How much do you know about keratin? Many salons offer keratin treatments as part of their services menu, but you may have noticed how pricey they can be! Meanwhile, several haircare collections and products include keratin amino acids or keratin oil as a key ingredient. So, what exactly is the difference? Can you skip the expensive salon treatments and instead rely on daily at-home keratin treatments in the comfort of your own shower? Read on to learn the ins and outs of this powerhouse protein— and how to make the most of it.
But First… What is Keratin?
As we shared in this article about keratin, this naturally-occurring protein is found in your hair, skin, and nails. Within your hair, it forms both the exterior protection of the cuticle and the interior structure in the cortex — in other words, it’s super important for healthy, strong hair!
But it’s also easily damaged, especially if you have color-treated hair, fine hair that’s prone to breakage, or highly-porous coarse or curly hair. Heat styling, environmental factors, and chemical processes can also break down keratin, leaving your hair weak and lifeless.
What are Keratin Salon Treatments?
At a salon, a keratin treatment smoothes the cuticle of your hair by applying a liquid keratin combined with chemical preservatives, and then blow drying and flat ironing the hair. Typically, this is touted as a semi-permanent treatment, with results expected to last up to three months.
The downsides? One, a keratin treatment will cost you around $300 — or more. Two, some keratin treatments include formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen for humans. And even if your salon is promoting their treatment as formaldehyde-free, it’s smart to be skeptical. To ensure long-lasting results, after all, the solution requires chemicals designed to break the bonds of the hair. And three, these treatments take a long time — upwards of four hours in the salon chair.
Keratin Strengthening Treatments vs. Keratin Products
There’s good news, though: you can get similar smoothing and strengthening results at home, for a fraction of the cost and none of the concerning ingredients. Although you won’t get results that last months without touch-ups, a daily keratin-infused shampoo or leave-in product will do wonders for your hair.
OK, But Do Keratin Hair Products Really Work?
The answer is… yes! While at-home keratin products won’t be as instantaneous as a salon treatment, it’s an easy thing to add to your regular routine, and one that with time will yield noticeable results. With regular use, your hair will get stronger, softer, and silkier — especially if you invest in a multi-use product. Our keratin-infused shampoo, deep conditioner, and super-hold finishing spray all offer additional benefits beyond the strengthening properties of keratin.
The Best Keratin Shampoo and Products
On the hunt for a great keratin shampoo, keratin-infused leave-in, or other styling products? Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you shop:
- Look for keratin amino acids, hydrolyzed keratin, or keratin oil in the ingredients list.
- Invest in salon-qualities products. Even if a drugstore product lists keratin on the bottle, some of these brands dilute formulas with water, so you don’t get all of the benefits.
- If you have naturally coarse hair, dry hair, or color-treated hair, consider finding a keratin shampoo without sulfates. Sulfate-free formulas are great for these hair types because they moisturize and cleanse without stripping strands of their natural oils.
- Look for other nourishing ingredients in addition to keratin. Our shampoo, for example, also includes panthenol (a highly effective strengthener) and sunflower seed extract (a natural sunscreen that extends the life of color).
With It’s a 10’s professional haircare, you’ll get the strengthening and restoring benefits you need for great hair every day. Explore our Keratin Collection, and try it out for yourself!