I know, I know. I look excellent in all of those pictures, particularly the first one with my Frankensmile and the bottom left one with my “Teddy stop putting your tongue in my mouth” face. I just wanted you to be able to see my transformation. If I had planned for this, I could have shown you a #throwbackthursday pic of “the poof” (my hair) way back in the day. Anyway, for the last 9 years, I’ve been getting my hair treated with keratin ~1x each year. The top left picture is what my hair usually looks like before I get it done, and the other 3 photos are what it looks like immediately following the treatment. My hair is extremely curly and frizzy, so it doesn’t stay perfectly straight, but is wavy and relaxed each time I get out of the shower. I prefer it wavy, so it’s fine by me!
If you’ve ever been interested in knowing more about keratin treatments, here are a few questions and answers I’ve put together. Of course, I’m not a stylist or anything so this is all from my own point of view.
What is a keratin treatment and how does it work?
- What Is Keratin? It’s a protein that’s naturally in your hair.
- How It Works: A stylist applies a keratin hair-straightening product to your hair and then uses the heat of a flat iron to seal it in. The process takes about 90 minutes or longer, depending on your hair’s length. Salon keratin products include Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy by Coppola, Global Keratin Complex, the La-Brasiliana treatment, Brazilian Keratin Treatment, the Brazilian Blowout, and Brazilian Hair Straightening.
What do they do at the salon?
I’ve had this process done at two different salons. At one salon, they comb my hair (dry) and then apply the product, bit by bit, until my entire head is covered. Each piece is smoothed down to my head. Once my head is covered, they leave it on for about a half hour and then it is washed out. Once my hair is washed, it looks completely straight, like FLAT on my head. The stylist cuts it, blow drys it, and uses a flat-iron to lock it into the hair.
At the second location, they washed my hair when I arrived and washed it 3 times! Not sure why. Then they applied a different product, but again, it was piece by piece. The product was left on for 20 minutes and then it was immediately blow dried and flat ironed. With this newer product, my hair didn’t look as straight immediately following the application, but it had the same overall effect.
Does it hurt or is it uncomfortable?
The product used at the first salon itches a little while it’s left on my head for the 40 minutes, but once it’s washed out, it feels fine. The conditioner that they use at the first salon also feels really cold and makes me laugh uncontrollably. Other than that- no pain! At the second salon, the product didn’t burn, but while it was being blow-dried, it did irritate my eyes and nose a lot. I closed my eyes and that worked like a charm. In general, the only thing that really hurts…is my wallet.
How long does it last?
They say these treatments last 2-4 months, but that’s really when your roots will start being noticeable. I get this done once a year because a) I’m poor and b) I don’t think my roots are that awful until it starts looking like that above picture. Many people have it done every few months and if I had more money to spare, I probably would too.
How much time do you spend in the salon?
At the first salon, it would take anywhere from 2-4 hours because the stylist would work slowly to coat each strand and also cut my hair. At the second salon, it took 2.5 hours with no haircut.
How much does it cost?
Every salon is different in their pricing. The salon I used to go to charged $370 the last time I went (which is why I am no longer going), but before that, it used to be in the $200s. They said their prices have gone up because they use a new product. The salon I went to more recently charged $150 as the base price, plus an additional $30 because my hair is longer and they needed more product. Again, that price did not include a haircut.
What does it look like after you shower?
Like I said before, it’s not poker straight after showering, but I prefer it to have some wave. If I were to blow-dry it, I could easily flat-iron it, as well, but I find that my hair pulls out easily, so I let it dry naturally.
Do you have to do anything between treatments? What kind of upkeep is involved?
The only thing that they recommend you do to make the treatment last longer is not wash your hair often and when you do, use Sulfate-free shampoo. I use Loreal’s version and I don’t love it, but it doesn’t strip my hair of the treatment. Also, you can use products like Organix Keratin Therapy as an at-home treatment. It works, but not super well.
That’s everything I can think of. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask!