What exactly is a keratin treatment? Every woman loves straight hair. Although it is a mystery why straight hair is so popular amongst women, we would like to believe, it is so because straight hair is easy to manage and saves you time from untangling knots from curls and waves. A keratin treatment is basically a cosmetic product that is used to straighten the hair. It is also commonly known as a Brazilian keratin treatment or a ‘Brazilian blowout.’ According to advertisements, keratin treatment hair products straighten and smoothen curly and wavy hair naturally. These products are also believed to remove frizziness from hair while improving hair color and shine and rendering a healthier look to the mane. Even though it is claimed to be natural, keratin treatment has certain benefits as well as side effects to its resume. Read on to know more about keratin treatments. Should you try a keratin therapy for your hair? The human body naturally makes the keratin protein. In fact, our hair and nails are made of keratin. However, the keratin in keratin therapy for hair is derived from wool, feathers, or horns. Certain shampoos and conditioners also contain keratin, but to get the best keratin treatment, you need to visit a salon and get it done from a professional. The benefits of getting professional keratin therapy are many, and include: Smooth and shiny hair: Keratin smoothens the hair cells that overlap to form hair strands. Smooth hair indicates that it makes it more manageable and less frizzy. Keratin makes for hair that dries with little frizz and holds on to a glossy and healthier look. 2. Long-lasting results: One of the mistakes that people tend to make is that they wash their hair too frequently. If you go for keratin therapy, you must keep in mind that you should not wash your hair more than twice or thrice a week. If you want your keratin treatment to last for at least six months, you must wash your hairless. 3. Better and manageable hair: Keratin treatment smoothens the hair strands and makes them more manageable, especially in case of frizzy or thick hair. If you are someone who constantly heats styles your hair (like, straightening, curling, blow-drying), the keratin treatment on your hair will dry your hair faster. According to some, keratin cuts the drying time by more than half. Since it will save you time and air drying is a healthier option, it will strengthen your hair and make it healthier, and will save it from heat damage. 4. Faster hair growth: Keratin has the ability to strengthen and fortify your hair so it does not break off easily. This also helps the hair to grow faster as the ends are prevented from breaking off. Keratin treatment cost: Is it expensive? Keratin treatments should not be done more than three times a year. Excess keratin therapy can start to damage your hair over time and will harm your hair health more than the benefits. Try going for keratin therapies during summer, when the frizz is more pronounced due to humidity. It is also the best time of the year to get a keratin treatment. However, each keratin treatment, if done professionally, can range anywhere between $300 to $800, exclusive of tax and tip. If you are looking for an economical alternative, you can try out less expensive at-home options, even though the results will not last long enough. Is keratin treatment good for hair? While keratin treatment has several benefits, it also has certain life-concerning side effects. The treatment makes use of formaldehyde, a strong-smelling, colorless gas. Some people tend to be more sensitive to chemicals and formaldehyde may increase the risk of cancer over time. According to researchers, formaldehyde increases the chances of cancer by multiple folds, especially the areas targeting the nose. It also increases the risk of blood cancer leukemia. Formaldehyde is also known to trigger other symptoms in some people, like: Hair lossHair breakage and hair damageMood changesNauseaScalp burns and/or, blistersHeadachesScalp irritationSkin rashesItchy skinChest pain and tightnessWheezing and coughingAllergic reactionsRunny roseThroat and nose irritationStinging, itching, burning eyes Formaldehyde is also found in other commonly used beauty products and in certain industrial and home products, such as nail polish, nail glue, and nail paint remover, hair glue, hair dyes, hair shampoos, dry shampoos, home furnishings, plastics and paints, cleaning products, textiles, pesticides, etc. How long is the keratin treatment procedure? In a keratin smoothening treatment, the hair cuticle is sealed with a coating of the keratin protein to eliminate frizz and add a certain amount of softness and shine. The process is pretty simple, if done professionally, and might take anywhere between 1 to 3 hours depending upon different hair types, hair length, and density. It is advised that before the treatment, the hair should be thoroughly shampooed to strip any oils and product residue if present in the hair. If you are planning to treat your hair with keratin at home, then follow the procedure, as stated below: Once the hair is thoroughly shampooed, break the hair up into four sections. Taking 0.5 to 1-inch subsections, apply the keratin product from the root to the ends of your hair while combing through frequently to ensure even distribution. Follow the above step with roughly drying the hair to about 75 percent dry, and once again, part your hair and start to blow dry it smooth with a boar bristle round brush. Once the hair is completely dry, section the hair again and flat iron the remaining sections with 3 to 8 passes of the flat iron, depending on the level of smoothness and straightness you want in your hair. How long do keratin treatments last? After getting the keratin treatment and after the no washing period is over, make sure that you use only sodium-sulfate-free shampoo to help maintain the treatment. With proper care, each keratin treatment should last for at least 2 to 2 ½ months.