There’s a lot of hyped up, exaggerated or misleading information out there about keratin treatments. Will it make my hair silky straight? Is it permanent? Is it poisonous? As the premiere salon in SoHo specializing in keratin services, YGallery Salon wants to help you sort through some of the myths and truths of this ever-popular beautification process.
What Is Keratin?
Keratin is a protein that is naturally found in your hair. It rounds out cracked, dry or damaged hair follicles, filling in the gaps and increasing hair strength and health. Keratin treatments—a.k.a., the Brazilian Blow Out—combines synthetically produced keratin with varying levels of formaldehyde, which helps to keep the keratin molecules together.
Formaldehyde?! Is it dangerous?
Depending on the brand of the treatment and the salon applying it, the level of formaldehyde can vary widely, anything from 1% to as high as 12%. The higher the level of formaldehyde—a known carcinogen—the more effective the results of the treatment will be. It will also greatly increase the acrid, irritating odor that can give you and your stylist a runny nose, a sore throat, a headache and other not-so-luxuriating effects.
YGallery Salon’s keratin treatment is a safe, effective blend of 1.8%-3% formaldehyde. Plus, unlike most other salons, YGallery Salon has a specialized room with a state-of-the-art ventilation system, so that nobody—not our clients, and not our stylists—are subject to the noxious odors of any chemical treatment.
What’s involved in a keratin treatment and how long does it take to have done?
Your stylist will apply the keratin product to your hair with a special brush, starting from the roots down to the ends. After several applications, he or she will use a specialized flat iron—capable of producing heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit! —to seal in the treatment into your hair cuticles. Depending on your hair’s length and thickness, this can take anywhere from one to three hours.
Consider your hair off limits for the first 72 hours after your treatment: don’t wash it, tie it or even tuck it behind your ears. After this crucial fragile period, it is important to wash with a special post-keratin treatment shampoo that does not contain sulfates. At YGallery Salon, we particularly love Rejuvenol’s Keratin After Treatment Shampoo, which also does not contain sodium chloride.
Will my hair be straight? How long will it last?
Those before-and-after pictures you Googled are real. Immediately following the treatment, yes, your hair will be pin straight and heavenly soft and shiny. How straight your hair will remain will depend entirely on a few factors: your type of hair, the brand of keratin treatment, and your diligence with after care.
For even the curliest, kinkiest, wildest locks, a keratin treatment will relax your hair in unprecedented ways, removing all the frizz factor and leaving you with soft, wavy and silky hair. A blow dry that used to take you an hour will now only take you 20 minutes or so, and, even more magically, it won’t frizz back out in the rain.
Generally, a keratin treatment will last about two to two and a half months.
I have colored hair. Will a keratin treatment work for me?
Not only is a keratin treatment safe for people with highlights or single process colored hair, but, when applied right after your color treatment, it might actually help seal in the color as well.