Keratin Hair Treatment – Benefits, Types, Risks

Keratin hair treatments have become very popular over the past few years. Women everywhere want straight, soft, shiny hair. There are many types of straightening treatments, but most of them use harsh chemicals. Keratin is so popular because it is a much safer and healthier straightening treatment.

What is Keratin? 

Keratin is a natural protein found in the hair, skin, and nails. Dead keratin cells are what our hair and nails are made up of. As cells die, they are pushed up to form hair follicles. Keratin cells bond together to form a protective shield around the hair shaft. When keratin cells are damaged, hair starts to look dry and frizzy. Cells are most often damaged by applying heat to the hair follicles by flat ironing and blow drying hair.

How Keratin Treatment Works 

Because keratin treatments are restorative and strengthening treatments, anyone will benefit from an application of keratin. But most often, keratin treatments are used by anyone with unmanageably curly, frizzy, dry, or damaged hair. Applying keratin to the hair fills in any cracks in the hair follicles and thickens the natural layer of keratin. The thicker the layer of keratin in your hair, the healthier it will be.

While home keratin treatments are available, it is strongly recommended that you go to a salon and have a professional do it for you. The salon professional will apply a layer of keratin solution to your hair, and then use a hot iron to seal in the proteins. This repairs all damage to the hair follicles and gives your hair a shiny, smooth appearance.

The cost for keratin hair treatments varies depending on location, the salon you go to, the specific type of treatment you receive, and the length of your hair (the longer your hair, the more expensive it will be). Keratin treatments usually cost anywhere from $300-$600. They are very expensive, but for most people that get them, the money is worth it for the outcomes. As anyone with excessively curly or frizzy hair knows, it often takes hours every morning to wash, dry, and straighten your hair. This treatment will do all of the work for you, saving you a lot of time and frustration.

It usually takes around two hours at the salon to go through the whole process. The effects of the treatment can last from three to six months. After getting a keratin treatment, you must wait 72 hours before washing your hair. Washing your hair will completely undo the treatment and wash out most of the solution before it has a chance to work. You also cannot put your hair up or use any rubber bands, clips, etc. for the first 72 hours. Doing so will cause kinks and impressions in your hair. If your gets wet within the first 72 hours, blow dry it and flat iron it immediately.

Types of Keratin Treatment 

There are many different types of keratin treatments. Some of the popular solutions are Keratin Complex by Coppola, Global Keratin Complex, and the Brazilian Keratin Complex. They all work the same way, but the exact levels of keratin and other chemicals differ from brand to brand. Trying out different types of keratin treatments will allow you to decide for yourself which one works best.

There is also a type of keratin treatment called Keratin Express Treatment. As the name implies, this keratin treatment does not take nearly as long as the others and it also costs less (usually around $125). This is a great option for anyone that is short on time or cash. The treatment only takes about 20-30 minutes and can be done easily at home. But the shorter processing time and less expensive price tag aren’t for nothing; the Keratin Express Treatment only lasts for about three to six weeks (though it may last longer for some hair types).

Risks of Keratin Hair Treatment

Unlike other treatments, keratin treatments are actually good for your hair, and they are also a lot safer than other types of treatments. Because keratin is a protein and not a chemical, there are few major risks involved in this treatment. Most keratin solutions are not 100% keratin, though, so there are still possible side effects. Most keratin treatments include very small percentages of formaldehyde. This chemical helps the keratin molecules bond together around the hair follicles. The more formaldehyde a keratin solution has, the stronger and more effective it is.

Though formaldehyde helps improve the keratin treatment, it is still a very hazardous chemical. Formaldehyde is suspected to cause cancer, so overexposure to this chemical is dangerous and should be limited. Most keratin treatments contain less than two percent formaldehyde, so they are mostly very safe. The most common side effects from exposure to the formaldehyde in keratin treatments are sore throats, itchy skin, irritated eyes, and runny noses.

Most keratin treatments are completely safe, but some treatments have gotten into some trouble with the FDA due to high levels of formaldehyde in the products. Some keratin treatments have been found to have 8-12% formaldehyde, which is a dangerous level. The FDA told the companies producing these treatments to reduce the amount of formaldehyde or the product will be banned.

Overall, Keratin hair treatments are a healthy and safe option. They repair and strengthen your hair, leading to shinier, smoother, healthier hair.


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