Keratin treatments, is good for my hair?

Keratin Treatments

Keeping the hair healthy takes a huge commitment and attempts at several care routines. While some may contribute little to the hair, others may be too expensive to continue. This is usually discouraging, but the good news is there are other hair care treatments you can have that’ll improve your hair health and give it an impressive look without spending so much or wasting so much time.

Keratin treatment is one of those treatments. You can swear you’ve heard your family, friends, or stylist mention it a couple of times. That’s because it’s proven to be an effective solution, a go-to even, for so many people that have excessively curly or frizzy hair. There are different types of treatment, but are they all safe?

Allow us to answer your questions by discussing some important things you ought to know about keratin treatment and hair health. We’ll start by explaining what keratin is before going into how the treatment is done.

What is keratin?

Revitalized hair thanks to keratin treatment

Keratin is a fibrous structural protein that serves as a key component in the structure of various tissues in the human body, including the skin, hair, and nails. It is exceptionally strong and resilient, providing strength and protection to these tissues.

In hair, keratin is particularly abundant, comprising up to 90% of the hair’s composition. It forms the outer layer of the hair shaft, known as the cuticle, as well as the inner cortex. Keratin helps maintain the structure and integrity of the hair, making it strong, flexible, and resistant to damage from external factors like heat, chemicals, and environmental stressors.

Keratin treatments, often referred to as “keratin hair treatments” or “Brazilian blowouts,” involve the application of a keratin-based formula to the hair to help smooth frizz, reduce curl, and improve manageability. These treatments temporarily coat the hair shaft with keratin proteins, providing a protective layer that can enhance shine and smoothness.

What function does it perform for the hair?

Keratin plays several important functions for the hair:

  1. Strength and structure: Keratin is the primary structural protein of the hair, providing strength and resilience to each strand. It forms a protective barrier around the hair shaft, helping to prevent damage and breakage.
  2. Flexibility: While keratin provides strength to the hair, it also allows for flexibility, enabling the hair to bend and stretch without breaking easily.
  3. Smoothness and shine: Keratin contributes to the smoothness and shine of the hair by filling in gaps and irregularities along the hair cuticle. This creates a smoother surface, which reflects light more evenly, resulting in enhanced shine.
  4. Protection: Keratin helps protect the hair from damage caused by environmental factors, such as UV radiation, pollution, and heat styling. It forms a barrier that shields the hair from external stressors, reducing the risk of dryness, frizz, and split ends.
  5. Moisture retention: Keratin molecules have the ability to attract and retain moisture, helping to keep the hair hydrated and healthy. This moisture balance is crucial for maintaining the elasticity and suppleness of the hair.

Overall, keratin plays a vital role in maintaining the overall health, strength, and appearance of the hair, making it an essential component of hair care products and treatments.

Is keratin treatment perfect for hair?

While keratin treatments can provide various benefits for the hair, whether they are perfect for every individual depends on factors such as hair type, condition, and personal preferences. Here are some considerations:

  1. Benefits: Keratin treatments can make the hair smoother, shinier, and more manageable. They can help reduce frizz, improve texture, and make styling easier. Additionally, keratin treatments can strengthen the hair, making it more resistant to damage and breakage.
  2. Suitability: Keratin treatments are generally suitable for most hair types, including curly, wavy, frizzy, and damaged hair. However, they may not be suitable for extremely fine or thin hair, as they can weigh down the hair and make it appear flat.
  3. Duration: Keratin treatments are not permanent and typically last for several weeks to a few months, depending on factors such as hair type and maintenance routine. Some people may find the longevity of the treatment satisfactory, while others may prefer a longer-lasting solution.
  4. Chemical Exposure: Keratin treatments involve the use of chemicals, such as formaldehyde or its derivatives, to bond keratin to the hair shaft. While many formulations are now formaldehyde-free or low in formaldehyde, some people may still have concerns about exposure to chemicals.
  5. Cost and Maintenance: Keratin treatments can be expensive, especially if performed in a salon by a professional. Additionally, maintaining the results of the treatment may require special shampoos, conditioners, and styling products, which can add to the overall cost.
  6. Personal Preferences: Ultimately, whether a keratin treatment is perfect for someone’s hair depends on their personal preferences and goals. Some people may love the smooth, sleek look that keratin treatments provide, while others may prefer their natural texture or seek alternative methods of hair care.

Before undergoing a keratin treatment, it’s essential to consult with a professional stylist to determine whether the treatment is suitable for your hair type and condition. They can also provide guidance on the best type of keratin treatment and aftercare routine for your needs.

Woman applying keratin treatment to her hair

How is keratin treatment performed?

Keratin treatment is typically performed in a salon by a professional stylist and involves several steps:

  1. Preparation: The hair is shampooed with a clarifying or pre-treatment shampoo to remove any buildup, oils, or residue from styling products. This step helps to open the hair cuticles and prepare the hair for the keratin treatment.
  2. Application: The keratin treatment solution is applied to small sections of the hair using a brush or applicator. The stylist ensures that the solution is evenly distributed from the roots to the ends of the hair.
  3. Processing: Once the keratin treatment solution is applied, the hair is allowed to process for a specific period, usually between 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the brand of the treatment and the desired results. During this time, the keratin penetrates the hair shaft and bonds to the hair’s natural keratin structure.
  4. Heat application: After the processing time, the stylist may use a flat iron or blow dryer to seal the keratin into the hair cuticle. The heat helps to activate the keratin and lock it into place, creating a smooth, sleek finish.
  5. Rinse and neutralize: Once the heat application is complete, the hair is rinsed thoroughly to remove any excess keratin treatment solution. Some treatments may require a neutralizing or sealing step to help set the keratin and ensure long-lasting results.
  6. Final styling: After rinsing, the hair is typically blow-dried and styled as desired. The stylist may use additional heat styling tools to further smooth and straighten the hair or create curls or waves, depending on the client’s preference.
  7. Post-treatment care: After the keratin treatment, it’s essential to follow any specific aftercare instructions provided by the stylist. This may include using sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, avoiding heat styling tools or chlorine exposure, and scheduling follow-up treatments as needed to maintain the results.

Overall, the process of keratin treatment aims to repair, strengthen, and smooth the hair, leaving it more manageable, shiny, and frizz-free.

Side effects of keratin treatment

Woman applying a keratin treatment to her hair with a dropper

While keratin treatments can provide numerous benefits for the hair, they also come with potential side effects and risks. Some of the common side effects of keratin treatments include:

  1. Hair damage: Overuse or improper application of keratin treatments can lead to hair damage, including dryness, breakage, and brittleness. This is especially true if the treatment is applied too frequently or if the heat from flat irons or blow dryers is excessive during the treatment process.
  2. Irritation and sensitivity: Some individuals may experience scalp irritation or sensitivity as a reaction to the chemicals used in keratin treatments. This can manifest as redness, itching, or burning sensations on the scalp.
  3. Formaldehyde exposure: Many keratin treatments contain formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing chemicals, which are used to bond the keratin to the hair. Formaldehyde exposure can cause eye and respiratory irritation, allergic reactions, and long-term health risks with prolonged or repeated exposure.
  4. Chemical fumes: The application of keratin treatments in a salon setting can release strong chemical fumes, which may cause discomfort or irritation for both the client and the stylist. Proper ventilation is essential to minimize exposure to these fumes.
  5. Hair texture changes: While keratin treatments are often used to smooth and straighten the hair, some individuals may experience unexpected changes in hair texture, such as curl loss or limpness, especially if the treatment is applied too heavily or if the hair is over-processed.
  6. Scalp burns: Improper use of flat irons or blow dryers during the keratin treatment process can result in scalp burns or heat damage to the skin. It’s essential for the stylist to use caution and proper technique when applying heat to the hair.
  7. Allergic reactions: Some individuals may be allergic to certain ingredients found in keratin treatments, such as formaldehyde or other chemicals. Allergic reactions can range from mild skin irritation to more severe symptoms requiring medical attention.

It’s important to consult with a professional stylist and discuss any potential risks or concerns before undergoing a keratin treatment. Additionally, following proper aftercare instructions and using recommended products can help minimize the risk of side effects and ensure the best results.


Keratin treatments can offer significant benefits for individuals seeking smoother, more manageable hair. However, it’s essential to consider several key points before deciding whether a keratin treatment is suitable:

  1. Effectiveness: Keratin treatments are highly effective at reducing frizz, smoothing hair, and enhancing shine. They can also help repair damage and strengthen the hair shaft.
  2. Longevity: Depending on the type of keratin treatment and hair care routine, results can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Regular touch-ups may be required to maintain the desired level of smoothness.
  3. Potential Risks: While generally safe when performed by a professional, keratin treatments can pose risks such as hair damage, scalp irritation, and exposure to chemicals like formaldehyde. It’s crucial to discuss any concerns with a stylist and follow proper safety protocols.
  4. Maintenance: Proper maintenance is essential to prolong the effects of a keratin treatment. This includes using sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners, avoiding excessive heat styling, and minimizing exposure to chlorine and saltwater.
  5. Cost: Keratin treatments can be relatively expensive, especially if performed at a salon. However, the investment may be worthwhile for individuals seeking long-lasting, frizz-free results.
  6. Hair Type: While keratin treatments are suitable for most hair types, they may not be suitable for severely damaged or chemically treated hair. Individuals with curly or frizzy hair tend to benefit the most from keratin treatments.

In conclusion, keratin treatments can be an excellent option for individuals looking to improve the appearance and manageability of their hair. However, it’s essential to weigh the potential benefits against the risks and consider factors such as hair type, maintenance requirements, and budget before undergoing treatment. Consulting with a professional stylist can help determine the best course of action based on individual needs and preferences.

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