update: I've actually stopped using this as, for me, a good flat iron gives better results than chemically treatment. Less damage and the option of wearing my hair either curly or straight. If you feel you have to relax, I guess I'd try this one but a quality flat iron will likely give you better results.**

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rated 4 of 5 on 1/16/2010 5:22:00 PM More reviews by amoyer2

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Red, Wavy, Other Eyes: Brown

I have had this treatment done to my hair professionally at a salon twice now. The applications were spaced 1 year apart and I am really happy with the results: shiny, straight hair. However, I would caution anyone with extremely damaged/colored hair about using this treatment. If you've bleached your hair prior to using this you will most likely end up with a "chemical" hair cut in the places it's dyed. The first time I had this done I experienced this to some degree in areas my hair had been highlighted. This didn't discourage me from having this done again though and all in all I think some of the breakage was a small price to pay for how much more manageable my hair is. For reference I'm caucasian with very wavy/curly thick thick hair. This product does a great job of relaxing the curl out and when I blow dry my hair I get super straight results in far less time (20 minutes as opposed to 1 hour). This stuff also makes my hair really soft and having used it the second time without highlights in it I am even more satisfied with the results. The one con is the breakage. It is a real and what I'd venture to say inevitable consequence of using this product.

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rated 4 of 5 on 1/2/2010 12:01:00 AM More reviews by cielobunny

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

Before the anti curl, it took me 1.5 hours to straighten my hair with a hair straightener. The anti curl relaxer cut down that time in half. The only bad part is that it went back to being totally curly after 3 months. I got it done at a salon and asked for it to only be done halfway in case I wanted a little curl on some days. About the hair falling out, my stylist told me that if you've had your hair highlighted you need to be careful because the dye can react with the relaxer and burn your hair off.

UPDATE: So after a couple of months, my roots grew out curly so I went for another session. One thing I totally forget about, when you put the product on, you feel a acute burning sensation all over your scalp. Just a warning.

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rated 5 of 5 on 12/14/2009 12:06:00 AM More reviews by newlywed09

Age: 19-24 Skin: Normal, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I could not be happier with this product! I am African American with a full head of VERY thick and curly 4a/4b type hair. I have had a traditional relaxer before and it completely damaged my hair. It took me two years to grow it out, and in October I decided to give RUSK a try because I just could not manage my thick hair anymore.

First of all, the most important thing is that you make sure that your stylist knows what they are doing!! If its applied incorrectly, you will have problems. Also, you need to make sure that you take very good care of your hair afterwards. I deep condition my hair weekly. Right now I am using Giovani Smooth as Silk deep conditioner which seems to be working well for me. I also do a hot carrot and olive oil treatment with my deep conditioner. Secondly, I do not straighten my hair with a flat iron every day. In fact, I only use the flat iron once, every other week. On the off week, I blow dry only after I wash and dc, which leaves my hair straight enough to wear in a pony tail or up-do. I use a heat protectant spray before I apply any heat as well. In addition, I moisturize daily with neutrogena triple moisture leave-in and a jojoba/olive oil/shea butter mixture and seal with tree oil to keep it moisturized. Also, in general you should get in the regular habit of doing a hair test when you are in the shower and your hair is wet. Take a strand of hair and pull it. If your strand of hair stretches like a rubber band and then snaps, that means its over moisturized. If you pull it and it snaps without stretching at all, then it has too much protein and not enough moisture. If your hair stretches and does not snap, its just right. If you do this regularly and adjust your hair care regimen according to what your hair is telling you that it needs, you will have healthier hair no matter what. But I can honestly say that next to learning more about hair care, the Rusk Anti-Curl relaxer was the best thing that ever happened to my hair!!

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