Keratin treatment has become one of the most prominent hair transformation treatments available for hair straightening. It is easier, simpler, and faster than hair relaxing or rebonding and gets the job done for most hair types. If you have ever stepped inside a beauty salon, the chances are you have heard of this magical treatment. But just like any other chemical reshaping method, there are side effects and pros and cons regarding Keratin treatment, so it is recommended to research and study all the possibilities before committing to a long-lasting treatment like this. We have brought you all the necessary information to provide you with a clear state of mind before going through Keratin treatment and achieving the straight, shiny, and sleek hair that it offers!
What is a keratin treatment?
Keratin treatment is a permanent hair straightening method that tries to break down all the curls and waves of the hair by dissolving them with powerful chemicals and rebuilds the structure of the hair into a shinier, straighter, and sleeker form by injecting Keratin into hair follicles.
This treatment was first discovered in South America, notably in Brazil, which explains why Keratin treatment is also known as Brazilian hair straightening. There, a mortician who was injecting formaldehyde to embalm the corpses noticed its straightening effects on the hair of the dead. Due to its toxicity, there have been plenty of attempts to replace formaldehyde with other similar dissolvents, but the alternatives have not proven to be as effective. Keratin treatment lasts for 3-5 months. It is an excellent option for people with curly hair who want a more relaxed, manageable, and shiny hair texture and are unwilling to go through all the risks associated with harsher procedures such as Japanese hair straightening. Keratin treatments have limited effectiveness in terms of straightening the hair compared to more severe practices. Still, they can guarantee a shinier and more relaxed texture to every possible hair type and works wonders against frizz and flyaways.
Keratin treatments are generally not as harmful as many other chemical treatments, but if misapplied, they can deal irreversible damage to the hair, scalp, or respiratory organs. So it is highly recommended to ask a skilled professional to apply the products and perform the procedure.
How do Keratin treatments work?
Let’s talk about the antagonist we are trying to get rid of, the curls.
Your hair type is a product of your genetics. Your hair thickness, density, and curl pattern are all determined by your DNA and can never be altered to grow differently. The number of disulfide bondings in your hair also comes from your natural hair characteristics.
Disulfide bondings are the reason behind the curling of the strands. They live between your hair molecules and are created by the collision between two sulfur atoms. As they get closer to connect, they carry hair proteins along the way, resulting in a bending spiral in your hair. Curly hair follicles naturally produce way more disulfide bondings than an average person, which shows itself in different forms such as bouncy curls, wavy strands, or coily hair.
So, now that we understand the curl formation, it is time to go through every step of Keratin treatments. Keratin treatments are made of 4 stages: Relaxing the hair, neutralizing it with Keratin, and finally, conditioning it to keep it smooth and manageable.
To disrupt the natural pattern of curls, the disulfide bondings need to be broken down, paving the way for straighter, softer, and more manageable hair. That is the first step to performing Keratin treatments for curly hair. Then, they apply Keratin solutions to rebuild the molecular structure of the hair and neutralize it in its newer shape. Next, as the hair is free of what causes it to bend, it is time to reshape the hair into what we want it to look like, a soft, smooth, and straight texture. Stylists use all kinds of tools such as brushes, combs, and straighteners to form the strands. Finally, stylists add conditioners and blow-dry the hair, finishing up the process to give you that shiny, sleek, and beautiful hair you always wanted.
What is the procedure to apply keratin treatment for curly hair?
Step 1: Washing the hair completely
Like most salon treatments, before doing anything, it is necessary to use deep cleansing shampoos to thoroughly eliminate any product residues or other materials that may cover your strands. Keratin needs to be absorbed by your hair, so anything that blocks your hair from Keratin molecules must be washed off. You can rinse and repeat if required. Dry it until it is damp, or completely dry it if you have very kinky or coily hair.
Step 2: Apply hair relaxers and the Keratin solution
Mix the products nicely, and part the hair into 4 sections. Leave a half-inch of space from the scalp itself, and apply the relaxers from the scalp to hair ends. Let the products sit for 10 minutes, and fully blow-dry the hair.
Step 3: Use flatirons to straighten the hair
Divide the hair into 4 parts, and flatiron each section of the hair 3 to 5 times. Once the hair is as straight as possible, rinse it thoroughly, and style it with a blow-dry and a brush.
What are the advantages of Keratin treatment for curly hair?
Straight, smooth and shiny hair
Keratin treatments have gained their reputation for a reason. They allow users to achieve hair that is much straighter than before, has no flyaway frizz, and is manageable. It repairs damaged textures and split ends, and makes your hair shiny and glamorous without taking much of your time!
If properly maintained and not overwashed, Keratin treatments can last for up to 6 months. They tend to lose their smoothening effects over time, but robust aftercare can preserve your shine and straightness for more extended periods. As Keratin treatments do not transform your hair type and just cover your strands, washing your hair no more than 2 or 3 times a week will also prolong their effectiveness.
More styles with manageable hair
Frizzy, curly, or coily hair is notorious for its lack of flexibility in styling options. Plenty of force and heat are necessary to make curly hair look a certain way. Keratin treatment allows the air to become more manageable, allowing the user to get creative with several new styles thanks to her straighter and tame hair.
Time-saving in many ways
A smooth hair texture can save you plenty of styling time and take much less time to dry. Keratin treatment itself is also much shorter than many other chemical straightening alternatives, which reduces your exposure to all kinds of in-salon threats. If not well-ventilated, a beauty salon can be an alarming source of toxic chemicals, so a shorter trip to a beauty salon is always welcome.
What are some of the downsides of Keratin treatments for curly hair?
Not a budget-friendly method
Keratin treatments are effective and can transform every hair into delicate, soft, and smooth hair, but they usually cost from $300 to $550. This price can vary significantly based on the location of the salon, different hair lengths and types, or the stylist’s level of expertise.
Plus, you should consider all the added costs of hair maintenance that are necessary after a Keratin treatment. The hair is more fragile after being broken down, so adding a few extra levels of protection to your hair will cost you more.
Restrictive hair maintenance
As mentioned earlier, Keratin treatment does not completely transform your hair type. So overwashing it can significantly shorten the lifespan of the treatment. Your daily showers can no longer continue after a Keratin treatment. Swimming must be taken more cautiously, as chlorinated or salty water loosens the Keratin molecules. Certain shampoos and hair products such as sodium chloride or sulfate shampoos can not be used anymore, and even with mild shampoos, washing your hair more than 3 or 4 times a week can strip it from the effective Keratin molecules. After the treatment, a 4-day washing restriction is also prescribed until the solutions are fixed on your hair. These are a few conditions that a Keratin treatment user must follow to maintain their shiny new hair.
Keratin needs to be reapplied
Despite being a relatively permanent hair smoothing method, Keratin treatments for curly hair fade away after some months. Unlike Japanese straightening, which changes the molecular structure of the hair entirely and lasts as long as the new hair grows. So as soon as the effects start to fade away, Keratin needs to be reapplied to extend the smooth and straight texture. This can be a significant addition to your yearly bills and drain your hair from its natural resources, resulting in very fragile hair prone to all kinds of threats.
The possibility of severe health hazards
This is probably the most alarming aspect of Keratin treatments. Like any other chemical treatment, Keratin can bring plenty of short-term and long-term side effects to the user. General byproducts of weaker, fragile, and more sensitive hair such as hair loss, breakage, split ends, decoloration, and scalp itchiness are only some disadvantages of weakening your hair roots.
Then, there are the long-term and very risky demerits of being exposed to potent chemicals. Especially for relaxers containing formaldehyde, allergic reactions like scalp irritation and skin rashes are common problems that occur to some users. Keratin treatment specialists are in the most significant danger as they are exposed to touching and breathing these chemicals more frequently. Inhaling these toxic gasses may lead to several respiratory problems like coughing and chest pain and may even cause breathing difficulties and lung or skin cancer in the long run.
Is Keratin good for curly hair?
Most people who go through Keratin treatment express their satisfaction with the method. It is safe to say that if you respect the necessary restrictions and take good care of your hair, you will not have to worry too much about the side effects of Keratin treatment.
What is the best keratin treatment for curly hair?
The traditional 3 to 4 hour long in-salon treatment has proven to be the most popular and most effective procedure, with results that last from 4 to 6 months. All that remains is choosing a reputable Keratin hair salon to ensure excellent results.
Are keratin treatments safe for natural hair?
Yes, they are! Keratin treatment is a versatile procedure that can be effective for all hair types. The general side effects are still there, but a skilled and experienced stylist can minimize the harm and maximize the shine! So don’t worry.
We tried to cover everything about Keratin treatments for curly hair in this article. But we surely recommend a checkup session with an experienced professional before committing to a Keratin treatment. Beautster has gathered a long list of local professionals around you, with details about each service, pricing, and location to help you make up your mind quickly and book a seat in seconds!