Keratin hair treatments, also known as a Brazilian hair treatment, are widely used to make kinky locks straight, sleek and frizz-free. But how does it actually work and is it safe?
Keratin is actually a natural-occurring substance that actually already is present in your body, especially in your fingernails, skin and hair. In fact, about 90% of your hair is made up of keratin, with the other 10% being mostly water.
Strengthening the Hair
The type of keratin used in the best salons is a semi-permanent hair smoothing system that targets the outside layer of the hair, known as the cuticle. Keratin deposits a liquid version of the protein keratin that is already in your hair, along with a chemical preservative. This is then blown dry directly into the hair. Then the strand is ironed flat into a straight position.
The result is hair that is straight and strong, yet soft and attractive.
Safety of Keratin
While some people may have heard horror stories about keratin treatments gone wrong — one often-repeated story from many years ago says the actress Jennifer Aniston reportedly had to cut her famous locks short after a problem occurred with a keratin — today’s keratin treatments are more technologically advanced, gentler and safer than ever before.
Consult with your hairstylist to determine whether a keratin treatment will be right for you. If your hair is already damaged or you have split ends, keratin may help your hair look better, but also could end up causing more damage. Or you could end up only reducing your curl for a time but not completely straightening it.
Increase Your Protein to Help Your Hair
One way to help keratin treatments be more effective and to make your hair look better overall is to up your intake of protein, such as those found in meats, eggs, poultry and Greek yogurt. Foods that are high in iron — such as chia seeds and green, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale — can also contribute to hair health.