Understanding Hair Keratin Treatment: Care, Benefits & Disadvantages
What is keratin?
Keratin is a kind of protein found in our hair, skin, and nails. Our body naturally produces it, and it helps to keep our skin healthy and heal wounds. Our body has about 54 kinds of keratin, out of which 28 are type 1. Their main functions include protecting the cells from the body's internal forces. The other 26 kinds are called type 2, out of which 20 are skin cell keratins, and 6 are hair keratins.
Keratin is naturally found in the body and is a protein that takes care of the skin and hair. It is also found in several internal organs and glands. It is a kind of protective protein that is less prone to scratching or tearing when compared to other types of cells in the body. It can be derived from horns, feathers, and wool of several animals and is used as an ingredient in hair cosmetics.
Its primary function is to form healthy hair, nails, and skin. It also protects it from wounds. Two kinds of carotene are available in our body: alpha-keratin and beta keratin. Alpha keratin is found in the epidermis, hair, nails, and horns of mammals. Type 1 and type 2 keratins are also known as alpha keratins. On the other hand, beta-keratin is found in claws, beaks, feathers, and scales of birds and reptiles.
What does the Keratin treatment do?
Keratin treatment is a process that helps smoothen and straighten hair. It is also popularly known as a Brazilian keratin treatment or a Brazilian blowout. The process involves applying certain products to the hair, blow drying it, and then sealing it off with a flat iron.
Keratin treatment adds shine, reduces frizz, and makes your hair strong. If you have wavy or curly hair, then keratin treatment will make your hair straighter.
Different types of Keratin Hair Treatments
Various versions of the keratin hair treatment are available on the market. Some of these contain more formaldehyde, and some have less harmful alternatives. The amount of formaldehyde can be a concern because it is a carcinogen. Although the amount used for a keratin treatment is relatively less, it is always a good idea to opt for formaldehyde-free treatment.
Keratin treatments that are available now or free of formaldehyde and use glyoxylic acid, which is a better option when it comes to efficiency and safety in treating hair. However, formaldehyde-free keratin treatments are not extremely active and do not provide lasting results.
Some keratin treatments make your hair straight, while others only eliminate frizz. These are some of the most popular kinds of keratin treatments -
One of the earliest treatments that were developed originated in Brazil in the year 2005. It is expensive but worth the money since it helps eliminate frizz and smoothens the hair by coating the strands in a protein layer that protects them. This treatment can last up to 3 months.
One of the most natural keratin hair treatments is perfect for people with thin hair as it eliminates frizz and nourishes damaged ends. If you have colored hair, then you might want to miss out on this since it can mess up with blonde hues.
This treatment is by far the quickest to apply and is great for people with care who have damaged or colored strands. The curl texture is softened by using a flat iron. This treatment does not mess up with your hair color and makes your hair more manageable, and can also hold pretty well through hot and humid weather.
This is relatively short and involves keratin application to the hair in the form of serum followed by a blow dryer and flat iron. It is excellent for women who have curly or wavy hair and want to make their hair a little more manageable. The effect can last up to 6 weeks.
This combines the traditional Brazilian keratin treatment and a Japanese hair straightening system that offers amazing results and lasts five months more than the Brazilian blowout. The process starts with the Brazilian treatment and is followed by applying the Japanese treatment, which seals the cuticle and then locks out the frizz. The hair can be rinsed after an hour and then blow-dried again for a sleek look.
Keratin treatment is now a popular way of treating hair, and it has few benefits. These are mentioned below.
Smoother, Shinier, and more Manageable hair
Most people who have undergone the treatment find their hair smoother and shinier. It helps to get rid of frizz even when it is exposed to bad weather conditions. Hence the result is that you have to spend less time on styling. It helps the hair get softer when touched and improves the texture, which is quite noticeable.
Rebonds and Strengthens Hair
Keratin treatment helps your hair rebond and gives it strength by making the hair strands resilient to any kind of breakage. It improves the condition of the hair and protects it from any external damage like bad weather conditions.
Most people who have opted for the keratin treatment have seen that just one treatment shows great results, lasting for a long time. The changes are noticeable in the hair and can last up to several weeks. On average, these results can last for about 3 to 4 months. People can also opt for this treatment every 3 to 4 months to keep the hair in excellent condition.
Risks of Keratin Treatment
Use of formaldehyde
Most keratin treatment uses formaldehyde which can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Long-term usage can also cause cancer. It is important to note that formaldehyde is a gas, and inhaling it can cause a major risk to the body. Hence some stylists wear masks during the treatment and also advise the client to put on one.
Extreme exposure to formaldehyde can also cause your hair to dry out, resulting in breakage and hair fall.
Keratin hair treatments are quite expensive because they only last about 3 to 6 months. Hence it can become an expensive option for people who get it done regularly.
Keratin hair treatment gives instant results by making your hair look shiny and manageable, but unfortunately, it can mess up the volume of your hair. Many people have complained that they lost excess hair due to the treatment. It is important to keep this in mind before you opt for treatment, and you can consult a dermatologist before you get one done.
How to take care of Keratin-treated hair
To get the maximum benefit of the treatment, these are some of the ways by which you can take care of your hair.
- Try to avoid washing your hair for at least three days after getting the treatment done, which means that you cannot go swimming or do any intense physical activity as well. Moisture and water can result in the loss of some of the protein treatments. This can make your hair porous and prone to freeze.
- Try to keep your hair down and straight for the first few days after the treatment. Keratin is malleable, which means that if you put your hair up in a bun or a ponytail, it can leave behind dents. Use soft hair ties or scrunchies to tie your hair for the first three days. Avoid putting your hair up for long periods of time.
- Use the silk pillow since cotton or other materials can cause friction and create frizz.
- Avoid using hair care products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate. These ingredients can strip your hair of natural oils and keratin, resulting in the treatment wearing out sooner.
- Flat irons and blow dryers are the best tools for keeping your tresses straight and smooth after a keratin treatment. You do not need to use hair sprays, mousses, or gels to keep your hair lifted since keratin will be able to hold your hair right.
- Go for reapplication every 3 to 4 months since that is when the effect of the treatment starts to wear off.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a keratin treatment good for hair?
Keratin treatment can be a good option for people who have frizzy and unmanageable hair. This treatment makes your hair manageable, strengthens, and gives dull or lifeless hair shine.
How long will keratin treatment last?
On average, most keratin treatment lasts about 3 to 4 months, after which the effect starts to wear off. You can go for reapplication if you want to.
Can keratin damage your hair?
People who have done keratin treatments have complained of hair loss and damaged hair post the treatment. Keratin treatment does have side effects like hair loss, breakage, and dull hair.