The proof is in the pudding or in this case the Brazilian keratin treatment. Although there are several types of keratin treatments on the market, many hair stylists and keratin experts agree on several basic post-treatment hair care methods.
First things first: what exactly is keratin and how does it affect hair?
Keratin is a strong protein that is found in skin, hair, nails and teeth. The chemical aldehyde, a derivative of formaldehyde, works with the keratin to help make hair smoother, healthier and less frizzy. Most, but not all, keratin treatments contain an aldehyde.
Although there are different keratin treatments, there are a few staple post-care treatment methods that every client who has recently had the treatment should follow.
In a small salon in Round Rock, Texas, called Trashy Roots Salon, hair stylists use a keratin treatment method called Pravana Keratin Fusion Texture Control, which is one of the keratin treatments that does not contain any aldehydes.
More about Straightening & Keratin
After a client receives this treatment, Pravana artistic educator Anna Craig suggests that she use Pravana Keratin Fusion shampoo, conditioner and Thermal Insulator (a heat-protecting product) to help maintain the integrity of the treatment.
Craig also says that clients should not shampoo or swim for 48 hours. She also says that clients should not put clips, pony tails, etc., in their hair. This will ensure that the hair will not have any bends in it. However, a client can color her hair after 48 hours.
Tracy Kollmer, a distributor liaison with M&M International Inc. gives the dos and don’ts of the Marcia Teixeira Brazilian Keratin Treatment, yet another type of keratin treatment available to clients.
Marcia Teixeira has three different formulas that accommodate any hair texture. There’s the original Brazilian Keratin Treatment, which is best used on fine- to medium-textured hair, the Chocolate Extreme De-frizzing Treatment and Advanced Brazilian Keratin Treatment, which is best suited for coarse, kinky, resistant hair.
The Advanced formula can be rinsed out on the same day, and clients can shampoo in 24 hours instead of waiting 3 or 4 days as is necessary with the original or chocolate treatments.
Kollmer says that several days following the treatment clients should not apply any products to their hair. They should avoid getting their hair wet (i.e. working out, or otherwise perspiring profusely).
“If the hair does get wet, or if any marks are noticed (i.e. upon waking up), clients should immediately touch up with a blow dryer or flat iron,” she says.
Kollmer also emphasizes that clients should not need to use any products after their first shampoo because the results of the treatment should leave their hair frizz-free, smooth, shiny and manageable. However, if a client does decide to use products, she should read the labels carefully to make sure the products are free of sodium chloride, sulfates and alcohol.
“It’s important to avoid sodium chloride and sulfates because they will strip the cuticle faster, and accelerate how quickly the results fade. Sulfates create more sudsing action which will open the cuticle and strip both keratin and moisture from the hair, while sodium chloride (salt) will do the same thing,” Kollmer says.
If a client wants to go swimming in chlorinated or salt water, she should apply a leave-in conditioner to her hair or wet her hair with clear water first so that the hair is already saturated. When already saturated, the hair will absorb that much less additional chlorinated or salt water.
“This is not hugely effective in preventing results from starting to fade, but it can be helpful,” Kollmer says. “Clients should rinse their hair with clear water as soon as possible after getting out of a pool or the ocean to eliminate as much residue as possible until they can shampoo.”
Many women with naturally curly or wavy hair may ask if getting a keratin treatment will not only help straighten their hair but still allow them to keep their natural texture.
Kollmer has the perfect advice to ease these concerns, at least in terms of the Marcia Teixeira products.
“If it is a client’s goal to eliminate frizz but maintain some of their curl, they can use the original formula and wash their hair in 1½ to 2 days instead of waiting 4 days. The Advanced Brazilian Keratin Treatment is also an option for this purpose, but the initial results will be straighter,” Kollmer says.
Oddly enough, Kollmer also says that their treatments will last longer on previously chemically treated hair (colored, highlighted, relaxed, etc.) than on natural, virgin hair. The reason for this is that the cuticle of virgin hair is likely to be less porous than that of chemically treated hair thus the results of the first treatment may not be as dramatic.
Overall, because there are several kinds of keratin treatments, some post-care hair methods may be different but all in all many agree that these aforementioned methods are standard.
So take heed of what products you decide to use after getting a keratin treatment, just say no to swimming, and although you may be dying to wear that cute hair band you better think twice if you want your new 'do to last.