What’s the deal with keratin? Keratin protein occurs naturally in hair. Keratin treatments are an exceptional process that effectively straightens even the coarsest, curliest hair. Products that contain keratin give many of the same effects of a treatment, to a lesser degree (shine, straightness, smoothness and reduced frizz). We’ve put together a guide to Keratin so you can figure out which treatments and products are best for you!
The best hair care products with the benefits of Keratin
Your hair doesn’t have to be entirely unruly to deserve the benefits that Keratin delivers. At-home keratin treatments, shampoos, conditioners and styling products can help you combat frizz and enjoy healthier, more manageable hair without the fuss or cost of an in-salon keratin treatment. We recommend:
What a keratin treatment?
A keratin treatment is a temporary straightening process that transforms frizzy, unruly hair into straight, shiny, healthy hair. Using a high-temp flat iron, the keratin treatment is infused into hair, sealing the cuticle and repairing damage. Hair is stronger, smoother and more manageable.
Is it permanent?
Nope. Keratin treatments are temporary, but results last about six weeks. (The more often you wash, the more quickly hair returns to normal.)
Will it work for my hair?
Keratin treatments and products are best for thick, curly, frizzy or coarse hair. Because it actually repairs hair, keratin treatments are also good for damaged or chemically treated hair (colored, permed, relaxed, highlighted or bleached). Keratin treatments are not intended for fine, straight or thin hair, but hair care products containing keratin are awesome for these hair types looking to repair damage, fight frizz, and protect strands.
Does it damage hair?
No. Sealing keratin into cuticles can actually repair and strengthen hair. Formaldehyde, which is found in salon keratin treatments, is not harmful but is a strong solution if not used correctly, so check with your salon before you receive a keratin treatment. Hair care products with keratin are the best option for formaldehyde free options.
What if my hair is color-treated or already chemically treated?
According to pro hairstylists, Keratin can only improve treated hair. The treatment moisturizes and adds to existing chemical treatments already present. It also helps to seal color into hair. The best time to get a keratin treatment is prior to a hair color service, or 10 days after a color treatment. Keratin treatments are also extremely beneficial for hair that has had thermal reconditioning or sodium hydroxide relaxers.
Japanese Straightening vs. Keratin Treatments
Japanese straightening makes hair extremely straight and flat. Keratin treatments allow hair’s natural texture to emerge, especially as they slowly wash out. While the keratin treatment washes out over time, Japanese straightening treatments are permanent and will grow out, which will require lots of upkeep to maintain results. Therefore, Keratin doesn’t last as long as Japanese straightening, but it also doesn’t involve a grow-out phase. Both Japanese and Keratin treatment applications use high-heat flat irons to close the product into the hair cuticle.
Brazilian Blowouts vs. Keratin Treatments
Brazilian blowouts are “lighter” than keratin treatments. You might consider them a blowout with a bonus, which leaves hair frizz-free but not as straight as a keratin treatment. While Keratin treatments have a 3-day no washing period, Brazilian blowouts can be washed immediately. Also, Brazilian blowouts do not contain formaldehyde, which is a big bonus for many salon clients.
Adds shine and softness to strands.
Smoother, frizz-free strands that are unfazed by humidity.
Moisture and damage repair.
Dramatically decreases drying and styling time.
Seals hair color.
Won’t grow out, so with regular shampooing, hair slowly returns to its pre-treatment state.
Wash hair less frequently to maintain the look longer. For maximum longevity, use a shampoo that doesn’t contain Sodium Chloride. A product with UV protection is important too.
Exposure to chlorine, salt water or excessive sun exposure will shorten the lifespan of the treatment.
Hair can be cut immediately after the treatment.
Hair can be colored before or two weeks afterward. (Coloring hair prior to the treatment seals in the color, helping to prevent fading.)
Success can be skill and tool dependent.
Scalp and hair sometimes don’t feel as clean as prior to the treatment.
At-home application requires proper tools and precautions.
Repeat Keratin Treatments will be applied throughout hair the same way as the first treatment.
Must-Have Products for Upkeep
These products are essential to the keratin treatment process. They will be infused into the cuticle – smoothing, straightening and strengthening your hair. We recommend:
High-temperature Flat Iron
Most treatments require a flat iron that heats up to 400 degrees or higher. The high temperature is necessary for proper application and it’s also helpful for maintaining your treatment. We recommend:
Solia SuperHot 1¼” Professional Flat Iron
Fine Tooth Comb
You’ll use this when distributing the treatment and to assist with precise flat ironing. We recommend:
Cricket Silkomb Pro-10 Control Cutting Comb
Sodium Chloride Free Shampoo
Sodium Chloride (salt) will fade your keratin treatment. Avoid products that contain the ingredient to enjoy longer-lasting straightness. We recommend:
GK Hair Moisturizing Shampoo