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Is Keratin Treatment Good for Curly Hair?

If you have curly hair, you know that it can be challenging to keep it looking its best. Curls can be frizzy, dry, and difficult to manage. As a result, many people with curly hair turn to keratin treatments to tame their locks. But, is keratin good for curly hair?

What is Keratin Hair Treatment?

Keratin hair treatments are a popular way to smooth and straighten curly hair. The treatment involves coating the hair with a keratin-based solution and then using heat to seal it in. This can give your hair a sleek, polished look and make it easier to style.

Keratin for Curly Hair

So, is keratin good for curly hair? The answer is yes and no. Keratin can be beneficial for curly hair if it is done correctly. However, if not done correctly, it can damage your hair.

A keratin treatment can help to smooth out your curls and make them more manageable. If your stylist uses the right products and applies the treatment correctly, you should not experience any damage to your hair. A keratin treatment can help to protect your hair from damage.

However, if your stylist applies the treatment incorrectly, it can damage your hair. This is because the chemicals in the products can strip away your hair’s natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle.

Therefore, it is important to make sure that your stylist uses the right products and applies the treatment correctly to avoid damage to your hair.

Before going any further, you might want to read up on the best keratin treatment for curly hair. If you have black afro hair, consider reading our keratin treatment for black hair guide.

How does Keratin Hair Treatment Work?

Keratin hair treatment works by relaxing the bonds between the keratin proteins in your hair. This allows the hair to be straightened or relaxed, depending on the products used and how they are applied.

Before and after keratin treatment on curly hair

The treatment can last anywhere from three to five months, although it may need to be reapplied sooner if you wash your hair frequently or expose it to heat often.

Getting the Best Results

If you are considering a keratin hair treatment, it is important to consult with a stylist who is experienced in performing the treatment. They will be able to advise you on whether or not the treatment is right for your hair type and can help you to achieve the best results.

It is also important to:

  • Use quality products: Choosing quality products is essential for achieving the best results from your keratin hair treatment. Make sure to ask your stylist about the products they use and whether or not they are of high quality.
  • Avoid heat: Heat can damage your hair, so it is important to avoid using heated styling tools for at least three days after your treatment.
  • Wash your hair less: Washing your hair less often can help prolong the treatment results. Try to wait at least three days before washing your hair after the treatment. When you are ready to wash, consider the best shampoos for keratin-treated hair.

Best Keratin Treatments for Curly Hair

  1. Brazilian Blowout: A Brazilian blowout is a popular keratin treatment that can help to smooth and straighten your hair. It is known for maintaining volume and body, making it a good option for those with curly hair.
  2. Keratin Express: Keratin Express is a treatment that can be done in as little as 30 minutes. It is a good option for those who do not have much time to spare but still want to achieve smooth, straight hair.
  3. Japanese Keratin Treatment: The Japanese Keratin Treatment is a form of straightening that uses heat to seal in the treatment. This can give you straight, smooth hair for up to six months. It involves Brazilian treatment followed by a Japanese cuticle sealing.
  4. Soft Keratin Treatment: Soft Keratin Treatment is a gentle form of keratin treatment that does not use any harsh chemicals. It can help to smooth and straighten your hair without causing damage.

Benefits of Keratin Treatment

  • Frizz elimination: One of the biggest benefits of a keratin treatment is the elimination of frizz. A keratin treatment can help smooth it out and make it more manageable if you have curly hair.
  • Shine and softness: Keratin treatments can also help to add shine and softness to your hair. This is because the treatment helps to seal in moisture, leaving your hair looking healthy and hydrated.
  • Damage protection: Another benefit of a keratin treatment is that it can help to protect your hair from damage. The treatment can help replenish lost nutrients and moisture, making your hair less susceptible to damage.
  • Humidity repellant: Keratin treatments can also help keep your hair from frizzing in humid weather. This is because the treatment helps seal in moisture, making your hair less likely to absorb humidity.
  • Speeds up finishing time: If you are the type of person who takes a long time to style their hair, a keratin treatment can help to speed up the process. In addition, the treatment can help to straighten and smooth your hair, making it easier to style.

What Are The Most Common Keratin Treatment Side Effects?

Keratin treatments are generally safe for curly hair. However, you will lose your curls for a while, and you will need a more relaxed after-care routine including washing less often using gentle shampoos and choosing relaxed hairstyles. 

Still, the treatment is a godsend when your hair needs serious detangling to prevent breaking, drying, and any other environmental damage. Other possible side effects can be expected from keratin treatments with formaldehyde and other chemicals, and they include:

a) Respiratory Issues

Some keratin treatments contain formaldehyde, which can be a health hazard.

Formaldehyde is a known respiratory irritant, and it can cause coughing, wheezing, and eye irritation. Choosing a treatment that does not contain large quantities is important.

When applying a formaldehyde-rich keratin treatment, it is best for you and the hairstylist to wear protective gear, including a mask and eye protection to mitigate accidental inhalation cases.

b) Scalp Irritation

Keratin treatments can cause scalp irritation, redness, and burning. In some cases, this can lead to hair loss. Other scalp issues may include flaking, dandruff, and itchiness. Avoid applying the gel or cream directly onto your scalp.

c) Eye Irritation

Formaldehyde is a known eye irritant, and it can cause redness, watering, and burning. If you experience any of these symptoms during or after a keratin treatment, rinse your eyes with water immediately and see a doctor if the irritation doesn’t subside.

d) Skin Reactions

Formaldehyde, glyoxylic acid, and sodium hydroxide can all cause skin reactions such as hives, inflammation, and burning. If you experience these symptoms, wash the affected area with soap and water immediately and see a doctor if the reaction doesn’t subside.

e) Stomach Issues

Any formaldehyde ingestion can cause serious stomach trouble, such as nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In serious cases, organ damage and fatality can occur. If you accidentally ingest any of the chemicals in a keratin treatment, seek medical attention immediately.

f) During Pregnancy

Exposure to formaldehyde has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage, and it’s best to consult your doctor before getting a keratin treatment if you’re pregnant or trying to conceive. Breastfeeding mothers should also avoid these treatments, as accidental formaldehyde ingestion could harm the baby.

How to Choose Formaldehyde-free Keratin Treatments

If you’re concerned about the potential risks of formaldehyde exposure, formaldehyde-free keratin treatments are available. Unfortunately, when buying, many products will claim to be formaldehyde-free, but you might find them listed under different names for the compound, such as:

  • Formalin
  • Formic Aldehyde
  • Methylene Glycol
  • Methylene Oxide

Some products contain preservative compounds that release formaldehyde when they break down, so check the ingredients list carefully before getting treatment.

Best Alternatives to Keratin Treatment 

If you’re looking for a way to style your curly hair without resorting to harsh chemicals, several alternative treatments include:

a) Hot Oil Treatments

Hot oil treatments can help hydrate and condition your hair, making it easier to manage. Made from various natural oils, these treatments can be applied at home or in the salon.

b) Deep Conditioning Treatments

Deep conditioning treatments can also help to hydrate and condition your hair. These treatments are usually applied at the salon, and they can include a variety of different ingredients such as protein, essential oils, and botanical extracts.

c) Use Natural Moisturizers

There are a variety of natural oils and products that can help to moisturize and tame your hair. These include:

  • Coconut oil
  • Almond oil
  • Shea butter
  • Jojoba oil
  • Argan oil

Products containing these ingredients can be found at your local drugstore or beauty supply store.


Successful keratin treatment for curly hair involves choosing the right treatment for your hair type and ensuring that it is done correctly. There are a variety of keratin treatments available, so it is important to choose one that will work best for you. There are also several formaldehyde-free treatments and alternative treatments available.

In addition, understanding all the benefits and potential side effects of a keratin treatment can help you decide whether or not it is right for you. Keratin treatments can be an effective way to style frizzy hair for months with the best after-care routine. However, they can also cause various side effects, which may harm your health.

If you’re concerned about the potential risks, talk to your doctor before getting treatment.

Photo by Tamas Pap on Unsplash

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