Keratin smoothing treatments are a hugely popular option for a couple of reasons: they may eliminate frizz, reduce time spent blow-drying, and generally make hair look like it stepped off a Hollywood poster for Nice Hair: A Movie. But what is keratin exactly and why is it favored by many people who are tired of battling the stuff growing out of their heads every day? Read along as we answer everything you need to know about the popular hair relaxer.
What is keratin and how does it help my hair?
Keratin is a protein that already exists naturally in your hair (and nails, for that matter). Keratin hair-straightening treatments use a formula that contains keratin (among other ingredients), which, when applied by a professional stylist, may strengthen the hair shaft and lead to silky, frizz-free hair.
How do the keratin smoothing treatments work?
Once you’re safely anchored in a salon chair, the stylist will apply a keratin formula to your hair and then seal it with a very hot flat-iron. It’s the heat from the iron, along with other chemicals in the keratin formula, that activate the straightening effect. Without them, the keratin cannot bond to hair proteins and will remain on your head as so much lifeless goo.
How long does the process take?
It can take 90 minutes or longer. The more hair you have, the longer the treatment will take.
What are the expected results?
Results will vary slightly depending on your natural hair type and the exact treatment you receive. Overall, hair will take on a shinier texture and appearance. The treatment should reduce frizz and the appearance of damage from chemical and coloring treatments. It should also take less time to blow-dry your hair after showering—a big draw of these treatments for many time-pressed individuals.
How long do the results last?
How long your results will last will vary based on the precise keratin product used and on how well you follow your stylist’s aftercare instructions. On average, however, treatments last from 2 to 2.5 months.
Is keratin hair straightening the same as a Brazilian Blowout?
Brazilian Blowout is a specific brand of keratin hair-straightening treatment. It has received more attention than other keratin treatments due to the length of time it has been on the market and the fact that OSHA investigated the brand’s formaldehyde content.
Other common brands include Brazilian Keratin Treatment, Brazilian Hair Straightening, Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy by Coppola, Global Keratin Complex, and La-Brasiliana. You should talk to your stylist to determine which treatments they offer and which one is right for your hair.
If I have curly hair, will this take the curl out of my hair?
Not completely. According to numerous stylists, the treatments relax curls slightly but don’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, some curl will remain.
Will I still be able to curl my hair afterwards?
According to many stylists who specialize in keratin straightening, 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.
Watch the complete keratin process and check out the before-and-after pics: