For the record, I find it obnoxious when people begin posts with statements like “People often ask me…” or “”I get a lot of questions about ….” No you don’t. Let’s be real; you maybe had one person ask you.

But. In “real life” my friends do ask me a lot of good questions about the keratin treatments that I have done to my hair, and so I thought perhaps some of you in bloggy land might want to know more as well.

So let’s talk hair! The treatment that I get is called Keratin Complex. You have maybe heard of Brazillian blow outs, and it’s pretty similar, minus the formaldehyde in the treatment that has since led to them being taken off the market (Ewww, WTF?!).

Basically, a Keratin Complex treatment is a semi-permanent straightening and smoothing treatment. I’ve tried other treatments like the “Japanese straightening treatment” before, and suffered a lot of damage (read: hair literally breaking off). Here’s a quick explanation of the difference:

Many treatments like the “Japanese straightening” or a relaxer work the exact same way that a perm does, just minus the curlers. What I mean by that is that they first break the hair follicle to reshape it, and then fill in the breaks with a chemical that keeps it in its new shape. If it is a perm, the new hair shape is curly, straight if you’re going for a straightening treatment.

The breakage part is what does all the damage, and there is none of that in the keratin treatment. Instead, the keratin (a natural protein that is what hair is made out of) is pressed into you hair with heat so that it fills in cracks that are already there, and bonds to the hair follicle as it is straightened with a flat iron, so that basically the hair has a layer of protein holding it in that shape.

Make sense so far?

from the website

So here are a few things to know:

  • it isn’t permanent, and it depending on the curliness of your hair, it won’t make your hair completely straight the whole time. If you have very curly hair, it will just make the curls much looser and less frizzy, and easier to completely straighten. I have fine, wavy hair, and with the treatment I can air dry it and it looks fine– no frizz or kinks. I still flat iron sometimes when I want it extra straight.
  • You can still curl your hair with heat. I use a curling iron all the time when I want to change things up, and my hair holds curl just the same as it did before– only not as frizzy. 
  • It can cost a pretty penny, depending on where you go. However, since I have been getting it done (since August 2010) prices have gone down. I happen to be lucky and have a stylist who is building up her clientele and can thus charge less for the procedure.
  • After the treatment, you can’t wash your hair for 72 hours.  This is the part that scares off most women. You can’t put the hair up, clip it back, get it wet, nothing.
    Third day hair. See, not so bad.

     Fortunately the brand makes some great dry shampoo that I spray at the roots during that time, and my hair looks fine.

    Fourth day hair. Awkward facial expression, but the hair isn’t too gross.

  • You can’t use products with sulfates or salt in them. You kind of get suckered into using the Coppola brand’s products, but fortunately I like the products a lot. It does mean planning ahead and not being able to use regular travel-sized Pantene when you travel, but in my experience you get over that pretty quickly. 
  • You can still color your hair with the treatment! If you did this with other straightening treatments, your hair would break off. 
I won’t lie; it can be a bit expensive and it also isn’t for everyone. However, for my hair, which would be a dry frizz ball otherwise, it works wonders. It saves a lot of time on my daily routine. I can air dry and look presentable; a quick blow dry and it looks great. It used to be a pain in the ass to flat iron it to make it look presentable, and the damage from daily heat was keeping me from growing it out. For women with much curlier hair, it allows them to have less frizzy and more manageable curls, with the freedom to completely straighten it with a flat iron with much less struggle. 
So that’s my experience with Keratin. Have any of you had experience with it to share? Or did I leave anything out that you have questions about?

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Comments on: "Keratin Hair Treatments, or Why Rachel Rarely Brushes Her Hair" (8)

  1. I get frizz at times : (This actually sounds really good, I'm tempted to give it a go.Thank you for sharing.Yvonne : )

  2. Thanks for the info 🙂 I've been going back and forth for a long time on getting a Keratin treatment. My hair sounds a lot like yours, fine and wavy. I actually do like the thought of it still being a little wavy, but less frizzy. How often do you get the treatment done?

  3. I burst into laughter after reading the first sentence of this post. Haha, I totally agree. You're almost convincing me to get this done. My hair needs it! But, I heard because you can't get your hair wet for 72 hours, you also can't sweat, which means no gym, no running, no staying out in the heat. I know it's only three days, but I get a lot done in three days! Seems like a lot of work!

  4. It lasts about 10-12 weeks. 🙂

  5. That is true. I often plan around the three days, like squeeze in a workout the morning before the appointment and plan on doing non-sweaty things (like grading papers) during those days… 🙂

  6. I love keratin treatments (minus the fact that you cannot wash your hair for several days), but they are definitely pricey!

  7. I really like it, thanks for the advise! I just started writing a blog, would you like to follow each other? follow me and I'll follow you back! great blog!

  8. Very true! My friend cuts me a good deal, but every time I go I get highlights, keratin, and a trim. That equals big bucks and several hours in the chair!

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