Keratin treatments are popular with women who want to straighten and de-frizz their naturally curly and wavy hair. You can count on a keratin treatment to keep your locks straight and manageable for at least three months, and over time keratin can save you the cost of blowouts. Be prepared to pay for the time-saving, texture-changing treatment. A session in New York can start at $350 and go up to $500 if you have a lot of hair or very long tresses.
If you’re ready to try a definite change to the texture and style of your hair, keep reading.
Keratin treatments don’t depend on keratin to straighten or de-frizz hair. Most keratin treatments rely on chemicals to release formaldehyde, which locks the hair into a straighter position. That doesn’t necessarily mean the service will harm your hair, but the chemicals used are not very healthy to be breathing in.
Some stylists say the treatment can make your hair stronger if you’ve been stripping off your color with bleach or highlights. A treatment can replace the lost keratin that is a natural ingredient in human hair. Plan on getting a trim before a keratin treatment if you have split ends. This treatment cannot fix a split end, but it can help fight against future ones.
Formaldehyde locks in straightness.
Formaldehyde is required to straighten your hair with a keratin treatment, and formaldehyde is suspected as a carcinogen in humans. It’s suspected that formaldehyde can possibly cause respiratory problems after frequent exposure. Make sure your salon seats you in a well-ventilated room, preferably close to a door. You may want to wear protective glasses if your eyes are sensitive. Check with the salon’s management if you have any concerns.
Hair treatments that rely on formaldehyde can contain ingredients that release formaldehyde when heated or mixed with water. These ingredients may include methylene glycol, formalin, methanal, and methanediol. Ask your stylist if your treatment contains these formaldehyde-releasing ingredients and if they provide a formaldehyde-free service. If your treatment does not rely on these ingredients, ask what will be used to smooth your hair.
The treatment process lasts about two hours.
The keratin treatment starts with a deep shampoo to remove any product or buildup that may be on your hair. Then the keratin treatment product is applied section by section, combed through and blow-dried. Next, your stylist will use a flat iron to straighten your hair. After your hair is straightened, your hair will be rinsed once more but not shampooed. Another product will be applied, with the whole process taking about two hours.
About 10 weeks after the first treatment, you may start to notice your natural texture returning in little frizzies and curls. You’re getting close to the three-month mark, so book your next appointment. People who keep up regular keratin treatments will see that their hair responds by getting straighter over time.
Wait two days after a keratin treatment to wash your hair, and then use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. If you have dyed hair, you may notice the color fades faster because it is silkier and the color won’t absorb as well. You may want to return to the salon after the first 48 hours for a color touch-up or toner.
If you are looking for smoother, sleeker tresses without the chemicals, try our at-home remedy before trying a keratin treatment. Before bed, combine a mixture of olive oil and coconut oil together (half half) in your hands. Apply all over your hair from roots to ends. Use as needed; your hair does not need to be sopping wet but should be thinly coated. Wrap your hair up in a bun and put a shower cap on. Sleep with the cap on to soak in the products. In the morning wash your hair as usual—you will notice the difference in softness and healthy texture.