From longevity and how much it costs to exactly what the process entails, here’s everything you need to know before getting a keratin treatment…
Keratin hair treatments - you may have heard them referred to as a different name, the Brazilian blowout, but you will have heard about them. Few of us, however, know what they actually are.
As someone who struggles with thick frizzy hair and unruly curls, I was eager to find out if a keratin treatment could tame my locks and help me in any way. Seeing as it usually takes me over two hours to straighten my whole head of hair, it seemed worth a shot and essentially everyone I know had recommended I try it, if only to give me a bit more time each day.
I headed to Lockonego salon on the King’s Road one evening and got a Keratin hair treatment, just to see what all the fuss was about.
Here is everything I learnt…
What is a keratin treatment?
The aim of the treatment is to restore and rebuild the damaged areas by treating your hair with a property that's already in it: keratin.
Keratin is a strong protein that is key to hair maintenance, often lost over time due to age, chemical services and products. The keratin treatment simply puts that protein back in your locks, adding a layer of protein to your hair, strengthening it, relaxing it, making it more manageable and giving your hair a salon shine.
What does a keratin treatment involve?
A keratin treatment is a very time-consuming process and has several different stages. Don’t make plans afterwards because you probably won’t make them on time and don’t bring a book or a magazine to occupy yourself because you’ll spend the majority of the time with your eyes closed to stop them from streaming – Keratin is pretty strong stuff. Then again, due to my thick curls, I had over double the recommended dollops of keratin on my hair.
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First your hair will be washed thoroughly, then keratin is applied in a serum form to each strand, treating your locks section by section. Heat is then applied to the hair to activate the treatment as your hair is straightened meticulously. Once it looks straighter, sleeker and smoother than it has ever looked in your whole life, it’s time to wash your hair again (yes, really), rinsing out the treatment, then drying and straightening it again. As I said before, it’s a long process.
Is a keratin treatment a straightening treatment?
The biggest misconception about keratin treatments is that they are hair-straightening treatments and when I got mine I expected the same results as a permanent hair straightening. A keratin hair treatment is actually a hair relaxing treatment, smoothing out the frizz and making your hair easier to straighten. Each time I washed my hair, it wouldn’t dry straight, it would dry curly as normal but would be noticeably smoother and sleeker, making it a lot more manageable. I also noticed that once I had straightened it for the day, if I got caught in the rain or the humidity, my hair wouldn’t curl or kink like it would have before - it was a lot more resilient and would stay straight until my next hair wash.
How long do Keratin treatments last?
Keratin treatments aren’t permanent and the longevity of the treatment depends on the texture of your hair and the upkeep of the treatment’s after-care. A keratin treatment tends to last three months but with the unruliness of my hair and the fact that I neglected some of the after-care rules, mine lasted just over two – still a miracle given the strength of my hair.
Are there any after-care rules for Keratin hair treatments?
There are after-care recommendations for getting a keratin hair treatment. You aren’t advised to wash your hair, tie it up or style it in any way that could kink it for at least 48 hours. For as long as the keratin treatment lasts you are also recommended to wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner - find the best one for you with this quick quiz - giving the effects of your treatment longevity and strengthening your hair. I used Living Proof shampoo and conditioner, but there are plenty to choose from. Other good sulfate-free shampoos are L’Oreal Ever Strong Sulfate-Free Fortify System and Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo.
How long does a keratin treatment take?
The length of the treatment differs depending on the thickness of your hair. I have uncharacteristically thick and curly hair so while it took me two and a half hours, it should usually take about an hour and a half in total. I wouldn’t try to squeeze a Keratin treatment into a busy day though, it’s not the kind of process that you want to rush.
Should I get a keratin treatment?
There are both advantages and disadvantages to getting a Keratin hair treatment. I found that the treatment made my hair a lot more manageable, and in terms of de-frizzing my hair (especially around the hairline) it was life changing. There were, however, a few drawbacks that I didn’t foresee. I struggled with my sudden lack of volume and found that my hair got greasy very quickly, two things that I have never experienced before. The treatment is temporary though, so if you’re considering it, I would recommend giving it a try.
How much does a keratin hair treatment cost?
The price of a Keratin treatment varies depending on the salon. I went to Lockonego on the King’s Road where the treatments started at £200, lasting for around three months.
Where can you go for a keratin hair treatment?
A lot of salons across the country offer Keratin treatments. I went to the Lockonego salon on the King’s Road, a well known destination for celebrities and beauty bloggers. The staff were friendly, the salon was Instagrammable and my keratin treatment was top quality.
Lockonego 394 King’s Road Chelsea SW10 0LN 020 7795 1798
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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