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From: Karen G. (
Subject: Leslie Correa (Best BKT in NYC) Switched Salons
Date: January 6, 2009 at 10:45 am PST

If you read my earlier post (copied below), you know why I think Leslie Correa is the best BKT expert in NYC. (Basically, he turned my chemically destroyed, frizzy horror-hair into such gorgeous shiny straight hair that colleagues in my office pass me by without recognizing me. And heís experienced, extremely professional, honest, and sensitive.) In case you didnít know, heís now at the Riccardo Maggiore Salon, on the corner of 57th St. and Lexington Ave, 3rd floor. (The first time I went there, I was nervous because the salon is very fancy. But the staff is really friendly and warm, and the clients all wear jeans and sneakers. And Leslie hasnít raised his prices.)

By the way, Iím a doctor/researcher, and Iíve checked out many other salons in the city, and the promises that many of them offer are lies or false advertising. (For example, a BKT without formaldehyde doesn't relax hair at all; the reason why is below.) Iím not sure why Riccardo doesnít have to charge ďNYC real estate prices,Ē but most of the other salons in the city do in order to pay their rent. But, sure, Leslieís price is higher than the ones charged by the locals where I live in Queens, but I would NEVER go to a local salon for any treatment that has the potential to permanently damage hair just to save money. You get what you pay for!
Original Posting
I used to have hideously frizzy hair that always looked dreadful and that was very damaged from all the processes Iíd tried over the years (reverse perms, straightening, ironing it daily, etc). But last year, I couldnít stand looking in the mirror any more, so I went online and used my research skills to examine every ďrespectableĒ salon in area that did thermal straightening or BKT. I chose Leslie Corryea based on everything I read about him. And within five minutes of talking to him, I knew I had chosen wisely: He stopped me and said, ďI sense how terribly nervous you are. Please trust me. I promise that Iíll be totally honest with you and I wonít do anything to damage your hair.Ē And he was true to his word: He refused to do thermal straightening because he felt it would break my hair; instead he said that BKT would straighten my hair AND make it healthier. I was very skeptical, but I decided to trust him. And Iím glad I did because for the first time in 55 years, I have beautiful soft straight hair that doesnít frizz when it gets wet or when I sweat. Every time I wash my hair, I expect it to return to its former state, and Iím always shocked when it doesnít: It always dries straight without any frizz. I have now had three BKTs done by Leslie, and each one made my hair feel and look healthier. And now Leslieís wife Mayra (also a talented colorist) is coloring my hair (every three weeks because Iím totally gray) and putting in highlights!

By the way, Iíve also been pleased by Leslieís honest responses to peopleís questions about BKTís safety. Having done the research, I knew that there is no such thing as a formaldehyde-free BKT; the cystine in keratin will rot if itís not kept in a preservative, and the best preservative is formaldehyde. But Leslie explained that thereís been a lot of misinformation about the product and that the issue isnít the fact that BKT uses formaldehyde, but rather the percent of this chemical that is used. Some salonís BKT products are as high as 3%, but the product Leslie uses has less than the 0.2% approved by the FDA.

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