Hair treated with keratin protein, otherwise known as the "Brazilian blowout," has exploded into popularity. Stylists claim that it can make frizzy, wavy and unmanageable hair smooth and shiny for up to three months. But the treatment is not without its pitfalls, and it requires care on your part to keep hair looking smooth and straight.
Avoid getting your hair wet for three days after the treatment. This means no washing, swimming and sweating as well as staying out of the rain. Water and moisture can wash away some of the protein treatment, leaving marks in the hair, according to Tracy Kollmer with M&M International Inc., a major distributor of keratin protein treatment products.
Leave your hair down and straight for the first few days after your treatment. The keratin is still malleable, so if you put your hair in a ponytail or use a hair clip, it can leave dents in the hair. If you want to tie your hair up, wait until the keratin has been on the hair for at least three days, and then use a soft hair tie for short periods of time.
Purchase a shampoo and conditioning set that is sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate-free. Both forms of SLS are powerful detergents that strip hair of its natural oils. When used with a keratin protein treatment, SLS shampoos can remove the protein and your treatment will not last as long, notes StraightenMyHair.com. Non-SLS shampoos can be found at health food and organic stores.
Sleep on a silk pillow at night. Traditional cotton pillowcases can create friction in the hair, rendering your treatment frizzy and short-lived. Silk creates very little friction, which means a longer-lasting keratin protein treatment.
Blow-dry your hair after washing, but avoid using hair products after the initial shampoo. You don't need root-lifting sprays, mousse, hair spray or gels to style your hair after a keratin treatment. The weight of the protein will hold your hair in the right style without the need for products, and excessive use of products could make your hair look dull and dirty. Instead, blow-dry and run a flat iron over the hair to manipulate your strands into the right style, and your keratin treatment will last longer.
Ask for reapplication after three months when most keratin protein treatments wear off and your hair's natural texture starts to reappear.
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.