Keratin is a protein naturally found in our body such as nails and hair. It is responsible for making the hair healthy, smooth and silky. However, our hair can lose keratin because of accumulated damage from heat, styling, and the environment so treatment is needed to restore and revitalize hair. We’ve compiled the best keratin treatments to make your hair smooth as silk.
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz is the face behind Ask Your Derma. She is also a board-certified dermatologist in Metro Manila.
She is also an educator and digital creator on all things skin, hair, and nails. She is a Diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society and offers online video consultations. You can also catch her on her Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channel.
Keratin treatment is a process that infuses your hair with proteins to make it feel softer and smoother. It fuses hair bonds together with the treatment using heat, either through blow drying, steam or flat iron.
If done in a salon, the results could last up to a couple of months but if it is done with a home keratin treatment, the result can last for a couple of weeks only.
The good thing is, there are a variety of hair products that incorporate keratin into their formula for easy maintenance at home. With regular use, your hair will be revitalized in no time and it will lessen your use of styling tools. It will also keep your hair healthy inside and out!
First of all, what is keratin? Keratin is a major protein of human hair, and it is important in maintaining its tensile strength. Chemical treatment of hair (e.g., bleaching) may damage keratin leading to a decrease in strength of the hair.
Hence, the rise of keratin treatments that are marketed to restore the natural characteristics and youthfulness of the hair. It's important, however, to be familiar with the different options out there. Remember, not all keratin treatments are created equal.
A study by Basit, A. et al. found that the application of keratin, particularly, K31 allows it to fill in the gaps of damaged hair, leading to a significant increase in hair diameter, tensile strength, and surface smoothness.
If you want more manageable and softer hair that has more punch than your go-to conditioner, try keratin treatments. You won't have to go to the salon to get them either as there are a variety of options that could give you smooth and manageable hair. Say goodbye to frizz and damaged hair with keratin treatments.
Generally, everyone can benefit from keratin treatments as its purpose is to revitalize damaged hair. Think of it as filling in missing gaps in a puzzle piece.
However, it is ideal for those with very dry or damaged hair from treatments such as rebonding and coloring as it can reinvigorate their hair.
Chemically damaged hair - usually frizzy, dull, dry hair that tangles easily, split ends, and hair breakage - are tell-tale signs. These are the hair types that would benefit the most from keratin treatment.
You can achieve silky smooth hair right in the comfort of your own home. Nowadays, keratin is infused in different hair products, ranging from your everyday conditioner to the more intensive hair masks. It depends on which one suits your preference.
Although keep in mind that at home treatments would not have exactly the same effect as a salon treatment would. They would not last as long and are considered temporary fixes which would need constant maintenance in order to achieve your desired effect.
Hair masks have more moisture content and are comprised of nourishing oils and strengtheners that soften, moisturizes, and regenerates hair. It functions by penetrating deep into your hair follicles and nourishes it from the inside that is why it is applied from root to tip.
Masks take a bit of time for it to take effect, around 20 minutes to an hour to allow it to deeply condition and nourish your hair. Sometimes masks need a bit of heat to activate the product.
Due to the potency of its moisturizing effects, while great at repairing damage, is not ideal for everyday use as it could weigh down your hair and make it oily. Ideally, masks are meant to be used once or twice a week, it can be applied on dry hair before you shampoo it for intense repair.
Masks for the hair help restore moisture and softness. A journal published by Gavazzoni Dias on hair cosmetics identified the need for moisturizing hair and one option is through hair masks preferably containing hydrolyzed amino acids, silicones and vegetable oils to remove the residues on the hair without stripping the fiber.
Another study by Helen, I. et al. explored the effect of vegetable proteins in hair mask and the experimental results showed increased hair smoothness, hair strength, and morphology of damaged hair.
Conditioners function to smooth your hair and tame frizz however, it can only make hair silky and smooth temporarily. Its effects are not as lasting as hair masks as it is applied on your hair and not your scalp. All sorts of hair types can utilize the right conditioner.
Its effects can be seen almost immediately, after about 2-5 minutes. It is ideal for everyday use as it is specifically designed that way that is why it is more lightweight compared to masks. Unlike masks, conditioners must be applied after shampooing to remove oil, and dirt as it is a post-wash type of treatment.
Sprays are ideal if you don’t have a lot of time for treatment and deep conditioning your hair, as it does not take up too much time. It can condition and protect your hair from damage and styling tools by acting as a barrier, strengthening it, and at the same time making it smoother and softer instantly.
Simply mist the keratin spray to your hair before going about your hair routine such as blow drying or ironing for an instant fix, as this will activate the product leaving you with more manageable hair without much effort.
A lot of different products are out there - from leave-in anti-frizz sprays to keratin-infused heat protection sprays marketed to provide reinforcement and moisture balance for damaged hair.
At the end of the day, it's important that you research what you're putting onto your hair as some products may be labeled as keratin-infused with a hefty price tag but are really just overpriced conditioners.
Also, it would be good to take extra care with sprays as the contents can be sprayed onto not just your hair but your face or other parts of your body. You wouldn't want to develop a reaction to these products in other exposed areas.
Like conditioners, leave-in treatments can soften and tame hair to make styling easier. It provides the ideal nourishment to your hair especially if you lack the time making it softer, and strengthening it at the same time.
It acts as a barrier to protect hair against heat and protects it from damage from the environment and your styling tools. Moisturizes and smooths frizzy, and tangled hair, taming it. Apply it while your hair is still damp, and comb through your hair to make sure it is distributed evenly.
Leave-in keratin treatments provide nourishment by filling in the gaps of damaged hair, leading to a significant increase in hair diameter, tensile strength, and surface smoothness.
Protein hydrolysates, in particular, those with low molecular weight, have been shown to protect hair against chemical and environmental damage. Look for keratin hydrolysates - these are efficient restorers in hair care processes.
When buying keratin treatments, try to choose products that have natural moisturizers such as olive oil, argan, and coconut oil, shea butter, and sunflower oil. This will aid the keratin and give you optimum results while nourishing your hair.
Olive oil is great for moisturizing your scalp and reducing irritation, making your scalp healthier. Argan oil is another excellent moisturizer and contains a lot of antioxidants and helps fight dandruff. It is also responsible for making your hair shiny and reducing frizz.
Coconut oil is ideal for reducing oil buildup in your hair, as well as reduce hair breakage by strengthening and nourishing it. Shea butter softens your hair and contains a lot of vitamin A and E, which has healing properties as well as reducing frizz.
Sunflower oil contains antioxidants and vitamin E to soothe hair, and lock in moisture. It is ideal for dull and dry hair, as it moisturizes and reduces frizz, and stimulates healthy hair growth.
Studies have shown that applying hair oil is important in protecting the hair from damage. Some oils penetrate the hair and reduce the amount of water absorbed in the hair, leading to less swelling. This can reduce the cycle of repeated swelling and drying, a factor that can damage hair.
Hair oils can fill the gap between the cuticle cells and prevent the penetration of aggressive substances such as surfactants into the follicle. Also, applying oil on a regular basis can enhance lubrication of the shaft and help prevent hair breakage.
Formaldehyde is a colorless, odorless, and strong smelling gas commonly used in furniture, countertops, even nail polish. It is found in keratin treatments to help lock in straightened hair. However, it raises concerns as it is considered a carcinogen. It can also cause irritation to your eyes and nose.
The classic salon keratin treatment involves:
It was discovered, however, that formaldehyde is a carcinogen and the maximum safe concentration of formaldehyde set by the US Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel is less than 0.2%. Unacceptably high concentrations of formaldehyde have been reported in some keratin treatments. So definitely, choosing a formaldehyde-free product is a must!
A word of caution! Keep an eye out for products listed as formaldehyde-free but actually contain ingredients such as formalin, formic aldehyde, methanol, methylene glycol, methylene oxide, that break down into formaldehyde during the heat application stage. Tricky!
We've rounded up the following products so you can achieve salon smooth hair right in the comfort of your own home.
**Prices may vary depending on the website and their campaign period**
|Net Weight||100 ml|
|Key Ingredients||Sunflower, Coconut, and Grapeseed Oil|
|Net Weight||180 ml|
|Key Ingredients||Argan Oil and Keratin|
|Net Weight||200 ml|
|Key Ingredients||Triple Keratin Formula|
|Net Weight||150 ml|
|Net Weight||250 ml|
|Key Ingredients||Sunflower Botanical|
|Net Weight||300 ml|
|Key Ingredients||Pr-Vitamin B5, Keratin Straightener|
|Net Weight||385 ml|
|Key Ingredients||Keratin and Argan Oil|
|Net Weight||15 ml for a box of 10|
|Key Ingredients||Kera-Ceramide Serum|
|Net Weight||20 ml for a pack of 6|
|Key Ingredients||Castor Oil, Omega 6, and 9|
|Net Weight||236 ml|
No. 6 Bond Smoother
Treatment Mask Keratin Smooth
Triple Keratin Rescue Treatment Crème
Keratin Caring Conditioner
3-Minute Miracle Keratin Straight Intensive Conditioner
Keratin Oil Conditioner
Expertique Keratin + Ceramide Intensive Hair Mask
Keratin Castor Treatment
Keratin Smooth Flat Iron Spray
For Salon Quality Hair at Home
Mask that Delivers 48 Hour Protection
A 3-in-1 Benefit Keratin Treatment
If You Want Sleek and Shiny Hair
An All-Natural Keratin Treatment
Pro-Vitamin B5, and Keratin for Salon Straight Hair
Moisturize and Tame Your Hair with Argan Oil
Ceramide Serum for Plumper, More Moisturized Hair
Castor Oil, Omega 9, and Omega 6 for Healthier Hair
A Keratin Spray for Heat Protection and Easy Styling
|Price Starts at||₱1,399||₱230||₱146||₱1,600||₱329||₱259||₱616.55||₱120||₱79||₱235|
|Type||Leave-In Crème||Mask||Mask||Leave-in Primer||Conditioner||Conditioner||Conditioner||Mask||Mask||Spray|
|Net Weight||100 ml||180 ml||200 ml||150 ml||250 ml||300 ml||385 ml||15 ml for a box of 10||20 ml for a pack of 6||236 ml|
|Key Ingredients||Sunflower, Coconut, and Grapeseed Oil||Argan Oil and Keratin||Triple Keratin Formula||Morpho-Keratine||Sunflower Botanical||Pr-Vitamin B5, Keratin Straightener||Keratin and Argan Oil||Kera-Ceramide Serum||Castor Oil, Omega 6, and 9||Keratin|
Regardless of the type of keratin treatment product you use, it is best to follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure that you get optimum results. This includes following the prescribed time for soaking your hair as leaving the product on too short will not give it ample time to take effect. This is especially true for masks.
Also follow the number of uses, because while it may be tempting to use it daily to guarantee sleek hair, you risk product buildup in your scalp and hair which could weigh it down and make it oily. Hair masks should only be used once or twice a week due to the concentration of the ingredients of the product while some conditioners are formulated for everyday use.
Try to use sulfate-free shampoos as it lacks harsh cleansing agents which could strip your hair of its natural oils and moisture. It is milder to your hair especially chemically treated ones and will prolong the effects of your keratin treatment, allowing you to have softer and smoother hair for a longer period of time.
As with all things that we apply to our skin, keratin treatments aren't an exception to the risk of developing irritant or allergic contact reactions to the ingredients contained in it. Always keep an eye out for signs of irritation especially on the scalp, hairline, face, and neck - areas where the product can inadvertently reach.
If you want healthy hair that looks and feels good, check out these other products. We've got you covered for your other hair concerns.
Keratin is an excellent product to get rid of buhaghag hair without the damage as it also functions to nourish and moisturize hair making it soft and smooth. Getting salon quality hair is now possible with different keratin products on the market.
Author: Justine Cuizon
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