PHOTO COURTESY OF NORA HUBER

What is a Keratin Treatment?

Brazilian keratin treatments are still among the most-talked about —and desired— procedures in the haircare industry. And the latest news is that you can get great results after having the treatment on your hair for only an hour, as opposed to the old procedures, which required three days!

A straightening treatment that goes by many names—Brazilian keratin treatment, Brazilian blowout, BKT, keratin straightening, hair keratin straightening, escova progressiva—, keratin treatment is a method of temporarily straightening hair by applying a liquid keratin and aldehyde solution and sealing it with a flat iron.

Keratin treatment is a long-term "blow dry" for hair that lasts about three months. It is designed for people who have curly or frizzy hair but would like a straighter appearance. Pioneered in Brazil, keratin treatments can be performed on virgin as well as chemically treated hair.

How Does it Differ from Japanese Treatments?

The system is said to eliminate any frizz, unruly curls and waves without making it too flat like other treatments such as the Japanese Yuko System.

Keratin treatments different from Japanese straightening treatments not only in the ingredients, but also in that keratin treatments are not permanent; the treatment gradually "wears off" after 10-12 weeks. Japanese straightening also tends to be more expensive and takes longer in the salon.

Reactions from Stylists and Curlies

Robert Coykendall at Hair Studio 411 in Punta Gorda, Fla., said keratin treatments have a profound effect on his clients. "It makes a huge difference," he said. "One woman we did recently was so excited because she could actually put her hands through her hair."

CurlTalker Suzie E was somewhat less impressed with the results from her Brazilian keratin treatment. "My hair was loose, but not really that big of a difference."

This result, however, is exactly what some curlies are looking for: looser curls, waves even, instead of tight ringlets. Many seek Brazilian keratin treatment to achieve the "beach wave" look that is so popular right now.

Dreyer says she especially loves the new advanced keratin treatments. "You don't have to wait three days before washing your hair," she says. "And the results with the new ones are much better," she says.Deborah Dreyer, owner of A Nu-U Salon in Cranston, RI, agrees. Most of her customers who seek Brazilian keratin treatment are after a looser curl pattern. "They want to get up and go," says Dreyer.

"My clients walk out of here saying, 'The answer is keratin,'" says Dreyer. "If your hair is frizzy and disheveled, you'll love keratin."

The keratin straightening treatment is a savior for hair in need of TLC, according to Michael Boychuck, hair aficionado, celebrity stylist and owner of three stylish salons. He says the treatments revive and replenish hair, leaving it soft, smooth and camera-ready.

Suzie E says she's on the fence as to whether she'll repeat her Brazilian keratin treatment. "My hair is very dry — I'm having to constantly use deep treatments."

So What's the Cost?

The cost of the treatment ranges from $250 to $400, and most of the treatment manufactures recommend that you use their line of shampoos, conditioners, etc. after you have the treatment, to ensure best results.

The "Formaldehyde" Issue

Another new development is the marketing of many of these treatments as "formaldehyde-free". While this is true, a truly straightening keratin treatment must contain some product from the aldehyde family of compounds in order to do the straightening. Keratin in and of itself does not straighten; it coats the hair and gives it the shiny, glossy finish. Many of the aldehydes are naturally derived and less toxic than formaldehyde. Still, it is recommended that pregnant women do not undergo the treatment. Additionally, many stylists and clients wear masks to protect themselves from any irritants.

If a "keratin" straightening product is truly aldehyde-free, then it is a different product than what is typically referred to as a keratin treatment, and the results from the treatment will likely last a much shorter time, possibly only until the next wash.

If this seems confusing to you, you're not alone. Your best best is to inquire as to which keratin treatment system—there are many on the market—your stylist uses, and then thoroughly research that particular product.

Popular Keratin Treatments

COPPOLA KERATIN COMPLEX

Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy was founded by world-renowned stylist, salon owner and television personality, Peter Coppola. His life-long passion and talent lies in creating beautiful hair using the finest products available. The therapy eliminates up to 95% of frizz and curl and instantly adds amazing shine, silkiness and condition to the hair.

LIQUID KERATIN

Liquid Keratin formulas drench the hair with both keratin proteins and keratin peptides to allow the formation to bond to the hair inside and out, while adding keratin protein and nourishment that is naturally missing in your hair. The result is smoother, stronger, softer more manageable hair. Liquid Keratin is the first safe at home alternative to expensive salon treatments providing amazing results of healthier, longer, softer, shinier hair with 100% less frizz without the use of Formaldehyde and other harmful chemical ingredients. One application can last up to 30 days.

KERATIN FUXION TEXTURE CONTROL

Keratin Fusion Texture Control: is an innovative salon service to instantly and permanently transform coarse, curly, unruly hair to smooth, straight and shiny. Or fine limp hair into volumous and beautiful. Contains no thio, no sodium hydroxide, no formaldehyde, no aldehydes. As part of the Keratin Fusion service, Pravana’s Thermal Insulator protects the hair during the texture control.

MARCIA TEIXEIRA BRAZILIAN KERATIN TREATMENT

It is a treatment for all kinds of hair. This intense treatment leaves hair soft, shiny and frizz free for up to four months. It can be used safely on just about any type of hair – dry, frizzy, over-processed, color treated, ethnic or even unprocessed virgin hair.

BRAZILIAN BLOWOUT

Through the use of a Brazilian Super Nutrient Complex and a proprietary polymer system, the Brazilian Blowout actually improves the condition of the hair by creating a protective protein layer around the hair shaft to eliminate frizz and smooth the cuticle. Results last up to 12 weeks.

KERAFUSION KERATIN TREATMENT BY DE FABULOUS

The Kerafusion by De Fabulous provides a top quality look with results lasting for at least 3 to 4 months (depending on hair type virgin hair lasts about 2 months. As keratin is infused into the hair, it penetrates deep into the damaged cuticle giving the hair a naturally straight look and leaving even the most porous hair silky, shiny and healthy. It is formulated especially for damaged, chemically treated and dry hair to eliminate frizz and out of control curls.

GLOBAL KERATIN

Juvexin Hair Taming System. incorporates our unique keratin formulation which protects the hair's natural properties and prevents damage to the hair surface. Unlike over-processed hydrolyzed keratins found in the market today, Global Keratin’s Juvexin™ Hair Taming System. is an organic, active complex component, delivered to the hair in its raw, natural state. Critical amino acids and proteins remain whole to condition hair and protect it from damage and aging caused by environmental factors. It works on all hair types, leaving it healthy looking, shiny and frizz-free for up to 5 months. It is available in Light wave, Virgin/Curly/ Colored andThick/Coarse/Resistant. 

LA BRASILIANA

Revolutionary and safe intense treatment that softens, smooths and relaxes all hair types. Comes in Original, Apple and Moca varieties.

SOFT-LISS

The Soft-Liss Intelligent Brush is a line of products used for hair straightening through a "texturization" technique, in which the active ingredients of the product act on the hair, promoting the straightening of the strands and leaving them naturally straight. In addition, these products also act on the keratin and protein of the hair, which protect the hair from damage and keep it shiny and healthy.

OK ORIGINAL KERATIN

This product was developed and improved in cooperation with a leading university research biochemist. This cooperation resulted in the best, safest formulation available today.

SIMPLY SMOOTH

Reduces curl by 25-50% on any hair type for up to 16 weeks. Formaldehyde-free. Uses highest grade of keratin possible. 

GOLESHLEE KERATIN

Goleshee Keratin is a professional, prescriptive, and revolutionary range of treatments for damaged hair; a special "hair enhancement" that will answer all your hair care worries! This product uses monomolecular technology to turn back time and restore your hair to its former glow! Using particles that are so small, they can penetrate the hair shaft. GKT then replaces the vital components of the hair structure to restore its health, vitality, strength and shine.

QOD

Experience our cutting-edge product line and throw away yesterday's raw formaldehyde formulas. Avoid controversy by using our FDA-compliant, high-tech formulas.