Oh boy there’s a lot to unpack here. Keratin Treatments, Brazilian Blow Dries, Smoothing Treatments, are a few names for the frizz fighting miracle service. So many products and services have flooded the market it´s no wonder there is a lot of confusion about what it really is and what it will actually achieve. In this post I will help to eliminate this confusion by going through a bit of what the keratin treatment is, how it has evolved and what I recommend for my clients.
WHAT IS KERATIN?
Simply put, keratin is the main building block of our hair, nails, and outer layer of skin. It is a family of proteins. These proteins help build the structure of our hair which is why see it in so many products. Keratin treatment services always have keratin in them, but it’s not the keratin that is making your hair smooth. It’s the other ingredients that do the trick.
THEN WHAT IS A KERATIN TREATMENT?
Keratin treatments can serve two purposes, to straighten your hair and to smooth the hair. All treatments claim to smooth the hair, but not all straighten the hair. The treatment involves surrounding the hair in chemicals, and then usually heating those chemicals up to create a smooth and protective outer shell for your hair. The smooth hair dries faster, shinier and with less frizz. This effect lasts for around three months.
WHY ARE THE RESULTS SO VARIED?
The reason the results vary so much is because each brand uses their own formulation of chemicals. The very first versions were made using formaldehyde, which sounds pretty scary, but it is in fact used in many beauty products. The formaldehyde worked wonders in smoothing out the hair, except that the fumes created when the hair was ironed were found to be toxic. Most western countries then limited the amount of formaldehyde allowed in products. In the wake of this news, companies ran to market with their new formaldehyde substitutes which sometimes worked, and with varying effects. This is what has caused the large amount of confusion in the market.
IS A KERATIN TREATMENT RIGHT FOR YOU?
Ask yourself these questions. Would you describe your hair as frizzy, and hard to manage? When you dry your hair with a hairdryer, does it just feel lifeless and dull to the point that you feel the need to iron your hair to give it any shine? If you answered yes, then a keratin treatment could really help you out.
The next question to ask yourself is how much straighter you would like your hair. If you have curly hair and would like to maintain the curl then you should have a smoothing only treatment. Although, you should expect a general reduction of volume after the treatment. If you feel your hair is just too big and impossible to manage, then I would recommend having a treatment that would straighten your hair more. Especially if you are using a straight iron on a regular basis. A lot of salons only use one product so ask how much it will straighten your hair before you move forward. A keratin treatment will not permanently straighten your hair, for that you would need a Japanese Straightening treatment.
A before and after look at a treatment I did several months ago. This is an example of a medium strength treatment. The after was dried with just a paddle brush, and look how shiny and smooth the hair is. Two months after the treatment the client was still talking about how smooth her hair was when she wore it curly, and how easy it was to straighten.
THE iSMOOTH SYSTEM
Royal Oak Hair Salon utilizes the iSmooth system which has varying strengths to achieve the exact look you are looking for. The system has 0% formaldehyde and utilizes glycolic acid to smooth the hair. This system delivers the best results I have seen in a keratin treatment since the EU took the formaldehyde off the market. Another advantage to this system is that unlike other systems, you can wash your hair directly after the service if you want. You do not need to wait three days, like other products.
The service takes about 2 hours to apply, and starts at 160€ for the application. You can book an appointment using the tab at the right, or if you are unsure, you can book a free 15 minute consultation.