Keratin treatments are available at most good salons these days, often offered as a technique for straightening and de-frizzing hair. But that's not all it's good for. In fact, when you learn a bit more about this amazing product, you'll be queuing up to get it.
Keratin is actually a protein comprising 18 amino acids, including the all-important cysteine. Rich in sulphur, cysteine plays a key role in keeping our hair healthy and glossy. Keratin is also essential for healthy skin and nails.
Hair is mainly made up of keratin-associated proteins and that's what gives it strength and elasticity. However, keratin production can be affected by diet and lifestyle. For optimum keratin levels we need to eat a diet rich in lean meat, fish, and low fat dairy. So if you're vegetarian or vegan, hair health can be an issue.
Our hair can also lose keratin from sun exposure, pollution, ageing, styling and chemical use. When this happens, porous spots develop on the hair shaft and we lose our protective shield against humidity. We all know what happens then - frizz!
You can increase your body's keratin levels by taking supplements and boost your hair health with regular keratin treatments. The treatment will rebuild the damaged areas, giving you less frizz and more shine.
Here's the thing: not all keratin treatments are the same. For example, treatments containing glycolic acid can affect the tonality of your hair colour. That's why it is always recommended that you book a consultation with your stylist beforehand, to decide the best choice.
A keratin treatment can take from 1.5 to 3 hours, depending on the length and thickness of your hair. It starts with shampooing, but no conditioner, and then the hair is partly dried. The keratin product is applied to the hair and allowed to process. After that it's a matter of rinsing, sealing and usually straightening.
What you do when you leave the salon is just as important. You should not wash or style your hair, tie it back in a ponytail or even put it behind your ears for at least 48 hours. This time is needed for the treatment to work properly.
The treatment will last for around 2 to 3 months. Remember, this is a smoothing treatment, not a straightener, so it will gradually wash out. The more you wash your hair, the sooner you'll need another treatment.
Your choice of product will also affect how long it lasts. Hair professionals recommend using sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners for long-lasting results. Even if your shampoo claims to be keratin-infused, you should check to see if it contains sulfates.
One thing's for sure, you will be amazed by how much smoother, shinier and healthier your hair is after a keratin treatment. It also significantly reduces styling time. It can shorten your blow-dry time by 40% to 60%.
When you live in Australia - especially the Tropical North - there's a good chance humidity is your enemy. An hour or more of careful styling can be undone in seconds, when you walk out the door into the weather.
No-one wants dry frizzy hair - it's impossible to manage and just looks like a mess. It does absolutely nothing for your confidence. So while keratin treatments aren't cheap, they are well worth the investment every few months to keep your locks luscious.
Here at Bookwell, we've heard keratin treatments described as 'life-changing'. That might sound extreme but, if frizz is a problem, that's exactly how you would describe it.
So, if you dream about giving frizz the flick, and having a wash-and-go style, you should definitely book your keratin treatment soon.