If you’re perpetually afraid of walking outside in humidity for fear of ruining a good hair day, I can relate. For years, I tried what felt like every hair straightener and smoothing serum on the market in the hopes of taming my frizzy hair. While I saw some success during the cooler months, the arrival of a humid summer in the Northeast brought poofy hair and failed styling attempts year after year. After hearing so many of my frizzy-haired friends praise the results of keratin treatments, I decided to take the plunge and try it out for myself.
That was five years ago and I’ve been loyal to the treatment ever since. But when the pandemic put a hold on my annual keratin treatment for 18 months, my wallet felt great, but my frizzy hair 一 not so much. After finally being able to head back to the salon and adopt a more normal routine, I was reminded how truly amazing keratin is. So below, I’m sharing why I refuse to go another summer without my annual keratin treatment.
What Is A Keratin Treatment?
Before I dive into my personal experience with getting keratin hair treatments, let’s talk about what it is. While there are lots of different chemical hair treatments that smooth or straighten the hair, a keratin treatment is a semi-permanent smoothing treatment that reduces frizz. It works by coating the hair in artificial keratin bonds that seal and protect the strands when heated properly. Keratin hair treatments typically last from three to five months depending on the brand, hair type, and hair washing frequency.
What A Keratin Treatment Does For My Hair
As I mentioned, I first got a keratin treatment in the hopes that it would tame my extreme frizz during the summer 一 but there are several reasons why I’m now hooked.
1. Frizz Reduction
Given that frizz reduction and smoothness are the main benefits that keratin treatments promise, I’d be remiss not to cover this first. I have naturally wavy, type 2A hair with a wave pattern that changes throughout my head and a whole lot of poof. I’ve opted for heat styling since I was old enough to use a flatiron. It keeps my frizz intact and helps me sport sleek styles 一 and it’s worth it despite the extra time it takes. When I have a fresh keratin treatment, I can just let my hair air dry and still feel put together and polished 一 which is great when I’m rushing to get out the door.
For the first few weeks, my hair remains straight with no frizz at all. At this point in the process, I do have a bit of trouble holding a curl if I’m styling with a curling wand (beachy waves I’m looking at you), but the lack of frizz is well worth the sacrifice. If you have a hair type similar to mine and can’t stand when your strands struggle to hold a style, this is a caveat of keratin treatments that you should be aware of.
I’m able to maintain serious frizz reduction for a solid three months, which is the amount of time I really need it 一 just enough to get me through the humid New York summer. I once went out on a rainy, ninety-degree night in July, and I was shocked to see how good my hair looked by the end of it. My pre-keratin days could never compete.
2. It Cuts Down Styling Time
I typically set aside around twenty minutes to style my hair, but this time is cut significantly when I have a fresh keratin treatment. For the first month when there’s no trace of a curl, I can get away with styling in a total of five to ten minutes. I simply run the blow dryer through my hair, fix my flyaways with a hair straightener, and apply a hair oil like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Treatment to my ends.
About six-to-eight weeks post-treatment the waves and texture start creeping back in, but this allows me to start sporting beachy waves again. My hair can hold a curl but the frizz is still tamed.
3. I’m Able To Use Less Heat
I’ve come to accept that heat damage is unavoidable for me. I constantly use heat on my hair to style it, and I’ve just adopted practices like using heat protectant and getting regular trims to manage it as best I can. So the less heat I can use on my hair the better, and when I have a keratin treatment I’m able to get away with faster blow drying and less passes of my straightener. If it helps to prevent split ends and damage even just a little bit, you can count me in.
4. It Makes My Hair Incredibly Shiny
Frizzy, damaged hair doesn’t exactly excel in the shine department. When I have a fresh trim and my hair is styled, I can eek out some shine一but nothing compares to the luster I get with a keratin treatment. Because it seals the hair cuticle and light is better able to reflect off of a smooth surface, keratin treatments are excellent for making the hair look shiny. After a new keratin treatment, I’m often complimented on how smooth and shiny my hair looks. Who knows, maybe one day I can even take on the glass hair trend with confidence.
Written and Photographed by: Alyssa Kaplan