What Is a Keratin Treatment and How Does It Work?

Keratin treatment for hair

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When it comes to your hair, there are a lot of things to consider. Aside from the latest hair color trends and newest products, the buzz around different salon treatments, like keratin treatments, may have piqued your curiosity. Read on to learn everything there is to know about keratin treatments for hair.

Keratin and Keratin Treatments

Before we explain what a keratin treatment is, let's go over what keratin is. Keratin is a protein that is the key structural building block for your hair, skin, and nails. Keratin is found in humans and animals alike in forms ranging from hooves to soft, flexible skin, which illustrates how strong and delicate keratin can be. When the outer layer of keratin becomes damaged, it affects the new cells that are no longer being protected beneath it. This causes damage in the form of dry, brittle hair or rough and cracked skin. No thanks! A keratin hair treatment works to reverse this damage and give you smooth, silky strands. Speaking of...

How It Works

Keratin is used to smooth and fill in the damage of the hair's cuticle layer. A keratin treatment is unlike a perm or relaxer in that it doesn't actually change the hair's disulfide bonds, making it a semi-permanent treatment that lasts around three months, depending on the hair's texture.

A keratin treatment creates a barrier between external factors, like heat and humidity, and your hair. It can be a great treatment for clients who have perfectly healthy hair but are looking to have their natural curl and frizz smoothed out and protected from the elements. A keratin treatment will not remove the curl completely but it will cut straightening time in half, if not more.

Safety of Keratin Treatments

Much talk has been made about the safety of keratin treatments. Not all treatments are considered equal, and as a general rule of thumb, it's important to do your research beforehand. Tests found dangerously high levels of formaldehyde in the Brazilian Keratin Treatment (BKT) brand, about 10 times higher than what is registered as safe. A safer option is Keratin Shot by Salerm Cosmetics, a favorite among professional stylists.

Keratin treatments are also safe to use on hair that has been previously highlighted or colored.

Keratin Products You Can Use at Home

There are some great shampoo, conditioner, and styling products on the market that contain keratin. Below are a few of my favorites.

GK Hair Global Hair Serum
GK Hair Global Keratin Serum $25

This hair serum is formulated with argan oil to reduce frizz and split ends, leaving hair smooth and shiny.

CHI Keratin Mist
CHI Keratin Mist $16

CHI's keratin mist is a leave-in strengthening treatment. The formula works to leave hair soft, silky, and shiny.

Biolage Advanced Keratindose Pro-Keratin Renewal Spray
Biolage Advanced Keratindose Pro-Keratin Renewal Spray $23

This hair treatment for over-processed and fragile hair will leave your strands silky, shiny, and manageable.

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