Keratin Treatment

For many women, having smooth and shiny hair is considered to be a “mane attraction”. The beauty of a woman’s crowning glory greatly depends on the hairstylist. Of course, the cost may differ depending on a hairstylist’s experience and expertise, but if he or she is considered an expert, the health effects of the styling process and other hair treatments will surely show on your hair.

One of the well-known secrets that celebrity stylists have shared to the public is keratin treatment. Keratin treatment is basically a de-frizzing process – a hair treatment that involves intensive straightening. Of course, just like most hair care treatments, keratin treatment need to be handled by a professional hairstylist to provide the utmost hair care and avoid the risk and side effects of heat-treatments.

What is a Keratin Treatment?

A keratin treatment is basically a hair straightening process that works by providing smoothness and shine to frizzy hair. The effects of a keratin treatment is expected to last up to six months, depending on the hair type, length, and damage that hair is exposed to.

As a guide and to help you be less confused with the terms, keratin treatment has different versions – Goldwell Kerasilk, Brazilian Blowout, and Cezanne). The hair stylist can pretty much end up like a chemist, as they can customize the formula blend to suit one’s hair needs.

There are other versions of keratin treatment that release formaldehyde when exposed under heat, but more current versions of keratin treatment, like the “Rio” keratin treatment, are formaldehyde-free. The proprietor of “Rio” keratin treatment is Manhattan hairstylist, Arsen Gurgov, and he has formulated this mixture to lessen the side effects on the hair.

Clients need to keep in mind that regardless of the formaldehyde content, keratin treatments seep deep into the hair follicle and fill-in porous areas with keratin, an essential hair protein. Ideally, after an expert keratin treatment, the hair will be restored back to its health, much like that of a celebrity hair that’s shiny and ultimately frizz-free. The hair will not only look healthy after the process, but it will also feel very smooth and soft – like silk.

The Process Of Keratin Treatment

The time it takes to fully process a keratin treatment greatly depends on the formula that the hairstylist is using. Additionally, the hair texture and volume also works as a guide or a factor that determines the duration of a keratin treatment process. Average salon visits for keratin treatment may take up to two to four hours.

Upon arriving at the hair salon for a keratin treatment, the hair stylist will first assess the client’s hair – the extent of how the hair strands are dry or damaged, and if there has been a recent hair color application. This assessment is done to ensure that the risk for the chemical process can be properly addressed and to provide the proper level of care and mix of ingredient and chemical for the client’s hair.

After assessing the hair and finalizing the cost of the keratin treatment process, the hair stylist will either do the following:

a.) apply keratin treatment to wet hair and leave the formula for half an hour to saturate each strand or
b.) blow-dry the hair first and apply the keratin treatment

It greatly depends on the techniques adapted by the hair stylist and the needs of the client’s hair. Finally, the hair stylist will then check if there are any coarse hair strands left and if there are, a flat iron may be used on low to medium heat to seal in the protein and products that need to be sealed in.

There are lots of keratin treatment video on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter if you want to see an overview of the whole process.

Keratin Treatment vs. Chemical Relaxer

Many are wondering what’s the difference between a keratin treatment and a chemical relaxer. Basically, there is no need to be confused with the two treatments because they are totally different from each other. The effect of straightening chemical relaxers is permanent while keratin treatments are known to be temporary and can wash out after a few months.

Keratin treatment also uses a whole bunch of ingredients that are totally different from chemical relaxers. In other words, different ingredients produce totally different results. Chemical relaxers break and restructure the bonds in curly or wavy hair which makes the hair straight and weaker using a main ingredient like potassium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide and lithium hydroxide.

Meanwhile, the product used in keratin treatments is aimed to inject the porous part of the hair with protein to make it smoother instead of altering the chemical composition of the hair strands. Basically, since the solution is much gentler and has less chemicals than traditional chemical relaxers, the keratin treatment washes out after a few months.

Can Keratin Treatment Be Done At Home?

There are lots of available styling products, shampoo and conditioner out in the market claiming to give consumers Brazilian keratin effects of some sort. Technically speaking, said products might give users softer hair after washing but it would be safe not to expect salon-results.

You see, there are styling or cosmetic products that may contain the word keratin, but it doesn’t guarantee that it can provide the keratin treatment that you are expecting. In fact, since the hair is made up of keratin proteins, keratin-named products are commonly available in physical and online stores as well. The result of DIY keratin treatment products won’t last as long as a keratin treatment done in a salon by a professional hair expert.

How Long Do Keratin Treatments Last?

Depending on your hair quality and the damage it goes through every day, keratin treatments may last around four to six months. You can also get another keratin treatment every three to four months if you want to maintain the beauty and health of your hair.

Is Keratin Treatment Safe?

While some would get scared by the possible risk and danger posed by keratin treatments with formaldehyde as an ingredient, it is worth noting that the amount of formaldehyde in a keratin treatment is relatively small. However, for health conscious clients who are very particular with the chemicals and products ingested in their system, there is an alternative keratin treatment that is formaldehyde-free. Said formaldehyde-free keratin treatment alternatives are effective but they are not as effective and long lasting, but on the brighter side, they are much safer and risk-free.

Can Colored Hair Undergo Keratin Treatment?

Unlike chemical-straightening relaxers, clients with dyed or colored hair can safely have a keratin treatment without the risk of damage. For maintenance, clients with colored hair who undergo keratin treatment can use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to maintain the quality of their hair.

Shampooing the hair once or twice a week or only when necessary is highly recommended. When showering, it is advised to rinse the hair with water without any shampoo and directly apply conditioner on it. Avoid salt-based sprays for textured, beachy hair.