Keratin is a protein that naturally occurs in our hair, nails, and skin. It provides structural support and helps to protect our hair from damage and breakage. In recent years, keratin treatments have become increasingly popular as a way to improve the look and feel of hair.
But, is keratin good for hair? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what keratin is, how it works, and whether or not it’s actually beneficial for your hair.
2. What is Keratin?
Keratin is a fibrous protein that makes up the structural foundation of hair, nails, and skin. It is composed of amino acids and provides strength, elasticity, and protection against damage.
In hair, keratin forms a protective layer around the hair shaft, helping to prevent damage from heat styling tools, environmental factors, and chemical treatments. The keratin in hair can also help to retain moisture and prevent frizz, giving hair a smooth, polished appearance.
In the beauty industry, keratin is commonly used in hair treatments, skin care products, and nail treatments to improve the appearance and health of these tissues. For example, keratin hair treatments are designed to fill in gaps in the hair shaft and smooth down the cuticle, making hair more manageable and reducing frizz.
3. The Structure of Hair:
Hair is made up of three main layers: the cuticle, the cortex, and the medulla. The cuticle is the outermost layer of the hair shaft, and it serves to protect the inner layers of the hair. The cortex is the middle layer and is responsible for the hair’s strength and elasticity. The medulla is the innermost layer and is the soft, spongy center of the hair shaft.
4. Keratin and Hair:
Keratin is an important component of the hair shaft, particularly in the cortex. It provides structural support to the hair and helps to protect it from damage and breakage. In healthy hair, keratin forms a strong, flexible matrix that holds the hair shaft together.
5. Types of Keratin Treatments:
Keratin treatments come in a variety of forms, including shampoos, conditioners, and in-salon treatments. Some of the most popular in-salon treatments include Brazilian keratin treatments, Japanese straightening, and thermal reconditioning.
5.1. Brazilian Keratin Treatment:
Also known as a “Brazilian Blowout,” this type of treatment is designed to smooth hair and straighten hair, reducing frizz and adding shine. It typically lasts for several weeks and can be used on all hair types of hair salons.
5.2. Express Keratin Treatment:
This type of treatment is a quick, low-maintenance option that can be completed in as little as 30 minutes. It is designed to smooth and reduce frizz, but typically only lasts for a few days.
5.3. Permanent Keratin Hair Treatment:
This type of treatment is designed to provide long-lasting results, with effects that can last for several months. It involves chemically relaxing the hair, which can lead to less frizz and a more manageable texture.
5.4. Natural Keratin Hair Treatment:
This type of treatment is formulated with natural, nourishing ingredients like keratin protein, argan oil, and coconut oil. It is designed to improve hair texture and strength without exposing hair to harsh chemicals.
5.5. Keratin Smooth Treatment:
This type of treatment is designed to smooth hair and reduce frizz, providing a sleek and polished look. It typically lasts for several weeks and can be used on all hair types.
5.6. Repair Keratin Hair Treatment:
This type of treatment is designed to repair and strengthen damaged hair. It typically contains ingredients like keratin protein and vitamins that can help to improve hair health and reduce breakage.
6. How Keratin Treatments Work:
Keratin treatments work by depositing a layer of keratin protein onto the hair shaft. This layer helps to fill in gaps in the hair and make it smoother and more manageable. Some keratin treatments also use heat to activate the keratin and help it to bond to the hair.
Before the treatment begins, the hair is shampooed to remove any dirt, oils, and styling products. The hair is then towel-dried or blown dry until it is only slightly damp.
6.2. Application of Keratin:
The keratin hair treatment is then applied to the hair using a brush or applicator. The hair is sectioned and the treatment is applied from root to tip, ensuring that every strand is covered.
Once the treatment is applied, the hair is typically left to process for 30 minutes to an hour. During this time, the heat from the hair dryer is used to activate the keratin and help it to bond to the hair. In some cases, a flat iron may also be used to help seal the keratin into the hair.
After the processing time is complete, the hair is rinsed with water to remove any excess treatment.
6.5. Drying and Styling:
The hair is then dried and styled as desired. It is important to avoid washing the hair for at least three days after the treatment, to give the keratin time to fully bond to the hair.
7. Benefits of Keratin Treatments:
- Improved hair texture: Keratin treatment can help to make hair smoother, softer, and more manageable.
- Reduced frizz: Keratin treatment can help to reduce frizz and improve the overall appearance of hair.
- Increased shine: Keratin treatment can add shine to hair and make it look more lustrous.
- Faster styling time: Hair that has been treated with keratin requires less time to style and is easier to work with.
- Increased hair strength: Keratin can help to strengthen hair and reduce breakage.
8. Improved Hair Texture:
One of the most notable benefits in salon treatment of keratin treatments is the improvement in hair texture. By filling in the gaps in the hair shaft and smoothing out the cuticle, keratin treatments can make hair feel smoother and shiny hair and also increasing the hair length.
This can be particularly beneficial for those with curly, frizzy, or unruly hair, as it can help to control and tame these types of hair.
Improved hair texture can also make styling easier and faster, as the hair is more manageable and less prone to tangling and breakage. With a smoother texture, hair can also be styled with fewer products and heat tools, reducing the risk of further damage.
9. Reduced Frizz:
Frizz is a common hair issue that many people struggle with, especially in humid or rainy weather. Fortunately, keratin hair treatment can help to reduce frizz and give hair a smoother, more polished look.
The keratin protein in these treatments works to fill in gaps in the hair shaft and smooth down the cuticle, making hair more resistant to humidity and reducing the appearance of frizz. The result is hair that is smoother, more defined, and more manageable, even in humid conditions.
In addition to reducing frizz, keratin hair treatment can also help to define curls and waves, giving hair a more polished and defined look. This can be particularly beneficial for those with curly or wavy hair, as it can help to control the shape and texture of their hair.
10. Drawbacks of Keratin Treatments:
Chemical exposure: Many keratin treatment contain harsh chemicals, such as formaldehyde, that can be damaging to hair and harmful to your health.
Cost: Keratin treatment can be expensive, especially when performed in a salon.
Time commitment: Some keratin treatment require several hours to complete, and may take several days to fully take effect.
Maintenance: Keratin treatments require regular maintenance in order to maintain their benefits. This may involve using specific shampoos and conditioners, and having regular touch-up treatments.
11. Is Keratin Good For Hair?
While keratin treatments can provide many benefits for hair, they can also cause damage if not done correctly. Harsh chemicals, such as formaldehyde, can dry out hair and cause breakage. Overuse of heat-activated keratin treatment can also damage hair by causing it to become brittle.
There is some controversy surrounding the potential for getting a keratin treatment to damage hair. Some people claim that these treatments can be harsh and damaging, while others believe that they are safe and nourishing for hair.
On one hand, keratin hair treatments can contain harsh chemicals, such as formaldehyde and sodium hydroxide, that can be damaging to hair and potentially harmful to your health. These chemicals can cause hair to become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage, and can also lead to hair loss and other health issues if exposure to the chemicals is prolonged.
On the other hand, many keratin hair treatments are formulated with natural, nourishing ingredients that are safe for hair and can help to improve its texture and strength. For example, some keratin hair treatments contain ingredients like argan oil, coconut oil, and keratin protein, which can help to moisturize and strengthen hair.
Maintaining the results of a keratin treatment is an important part of the process, as it can help to extend the life of the treatment and ensure that hair remains healthy and beautiful. Here are some tips for maintaining the results of a keratin treatment:
- Avoid washing hair for the first three days after the treatment. This will give the keratin time to fully absorb into the hair shaft and provide the best possible results.
- Use sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. Sulfates can strip keratin from the hair, reducing the effectiveness of the treatment.
- Avoid heat styling tools. Heat styling tools can break down the keratin in the hair and reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. If you must use heat styling tools, be sure to use a heat protectant spray to minimize damage.
In conclusion, keratin is generally considered to be good for hair, as it can help to improve hair texture, reduce frizz, and increase hair strength. However, as with any beauty treatment, the results can vary based on the individual’s hair type and condition, as well as the quality of the products used.
Keratin hair treatments can be a great option for those looking to improve the health and appearance of their hair, but it’s important to choose high-quality, formaldehyde-free treatments, and to discuss any potential risks with a professional before undergoing the treatment.As an Amazon Associate, Icy Health earns from qualifying purchases.