How a Keratin Treatment Can Give You Hollywood Hair

BY: Colleen Loggins Loster |May 20, 2019

Watch what happens during a keratin treatment and see keratin treatment before and after pictures.


A keratin treatment can eliminate your frizz, reduce your time spent blow-drying, and make your hair look like it stepped right off a Hollywood celebrity and onto your scalp. But getting a keratin hair treatment isn’t as simple as popping into the salon and popping back out. There’s a lot to consider beforehand. Read along as we answer everything you need to know about the popular salon service.

How does a keratin treatment work?

As explained in our what is keratin guide, a keratin treatment is a hair-smoothing treatment performed in salon or at home. We’re going to focus on the more complicated salon treatment in this guide.

The goal of a professional keratin treatment is to smooth hair and eliminate frizz. It does this by using a combination of chemicals and heat to break the hair’s bonds and lock strands in a straighter position—without completely straightening hair.

The Salon Process

  1. After cleansing and clarifying the hair, the stylist applies a keratin formula,.
  2. Depending on the formula, the stylist either directly flat-irons the hair OR blow dries the hair and then flat-irons it.
  3. The heat, along with other chemicals in the keratin formula, activates the straightening effect.
  4. Your hair looks smoother and shinier.

The entire process lasts 90 minutes or longer, depending on how long your hair is.

woman with a keratin hair treatment

How long does a keratin treatment last?

Typically, keratin treatment results last around 2– 3 months. But they can last up to five months depending on the type of keratin product used and aftercare.

If I have curly hair, will this take the curl out of my hair?

Not completely. According to numerous stylists, the treatment relaxes curls slightly but doesn't completely get rid of them. If your hair is wavy or frizzy, the treatment will likely get closer to straightening it, but if you have bountiful curls, your curls will simply soften. If you have tight coils, you’ll experience more elongated coils.

Will I still be able to curl my hair afterwards?

According to many stylists who specialize in keratin hair smoothing, you should be able to curl your hair after the treatment with a round brush and blow-dryer. The treatments shouldn't reduce your overall hair volume, and your hair should remain malleable to your styling touch.

Is a Brazilian Blowout the same thing is a keratin treatment?

This Brazilian Blowout article really breaks it down, but basically, Brazilian Blowout is a specific brand of keratin hair-straightening treatment. Other common brands include Global Keratin Complex, Brazilian Keratin, Brazilian Hair Straightening, Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy by Coppola, and La-Brasiliana. You should talk to your stylist to determine which treatments they offer and which one is right for your hair.

woman touching her hair after a keratin smoothing treatment

How much does a keratin treatment cost?

Cost largely depends on multiple factors, such as how long your hair is and what brand of smoothing treatment you try. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay between $250 and $450 for the service. Be sure to check our website for deals on keratin treatments near you—we did a recent search and found some as low as $75 in our hometown of Chicago!

Where can I find keratin deals near me?

Click one of the boxes below to find deals on keratin treatments near you:


Important Things to Know

A keratin treatment may contain keratin, but keratin isn’t what actually smooths hair. That’s because keratin is really just a marketing buzzword used to refer to a variety of professional smoothing treatments.

Chemicals like formaldehyde and the formaldehyde-alternative glyoxylic acid are what smooth hair. Formaldehyde offers more dramatic results, but is a suspected carcinogen.

According to the Environmental Working Group, some formulas claim to be formaldehyde-free, but actually contain methylene glycol, a solution of formaldehyde and water that release formaldehyde (a gas) when heated. That’s why some salons will give clients and stylists a mask to wear during the keratin treatment.

It’s possible to get a smoothing treatment that is formaldehyde-free and uses glyoxylic acid instead. Look for Goldwell Kerasilk, Trissola Solo, Cezanne Perfect Finish, and Supersilk Smoothing System. 

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