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All You Need To Know About Keratin In Hair Care

Introduction

Whilst most people are aware that keratin is vitally essential for maintaining healthy and strong hair, little is known about keratin-infused treatments: keratin in-salon procedures, and keratin-based products. Keratin straightening, otherwise known as Brazilian blowouts, are popular salon procedures known for their ability to achieve beautiful straight, frizz-free, glossy hair. The only problem? These treatments long come loaded with chemicals and usually garner a bad reputation. As a result, beauty brands have taken to creating keratin-based products to supposedly achieve the same results, but without the health risks involved. However, are they as effective as the chemical treatments? Does keratin really work to achieve glossy, red carpet-worthy hair? Let’s break down and find out more.

What is Keratin?

On its own, keratin is a form of fibrous protein that makes up the foundation for your hair, skin, and nails. Coined as the structural building block of hair, keratin strengthens the hair follicles to withstand the effects of free radicals, hair damage, heat styling, and any external processes that can damage the hair.

Keratin is famously known for transforming dull, frizzy hair into silky, straight, smooth locks. It does this by smoothing down the hair cuticle and coating it with the product, which allows for maximum keratin absorption and results in a full set of glossy hair. While this effect varies on how healthy the hair is, the natural thickness of each hair follicle and the kind of keratin treatment used, the credibility of its effects have people flocking to salons and booking treatments.

Keratin In-Salon Treatments

Keratin treatments are often recommended for people who have hair concerns regarding damage, unruliness, and frizz. This chemical treatment is made up of hair cleansing, applying the keratin solution to it, blow drying it out, and sealing it in with a hair straightener on high heat. If taken care of properly, these treatments can last up to three to six months.

Shu Uemura Gentle Radiance Cleansing Oil Shampoo

A cleansing oil shampoo suitable for all hair types, it will leave your hair balanced with both volume and moisture. Plus, it is Silicone and Paraben-free; entirely suited for colored hair.

$58.00

Kérastase Keratine Thermique Blow Dry Primer

A taming milk that instantly smooths away any frizz while protecting the hair fiber, it contains Morpho-Keratin and Ceramide R to smoothen and strengthen the hair.

$39.00

UNOVE Silk Oil Essence

For those who want to achieve silky smooth hair that glows, try this oil essence that is packed with Keratin and Amino Acid to seal hair cuticles and eliminate frizz while softening hair.

$25.00


How Should I Take Care Of My Hair?

Because this process is so complicated, it’s important for those who have just undergone the treatment to avoid contact with water for two days post-procedure. Contact with water and moisture can result in a loss of protein, which causes hair strands to become porous, prone to frizziness, and can leave marks in your hair. Try to avoid intense physical activity and swimming to avoid sweating.

Refrain from engaging in hair styling and excessive tying, as this can potentially alter your hair’s shape and texture as well. We recommend wearing your hair down and leaving it straight for the first couple of days. Keratin is malleable in the initial stages, hence applying pressure on your hair through ponytails, braids or buns can potentially cause permanent dents in your locks. Instead, try using softer hair ties and not leaving your hair up for extended periods of time.

For those with natural curls, we strongly recommend not coming into contact with water at all for three days. Wrapping your hair in a silk scarf or pillowcase is one good way to keep the moisture locked in your hair, as the keratin treatment can cause your hair to dry out quickly.

Lastly, stay away from hair care products that contain strong detergents such as sodium lauryl and sodium laureth sulfate. These strong chemicals are capable of stripping hair follicles from their natural oils and keratin, which will cause the effects of your treatment to wear out quicker.

Who’s The Ideal Candidate For This Treatment?

This treatment isn’t best suited for everybody. If you’re someone who suffers from frizzy, coarse, and unruly hair, this treatment will significantly soften your hair for easier styling. Keratin treatments are also ideal for those who prefer having straight locks over curly hair as well, as it’ll help loosen and smoothen out any waves.

On the contrary, those with fine, thin-textured, straight, or overly processed hair should avoid these treatments. This is because the high heat from the straightener can cause hair damage and result in broken ends.

Why Won’t Some Salons Do it?

Sounds good? Unfortunately, keratin treatments have been touted to come with severe health risks. To make hair straighter, most of these processes involve a formaldehyde derivative, which is used to break the existing hair bonds and reseal them in a straighter formation.

Formaldehyde is defined as a colorless, pungent gas that’s commonly found in building materials, preservatives, and household products such as glue and fiberboard. This chemical is a form of carcinogen and can cause sore throat, cough, nose bleeds, and scratchy eyes upon inhalation. Furthermore, long-term exposure to formaldehyde can raise the likelihood of getting cancer and may potentially cause damage to the central nervous system, such as an increased risk of getting depression, insomnia, irritability, mood changes, and more. Aside from posing potential risks to the customer, it’s even more dangerous to the salon technicians who perform these treatments numerous times in an enclosed space.

It’s worth noting that whilst most salons don’t use formaldehyde by itself, it still exists as a byproduct of a chemical reaction –– when methanal, formalin, and methylene glycol are added with water. So the next time you see a salon claiming to be formaldehyde-free, it may not really be the case!

Mise-en-scene Salon Plus Clinic 10 Treatment

Combat damaged or weakened, brittle hair with this hair treatment that is enriched with Hydrolyzed Collagen and Rose Water to retain moisture and reduce oiliness and dandruff.

$17.00

Moremo Recovery Balm B

Achieve smoother hair with this balm that is filled with 21 kinds of Amino Acids and 7 kinds of Proteins to rejuvenate your hair while protecting it from heat damage when you style it.

$28.00


What’s The Difference Between Keratin Treatments And Rebonding?

Rebonding treatments usually take stronger chemicals –– such as sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, and lithium hydroxide –– to break down and restructure the bonds between hair follicles. This causes the hair to become weak, and straighten out its formation.

On the other hand, keratin treatments focus on replenishing the lost protein within your hair follicles by injecting keratin into the porous areas of the hair follicles. Because keratin focuses on the outer layer of your hair strands, its effects are not permanent and usually last around three to six months. In contrast, the effects of rebonding are long-lasting and can stay for up to six months to a year.

Keratin At-Home Treatments

With all these concerns surrounding keratin salon treatments, it’s no surprise that they’re not often recommended to the average customer. That being said, there are plenty of hair care products that contain keratin and other beneficial chemicals that can effectively manage frizz and increase smoothness. Though the effects of these products aren’t as life-changing as salon treatments, it’s a much safer option for health-conscious individuals. Do take note of the product ingredient list of your hair care items, though –– if the label only mentions simple conditioning treatments or includes silicon, it’s probably not a keratin treatment.

If you’re hoping to strengthen your hair as part of your weekly routine or gloss it up from time to time, using keratin products is probably better for you than opting for a full-blown salon treatment. Some of our favorites include the L’ANZA Keratin Healing Oil Hair Treatment, the Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Keratin Intensive Hair Treatment, and the Keratin Complex Infusion Keratin Replenisher. Do remember to apply these products on damp hair, and either blow dry it or rinse out the product before sleeping.

Conclusion

Before diving straight to your nearest hair salon, do your due research and weigh your pros and cons accurately. The amount of potential damage keratin treatments can cause may not make their benefits worth it after all –– that is, unless your hair is severely frizzy or coarse. If you’re simply looking to strengthen and smoothen your hair gradually, we recommend opting for keratin-infused hair care products to use at home. However, if you’ve chosen to do a DIY at-home treatment, it’s important not to recreate or expect in-salon-like results. You don’t want to end up with worse hair than before!

Recommended Products

No. ProductPriceBuy
1Shu Uemura Gentle Radiance Cleansing Oil Shampoo

A Silicone-free cleansing oil shampoo suitable for all hair types, it will leave your hair balanced with both volume and moisture.
$58Shop
2Kérastase Keratine Thermique Blow Dry Primer

A taming milk that instantly smooths away any frizz while protecting the hair fiber, it contains Morpho-Keratin and Ceramide R.
$39Shop
3UNOVE Silk Oil Essence

For those who want to achieve silky smooth hair that glows, try this oil essence that is packed with Keratin and Amino Acid.
$25Shop
4Mise-en-scene Salon Plus Clinic 10 Treatment

Combat damaged or weakened hair with this hair treatment that is enriched with Hydrolyzed Collagen and Rose Water to retain moisture.
$17Shop
5Moremo Recovery Balm B

Achieve smoother hair with this balm that is filled with 21 kinds of Amino Acids and 7 kinds of Proteins to rejuvenate your hair.
$28Shop

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