What is a Keratin Hair Treatment? Benefits and Precautions

Women are always in a pursuit of a silky smooth, frizz-free hair. In their pursuit, they try a number of different treatments and methods for a perfect hair.

A keratin treatment is just one of the options that professional hairstylists recommend. But should you always consider?

What do you need to know before you try it? Are there any side effects? And what are the benefits?

Just like ombre highlights, contouring, and other hair treatments, keratin is just another topic that is trending in the beauty world. If one of your friends have tried it, chances are, she will not shut up about the benefits of it. There are a variety of salon and at-home versions of a keratin treatment.

Which one is best for you? Well, let’s start by learning what is the treatment, the benefits, and potential side effects.

What does the treatment involve?

Before you try the treatment, you need to determine if your hair type if right for the service. Fine and straight strands will not benefit much from a keratin treatment. On the other side, curly and frizzy textures will see the most benefits.

What does the treatment actually do? Every treatment focuses on the same thing, and that is fill in the porosity of your hair.

Overly-porous hair will cause frizz, breakage, and tangles. Your hair is actually made up of keratin, so the treatment is just putting the protein back into the hair. Due to age and chemical services, your hair loses the protein over time.

A keratin treatment is essentially trying to rebuild damaged areas. You can expect an increase in shine, easier styling process, and less frizz.

Before you determine the best formula for the treatment, consult with your stylist. Some treatments that contain glycolic acid can shift the tonality of your hair color

What to know before getting a keratin hair treatment?

Know what you are asking for

There are many different names for a keratin treatment. And stylists use a variety of names, which can get all too way confusing. The traditional keratin straightening treatment is called Brazilian Blowout.

This is the treatment that will straighten your hair texture. You also have smoothing treatments like Cezanne, which add shine and de-frizz your hair. You need to know what you need and what you ask for in order to get the best results.

Understand what you get

The keratin is just one of the ingredients used in the the treatment. You are actually getting more benefits due to the other smoothing ingredients. A traditional treatment involves saturating your hair in 20 minutes in a formaldehyde-releasing solution.

This solution coats each strand like armor, before you blow-dry your hair and methodically flat-iron it. The entire process, if done properly, should straighten your hair and eliminate frizz for up to three months.

A smoothing treatment, which is different than a keratin treatment, are formaldehyde-free and they deeply penetrate the cortex of your hair. That is different than sitting on the outside of the cuticle.

The process might be similar, but the formula is not. Sadly, formaldehyde is key, making the keratin treatment much more potent.

There are some questionable chemicals involved

You have to accept and embrace the fact that your hair will be doused in some chemicals that may not be approved by the FDA. That means, as mentioned previously, an involvement of formaldehyde.

Even if the treatment does not list formaldehyde in the process, it will still be present for a traditional keratin treatment.

What you need to know is that formaldehyde is not an ingredient. It is actually a gas emitted from other chemicals being exposed to heat.

You will have to switch your shampoo

Many brands and salons will try to sell you their shampoo after the treatment. The reality is that you do have to switch your shampoo after the treatment for best results.

But that doesn’t mean you have to buy their shampoo. Any other sulfate-free shampoo will work.

Something gotta give

Once you get a traditional keratin treatment, you cannot touch your hair for three days afterward. You have to be ready to make some sacrifices after the treatment. You cannot put it in a ponytail, you cannot wash it, and you cannot clip your hair back.

In addition, if your hair is colored, you run the risk of minimal fading or lightning after the treatment. While hair experts will swear that is not common, it can happen, depending on the keratin line you are using.

You cannot do it more than three times per year

Doing more than three treatments per year might do more harm than good to your hair. Every time you do the treatment, your hair becomes more brittle and prone to breakage.

Therefore, be sure to save the treatment for when you really need it. For example, in the summer, or for when you are battling life-crippling frizz.

What are the benefits of keratin hair treatment?

Now that we talked about some questions you need to answer before getting a keratin treatment, let’s talk about the benefits of the treatment.

As we mentioned, the process works when a stylist applies a keratin hair-straightening product to your hair and then uses the heat of a flat iron to seal it in. The process can last from 90 minutes to more, depending on the length of your hair.

Here are some benefits once you get the treatment done.

  • Frizz no more, as keratin treatments eliminate frizz. You can safely walk out in moist or light rain, and your hair won’t change
  • You can shorten the blow-dry time of your hair by 40% to 60% after getting the treatment. That is for those of you styling your hair straight
  • The frizz-free hair will last between two and three months, depending on how you treat your hair after the treatment
  • Keratin is a restorative treatment, even for those with good hair type, it will strengthen the hair shafts and make your hair more resilient

After you get a keratin treatment, you shouldn’t wash your hair for three or four days. The solution takes time to work, but afterward, it is stress-free.

After getting the treatment, you need to switch your shampoo to a sodium and sulfate-free shampoo. This will maintain the effect of the treatment.

What about a home treatment?

As mentioned previously, you can do a keratin treatment at home. However, you cannot get similar results. Do not expect your treatment done at home to last more than one month.

It might not last even a week. Most at home treatments do not affect any bonds in the hair, so they are not nearly as effective as those done in a salon.

At home keratin treatments usually just coat the hair shaft with a barrier like silicone to keep humidity from entering. Results last a week or two at most.

They do cost as little as $10. That might be a bargain, considering a salon treatment can go up to $200. But what you get is what you pay for.