Just had first Keratin treatment in the U.K.

Hi, I haven't been on nc.com in awhile, of course trust me to come running back after I've commited the curly girl crime of keratin lol! I jest,but I really wrestled with this decision for a couple of years before taking the plunge last Friday. Basically my hair saga, 3a curls that were misbehaving for whatever reason, despite trying every CG trick in the book, my fail safe products just weren't working anymore.

My hair was losing definition and constantly frizzy anyway, so I reached the point where I figured why the heck not, it can't get any worse. I love my curls. I rail against the straightening of curls in Hollywood (I even have a pinterest board of famous curlies). So I definitely feel apologetic and ashamed for caving. BUT alas a groupon voucher came up and I could no longer resist. Keratin is much more expensive in the U.K. Anyway here is my experience:

I went to my appointment confident that I was prepared for it all, the 72 hours of not washing, the straight hair, the fumes, the special shampoos and whatnot I would need to use. I was nervous as I had never been to the salon and it was a voucher but reassured that it was in fact a nice looking salon. The girl doing my hair was quite young (are any hairstylists over 25 these days ugh!), which made me a little nervous. She told me she would be using a product called Liquid Keratin, which I had never heard of brand wise (Keratin is still relatively new here), and that it would be washed out the same day in the salon. They had switched to this product from the three day one fairly recently I think. She was clear in saying that it would not completely straighten my hair and results were varied when I said I wanted to keep my curls. She also told me that it was unnecessary to use sulfate free shampoos, etc., which I found hard to believe but she seemed confident/well versed in the process. (I am still sceptical on this point and have yet to use a sulfate in my hair).

There was another woman getting the treatment done too, she had slightly wavy/coarse hair I think. Her hair came out not bone straight either, but silkier, so I think coarse hair is more resistant as my effects were much more dramatic. So my hair was shampooed, blow dried, and the keratin applied piece by piece. It was then blow dried again, which is when the fumes kicked in. Both stylists wore masks and the windows were opened, I was assured that as I was only being exposed once it wasn't necessary for me but I was told to close my eyes if they stung and given tissues to cover my face, which I did at varying points as the fumes were quite strong at times. I would say if you have any kind of flu or lung ailment avoid this process at all costs, I am asthmatic and admit I felt it in my lungs later on at night as well.

The straightening portion of the process was quite slow going but not as fumey as the blow dry. My hair was bone straight at the end which I expected. I was then immediately shampooed, no conditioner, no nothing. She took the blowdryer to my hair in that haphazard, blow everywhere fashion that would normally result in disaster and...my hair looked almost completely straight and swishy. I WAS surprised by just how straight it was.

I knew that curl retention varies w/the treatment, but I always thought I would be more curl resilient. My curls surrendered defeat rather easily though! This was a mixture of emotions for me. I went into town and wandered around the shops in a daze. I tried on clothes but the person in the mirror just looked odd no matter what I put on - who was that fine haired sorority girl with magazine ad hair?! I had been told I had fine hair, had seen it when straightened, but nothing quite prepared me for the reduction in volume of hair on my head. Luckily I have a lot of hair so there is some movement and waviness, but there is nary a ringlet in sight. I have since used my diffuser on it, added mousse to encourage curl, with much the same result. I took the curling tongs to it and began to look a little more like myself, but without hairspray the curls fell out (Note to self: buy hairspray!!). I fully recognize the irony of trying to inject curl into my hair. I understand that in a month or so my curls will spring back a bit and I will hit the sweet spot of this process (I hope).

What I like about it: It's SOFT. It's like silk, there is no gel stickiness or layering of products to stress about. That said, my inherent need to add product is still there. The top layer has a very mild halo of frizz, I am pretty sure this is as my hair was most bleached there. (I had highlights which I covered with a temporary to hide roots two weeks ago - did not want to add more bleach). Pretty sure the keratin removed much of the dye though as my blonde is peeking through already. I will need to dye it again in a few weeks, the stylist told me normal hair dye is fine but avoid bleach as it can remove the treatment.

She also said the keratin would repair my hair, of this I am still dubious. Superficially it all looks and feels good though. It does feel sort of coated when I rinse in the shower, which takes getting used to. It dries very quickly, with perhaps slightly more wave when I air dry. (It looks a bit like Dana in Homeland's hair I think) I find it peculiar that no matter what I do to it product-wise it looks basically the same (Loose waves, slight frizz on top). I need something to tackle the frizz, it is very minor but it makes my hair look un-even texturally to me.

I feel like my haircut looks a bit off, I am not used to the flat/no volume at the roots look. But bangs look awful on me. I am used to my hair "doing something", being unpredictable, etc. This new hair feels like a character I am wearing (um yeah former acting student), not quite "me", quite nice, very socially acceptable (I do not lie, I am getting much more "looks" from a certain breed of male). But I think I will be happier when the curls spring back a bit more. This hair is easy, but it is is slightly less interesting imo. I am glad I did it, I was at my wit's end with my hair and it is nice to have this strange, effortless thing happening on top of my head. I really would not recommend this to anyone with thin hair, or not prepared to lose major curl formation (if you have fine hair anyway, I know results vary), at least temporarily.

Any other keratin treatment advice on products would be greatly appreciated, I do want to inject some shine/address the surface flyaway/frizz issue if possible? Thanks for reading, I know it was very long but I hope useful!


  • goldencurls8goldencurls8 Registered Users Posts: 115
    Well no replies but in case anyone is interested(?! :-0) I did want to update. Ok So....I was in the somewhat unique position of testing this treatment to the max, in that I went from a cold, un-humid climate (Scotland), to a hot, humid one two weeks in (Florida) on vacation. I knew that chlorine and saltwater might damage the treatment, so I didn't really plan this too well in retrospect! I swam in chlorinated and saltwater many days, although always made an effort to rinse hair immediately after. All of this said the overall impact on my hair I think has been minimal.

    What I will say is that the frizz has worsened, to the point where on a wash/condition day it looks AWFUL. Like fluffy frizzy cotton candy, especially the top layer. I do not think this is solely a result of the swimming as it was visibly frizzy on top within a couple of days of the treatment. I think this is because my hair was probably overprocessed/she used too high a heat on previously lightened top layers. I am trying not to put too much product in though because if I do it looks really lank within a day. But otherwise on day two and three it looks essentially the same as when I had it done. Wavy, vastly de-bulked, pretty decent looking hair with little product. The frizz mostly settles out, why it looks so awful on wash days I haven't figured out. I am only using non-sulphate products and conditioners. What is frustrating to me is how same-y it is. I have tried using a light hand and curl creams, curls in a bottle, etc. It loses curl almost immediately. The roots get greasy (to my eye, but I am not used to remotely lank hair) by day three and I have to start over again.

    I would REALLY appreciate any advice on dealing with this wash day frizz issue. I have tried air drying and blow drying (mostly diffuser). I would prefer not to have to straighten it although this would probably solve the problem. Clearly for me this has not been a cure all, wash -n- go hair "fix" that it seems to be for so many. Nor would I describe it as a disaster either. I'm not sure if I should call the salon, seeing as it's been a month she might just say a little frizz is the hair reverting to its natural texture. Except for me frizz is usually balanced by having a nice curl underneath. Not asking for sympathy here, I went into this fully aware that it could go wrong. Part of me is (insanely) wondering if I have it done again if that will fix the problem/have a better result - I do not want to wreck my hair though. Ok off to see if I can find any advice on the threads, any words of advice appreciated thanks!!
  • wavydazewavydaze Registered Users Posts: 2,065 Curl Novice
    Are you using conditioners with keratin, PTs? I'm not very knowledgeable about bkts at all... but one of my friends had it done and she said she needed to use protein in her products.
    2bc/ f / ii. low porosity roots + normal-high porosity shaft where bleached. normal elasticity.

    Currently using:
    Poo: Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe
    RO: V05 Kiwi Lime
    LI: CJ Smoothing Lotion
    Styler: UFD CM, CJ PP
    PT: CJ Repair Me

    :thumright: hydrolized protein, jelly stylers
    :angry8: guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, sulfates, jojoba oil
    Neutral on cones.

    iherb discount code: CFN646
  • Firefox7275Firefox7275 Registered Users Posts: 3,750 Curl Neophyte
    Keratin straightening NEEDS heat that is way too high to be safe for hair to be effective. The word treatment is really a euphemism for chemical process not akin to a beneficial deep treatment.

    Sorry to be blunt but I think you have tried to deal with the effects of bleach damage by doing a damaging process over the top. Then compounded that with the damage caused by water (hygral fatigue), chlorine, salt and UV light. In general shine and manageability come along with hair health.

    Hair is dead so cannot be repaired, you probably need to grow out or cut off the frizz. You can try proven ingredients that penetrate and patch repair (temporary) - coconut oil, hydrolysed protein, ceramides, 18-MEA and panthenol. And/ or you could try to disguise some of the damage and frizz with liberal application of silicones, but that means using strong shampoos.

    Sulphate free shampoos are far from all created equal, some are as harsh as sulphates. Some of the gentlest surfactants are the glucosides but these won't address build up. Cocoamidopropyl betaine will help clarify and is gentle in an acidic formula. The olefin sulfonates are harsh. Hair that is damaged tends to need a lower pH than virgin hair. Do be sure to chelate (remove salts and chlorine) after your trip.
    2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

    CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
    Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
    Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
    Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
    Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
    Experimenting with: benign neglect

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