For many of us frizzy-haired ladies, the idea of Spring and Summer means more than just tank tops and sun dresses: it means bad hair days.
Although the East Coast has yet to enjoy a warm spring day (and seriously, what’s Spring waiting for?!), clients are already coming to me asking about ways to combat the humid season. There’s a slew of products out there to combat frizzy, unruly hair – but anyone who has truly unmanageable hair knows products are temporary fix.
That’s probably why keratin treatments have hit the hair scene in a big way. There’s a handful of different types of keratin treatments out there, and it’s definitely not a one-fits-all market. If you’re considering doing a keratin treatment to tame your mane, let’s look at what keratin is, and what it can do for you:
WHAT IS KERATIN?
At its most pure form, keratin is a protein already found in hair and nails. All hair is made up of keratin – but some hair, especially curly, frizzy, or damaged hair, is porous. Those pockets in strands make hair difficult to manage, as it is generally more prone to tangling, breakage and frizz.
Keratin treatments essentially fill in those porous spaces in hair, resulting in smoother, more manageable strands.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Unlike most processes we put our hair through, keratin treatments are actually GOOD for hair health.
Adding keratin actually makes hair healthier, because it is restoring strands to their natural form. The processes reverses damage that was caused by harsh treatments and hair care habits, and gives naturally unruly and damaged hair a new lease on life.
So the next time someone says to you, “someone told me keratin is bad for your hair. Is that true?” pull up this blog. ;)
This makes keratin highly preferable over other straightening methods, some of which actually change the composition of strands – almost always leading to long-term damage. And unlike processes such as Japanese straightening, curly-haired people can also benefit from keratin treatments without having to sacrifice all of their curl (more on that later.)
Keratin is also relatively long-lasting. A treatment can last up to a few months when properly maintained! BUT, you aren’t married to the treatment, either – this treatment doesn’t grow out from the root like other straightening processes. It fades over time. This avoids that ugly line of regrowth.
Some of my clients only get a treatment once a year to get their hair through the summer. It’s your choice!
WHO SHOULD DO IT?
In general, people with frizzy, difficult to manage hair can benefit greatly from keratin. Those with fine or thin hair should inquire about keratin made for that hair type. There’s also plenty of types of keratin on the market that cater to certain textures.
WHAT TYPE OF KERATIN SHOULD I USE?
I always recommend clients come in for a full consultation to let a professional determine what keratin treatment is right for their hair type. Some treatments are strong enough to straighten wavy hair; but is that your goal? Client expectation is a huge part of the keratin process, so be sure to tell your stylist what results you’re looking for!
Keep in mind: some keratin treatments may alter not only the texture, but also the tone of color-treated hair. I warn all clients, especially my blondes, to ask ahead of time if a salon carries keratin treatments for bleached hair.
The F-word (formaldehyde) has also become attached to the keratin scene, giving the process a bad name. Luckily, the hair care industry has responded with more natural versions of keratin treatments. If questionable ingredients are a concern for you, be sure to note that to your stylist to see if they offer a more natural keratin process.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Keratin treatments can take up to a few hours depending on hair thickness. Make sure you’ve cleared your schedule!
Keratin treatments basically include coating the hair with the treatment, and then adding heat to bind keratin to the hair. Most processes mandate you don’t wash your hair for 24-72 hours. My most popular is the 24 hours keratin, because you can still attend events without looking like you haven’t washed your hair in a week!
After the initial cost of a keratin treatment, be prepared to invest in products that help preserve the longevity of the treatment.
Most simply, this can mean avoiding products with sulfates. But to really get the most out of keratin, add shampoos and conditioners made for keratin-treated hair to your regiment. Anything from Pureology is safe, which is why I’m a huge fan of their products.
And please, stay the heck away from Pantene, Tresemme, or any of those crap products. They’ll do nothing but wreak havoc on your keratin – trust me.
Want to find out if keratin is right for you? Call or email to book a consultation today!
Sue Natale is a Long Island-based hairstylist and fashionista. Her work experience includes several salons on Long Island, including the world-renown Red Door Salon at the Garden City Hotel. Today, she works as a freelance hairstylist affiliated with Metamorphosis New York. Follow her on Instagram @suenatale_thestylist, or click here to book an appointment or consultation.