Do keratin treatments damage hair? The truth you need to know

Mar 06, 2024

Do keratin treatments damage hair? The truth you need to know

Understanding keratin treatments and their effects on hair


Keratin treatments, known for their ability to smooth and straighten hair, have become a go-to solution for many seeking manageable, frizz-free locks. 

Despite their popularity, concerns about their potential effects on hair health have also surfaced, with people wondering—do keratin treatments damage hair?  

Here, we will dig into the world of keratin treatments, exploring their benefits, potential drawbacks, and the truth behind the question on everyone's mind. We'll tap into the scientific research on keratin hair treatments to provide a realistic look at their impact on your hair. 

So, if you've been contemplating a keratin treatment or simply want to learn more about it, read on.

What is a keratin treatment?


Keratin treatments have gained considerable attention in the beauty industry, especially with the likes of Meghan Markle and Jennifer Aniston (hair goddess since the 90s) flaunting their shiny results—but what exactly are they? 

Essentially, keratin is a structural protein that naturally exists in our hair, skin, and nails. It plays a crucial role in maintaining the strength and health of our hair.

Contrary to what the name might suggest, a keratin treatment isn't just about adding keratin to the hair—it's a semi-permanent hair straightening treatment that aims to transform frizzy, unruly hair into smooth and glossy locks. The process involves applying a keratin-based product to the hair, but the real magic happens when heat is applied.

The heat from a flat iron seals the product into the hair, effectively breaking the bonds and resealing them in a straighter position. This results in hair that is not only straighter but also more resistant to humidity, the main cause of frizz.

However, it's important to note that the effects of a keratin treatment are not permanent. They typically last between three to six months, depending on your hair type and how you care for your hair post-treatment.

In essence, a keratin treatment is a beauty investment that promises to give you smoother, shinier hair, but like all investments, it requires careful consideration and maintenance.


Do keratin treatments cause hair loss?


A common question that arises when discussing keratin treatments is—do keratin treatments cause hair loss? The answer is not as straightforward as one might hope. While keratin treatments themselves are not typically the direct cause of hair loss, certain aspects of the treatment process can potentially lead to hair thinning or loss, according to research.

The process of a keratin treatment involves using heat and chemicals, which, if not used correctly, can cause damage to the hair. Overuse of heat or improper application of the keratin product can lead to hair breakage and thinning. Moreover, if the treatment is not maintained correctly, it can lead to further damage and potential hair loss—the opposite of what you hope to get from an expensive salon treatment.

It's also important to note that everyone's hair reacts differently to treatments. Some people might experience hair loss due to an allergic reaction to the chemicals used in the treatment. Others might find that their hair is more prone to breakage due to the change in texture and structure caused by the treatment.

So, while keratin treatments can potentially lead to hair loss, this is not a common occurrence and often results from improper application or care. As always, it's recommended to consult with a professional before undergoing any hair treatment. Finding a reputable salon that uses safe chemical levels or offers alternatives to more potent ones is a bright idea.


Disadvantages of keratin treatments


While the allure of smooth, frizz-free hair is undeniable, it's essential to consider the potential downsides of keratin treatments. One of the main drawbacks is the cost. Keratin treatments can be pretty pricey, depending on the salon and the length and thickness of your hair.

Another potential disadvantage is the maintenance required post-treatment. To prolong the effects of the treatment, specific hair care products free from sulfates and sodium chloride are recommended, such as Lauren Ashtyn’s moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, which deliver and lock in moisture for dry or brittle strands.

Lastly, keratin treatments can alter your hair's natural texture. While this can be a tremendous plus for those seeking straighter locks, it can be a disadvantage for those who love their natural waves or curls.


Do keratin treatments damage curly hair?


For those with curly hair, keratin treatments can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, they can help reduce frizz and make curls more manageable. On the other hand, they can potentially alter the natural curl pattern and, if not done correctly, can lead to hair damage.

The key is to ensure the treatment is done by a professional who understands how to adjust the process for different hair types. It's also super important to follow the recommended aftercare to minimize potential damage and maintain the health of your curls. Choose products such as hair masks that help deeply restore moisture and keep your hair as healthy as possible.


Maintaining smooth hair after a keratin treatment


Once you strut out of the salon with a shiny, enviable mane, you’re unlikely to think about what it takes to maintain it. But after investing in a pricey keratin treatment, you'll want to ensure that your hair stays smooth and shiny for as long as possible, which requires specific care post-treatment.

Firstly, it's recommended to wait a few days before washing your hair to allow the treatment to fully set in. When you do wash, use a sulfate-free and sodium chloride-free shampoo to avoid stripping the treatment from your hair.

Secondly, try to minimize the use of heat styling tools, which can shorten the lifespan of the treatment. If you must use them, apply a heat protectant to your hair beforehand.

Lastly, regular deep conditioning treatments can help maintain your hair's smoothness, strength, and shine, keeping it healthy and beautiful.

Remember, every hair type is different, and what works for one person might not work for another. Always consult a professional to ensure you take the best care of your hair.


The final verdict on keratin treatments


So, do keratin treatments damage hair? The answer is not a simple yes or no. Like many beauty treatments, the effects of keratin treatments can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the quality of the treatment, the professional administering it, and how you care for your hair afterward.

We've explored the nature of keratin treatments, their potential benefits, and the less desirable effects associated with them. We've learned that while keratin treatments can transform frizzy, unruly hair into smooth, glossy locks, they can also potentially lead to hair loss or damage, especially if not done correctly.

We've also discussed the potential disadvantages of keratin treatments, such as their cost, the maintenance required, and the possible alteration of your hair's natural texture. For those with curly hair, keratin treatments can be a blessing and a curse, offering smoother, more manageable curls but also potentially causing damage if not done correctly.

In the end, the decision to get a keratin treatment should be made carefully, considering all these factors. It's always recommended to consult with a professional before deciding on any hair treatment. They can provide personalized advice based on your hair type, lifestyle, and personal preferences.

Remember, the goal is not just to have smooth, shiny hair but healthy hair. And sometimes, achieving that might require a different path for different people.