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Keratin Hair Treatments: What to Expect
New keratin-based treatments may save you hours each day.
By Denise Mann
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD
WebMD Feature
Longing for smoother, straighter hair? Keratin hair-straightening treatments are a popular option at salons.
If you’re thinking about trying it, you should know this:
• What Is Keratin? It’s a protein that’s naturally in your hair.
• How It Works: A stylist applies a keratin hair-straightening product to your hair and then uses the heat of a flat iron to seal it in. The process takes about 90 minutes or longer, depending on your hair’s length.
• Time-Saving Tresses: If you usually style your hair straight, a keratin hair-straightening treatment could shorten your blow-dry time by 40% to 60%, says hair stylist Henri Borday of New York’s Mizu salon and corporate educator for Global Keratin.
• Farewell, Frizz: You can forget about frizzy hair after treatment. “You could walk out in moist or light rain and your hair won’t change,” Borday says.
• Wait Before You Wash: You shouldn’t wash your hair for three or four days after getting the treatment. That’s because the solution takes time to work, he says.
• Upkeep: After you get a keratin hair treatment, and after the don’t-wash waiting period, you should use sodium-sulfate-free shampoo to help maintain the treatment.
• How Long It Lasts: Expect the results to last two to 2 1/2 months.

“Keratin is more of a restorative treatment,” Borday says. “Even if you have a good hair type, it still strengthens the hair shaft and makes your hair more resilient.”