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Should You Get a Keratin Treatment?

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07 . 15 . 18
Elizabeth McNamara
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Elizabeth McNamara

Elizabeth McNamara is a beauty junkie, lover of art, and travel seeker living in Los Angeles. She’s been in the beauty industry for 4 years and has worked with Too Faced Cosmetics, Skin Laundry, and Murad Skincare. Follow her colorful instagram: @elizabethmcnamara
Elizabeth McNamara
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Latest posts by Elizabeth McNamara (see all)

Doesn’t it seem like everyone has insta-worthy, frizz-free hair that falls perfectly in place in every photo? Unfortunately, photogenic hair is not my reality. My alter-ego named “Frizzy Lizzy” likes to come out daily and usually grows more and more throughout the day. For those of you who have a hard time taming the frizzy mane–I come bearing good news. Two words: Keratin Treatment.

At first, I was skeptical about trying the popular keratin treatment because of all of the mixed reviews I had read online. But in March 2016, I decided to take the plunge because I have always wanted easy, no fuss hair. I went to hairstylist Nicolas Flores at Sally Hershberger LA, to do my first, second, and now third keratin treatment.

Before:

After:

Unlike color which takes time to achieve the perfect tone, you get instant results with a keratin. After my first treatment, I experienced my first mermaid-esque moment—and it was the turning point in my relationship with my hair. It was like the clouds parted and the universe began to sing and my hair air-dried like I had just gotten a blowout, fresh out of the salon good. And I know what you’re thinking–this too good to be true.

Well ladies, believe me when I say this is something to bet on because it offers all of the results my frizzy friends are looking for. Below, I had Nicholas Flores break down all of the nitty gritty deets about the trending treatment so you really can understand what you’re getting and what the results will be!

So what exactly is a keratin treatment?

A keratin treatment is a time-saving treatment that can reduce frizz, soften your texture, and help with shine.  A typical process for a keratin takes about an hour to two hours. We start with clarifying the hair, applying the keratin product on damp hair, and blowdrying it into the hair. Then, we follow up with flat ironing half inch subsections of hair in 3-12 passes (depending on clients hair type and texture.) A keratin is a smoothing treatment that tames frizz, adds shine, and cuts blowdrying time in half.

Who should get a keratin treatment?

Anyone with thick unruly hair and coarse to frizzy hair are the best candidates for a keratin treatment. I wouldn’t recommend a keratin on someone with pin straight or finer hair.

Blonde Mane Addicts Editor getting keratin treatment by Nicolas Flores at Sally Hershberger LA salon

Is there more than one kind of keratin treatment? Which one should I ask for?

Yes. I typically use two types of keratin. I tend to use a brand called Trissola and they offer solo, which is a formaldehyde-free formula, which lasts about 1-3 months. Trissola True which is their regular keratin formula for hair with frizz typically lasts  3-6 months depending on hair growth. Trissola True + is for hair types extremely curly and coarse.

I typically use Trissola True on Elizabeth because her hair is a bit dry in texture and she has more frizz than wave, therefore the True is best for you, as you want your keratin to last more than a couple of months and really eliminate that unwanted frizz. Additionally it softens and adds shine into your texture!

Will it affect my hair color?

It has been proven to lighten color by a level or two, depending on how many passes  with a straightening iron. The iron is at 450 degrees, which is what seals in the keratin and is the last step.

What is a keratin treatment Nicolas Flores performin Keratin Treatment at Sally Hershberger

When should I get it?

I usually always recommend 2-3 Keratins per year. I usually recommend a keratin once before summer and again before winter. During summer months, you want to air dry your hair and the humidity and heat of summer can cause your hair to frizz after styling. Winter is also great due to hair drying out and losing shine, which causes color to dull. Keratin can add a lot of shine and can aide in making the hair feel silkier and softer.

How long to wait in between treatments?

Some clients love doing a keratin every 3-6 months, which is what I recommend. It really depends on the clients hair and preference.

Let’s talk formaldehyde–have keratin treatments gotten better for you over the years?

Keratin companies are now starting to come out with more products trying to eliminate ingredients that produce formaldehyde – so far I have yet to try one. It is best to try and not breathe in any of the steam from the keratin since the ingredients in Trissola True form together and create formaldehyde. I’m always sure I have a fan blowing in front of the client so they do not inhale the steam and I wear a mask, which I highly recommend all stylists performing treatments like these to. And if you’re pregnant, stay away from keratin all together!

What are the benefits?

It can be very beneficial to get a keratin. Over time, we loose our existing keratin with certain shampoos that are formulated with high sulfates or even color services that can strip away the protein. It does soften your hair texture so curly haired clients may feel it can soften your curl or even pull it out a bit. So, if you are a curly-haired client who only wears their hair curly I probably wouldn’t recommend a keratin. It also minimizes how long it takes to dry your hair.

Blonde Mane Addicts Editor Showing Benefits of Kertain Treatment

Break down the after-care?

Wait three to four days to wash hair after treatment. During this time, do not put hair ties, clips, pins, putting hair behind ears, and try not to touch it too much. Once you start washing your hair, switch your haircare routine to sulfate-free products because sulfates are harsh that can strip the hair of the treatment. 

I love that all high end shampoos are starting to come out with sulfatefree shampoo! A major favorite is Shu Uemura “Color Lustre” which is sulfate free. It’s light and great for color-treated hair!

Keratin treatments changed my life and my daily beauty routine, and I hope they inspire you to try the treatment yourself! If you still want more info, HERE’s our complete guide to brazilian blowouts. 

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