Keratin hair treatments have become hugely popular, as they seem to be the all-in-one solution for all major hair issues – they get rid of frizz, provide the hair with shine, and relax your natural hair pattern, leaving you with smooth, straight hair that is styled in minutes.
But how exactly do they do that? Are these types of treatments really safe for every hair type? And do they really work? Let’s start with the basics.
What is a Keratin Treatment?
Keratin is a protein that naturally occurs in our hair, skin, and nails. It acts both as structural protein within the hair, giving it strength and stability, as well as a shield on the outer part of the hair (also called the cuticle), where its purpose is to protect the hair.
A keratin treatment is basically a chemical procedure during which keratin is added to the outer part of the hair. It fills in the porous parts of the hair where keratin was depleted – this can happen due to environmental factors, heat styling, or dying your hair – while also creating a protective “top coat” on the entire hair’s surface.
So it not only repairs the broken parts of the hair but also smooths out the entire surface of the cuticle, which leaves the hair shiny and more resilient. This protective layer of keratin will also prevent the cuticle from swelling when exposed to moisture, which is a major cause of frizzy hair.
Types of Keratin Treatments
Even though all keratin treatments have the same core principle (adding keratin to the hair), they still can have different outcomes, depending on the chemicals used to bond the keratin, as well as the method of application and activation.
There are keratin treatments that are designed to smoothen the hair without impacting its natural pattern, which is a great choice if you want to get rid of frizz, but not your curls. If you are unsure what type of treatment you need, then it’s best to book a free consultation and discuss your options with a professional.
Do Keratin Treatments relax the hair?
It’s important to understand that keratin hair treatments are not the same as chemical relaxers. Relaxers use harsh chemicals to break the hair’s bonds, after which they are re-formed while the hair is being held in a straight pattern. This is a permanent alteration of the hair and it cannot be undone.
Keratin treatments, on the other hand, do not affect those bonds, but they can also be used to alter your hair’s structure to various degrees. How much it’ll straighten your hair will depend on the type of keratin treatment, as well as on the amount of heat that is used.
A key part of the whole treatment is activating the keratin after application, which is done with heat. The more heat is applied during that phase, the straighter your hair will be in the end.
How long do Keratin Treatments last?
All types of keratin treatments are semi-permanent, which means they will fade over time. They usually last between 3 and 6 months, depending on the condition your hair is in, as well as how well you maintain it.
In order to preserve the keratin coating on your hair for as long as possible, you should avoid using shampoos and conditioners with sulphates, as those are harsh cleaning agents and will remove the keratin faster than sulphate free products. It’s also important to protect the hair from chlorine (in pools) and saltwater, as those tend to strip the keratin too.
The good thing about the washing out is that it does so gradually, so you won’t end up with frizzy and curly roots, while the rest of the hair is super straight. These treatments can also be redone 2-3 times per year, so you’ll be able to rock your smooth hair year-round if you want.
So in short, yes – keratin treatments do work and are completely safe for most hair types and structures if done professionally. If you are still unsure if this would be the right treatment for you or if your hair could handle it, then book a free consultation with one of our trained professionals – they will be able to recommend the best way for you to get the hair you have always dreamed of.