Keratin treatments are becoming a popular hair option for many people these days, and it’s easy to see the appeal.
Keratin-treated hair looks shiny and smooth, can last up to six months, and can definitely be simpler to style – but is it the right choice for you? Today we’ll take a look at the pluses and minuses of keratin hair treatment, as well as how to look after your hair if you decide to go for it.
What is keratin hair treatment?
Keratin treatment is a semi-permanent hair treatment that makes hair appear straighter, smoother, shinier, and banishes frizz.
During a keratin treatment, a type of protein called keratin and a mixture of chemicals are brushed onto the hair and left to sit for about 30 minutes.
The keratin itself creates a protective outer layer on the hair which is designed to lock moisture in.
The treatment is usually (but not always) applied to wet hair. After 30 minutes, the hair is dried and then thoroughly straightened using flat irons. The heat from the flat irons seals the hair’s cuticle and activates the keratin coating.
Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, a keratin treatment can take anywhere between one and three hours to complete.
What are the pros and cons of keratin treatments?
Deciding whether or not to have a keratin treatment is a not a straightforward decision as there are a lot of factors to consider before you decide whether you want to take the plunge. Let’s take a look.
- Improves the appearance of hair – After a keratin treatment, your hair will be shinier, smoother, and more manageable.
- Hair dries faster – Hair that has been treated with keratin can dry up to twice as quickly as it did pre-treatment.
- Prevents breakage – The keratin provides a protective coating between your hair and the elements, strengthening hair and preventing damage. It can also temporarily bond together split ends.
- Long-lasting results – The results of a keratin treatment can last for months, making it good value for money.
- Can protect hair – If you usually use a lot of heated styling tools to keep frizz or unmanageable hair in check, then a keratin treatment may help to protect your hair and improve its health by reducing your need to use damaging heat to style it.
- Time-saving – Waking up with smooth and shiny hair every day can help to save you time by reducing how long it takes to style your hair each morning.
- Cost – The price of a keratin treatment varies depending on the salon you choose, where you live, and how long and thick your hair is. Generally, you should expect to pay somewhere between £100 and £200 for a keratin treatment. Whilst the results are quite long-lasting, this is still a lot of money to pay in one go and then on an ongoing regular basis if you want to continue with the treatments.
- Chemicals – Keratin treatments contain synthetic chemicals, which many people prefer to keep away from their hair and body.
- Formaldehyde – Some types of keratin treatment, including the Brazilian blow-dry, contain the chemical Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and skin, and according to the National Cancer Institute, ‘some studies of humans have suggested that formaldehyde exposure is associated with certain types of cancer’.
- Can dry out hair – Whilst your hair may look shiny, smooth, and glossy immediately after the treatment, once the treatment has worn off you may find that the harsh chemicals and heat used during the treatment have left your hair dry, brittle, dull, and prone to breakage.
- Not right for everyone – You may be advised against a keratin treatment if you have very fine or overly processed hair. The treatment is also not suitable if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How long does a keratin treatment last?
The results of a keratin treatment can last anywhere between three and six months depending on how the hair is cared for afterwards.
How to take care of your hair after keratin treatment
If you do decide to invest in a keratin treatment, make sure you know how to take care of your hair after keratin treatment to maintain the results for longer.
Don’t wash or style your hair immediately after the treatment – Once you have had the treatment done you should wait at least 3 days before you wash, style, or tie up your hair.
Avoid sulfates like the plague and use natural hair care products – If your hair has been treated with keratin you should take extra care to avoid any hair care product that contains sulfates. Sulfates can quickly strip the keratin from the hair, rendering the treatment useless. Look to get natural hair care products that are gentle and nourishing for your hair. Our shampoo and conditioner are both free from sulfates, parabens, silicones, and other harsh chemicals, so they’re ideal for use if you have a keratin treatment.
Don’t over-wash hair – To increase the longevity of your keratin treatment, aim to wash your hair no more frequently than two or three times a week.
Avoid swimming in chlorine or saltwater – Chlorine and saltwater can both negatively affect keratin-treated hair. It’s best to avoid swimming or make sure your hair is adequately covered and protected if you do so.