Every girl’s “dream hair” is having long, straight, shiny and manageable hair. Constant exposure to pollution, hair treatments like blow drying, ironing, etc. and usage of hair products with loads of chemicals, all cause great damage to the natural keratin in your hair. And once the keratin in your hair is exhausted, the hair cortex becomes prone to further damage which results in frizzy, dull and damaged hair accompanied by hair fall.
So, what is keratin? Keratin is essentially the natural protein present in our hair, skin and nails. It is essential for the cortex, the inner part of the hair and the cuticle or the outer part of the hair.
The ancient forms of haircare, oiling and conditioning were probably the most reliable way to get luscious, long and frizz-free hair. However, a decade ago, the world of hair care and beauty was acquainted with a revolutionary hair treatment known as “keratin treatment” and today, this technique has become so common, that you don’t have to spend hours at a salon to get gorgeous hair. You can have a keratin treatment right in the comfort of your home.
What Is Keratin Treatment?
Keratin therapy smoothens and straightens wavy or curly hair. It is a chemical-based treatment for the hair, to replenish it so that it regains its lost health, vitality and elasticity. Adding the depleted keratin back in your hair artificially is known as keratin therapy.
Keratin treatment is a fantastic way by which your hair can be revived and rejuvenated and removing all the dryness and frizz, leaving behind glamorous, shiny and manageable hair.
Keratin therapy helps to make your hair straight and tangle-free so that you don’t have to spend hours each day trying to straighten your hair. Keratin therapy is not a permanent process but it definitely helps to keep your hair shiny, straight and manageable for around 2-3 months.
How Does Keratin Therapy Work?
The fundamental theory of keratin therapy is essentially to supplement the keratin in your hair that has been depleted due to several reasons. This therapy can be done at the salon by experts or you can also do it at home.
The keratin product must be applied to your hair very carefully and you must ensure that it does not get on your scalp. The creamy keratin product remains in your hair, while your hair is blow dried and straightened using a flat iron. The person doing the keratin therapy, as well as you, must wear a mask to protect from the fumes of the chemical during the therapy.
If you are doing the keratin therapy at home, then the same procedure must be followed. The entire treatment will take around 2-4 hours depending on the thickness and length of your hair. You must not wash your hair for around 3-4 days after the treatment.
Basically, the keratin therapy helps to repair the damage in your hair, after which you can see a significant difference in your hair in terms of increased shine, lesser frizz and easier styling. Keratin therapy can be used on color-treated hair too. Hair that has been treated with keratin can withstand rainy or humid weather and relieve you from constantly worrying about frizzy, unruly hair.
Salon-Based vs Home-Based Keratin Treatments
There are many keratin products available in the market and no two products are the same. The slight variations in the products, produce a major difference in the final results; though, that also depends on your hair texture, length, thickness, etc.
The major difference however in a salon-based keratin treatment versus a home-based one is the luxury of an expert’s services and advice. For instance, if you have color-treated hair or if your hair is blonde, then you will require a keratin product different from others. Apart from a customized treatment, salons can guarantee the quality of keratin products and treatment certified by experts.
The difference is between salon-based and home-based treatment really comes down to quality and hair specialists who understand what is best for your hair.
How to Do a Keratin Therapy at Home?
If you decide that you are going to do your keratin therapy at home, here are a few steps that you can follow to make the process simple.
Step 1: Gathering What You Need
- Clarifying shampoo
- Keratin product suitable for your hair
- Flat iron
- Hair dryer
- Spray bottle with fresh water
- A bowl
Step 2: Washing Your Hair
- Wash your hair thoroughly using the clarifying shampoo.
- Remove all the dirt and residue on your hair carefully.
- Work the shampoo for a bit and rinse off using clean water.
- Wash your hair slowly but vigorously and focus on the strands of hair instead of the scalp.
- If you have heavy, curly hair, then repeat the step thrice and if you have straight hair, then wash your hair twice.
- Your hair must be very clean, without any impurities or the entire therapy will be wasted as you will not get the desired effect.
- An important point to remember is that you must not apply conditioner to your hair after washing, at this stage.
Step 3: Drying Your Hair
- You can let your hair dry by itself or you can dry it using a hair dryer in order to save time.
- Ensure that you leave a bit of moisture in your hair, as it will help the hair to absorb the keratin better.
Step 4: Applying Keratin
- Shake the keratin bottle well before you start applying the product to your hair.
- Start the application from the top of your hair and work your way to the bottom.
- Don’t let the cream touch the scalp.
- You can apply the keratin to your hair using a brush.
- When you are applying the keratin, it is a good idea to use the spray bottle, as dampening the hair will allow the keratin to be absorbed more deeply.
- For easier and better penetration of the keratin, gently rub it into the hair when applying.
- You can also gently comb your hair to enhance the effect.
- Keep your hair in a straight position with the keratin applied for around 30 minutes.
Step 5: Blow-Drying
- After around 30 minutes, when the keratin has had enough time to penetrate into the strands of hair, begin to blow-dry your hair.
- You can blow-dry your hair using a round brush or a jumbo comb until your hair is completely dry.
Step 6: Ironing
- This is one of the most important steps of the keratin treatment.
- Ironing will help to keep the keratin locked into your hair uniformly.
- Divide your hair into small, manageable sections.
- Using the flat iron, seal the keratin into the strands of your hair by ironing that section of your hair.
- If you have thick wavy hair, then you must iron that section of your hair at least 10 times.
- For hair that is thinner, you can iron it fewer times, until you feel it is appropriate.
- The important thing is to make sure that you iron only small bunches of your hair so that each and every hair strand is ironed.
- You can also do the ironing according to the style you want to maintain.
Step 7: Waiting
- This is the last step in the keratin treatment.
- Now you must keep your hair with the treatment without washing it for 48 hours or more if possible.
- During this time, your hair absorbs the keratin fully.
- During the 48 hours, you must prevent your hair from getting wet or the keratin will get washed away.
- At this time, you should also try and keep your hair straight without any kinks.
- This means that you must not pull back your hair or tuck it behind your ears or wear it into a ponytail using rubber bands or hold your hair using a hairband or clips.
Step 8: Post-Treatment Shampooing
- Ideally, after a keratin treatment, you should wash your hair after 3 days.
- It is advisable to wash your hair using a keratin-based, sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner, as an ordinary shampoo may not bring out the best of the keratin therapy and may also negate the beneficial effects of the treatment.
- There are several brands of sulphate-free shampoos and conditioners that are available in the market.
Benefits of Keratin Therapy
Frizzy, dry and curly hair has driven women quite crazy and keratin therapy not only straightens the hair but is also a nourishing and conditioning solution. The treatment makes your hair soft, shiny and revitalized. Some of the benefits of keratin therapy for your hair are:
Although keratin treatment is not a permanent solution, the effects of the treatment last for around 2-3 months.
Straight and Non-Frizzy Hair
With the keratin therapy, you can enjoy hair that is free of frizz and tangles, even on humid or rainy days or when you are at the beach.
Convenient and Time-Saving
You can save plenty of time and you don’t have to spend hours every day to keep your hair manageable and well-groomed. There are many treatments for your hair out there, which may give you very short-lived or unsatisfactory results like greasy hair or it being a time-consuming process.
And, even though the keratin treatment is temporary, it lasts much longer than several other temporary therapies and also does not require too much maintenance like other hair treatments.
Soft, Shiny Hair
As you become older, your body is unable to generate enough protein required to keep your hair healthy. The keratin treatment provides your hair the required nutrition and protein. The keratin not only makes your hair straighter, it also improves the condition of your hair and provides the much-needed nutrition.
This results in you having soft, shiny and healthy hair after a keratin treatment session. Other straightening solutions may weaken your hair, causing it to break, keratin therapy helps to maintain the overall strength of your crowning glory.
Manageable and Easy Styling
Keratin helps to keep unruly and unmanageable hair under control and you can style your hair the way you want more easily. It also helps you maintain your style without it looking unkempt after a while.
Keratin treatment works well for all kinds of hair – wavy, curly, kinky or straight. Hair that is dry and damaged, dyed, highlighted or permed, all can be treated using keratin therapy with its beneficial effects.
While keratin treatment is very beneficial for your hair and is becoming a very popular treatment the world over, it is not without its drawbacks. According to the FDA, the treatment can be a health hazard to both the person administering the therapy, as well as those who are getting the treatment.
This is because the keratin product contains formaldehyde, which when inhaled, can cause health problems. Breathing in formaldehyde can cause nausea, skin sensitivity, eye and throat irritation.
Sometimes, the keratin product may be advertised as being formaldehyde-free. However, this does not mean that there are no chemicals in the product. It actually contains formalin or methylene-glycol instead of formaldehyde, which has the same side effects.
For the above reasons, it is important that you take the advice of a hair expert about what safety precautions you must take before attempting to administer the keratin treatment at home.
Cost of Keratin Treatment
The cost of the keratin therapy in a salon will depend on the length, texture and thickness of your hair. On an average, the keratin treatment, along with the aftercare shampoo and conditioner will cost around $400 or more at a salon.
And, since the effects of the treatment last around 2-3 months, you must keep repeating the treatment at the recommended times (around 3-4 times a year) for long-lasting effects. This can make the treatment quite an expensive proposition in the long run.
However, if you decide to do the keratin treatment at home, the costs will decrease considerably. You can administer the treatment at a much lower price at the comfort of your home. The price of the keratin product also varies greatly with the brand name and the quality.
You should attempt to try the keratin treatment on your hair at home only after understanding the various products, their pros and cons and the process very well.
Keratin therapy has indeed revolutionized the way you can get shiny, straight and manageable hair right at home. The treatment not only makes your hair look glamorous but also helps to strengthen it and makes it resilient while replenishing all the lost proteins and essential nutrients. So, get set for “runway ready hair”!