Before (on left, with my sister on the right)

Aside from the two years I spent growing out an ill-advised bob, my long, curly red hair has always defined me. Sure, I dig my ringlety look, but I've also always wondered how the other, tidier-haired half lives: What's it like to be one of those women who get through an entire muggy day without one pin-straight hair venturing out of line?  

Is rolling out of bed in the morning with silky strands all in a row as dreamy as it seems?

These are the questions that plague you when you've spent your life wrestling with errant curls.

So, to satisfy my curiosity (and change my look for the first time in a bajillion years), I pulled the trigger: I went to Loft 26, a salon here in New York, to get the Coppola Keratin treatment.

A stylist painted my hair with the follicle-smoothing protein (and some other smelly chemicals), left it to sit for 20 minutes, and then sealed it in with a flat iron.


I'm on day three of my new life with straight hair, and I have to say, it's just what I'd hoped for. The steamy NYC subway platform is no match for me and my pristine 'do; when I stumble out of bed in the morning my hair looks perfectly presentable.

I won't be sorry when my misbehaving curls return in two months or so, but masquerading as a more polished me is awfully fun while it lasts.