If you frequently straighten or style your hair, you’ve likely heard of keratin treatments. A keratin treatment is a chemical process that smooths and shines frizzy hair. It helps to restore natural keratin which is found in hair, and fills in cracks in the hair cuticle. In this article, we’ll explore whether this popular hair treatment truly lives up to its promises and is keratin treatment good for hair for those who want to improve the quality of their hair.
Pros and Cons of Keratin Treatment
The potential benefits of keratin treatments are numerous:
Makes hair smoother and easier to manage
Keratin treatments make hair smoother, more manageable, and less prone to tangles. This makes it easier to achieve straight, sleek hairstyles without damaging it with heat-styling tools.
Frizzy hair is often the result of a lack of moisture in the hair. Keratin treatments help to preserve moisture and seal the hair cuticle, resulting in less frizz and a sleeker look.
When hair is damaged, it can look dull and lackluster. Keratin treatments add a glossy finish on one’s hair, making it healthy looking, shiny, and smooth.
Lasts for several months
The effects of a keratin treatment can last up to three months on average, saving you time and effort in styling.
However, there are also potential drawbacks to keratin treatments:
Can damage hair if not done properly
While keratin treatments themselves don’t damage hair, applying formula incorrectly can cause damage to the hair cuticle. A licensed stylist should always perform the treatment to avoid this.
Compared to other hair treatments, Keratin treatments can be pricey. Depending on the salon, the whole process may cost between $300 and $500.
Some treatments contain formaldehyde which may result in several health issues
Some keratin treatments contain formaldehyde which is a toxic chemical, leading to several health issues most especially respiratory problems. Concerned users should inquire about the formaldehyde content of their treatment.
The Science Behind Keratin Treatment
Keratin is the primary protein that makes up our hair. Therefore, it is understandable that keratin treatments have become a popular solution for people seeking smoother, shinier, and overall healthier hair.
But, does keratin treatment really live up to its promises? While most individuals swear by it, scientific research is mixed.
Studies show keratin treatments can improve the hair’s texture, increase shine and moisture content, and reduce frizz to a considerable extent. For instance, in a study comprising 41 Asian women, the outcomes showed a significant improvement in the hair’s condition after a single keratin treatment.
However, over-exposing hair to synthetic keratin treatments can cause it to become brittle and dry when used regularly. Formaldehyde-containing treatments can lead to health problems. Therefore, the safety of these treatments is still a matter of concern.
Types of Keratin Treatments
Two main types of keratin treatments are most popular in the market: Brazilian and Japanese.
Brazilian Keratin Treatment
Brazilian keratin treatment is a straightening method that tames frizz while also lends hair shine for a glossy finish. This treatment typically eliminates 95% of frizz and consists of various sizes of protein elements that are meant to penetrate into the hair strands, enhancing the smoothness and silkiness.
Japanese Keratin Treatment
The Japanese keratin treatment method is another type of hair straightening treatment. This process aims to straighten hair permanently by changing the structure of its natural curls. It uses a chemical called ammonium thioglycolate, creating a wave pattern in straight hair, also reducing frizz.
Many users swear by the benefits of keratin treatments, with claims that it gives them shiny, manageable hair that stays that way for months. However, some also reported experiencing adverse side effects of the treatment.
According to a study, female participants who underwent keratin treatments experienced notable improvements in hair texture, shine, manageability, and ease of styling. Conversely, some users report minor hair shedding, sensitivity, and scalp irritations as negative effects of the treatment.
Alternatives to Keratin Treatment
Aside from keratin treatments, there are natural means of improving hair texture and smoothness. These alternatives are a lot less likely to cause harm and are much less expensive than keratin treatments. These alternatives include:
Hair masks and hot oil treatments
Using hair masks and hot oil treatments at home is an affordable way to nourish and moisturize your hair. Deep conditioning treatments like these can help to seal the cuticle, reducing frizz, and increasing shine.
There are many natural ingredients like honey and coconut oil that people can use to promote hair health and texture. Allying natural ingredients to one’s hair care routine is beneficial as it ensures natural nourishment and avoids harsh chemicals.
Keratin treatment, while providing amazing results, isn’t for everyone. It is best to consult with hairstylists before undergoing any hair treatment, to determine the best course of action for your specific hair type and needs.
While keratin treatment can produce a dramatic benefit, the price tag might not be worth the potential dangers. Alternatives to keratin treatment, such as hair masks and natural ingredients, can achieve many of the same results and are safer & more budget-friendly options. So, think hard, research, and make an informed choice before committing to keratin treatment.