Keratin: What is it, Advantages and disadvantages
A viral treatment for a few years now is the application of keratin in the hair. The treatment itself is an option to hydrate the hair deeply from the outset. However, most people use it to straighten it.
But let’s see what it is and how it is composed. And most importantly how good it´s for our hair and the disadvantages of its use.
Keratin is a protein with a fibrous structure rich in sulfur. And is the main component that forms the outermost layers of the epidermis and other organs like hair and nails.
Our hair has this protein, and the hair cuticle (which contains keratin) protects its interior.
Thanks to brushing, constant drying, ironing, curls with heat, application of chemicals, among others, the cuticle swells and opens. That way modifying the structure of the hair and, consequently, makes it look dry, fragile, dull, and brittle.
Keratin-based treatment mainly seeks hair restructuring. It´s responsible for restoring the hair’s cuticle lost thanks to external agents, repairing the fibers. And also giving it a shiny appearance and strengthening the root and strands.
Another characteristic of the benefits of keratin treatment is that it also straightens the hair in some of its types. This is why many choose to apply it.
This method was a hit in Brazil, where they added amino acids. They act as a reagent to glue the keratin strands of the hair to later iron the hair. They stretch the hair to its maximum expression, sealing the products and straightening it.
Types of Keratin
Like everything else, this treatment has also diversified. And today there are several types, according to the needs of each hair.
It´s necessary to clarify that not all treatments include keratin. This name has become popular and generic to refer to moisturizing treatments.
We can find:
Keratin without formaldehyde
This type of keratin is of natural origin since it doesn´t contain formaldehyde, ensuring the health of your hair.
Keratin with formaldehyde
It was the main ingredient when the keratin treatment craze hit.
It began to be implemented in Brazil, hence the desire to apply “Brazilian Keratin.” However, formalin is a toxic substance prohibited in cosmetic treatments if its concentration is more significant than 0.2%. And is considered a carcinogen when inhaled.
This component provides a deep and practical straightening of the hair. But its continued exposure is not recommended due to the damage and repercussions that it can cause.
It´s responsible for restructuring the hair repairing cuticle damage, as it acts as a conditioner.
It gives the hair a shiny appearance, and we recommend it for hair with split, dry, and weak ends.
It´s based on cocoa oil, which adds weight and shine to the hair. This is the best for curly hair.
It’s rich in natural antioxidants.
Brazilian Keratin Straightening
As we have already mentioned, this, in addition to keratin, contains amino acids and, in some cases, formalin.
This treatment is the most famous and coveted.
As it´s considered the most effective in eliminating frizz curls, a solid and lasting straightening at the end.
Japanese Keratin Straightening
It doesn´t contain keratin itself, but it does have several chemicals that are usually aggressive for the hair.
It offers a deep straightening but of short duration (barely a few weeks). But you get soft, smooth, and robust hair.
It´s composed of keratin and cysteine (amino acid) and provides rigidity and resistance to the hair.
In addition, it eliminates the curl and gives the hair a smooth appearance while straightening it.
Its duration can be up to 4 months.
Beta keratin doesn´t have cysteine and is applied to the hair to be straightened but softer.
It´s of natural origin and is characterized by softening the curls and making the hair more manageable. The straightening not being as powerful as that of the other treatments.
It´s a complement to keratin treatments. This consists of applying a pure keratin shock to the hair to prevent breaking and increasing its thickness. At the same time, extending the duration of the treatment.
Benefits of Keratin
We have already mentioned its benefits. Since its main objective is to repair the cuticle and strengthen the hair strands while smoothing.
Of course, everything will depend on the type of treatment you choose.
But here we break down the benefits for your hair better:
Keratin manages to placate that unruly and curly hair to give you a smooth and controlled appearance of your hair.
Our hair loses its shine over time, as well as for everything we do to it.
Dyes, dryers, irons, chemical treatments, brushes, rubber bands, gels, and fixatives constantly affect the strength and appearance of our hair.
Keratin is a great ally to bring it back to life.
No More Tears
Another benefit is that your hair will be soft and manageable. Finally, avoid those complicated daily battles with the brush, especially after each wash.
In hair with deep curls, keratin gives it softness, turning it into waves, giving it lightness and a spectacular shine.
As we already mentioned, all the external agents and how we usually treat our hair take away its life, health, and shine.
For this reason, keratin is an excellent solution to restore your health since it repairs it from root to tip.
But not everything is rosy with this topic of keratin.
Now let’s see what the disadvantages are.
Disadvantages of keratin
In addition to formalin, which is highly toxic and even carcinogenic, it may contain other chemical components that cause reaction or damage depending on the treatment.
So, check what it is composed of before applying it.
These compounds can cause irritation and flaking of the scalp and skin.
Also, respiratory problems when you inhale the vapor you exhale.
The price of these treatments is usually high.
In addition to labor, the product is generally charged per ounce applied.
The cost of each ounce is high.
And of course, the longer and more abundant your hair is, the more expensive the final amount will be.
Not suitable for all hair types
It´s not recommended for fine hair that´s not abundant because it tends to cause more breakage and accelerate hair loss.
As well as allergies both in the scalp and skin and eyes.
When choosing a treatment, keep the following in mind:
See a professional
Nowadays, we find many treatments we can apply at home, but it´s always better to go to a beauty salon.
Due to ignorance, we can choose a treatment that´s not suitable for your hair type, which may cause more severe damage.
Check the compounds
Ask what the treatment is made of, making sure that it doesn´t contain formaldehyde, and if it does, it does not exceed 0.2%.
Go for the Brazilian keratin, which will guarantee perfect straightening, eliminating frizz without causing damage.
Choose a less aggressive treatment—something like cauterization, to avoid further damage to the hair due to chemical compounds.
Take Care of it
This part is essential. Since we invested, we must do everything necessary to make the treatment last as long as possible.
Usually, the keratin treatment lasts four months. Still, with the appropriate care, it can even last six months.
So, we recommend:
Don´t wet your hair
The first 72 hours after application, you should avoid getting your hair wet. Or even sweating at all costs to guarantee the finish.
If you accidentally do this, immediately dry and iron the affected area.
Don’t wear hair ties
Also, don´t use any hook, rubber bands, pigtails, or any other object that could mark the hair during this period of 72 hours after the application.
Don´t expose yourself to the sun
Avoid sun exposure after applying the treatment. If you go out, try to be outdoors for a long time.
Don’t touch the hair
To keep the smooth shape you got, you should avoid constantly touching your hair, or you might mess up the shape.
Salt or sulfate is the enemy of keratin. So using a regular shampoo could affect both the appearance and the duration of the treatment.
It´s recommended to buy shampoo without salt from the moment you apply the treatment to give it the proper maintenance.
Say no to the Hair Dryer and Flat Iron
The dryer and the iron were what led you to choose to apply the keratin treatment in the first place. So, don´t return to practices that damage your hair.
The frequent use of these two in hair with keratin will shorten the duration of the treatment.
Don´t enter in contact with Chlorine
Another thing you should avoid is the contact of your hair with chlorine, as it´s highly irritating to the hair and scalp.
Use Products with Keratin
There are endless products that contain keratin. So, its use is recommended to maintain that healthy appearance and extend the life of your treatment.
Now that we have told you about this miraculous treatment, all that remains is to verify the best for your hair and your budget. Always try to prevent it from causing any damage.
Remember, between health and beauty. The first is the most important.