Keratin Treatment: Is Keratin Right for You?

Keratin Treatment
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Keratin treatment has been called a “miracle” for making it easier to blow dry and straighten your hair. The results can last for several months. Now, that’s one positive result any busy woman should enjoy.

Keratin treatment has gained quite a bit of popularity since many Hollywood A-listers have sported shiny straight hair and have credited it to keratin hair treatment. However, it’s not all positive buzz as many of the products on the market contain formaldehyde. That can be alarming as formaldehyde and other aldehydes are listed as a known carcinogen.

On the flip side of celebrity endorsements, actress Jennifer Aniston once admitted that she had her famous hair cut shorter because of keratin hair treatment damage.

So for our readers out there thinking of having this treatment to tame frizzy, curly hair or you just want to take out some of your waves, please read on. See if keratin hair treatment is the best option to smooth and straighten your hair.

What is a keratin treatment?

Popularly known as Brazilian hair treatments, they are curl softening, hair-smoothing, semi-permanent professional chemical treatment. Many claim that they even make hair healthier. The treatments are generally formulated with formaldehyde, which creates the long-term smoothing effect. Keratin, a natural protein found in the hair, improves its strength.

On the other side, the results of a keratin treatment can last for as short as three months or, (depending on your lifestyle, the product used and your adherence to the aftercare instructions) as long as six months.

Curls can be softened, waves will straighten, and frizz will be eliminated. Not to mention the time you will save from blow drying and flat ironing your hair.

Keratin

What does formaldehyde do?

Formalin or methylene glycol when heated to 450 degrees can become formaldehyde. Formaldehyde has been linked to leukemia and other types of cancer. One certain risk is allergic reaction, but if you have no allergy to it, there is a minimal chance of being harmed. Some may experience irritated throat or watery eyes, but many who have undergone the treatments say that those are just common and temporary irritations.

The good news is that many of the brands now have reduced amount of formaldehyde in them.

This resulted in far fewer customers complaining about having a stuffy nose or sore throat from the strong chemical smell. Formaldehyde can’t be totally eliminated because it is needed to make the straightening process work.

Are risks involved in using keratin treatment?

Many hair experts agree that the risk actually is not for the clients, but for the salon worker who handle the products on an almost daily basis. The key here is to have proper ventilation and to wear adequate protection. That being said, there have been no studies linking the treatment to any illness.

How is the treatment done?

Your hair is washed, usually with a clarifying shampoo, and then blow dried. The treatment is then applied by sections and then combed throughout your hair for even distribution. You will have the treatment on your hair for awhile before getting it dried again.

Next comes the use of the flat iron to seal in the treatment. Just make sure that you had prior discussion with your stylist about the condition of your hair. If it’s straight and thin or chemically damaged, you may not be a good candidate for the keratin treatment.

The heat from the flat iron can reach 450 degrees Fahrenheit, so confirm with your stylist that your hair is healthy enough to withstand it. This process may take several hours, so be prepared by bringing something to read to the salon. The duration all depends on the length and type of your hair.

The typical after care approach is not to wash your hair for the next 72 hours to ensure a longer lasting treatment. You should also avoid putting your hair behind your ears or in a ponytail.

Also, for best results, use shampoo and conditioners that do not contain sodium chloride or sulfates. These strip the hair of its luster and may work against your keratin hair treatment.

keratin hair treatment

Should you go ahead and have the keratin treatment?

You are a good candidate for the treatment if you have frizzy hair or curls. Lackluster hair is also a good candidate for the treatment. Many opt to have keratin treatment because it saves them a good chunk of their time styling and blow drying their hair.

Black hair types and chemically treated or color treated hair can use keratin hair treatments. In effect, this treatment can work on our many hair textures. However, it is not advisable for those who already have severely damaged hair.

Defer having this treatment if you are pregnant or if you have over-bleached hair.

The bottom line is it is your decision if these treatments are for you. It also depends on your lifestyle, the result you want, and your hair texture. Some have claimed that the treatment is not harsh or damaging to the hair at all.

Many have claimed that the keratin treatment has been life-changing, in terms of enhanced self-image. It serves as a confidence-booster. Others have attested to shortening their hair maintenance routine and that it has been quite a time saver.

They haven’t used a blow dryer in months, but they still have smooth and sleek hair. Now that’s really good news for many ladies.

There are so many keratin treatment choices that if you decide to try it, it’s really your own experience that will tell you if you made the right decision. Hopefully, you’ll walk out of the salon satisfied with the results and will be so for many more months to come.

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Sherry Harris is a solopreneur at Sherry's Life. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter and, if you have thoughts on this article, join the conversation on Facebook.