Spring, summer & the humid months are approaching... although not quite quick enough for me!
You know what that means? It's time to start thinking about our keratin treatments!
You've all heard of them... they're basically a magical treatment that allows for more manageable, frizz free hair. You know, eliminate frizz without completely removing the curl, cut your blow dry time in half & help with shine.
But there's so many on the market & the terminology so confusing.
I'm sure you've heard tons of words being thrown around from smoothing treatment, to Keratin, Brazilian & Magic Sleek. Some of these are services & some brands under the umbrella term of "keratin."
The one thing they all have in common is their use of the keratin protein to achieve their results. What makes them different is what other ingredients they include & how the service is completed.
Let's break down the most popular three & hopefully help you decide which is right for you.
Strength - In my humble opinion, the Keratin Complex will often leave the hair looking the straightest so it's best for thicker, curlier hair that is more resistant to treatments, or for someone looking for more of a flat ironed look. You may get the straightest appearance but the least shiny & conditioned looking. Also the Keratin Complex is pretty much a one size fits all approach to treatments & not very customizable.
Amount of Time in Salon - This is one of the lengthier services because of how it processes & the amount of times it needs to be flat ironed so be prepared for a lengthier time in the salon... depending on the length & fullness of your hair it could be upward of three hours. So bring a snack & your cell phone charger, or be prepared to fall into a flat iron coma.
Cost - As you may have guessed, because you are taking up a chunk of a stylist's work day, this is one of the pricier options.
Length - Your hair should stay smooth for approximately 3 months depending on your hair's porosity & your lifestyle. If you're spending your entire summer in the pool, ocean or lake & are washing your hair every day, it will certainly last less.
Aftercare - Okay, here is where Keratin Complex is a bit of a bitch. You cannot wash your hair or get it wet, put it in a ponytail, put sunglasses on your head or anything else that may put a dent in your hair for a full 72 hours... not so much fun. You can color your hair immediately before the service, but cannot color it after for a full 14 days. You also must use their coordinating shampoo & conditioner, or a sulfate free option. The treatment will just wash out over time... you won't have the nasty regrowth you would have with a chemical straightener.
Safety - The Keratin Complex seems to be a safe option.
**I should also mention that they offer a Keratin Express which is also an amazing option for someone who wants the result of the Keratin Complex for a shorter amount of time.
Strength - In my findings, I think the Brazilian gets the hair very smooth but is not quite as straight as the Keratin Complex. It completely kills the frizz though & leaves the hair looking more shiny & conditioned. One amaaaazing aspect of the Brazilian is that it can be customized to the client's needs, without compromising the results. For example, if a client has a fragile hairline, but still desperately wants lift at the crown, or wants it as straight as possible, you can tweak the amount of smoothing solution you use, the temperature of your flatiron, or how many swipes of the flat iron you do, to get the client the exact result you want. So basically you can work with your stylist to get your own individual results. Which is a pretty great feature.
Amount of Time in Salon - The Brazilian requires no processing time & not as small of sections when flat ironing, so this service tends to go much quicker.
Cost - Because of the smaller amount of time in the salon, the Brazilian tends to be less expensive.
Length - Same as Keratin Complex.
Aftercare - Here is where the Brazilian shines like a star. You completely bypass the 72 hour torture period & just go about your life with fabulous hair. You still need to wait 14 days for color again, & the company strongly suggests their shampoos, etc. for best results... but again sulfate free at the minimum.
Safety - This is where Brazilian gets a bad rap. The Brazilian has formaldehyde-like ingredients that can be a cause for concern over repeated exposure. So make sure you're getting it done in a well ventilated area & a mask wouldn't hurt. But if you're getting it done only a few times a year it should be fine. It's more of an issue for the service provider who is being constantly exposed.
P.S. You can head over to my instagram to see me do a full Brazilian Blowout!
Strength - Magic Sleek is the newest of the options, but in my experiences it operates kind of in-between the other two previously mentioned options - not quite as strong as the Keratin Complex, but stronger then the Brazilian, leaving the hair with similar shine.
Similar to the Brazilian, Magic Sleek can be totally customizable to the client which is huge plus.
Amount of Time in Salon - Now we're going back to Keratin Complex territory.... this service is a little longer & much more extensive than the Brazilian.
Cost - The extra time required makes it cost a little bit more than the Brazilian on average.
Length - Here is one of the areas the Magic Sleek really goes above & beyond! The results last much longer... closer to 6 months, depending on your lifestyle!
Aftercare - Same as the other two in terms of waiting on color, using sulfate free shampoo, but with the Magic Sleek you can do as much swimming & fun summer activities as you'd like after 10 days of having the service done. Which is a major A+ considering the average person is getting the service done specifically to get them through the summer months.
Safety - Here's another way they separate themselves. Magic Sleek claims to have no formaldehyde or any derivative of a chemical that can be of any concern... so that's a definite pro.
**Pro Tip - Never schedule any of these treatments immediately before a big event. No matter what anyone tells you, your hair may feel a bit flat & lifeless for a week or two at first. And no one wants limp hair on their big day.
So there you have it. Send me an email or leave a comment with any questions. I'd love to assist you in choosing a treatment! And again, we haven't all had the exact same experiences... these are just my opinions based on someone who has been doing smoothing treatments for 15 years.
CHEERS - Hal