Keratin hair treatment is a type of chemical hair treatment which involves application of liquid keratin onto the hair and flat ironing it. 88% of one’s hair is made up of keratin protein, which is a strong substance giving hair its texture. Frequent abuse of hair such as coloring the hair, hair straightening, etc. causes the keratin in the hair to deplete, thereby giving the hair its damaged and non-appealing look. Keratin extracted from the wool of animals is processed and applied on human hair to replenish the lost keratin levels, thereby regaining the healthy, shiny look. The best part about this treatment is that it works on all kinds of hair, be it colored, damaged, rough, frizzy and unmanageable hair.
There are many salons which offer keratin hair straightening treatment with Brazilian keratin hair treatments being the most popular.Â These keratin treatments claim to rejuvenate the glossy, smooth appearance of your hair. However, the popular Brazilian keratin treatments that can be purchased online and in some salons have undergone a great deal of controversy. According to sources such as Allure Magazine and The CBS Morning Show, The Brazilian Keratin Treatment (BKT) uses formaldehyde, a chemical known to cause cancer. Allure magazine tested samples of BKT and found that they contained at least 10 times more formaldehyde than is recommended. So the first thing you should do is make sure the product that you plan to use is free of formaldehyde or has a value of less than 2 percent.
How about the process?In a keratin hair treatment, the salon stylist will first wash your hair with a hair clarifying shampoo and then rinse it off after 2 minutes. This is done so as to make your hair receptive to the keratin solution that will be applied later on. The wet hair is towel dried, after which keratin solution is applied to this damp hair. The keratin solution smells something like coconut suntan oil. It is applied sparingly, but thoroughly from scalp to the ends of the hair. A blow dryer is then used to blow dry the hair completely. Once the hair is thoroughly dry, a flat iron heated at 450 degrees Fahrenheit is used next to infuse the keratin into the hair follicles. The flat iron seals the keratin, traps the moisture, hydrates the hair and gives the hair a glossy finish. The entire application procedure take 2-3 hours depending on the length of one’s hair. At the end of the treatment you have silky-smooth, soft, conditioned, gorgeous frizz-free hair.
How to maintain? Once the treatment is performed, you need to wait 72 hours before washing your hair. Remember to keep your hair free for the next three days, that means no ponytails, no bobby pins and no headbands. After 72 hours you need to wash your hair using specific hair care products like a sodium-chloride keratin care shampoo and a good conditioner to extend the results of the treatment.
Side effect of Keratin Hair Treatment?
- Formaldehyde, a carcinogenic substance is the major component of almost every keratin hair treatment product, including Brazilian keratin hair treatment. Thus, long term use of these products is associated with increased risk of cancer. Although, most salons make use of masks to escape the fumes of formaldehyde, there is no way of preventing the small amounts of formaldehyde from getting absorbed in the skin. To avoid this risk, one can make use of formaldehyde free products that are now widely available. However, these products may not give you the desired results, as the straightening effect is mainly due to formaldehyde.
- You may find your hair full of luster, immediately after the treatment. But, do not stay under the impression that your hair will remain so forever. In fact, you’ll notice your hair texture degrading within 2 – 3 weeks of treatment. The hair becomes dry, fade and all messed up. Also, it is likely that your hair will stay pin straight even after washing twice. This can be particularly frustrating if your hair stylist told you to expect relaxed and natural looking hair in a day or two.
- Just like any other hair treatment, this treatment is also capable of inducing allergic reactions in a few people. The symptoms include itching, rash etc., which are typical allergy symptoms. Skin disorders such as eczema are also associated with keratin hair treatment. To avoid allergic problems resulting from this treatment, your hair stylist should first identify your hair texture so as to choose an appropriate product for your hair and scalp type. Also, you should clearly mention, if you have a history of allergic reactions.
The best course of action is to look for the right stylist to conduct this treatment. Although curls do not really look bad, for people who want hair that is more manageable with less maintenance, or want to tame frizz and eliminate some of the curl from the hair, a keratin treatment works great.