Every time you hit the salon, do the hairstylists boast about keratin treatment as the end-all solution for your dry and frizzy hair? Have you been pondering over its trial after their repeated attempts at selling the service?
Well, keratin is the latest buzzword in hair care for its smoothening effects. But are all kinds of keratin treatments safe for you? And are they actually efficient? Allow us to answer all the questions popping up in your mind.
- What Is Keratin? What Does Keratin Do For Your Hair?
- Is A Keratin Treatment Good For Your Hair?
- What Foods Contain Keratin?
- Keratin Hair Treatment Methods
- Are There Any Side Effects Of Keratin Treatments?
- Who Should Avoid It?
- Can I Tie My Hair After Keratin Treatment?
- How Long Does A Keratin Treatment Session Take?
- Can I Do Keratin Treatment At Home?
What Is Keratin? What Does Keratin Do For Your Hair?
Keratin is a protein  found in the hair that is responsible for its health. It is also a structural protein found in your nails and skin. The protein protects your hair from humidity, which is the major cause of frizz.
So are you wondering why you need keratin treatments when it is naturally present in your hair? That is because your hair loses keratin with time due to sunlight, pollution and harsh hair treatments. So a keratin treatment helps the protein reach your hair follicles and its pores.
Is A Keratin Treatment Good For Your Hair?
A keratin treatment is a chemical process on the hair to achieve soft and shiny hair that was otherwise frizzy . It is known to straighten out even the tightest of curls. The effects of this treatment can last upto six months.
However, you can't deny the fact that keratin treatments use high heat on your hair. So who is it actually for? If you are someone who uses heat styling  on a daily basis, going for a keratin treatment is the best option for you.
Avoid heat styling for some months after the treatment to reap all its benefits. The results depend on the kind of treatment, temperature of flat iron and porous nature of your hair. Talk to your stylist to assess your hair type and the application methods.
What Foods Contain Keratin?
- Red meat
Keratin Hair Treatment Methods
The first step is washing your hair. Then your hairstylist will either apply the keratin to your wet hair or blow-dry and apply the product. A brush is used to apply the product and a fine-tooth comb is used to spread the treatment evenly.
The formula needs to saturate each strand for about half an hour. Next step is using heat and flat iron to straighten out hair. Make sure your stylist is using a professional titanium flat iron and setting the right temperature. Always start with low temperatures.
Do not wash your hair for three days or tie it back since these things can prevent the setting of hair. After the treatment, you’ll be asked to avoid saltwater in the swimming pool and sulfate shampoos.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Keratin Treatments?
Most keratin treatments release formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen (cancer-causing compound ). Formaldehyde is a colorless and strong-smelling gas that is commonly used in glue.
Side effects of formaldehyde include bleeding nose, scratchy eyes and sore throat. These have been reported by stylists for many years.
Another possible side effect of keratin treatment is hair breakage. High temperatures from flat iron can dry out the hair and lead to hair breakage in the days to come.
So opt for formaldehyde-free keratin treatments, like the ones containing glyoxylic acid  to be safe. But the latter may be less effective. So choose based on your priorities.
Hair experts suggest not to stress about formaldehyde as you may be getting keratin treatments just thrice a year. Make sure the salon you’re getting it done at is well ventilated.
If you have a reaction from a keratin treatment, report it on the website of FDA.
Who Should Avoid It?
Avoid keratin treatments if you are a pregnant woman. Though there is no specific scientific proof about its ill effects during pregnancy, the chemicals present in it are commonly believed to be unsafe during pregnancy.
Can I Tie My Hair After Keratin Treatment?
Avoid tying your hair into ponytails for at least three days after keratin treatment. This may create a bend in your newly straightened hair. Maintenance of keratin treatments calls for sulfate-free shampoos.
How Long Does A Keratin Treatment Session Take?
It takes 2-4 hours for keratin treatments. The duration of keratin treatments depend on:
- Your hair texture
- Hair volume
- Formula for treatment
Can I Do Keratin Treatment At Home?
Yes, you can do keratin treatments at home but the results of a salon treatment are better. Make sure to check the ingredients of keratin treatments available in the market. Most of them might just be silicon and conditioning treatments.
Also, read the instructions on washing, blow-drying and straightening. Home keratin treatments wash out in a few weeks, while salon treatments can last for a few months.
If you want to cut down on blow-drying and straightening on a regular basis and still want super smooth and shiny hair, go for keratin treatments. Talk to your hairstylist about glyoxylic acid keratin treatments in case you have extremely thin hair prone to heat damage. Also, remember that is not recommended for pregnant women.
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