My review is long, but hear me out...
I went in to Encore in October 21, 2012. I live in Downey, but I have a friend that recommended this place, so I decided to take the drive. My hair has medium curls with some frizz. At the time, it was really long as well, about 4-6 inches above my waist.
The day I went in, I spoke with Devon & explained that I wanted STRAIGHT hair. She recommended the Brazilian blow out, which I've heard is pretty amazing. However, I informed her that I could NOT use anything with chemicals in my hair since I had battled cancer a few years ago (at the age of 19). Doctors believed that my type cancer was caused by hair coloring chemicals in combination with my suppressed immune system. Since I had multiple rounds of chemotherapy, my entire set of hair had fallen. Since then, I had not colored or use any chemicals in my hair. Anyway, Devon was REALLY nice and empathetic. She recommended the Keratin smoothing treatment. She also advised that the treatment would eliminate frizz and smooth out my curls (she did make it clear that it would not straighten my hair, but she did say it would reduce my curls to loose waves). This all sounded great, so I decided to go for it.
After 3-4 hours, the process was done. I was pretty nervous during the entire process since she kept referencing back to another hair stylist for instructions (which made me believe this was her first time). Devon blow dried my hair and I was a happy camper. She made it clear that I had to wait 24 hours to wash my hair, and I did. The entire treatment cost me $234.02 (plus tip). As a student, it took me 5 months to set aside this money...which I had excitingly done so for my huuuuur.
The following day, I washed my hair as indicated. When I stepped out of the shower, I went straight to my mirror to check out my new hair. Voilaaaa! Nothing! Absolutely nothing was different in my hair. In fact, my husband jokingly made a comment: "Wait a minute...did you just pay over $200 for your hair to look exactly the same?" As dumb as I felt, I tried to somehow rationalize the entire experience.
I called the salon the following week, & spoke to the stylist. I told her nothing had changed. She asked me to come in to check it out herself. Once again, I made the long drive to the salon so she can see with her own eyes.
At first, Devon told me I had the option of getting a refund. I told her I didn't want a refund. I had saved up all that money to FIX my hair. Although I didn't have any results, the stylist was very nice, empathic, and patient. She told me that she was going to speak to her boss to try to find alternative treatments, especially since my case was a bit different.
I waited. Called multiple times. And waited more. I finally decided to pay a visit. Devon explained that her boss was in vacation and that I'll have to wait even more, which I did.
After a week or so, I called & left a message. I did receive a call back & Devon stated that another solution was to do some type of continuous reconditioning treatments. By then, it had been about 4 weeks since the initial Keratin treatment and my hair was falling A LOT (which freaked me out because that had never happened after chemo). I told Devon that I did some research & there were some cases out there were women were complaining of their hair falling. I also decided to call my primary physician and ask for his advise, which he said the reconditioning treatments were a bad idea (duhh, of course). Needless to say, I spoke to the stylist and told her I was going to opt out from any future treatments. We pretty much hit the end of the road, so I asked for refund (or at least a partial refund). She said I had to speak to the boss.
So...I called and spoke to the main person in charge. I explained the entire ordeal in the hopes she'll be understanding and work out something with me. Oooooh boy, I was wrong. Although she didn't directly call me a liar, she did make me feel this way. She said she MAY consider a refund if I can get my private medical records from my primary doctor and oncologist to her...all stating why I couldn't have additional hair treatments. Sure enough, that same day I contacted my primary doctor. He said he could hand me (not her directly) my current medical records, which I would have to pick up after paying a fee. I agreed. Then, I contacted City of Hope, where I received my cancer treatment. Since it's a bigger hospital, the process is a bit complicated. I paid the fee ($25 for the first few pages) and signed a medical release document. To this day, I am STILL waiting for all my medical records.
As you can imagine, I've pretty much given up on the entire thing!
MY FINAL POINTS: I do NOT recommend this place. This entire ordeal has been stressful and frustrating. I feel I've been disrespected, lied to, and stolen from. I've lost my money & time. Pretty sad!
I apologize for the lengthy summary of my experience, but I felt I had to share my story.