Types of Keratin Treatments

Keratin is the protein in hair that makes it strong and lustrous. It tends to be weaker in curly and textured hair, which can result in dryness and frizz. Keratin treatments are a game-changer for people with tough-to-tame locks. Performed in salons by professionals, the treatments coat the strands with the protein to make them smooth. Some treatments make hair pin straight for months, while other formulas simply eliminate frizz. Choose the right keratin treatment for your hair type and styling needs to get the most from the smoothing wonder.

Young woman using a hairbrush. (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Brazilian

The Brazilian keratin treatment eliminates frizz and smooths hair, while keeping the volume intact. It is ideal for those with very curly hair that is highly susceptible to humidity. A stylist applies the treatment to your hair, blow-drying it with a metal-plated round brush to help it sink in. The stylist then uses a flat iron to seal in the treatment. The procedure takes an hour, and lasts between three and six months. Essential oils and cocoa butter in the treatment deeply condition the hair, while a layer of protein surrounds the shaft to smooth and shield it from the elements. It acts fast, but you can wash and restyle your hair the same day. Most Brazilian keratin treatments do not contain formaldehyde.

Soft Keratin Treatment

A soft keratin treatment gently eliminates frizz while keeping curls intact. It is ideal for those who like their curls and waves, but have difficulty defining them without using a lot of products. The treatment is best for fine to medium textured hair, and is free of formaldehyde-producing ingredients. A stylist coats your hair from root to tip, then seals in the treatment with a blow-dryer and ceramic flat iron. Afterward, your hair is shiny and manageable for as long as two months.

Japzilian Keratin

The Japzilian keratin treatment combines the Brazilian treatment with the Japanese hair straightening system for longer-lasting results in all hair types. The Brazilian keratin treatment is applied first to loosen the curl, and the Japanese treatment is applied over the top to completely seal the cuticle and lock out frizz. Treated hair does not require heat styling; air-drying will result in a completely straight finish. The treatment lasts five months longer than a Brazilian treatment alone, and results in greater volume than a traditional Japanese straight perm. The Brazilian treatment is applied with a blow dryer and flat iron, then the Japanese straightening perm is combed through the hair, with coarse strands coated twice. It is left to set for an hour before being rinsed out and blow-dried again. The treatment takes between three and four hours.

Keratin Express

The keratin express treatment is a short treatment that is ideal for those looking to make hair more manageable. Keratin is applied to hair in serum form, and sealed in with a blow dryer and flat iron in 45 minutes. It typically lasts between four and six weeks. It is ideal for those with wavy hair or straight hair that turns frizzy in humidity. After the treatment, you may spend 50 percent less time blow-drying. Use a keratin-based, sulfate-free shampoo and wash every other day instead of daily to extend the results of the treatment, which typically lasts for six weeks.

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