How Does a Keratin Treatment Work?
Keratin is a naturally occurring protein in our bodies that makes up a large amount of our skin, hair, and nails. Keratin can be hard, like our nails or animals claws, or it can be soft and malleable like hair. Although the keratin cells are dead by the time they are visible on your body, it is still essential that they are cared for.
Keratin is vital for the health of the delicate tissues it covers. Taking care of the keratin proteins and regulating their growth while they are still active in your body promotes healthy hair, skin, and nails. Adequate nutrition high in vitamin A and vitamin D supports healthy growth of keratin inside your body which results in a more robust growth of skin, hair, and nails.
The keratin protein makes up about 95% of our hair, so healthy keratin production is essential to beautiful, shiny hair. Over time the keratin that makes up your hair may become damaged and broken down by environmental factors, products, and styling routines. Once keratin is visible outside the body, it can no longer be repaired by diet and nutrition, so other routes of protection and repair are necessary.
Hair damage is caused by a number of factors, but no matter the cause most hair damage results in the same outcome; breakage. Each hair strand has three layers. The medulla is a honeycomb keratin structure with air spaces inside that make up the center of each hair strand.
The cortex gives flexibility and stretching strength to hair and contains melanin granules, which give hair its color. The cortex is made from tiny fibers of keratin running parallel to each other along the length of the hair shaft. The cuticle is made from 6 to 11 layers of overlapping semi-transparent keratin scales. Someone with thick, coarse hair will have more overlapping layers of cuticles than someone with fine hair. When hair gets damaged these scales start to peel back, exposing the cortex and allowing it to dry out. This peeling can cause split ends, breakage and frizz. Dry hair is a common problem because it has so many causes. Heat from styling or the environment, over coloring your hair without proper caution, lightening your color, and even some products can also dry out your hair.
How To Avoid Hair Damage
Avoiding damage to your hair is not always 100% possible, many everyday habits can take its toll, but taking precautions can help. Always be sure you are using quality hair products from your shampoo to your hairspray. Quality, reputable hair product manufacturers do not sell products to many distributors that are not licensed stylist, so be sure you are getting your products from an authorized distributor. Also, be sure to choose products designed for your hair type and styling needs. A heat protectant and a serum should be a daily essential in your hair routine as they will help protect your hair from environmental factors as well as styling.
Repair Damaged Hair
The only real solution to repairing hair that has been damaged at a molecular level is to replenish the keratin protein itself as well as utilizing bond rebuilding technology.
Bond rebuilders utilize a specifically engineered co-polymer combined with a high-purity targeted delivery system. This scientifically advanced system reattaches and builds the bonds that make up the cellular membrane complex, helping prevent the loss of cuticle and cortex cells responsible for supporting the inner structure of the hair. This breakthrough technology dramatically reduces breakage and help to rebuild compromised hair. Once the bonds have also been replaced in the hair structure they will never wash out. Those new bonds will be in your hair until you either cut off your hair or break it back down again. Bond rebuilders are the only solution that actually repairs hair. Just doing a deep conditioner will help with the overall feel of the hair but will not repair the hair.
There are many deep conditioning treatments available on the market today that can rehydrate your hair, but we have seen that best results come when they are paired with Keratin treatments that help lock the moisture into the hair. Keratin treatments work by replenishing the hair’s keratin proteins to smooth the natural occurring scales back down into position and filling the gaps of lost keratin where the cuticle is exposed. This is why they are called “Smoothing Treatments”, they smooth your hair back into place on a molecular level.
Although Brazilian Blowout is just one type of treatment in a world of 1000's of smoothing treatments its brand name is often used to describe all types of treatments, from protein treatments to Keratin based treatments. It all boils down to the fact that people love the Brazilian Blowout!
So What Is a Brazilian Blowout?
The Brazilian Blowout is a protein based hair smoothing treatment and system that is designed to reduce frizz, minimize bulkiness and reduce curl up to 3 levels while maintaining your natural hair volume. Using animo acids the Brazilian Blowout coats each strand of hair in a protein that smooths out damaged cuticles, giving the look and feel of healthy smooth hair.
The Brazilian Blowout differs in a Keratin Treatment in this way. With Keratin based treatments the Keratin is designed to go under the damaged cuticle and hold them down vs coating the hair to force them down, as you can see below.
The biggest benefit to a Brazilian Blowout is that there is no down tie after your treatment like some Keratin Treatments. You can wash, style and even put up your hair as soon as you leave the salon. Many clients and stylist also enjoy the customizable flexibility of the Brazilian Blowout treatment that allows it to be customized to meet your hair goals if they aline with something the Brazilian Blowout can offer.
If your stylist recommends the Brazilian Blowout to meet your hair goals you will want to discuss proper long term home care of your hair, as with any smoothing treatment. Like all smoothing treatments the Brazilian Blowout works best and last longest if cared for properly. We have provided extensive directions here for your home hair care: Brazilian Blowout FAQ - Caring For Your Brazilian Blowout
The Pure Brazilian is not manufactured by the Brazilian Blowout brand but it is a protein based treatment like the Brazilian Blowout so we include it here.
Pure Brazilian is another completely customizable treatment for different hair types that is completed in just 90 minutes!
The Pure Brazilian uses proteins to rejuvenate hair and make your color shine for weeks to come. The Pure Brazilian’s Original Reconstructor Solution is designed to meet the needs of those with curly or thick hair as it is stronger and reduces volume and bulk.
We want to note that this treatment is best suited for clients with very particular hair goals and you should consult your stylist on what treatment is best for you.
The number one factor a stylist should consider when helping you choose a smoothing treatment is your hair type. Every Keratin treatment formula will react differently based on your hair type. So understanding your hair type, listening to your hair goals and having extensive experience with a wide range of treatments is essential. If you have a tight curl and you are looking to achieve straighter hair with less styling time, your stylist needs to understand what type of Keratin Treatment can reach that level of smoothing.
Another critical factor to be taken into account is your hair history. Were you bleach blonde last summer but now a dark brown? Knowing these details helps experienced stylist understand the cause and extent of the damage to your hair. Understanding how different treatments, products, and color affect your hair type tells an experienced stylist a lot about what they need to do to achieve healthy, strong hair. Before getting a Keratin Treatment be sure to find a stylist that is highly experienced in these treatments and understands the complexity of repairing your hair.
Most of these products contain no keratin or any other ingredients that affect the protein in your hair. They also have no scientific evidence backing the claims made on their bottles and do not deliver the results they promise. Do not fall for misleading labels that contain phrases like “keratin repair” or “pro-keratin.” See our blog post here about buying products for home hair care.
Here at The Smoothbar we believe that quality service and client education go hand in hand. Our blog is designed to provide clients with the most recent information in the hair smoothing industry. Directly from our highly training and specialized staff.