The Everything Guide To Hair Keratin Treatments

For those of us constantly battling frizzy hair, ‘Brazilian blow-dry,’ keratin treatments have become as much of a go-to as waxing. If you've yet to try it, here's what you need to know first, as well as the best places to give it a go…


Do Your Homework First

“Keratin treatments are generally deemed safe now, but it’s still key to do your homework and ask your stylist for a thorough consultation beforehand,” explains Hari’s Creative Director, Craig Taylor. “You should also consider your hair type and how long you want the treatment to last, as different keratin treatments have different strengths and effectiveness. It’s important to be realistic too – often you need a stylist’s view to understand what is achievable and ensure you get the best results.” 

Accept Styling Is Still Required

“Yes, it will minimise your styling time and tame unruly hair, but don’t expect to wake up with an instant blow-dry every day,” says Headmasters Creative Ambassador, Jonathan Soons. “As keratin treatments were developed to control and tame frizzy hair, it’s still necessary to do some basic maintenance to keep strands even and smooth – it won’t require huge effort, but it’s worth bearing in mind and managing your expectations.” 

Avoid Certain Shampoos 

“Your stylist should tell you what to avoid post treatment, but generally speaking, try to steer clear of shampoos with sulphates and sodium chloride,” adds Craig. “These can deplete the hair and the scalp’s natural oils, in turn, destroying the keratin coating treatment. It’s also essential to wash your hair less frequently, and avoid getting it wet within the first 48 hours. This is because you need to ensure the keratin has taken properly – and the same goes for heat styling.” 

Don’t Assume It’s Bad For Your Hair

“It’s worth noting keratin treatments aren’t for everyone, and usually they’re more appropriate for those with frizzy, coarse hair,” adds Jonathan. “Keratin is a natural ingredient of human hair, so it can be a good option for those using colour treatments as it makes them stronger and appear thicker, too. That being said, every time you have a treatment, hair does become more brittle and prone to breakage, so save it for a special occasion or when you feel you need it most. Try and limit yourself to no more than three a year, if possible.”

Know All Your Options

“The different types of Keratin treatments are based mainly on hair type, the desired result and the amount of time you want the treatment to last,” says Craig. “Generally, there are three options to choose from. These include: Express Keratin, Intense Keratin and Nano Smooth. The first is the lightest option available and it’s best used on hair that just requires frizz control and better shine. This treatment won’t do much to relax curl and lasts roughly five to six weeks, before the hair slowly returns to its natural state. As for ‘Intense’ this is slightly stronger, and better at reducing natural curl and relaxing the hair down, plus, it lasts for two to three months. Finally, Nano Smooth is the strongest and longest process. It requires at least two hours and includes hair being shampooed twice, then left on before the hair is blow-dried and straightened. It’s worth the wait as it lasts three to four months and provides the best results on stubborn, frizzy hair.” 

Recognise There's Something For Everyone

“The reason keratin treatments are so amazing is there is something to cater for all hair types now,” adds Jonathan. “A lot of people have more than one texture in their hair, for example, they can have frizzy hairlines, while the rest is smooth and easy to work with. Because of this, many salons now offer ‘face framing keratin,’ which means it’s possible to have partial areas straightened, like your hairline and crown, or any curls underneath the hair, to balance everything out and keep a consistent texture throughout. It’s a great way of smoothing problem areas, too, so your hair is easier to work with day-to-day. Finally, those who want a short haircut but find their curl and frizz dictates a longer style will find it easier to maintain a good length, and the desired smoothness.” 


Seven keratin treatments rated by the pros and SL:

  1. Headmasters, visit, prices from £150
  2. Zoltan Hair, visit, prices from £100
  3. Gravity, visit, prices from £140
  4. Hari’s Hair Salon, visit, prices on consultation
  5. Edward James, visit, prices from £97
  6. Lockonego, visit, prices from £150
  7. Trevor Sorbie, visit, prices from £230

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