Keratin & Keratin treatments: what it is & why you (don’t) need it!
Smooth, shiny, frizz-free hair is the epitome of beauty as far as hair is concerned. Who doesn’t want a shiny mane that looks like it’s been blessed by goddess Venus herself? But reality is far removed from Roman mythology isn’t it? Humid weather & harsh sun turns smooth hair in to an unattainable dream. And that’s how you are introduced to a little magic called; Keratin Treatment. So, before you consider sitting in a salon-seat to have this miracle performed on you, find out what it really is, what it does, and if you really should go ahead with it.
What is Keratin?
Before we begin, Keratin is not a synonym for Keratin Treatments. Keratin is a protein that makes up over 90% of your hair. The rest is moisture and minerals. It acts as a structural protein in the core of the hair & lends it strength. Environmental factors such as harsh weather or chemical treatments deplete hair of keratin. This loss in keratin leads to the development of porous spots in hair’s structure, leading to hair damage.
How do I get keratin then?
Besides eating a protein-rich diet, and generally not stressing out in life, a healthy range of hair care products also bring back lost keratin to your hair. For the environmentally-conscious, a variety of haircare products are available that are formulated with plant-derived keratin. Which makes it not only good for you but for the earth as well!
So, what is a Keratin Treatment then?
Keratin treatments are hair smoothening treatments, during which the hair cuticle is sealed with a coating of a protein. The process itself involves application of keratin hair-straightening product and sealing that with the heat of a flat-iron. It can take anything from 90 minutes to 3 hours, depending on your hair texture, and lasts for more than a couple of months. What the treatment actually does is that it breaks the hair’s bonds & changes its texture, making hair look shiny & smooth.
Keratin strengthens hair, so it’ll make my hair stronger right?
Not exactly. The keratin part of the treatment is just a very small part of what actually happens to your hair (but a very big part of the marketing around it). The extreme heat used in keratin treatments can damage your hair if you are not careful. Also, some keratin treatments contain or release a suspected carcinogenic gas called Formaldehyde.
That doesn’t sound right! So, what do I do?
If your hair is fine, thin-textured or overly processed, give the keratin treatments a miss. But if keratin treatment is something you want, then try newer hair-smoothening treatments which are free from formaldehyde. Some of the newer hair treatments use glyoxylic acid to defrizz hair and are totally formaldehyde-free. However, they aren’t as effective in softening curls as the nasty stuff. But hey, the good news is that they’re safer!
And what can I do after the treatment?
Want to keep your hair healthy after treatment? Sulphate-free is the way to be! Look for haircare products that are sulphate-free, as they help retain the moisture in hair.
Hope we were able to educate you a little bit about the keratin treatments, and now at least you can make an informed decision about it!