Photo: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images
If you have wild, curly locks and spend hours blow drying and flat ironing your hair only to have it frizz at the mere mention of humidity, a keratin treatment is the way to go. This won't magically turn your natural curls into bone straight locks, but it will significantly cut down on frizz, reduce volume and shorten styling time. The average keratin treatment runs about $300 and is done by a trained professional. How long your keratin treatment lasts depends on your specific hair type as well as regular hair care and maintenance.
Keratin is a protein-enriched treatment, used commonly to fight frizz and reduce curls. According to Salon Bella Vie, keratin treatments reduces curls and frizz by 90 percent while cutting styling time in half. Unlike chemical straighteners, keratin repairs your hair instead of damaging it. Keratin wraps around each hair strand to add a layer of protection from outside damage. This type of treatment takes between two and four hours to complete, depending upon your hair length, but the sleeker, more manageable style is worth it. Because keratin treatments aren't damaging, they are safe for color-treated hair.
How Long Does it Last?
Keratin treatments slowly wear off over three months. This general time frame is shortened without proper care and maintenance. The biggest no-no in keratin straightening maintenance is washing your hair after treatment. This strips the treatment from your hair, increases frizz and springs your curls back to life. Skip wetting your hair at all for 72 hours after receiving a keratin straightener. If you plan to dye your hair, do it before receiving a keratin treatment. If this isn't an option, wait at least two weeks after your keratin treatment to dye your locks. After several keratin applications, your treatment can last up to five months.
Maintaining the 'Do
Your hair is constantly growing and although the keratin turns frizzy, curly hair into a smoother, straighter style, the new hair growth reflects your natural hair type. Repeating keratin treatments every three months keeps new growth straight while maintaining the rest of your hair's sleek style. Because keratin protects and heals your hair, it is safe to use more often than the three-month average, especially if your hair has naturally tight curls or is excessively damaged.
Maximize Staying Power
To keep your new, smoother locks that way as long as possible, skip your normal shampoo and reach for a shampoo that is entirely sodium chloride free. Sodium chloride removes the protective keratin layer from your locks and reverses the straightening and smoothing effects. Keep up your regular care hair routine, such as regular trims and keratin touchup treatments. Even with a keratin treatment in place, using heated styling tools such as flat irons and hot rollers is completely doable. Just remember to use a heat protection spray to avoid breaking the keratin bond and damaging your hair.