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What Is Keratin And What Does It Do For My Hair

By Oreoritse Tariemi
24 October 2021   |   12:00 pm
Hair types vary almost as much as personalities. And for each hair type, there is a special cross to bear. Some hair types are harder to manage than others, especially dry, lacklustre hair. For many people, the solution to frizzy hair is to straighten every day, for lack of a better option. However, the heat…

Keratin on Hair | Leaf

Hair types vary almost as much as personalities. And for each hair type, there is a special cross to bear. Some hair types are harder to manage than others, especially dry, lacklustre hair.

For many people, the solution to frizzy hair is to straighten every day, for lack of a better option. However, the heat introduced by the heating process will cause more bad than good in the long run.

One of the first steps to getting great looking hair is to understand your hair and what it needs to nourish it properly. Here’s your guide to Keratin treatment in hair care: 

What is Keratin?

Keratin, just like collagen, is a structural protein naturally produced by human cells. Keratin is found in the hair, nails and horns of animals. It is responsible for the strength of these body parts.

Keratin is the go-to guy if you want strong, beautiful hair that doesn’t break or fall off easily. Since Keratin makes hair healthier and stronger, hairstylists and beauticians believe that applying Keratin directly to the hair or ingesting keratin supplements will improve hair quality, and they are right.

Keratin and Its Use in Hair Care

As soon as the hair strengthening abilities of Keratin were identified, a thousand keratin-infused products began to pop up in the market. From keratin-containing shampoos to semi-permanent keratin treatments, they all voiced one promise; no frizz.

With time, we realised that there was a lot that they weren’t saying, especially concerning how the excess of this protein may adversely affect its user and how keratin hair treatments may be carcinogenic.

Seeing as these products are still very much around, the benefits must outweigh the costs. These are some great Keratin treatments for haircare:

  •      Keratin-containing Shampoos

Keratin shampoos come in many variants. They are known to improve the lustre and strength of your hair. They are helpful not only to prevent frizz but also to strengthen your strands and define them. 

Some shampoos have a unique formula that combines the anti-frizz nature of Keratin with moisture-sealing components. This helps your tresses remain properly moisturised but not frizzy. These types of shampoos are indeed an excellent option for dry weather and extremely humid weather. 

Keratin-containing shampoos should be free from sulphates, such as ammonium lauryl sulphate and other similar soaps. The product will also give a better result if it contains no sodium chloride.

  •      Keratin-containing conditioners

Many conditioners contain Keratin. However, the best ones are the ones that do not depend on only Keratin for a positive outcome but leverage on the protein by adding other ingredients that promote smoother, shinier hair. Opt for a conditioner that combines Keratin alongside jojoba oil and shea butter. These two components improve hair health and the quality of your strands.

  •      Leave-in Conditioners

These are usually only recommended in instances of advanced frizz and breakage. Unlike a regular conditioner that is washed off, leave-in conditioners show better results, especially in damaged, broken hair. Keratin treatment is one of the ways to restore strength and vitality to dull-looking, damaged hair.

Some leave-in conditioners, especially the kind that come in sprays, can be used as a quick fix for brittle hair and split ends just before you book that salon appointment. Be sure to apply a few puffs of a keratin-infused leave-in conditioner spray every day. Just like they promise, it works like magic. Your mane becomes tamer and brighter in seconds.

  •      Hair Treatment Masks with Keratin

If an instant solution isn’t your thing, and you’re searching for a more long-lasting option, you may try out hair treatment masks that contain a healthy amount of Keratin.

Hair treatment masks find the problem at the roots. Whether it is a dry scalp or badly managed hair, the mask is able to go deep and treat the root cause. You may not see the effects of a mask after just one application; you need a little more perseverance.

The awesome thing about masks is that they do not just reverse the damage done; they prevent further damage from occurring. Of course, these benefits can only be enjoyed with regular usage, so prepare to add a hair treatment mask to your hair care routine. 

  •      Hair oils with Keratin 

If you’ve noticed more hair strands on your pillow, it’s time for you to get a hair oil or serum. These products directly replenish the moisture lost by your hair. In addition, when fortified with Keratin, they nourish your hair and keep the nutrients locked in. 

These oils and serums result not only in an instant shine but a long-term improvement of overall hair health. They can reduce thinning and withhold moisture, thus banishing frizz for good.

  •      Semi-Permanent Keratin Treatments

If you already have healthy hair, but once in a while, the frizz gets to you, or you’re just plain tired of having to straighten your hair ever so often, consider the semi-permanent solution.

Usually confused with hair relaxing, a keratin treatment involves layering a formulation made of Keratin and chemicals such as methanol, ethylene glycol, formic acid and others. This treatment is typically done by a professional stylist and may be a little expensive. However, it lasts for up to 6 months, so you should definitely go for it if you can afford it.

One precaution to note is that while the formulation may not directly contain formaldehyde, the known carcinogen is definitely released during its application. This can be harmful to both the stylist and the client. The procedure also involves heat styling, which can damage hair. However, it remains a better option than heat styling your hair every other day.


Keratin is generally great for your hair, but a good hair care routine is even better. Instead of dousing your hair in keratin-based products, consider incorporating Keratin into an already existing hair routine, and keep at it. Shinier, tamer hair awaits you.