What are keratin treatments and do they really work?



Keratin treatments have gained immense popularity in recent years, with numerous salons and haircare brands offering this innovative solution for smoother, more manageable hair. These treatments claim to transform frizzy, unruly locks into sleek, shiny tresses with just one application. But what exactly are keratin treatments, and do they really work? In this article, we will delve into the world of keratin treatments, exploring their benefits, drawbacks, and effectiveness.

The Science Behind Keratin Treatments

Keratin is a naturally occurring protein in our hair, responsible for its strength and elasticity. Over time, due to factors like heat styling, chemical processes, and environmental stressors, the keratin in our hair becomes depleted, leading to dry, damaged, and frizzy hair. Keratin treatments aim to replenish and strengthen the hair by infusing it with additional keratin.

During a keratin treatment, a professional stylist will apply a keratin-based product to your hair, which usually contains a combination of hydrolyzed keratin, amino acids, and other nourishing ingredients. This mixture is then sealed into the hair using high heat, typically through a flat iron. This process allows the keratin to penetrate the hair shaft, repairing any damage and creating a protective barrier against future harm.

The Benefits of Keratin Treatments

1. Frizz Reduction:

One of the main reasons people turn to keratin treatments is to combat frizz. The added layer of keratin smooths down the hair cuticles, minimizing frizz and flyaways. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with naturally curly or wavy hair types.

2. Increased Manageability:

Keratin treatments make hair more manageable by reducing the time and effort required for styling. Hair that has undergone a keratin treatment is easier to brush, detangle, and style, cutting down on your daily hair routine.

3. Restored Shine and Silkiness:

Keratin treatments are known to impart a lustrous shine to the hair. By replenishing the hair's keratin levels, these treatments restore its natural smoothness and silkiness, making it look healthier and more vibrant.

4. Reduced Styling Time:

With a keratin treatment, you can bid farewell to long hours spent blow-drying and straightening your hair. The added keratin helps the hair retain its shape and style, reducing the time needed for heat styling.

5. Long-lasting Results:

While the duration of keratin treatments may vary, they typically last for several months. This means you can enjoy the benefits of smoother, more manageable hair without the need for frequent touch-ups.

The Drawbacks of Keratin Treatments

1. Cost:

Keratin treatments can be quite expensive, especially if you opt for professional salon treatments. Additionally, the cost may increase if your hair is longer or thicker, as it may require more product and time.

2. Chemical Controversy:

Keratin treatments involve the use of chemicals, such as formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing agents, to bond the keratin to the hair. The use of these chemicals has raised concerns among some individuals regarding their potential health risks, such as eye and respiratory irritation. Therefore, it is crucial to choose formaldehyde-free alternatives and ensure proper ventilation during the treatment process.

3. Temporary Nature:

Although keratin treatments provide long-lasting results compared to regular smoothing products, they are not permanent. As your hair grows, the effects of the treatment will gradually fade, and you may require touch-ups every few months to maintain the desired look.

4. Limited Styling Options:

After a keratin treatment, your hair may become less responsive to certain styling techniques. The treatment aims to relax the hair, which means you may experience difficulty achieving and holding voluminous styles or tight curls.

5. Time Commitment:

Keratin treatments can be time-consuming, especially if you opt for salon treatments. The process typically involves multiple steps, including washing, drying, applying the treatment, and then sealing it with heat. Depending on your hair length and thickness, the treatment may take several hours to complete.

Are Keratin Treatments Suitable for Everyone?

Keratin treatments can be beneficial for various hair types, but they may not be suitable for everyone. Here are some factors to consider before deciding if a keratin treatment is right for you:

1. Hair Texture:

Keratin treatments work best on hair that is coarse, frizzy, or damaged. If you have naturally smooth or fine hair, the treatment may make your hair feel weighed down or appear greasy.

2. Previous Chemical Treatments:

If you have recently undergone chemical treatments like hair coloring or relaxing, it is advisable to wait for a couple of weeks before getting a keratin treatment. This waiting period allows your hair to recover and reduces the risk of over-processing or damage.

3. Sensitivities or Allergies:

If you have a known allergy or sensitivity to any of the ingredients used in keratin treatments, it is essential to consult with a professional stylist or dermatologist before proceeding. They can help determine if the treatment is safe for you or recommend suitable alternatives.

4. Desired Hair Results:

It is important to have realistic expectations regarding the outcome of a keratin treatment. While it can significantly reduce frizz and improve manageability, it may not completely straighten your hair or alter its natural texture. Consulting with a stylist beforehand can help you understand how the treatment may enhance your specific hair type.

5. Maintenance Commitment:

To ensure the longevity of your keratin treatment, it is crucial to follow specific maintenance guidelines. This may include using sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners, avoiding excessive heat styling, and scheduling regular touch-ups as recommended by your stylist. Consider whether you are willing to commit to the necessary aftercare before opting for a keratin treatment.


Keratin treatments have revolutionized the way we care for and style our hair, offering a solution for those seeking smoother, more manageable locks. By replenishing the hair's keratin levels and creating a protective barrier, these treatments can provide benefits such as frizz reduction, increased manageability, and restored shine and silkiness.

However, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks, including the cost, involvement of chemicals, temporary nature of the results, limited styling options, and time commitment. Additionally, some individuals may not be suitable candidates for keratin treatments based on their hair texture, previous treatments, sensitivities, desired results, or ability to commit to post-treatment maintenance.

If you are interested in trying a keratin treatment, it is recommended to consult with a professional stylist who can assess your hair and provide personalized advice. They can guide you on selecting the most suitable treatment, address any concerns or questions you may have, and help you achieve the desired results while keeping your hair's health and integrity a top priority.


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