Beauty | November 9th 2016

The Keratin Debate: What You Need to Know Before Getting a Chemical Treatment


If you’re looking for a longer-lasting solution to your hair-straightening woes, you may have heard about keratin treatment. But if you’ve heard of it, chances are you’ve heard some mixed messages.

The keratin debate is heated. Some say that it’s a process for enriching your hair with a beautiful shine that also reduces frizz. After all, hair is made of keratin, and the treatment is meant to revitalize those proteins, so how could it hurt?

But some say otherwise. The chemical conditioning that goes into keratin treatments are less hair-healthy than you might be led to believe. Frizzy and fried hair horror stories loom large over keratin straightening products. For newcomers to hair treatments, it can be a bit daunting.

If you’re considering keratin, think again. These we’ve got the info you need before making the decision to get a keratin treatment — or to avoid it like the plague.

Keratin is a chemical treatment.
This doesn’t mean that it’s dangerous, but it’s definitely something to be aware of. If you have allergies, or a sensitive scalp, check with your stylist and advise them of your needs. Keratin treatments also typically contain formaldehyde, or compounds that release it, which is frequently a big no-no when it comes to hair care.  

Keratin comes from other sources.

Before you commit to a full treatment in a salon, it might be worthwhile to check out some products that contain keratin for daily use. It’s healthier, and bound to contain fewer potentially damaging ingredients. Haircare products like Absolute Keratin or Keranique Volumizing Conditioner are loaded with restorative keratin and can be used right at home.

Keratin treatments can be color-changing

Many chemical treatments include glycolic acid, which can shift the tonality of hair color. If you’re going to take the risk and go for a salon treatment, always do a consultation with your stylist to work out the best formula — especially if you’re a blonde. If you’re doing your own treatment at home, try alternatives in the form of protein enriched shampoos, conditioners, and hair care products. There are lots of products that work well with dyed hair, like this Timeless Color Fade-Defy Shampoo from Keratin Complex.

Chemical treatments require lots of upkeep.

If you’re deadset on a salon treatment, you’ll need to avoid washing your hair for 3-4 days after getting the treatment. That might sound gross, but it’s what it takes to give the solution time to work.

If you want to boost your results with more healthy straightening products without sacrificing cleanliness, look into dry shampoos. Spray-on options like Nordstrom’s Perfect hair Day Dry Shampoo, or powders like the Healthy Locks Dry Shampoo Powder from One Love Organics. Once you’re done the processing period, use shampoo without sodium-sulphate to maintain it, like Aveeno’s Pure Renewal shampoo.

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