Brazilian Keratin treatments are an extremely effective (and controversial) way to straighten hair. Despite claims of "restructuring" the hair's composition, it is not a permanent treatment and can be virtually eliminated with shampoo and sodium products. Shampooing and conditioning with products that contain sodium should effectively rid your hair of the treatment after up to two weeks.
Washing Out Brazilian Keratin
The effects of Brazilian Keratin treatments normally last between two and six months, depending on how often you wash your hair. To get the treatment out of your hair quicker, start washing. Shampoo your hair as often as you can, without over-washing. This is normally no more than once a day for straight or wavy-haired people and about every other day for curly and kinky-haired people. Choose a shampoo that is gentle (since you'll be washing more often than is advised with this treatment), but still gets the job done. The active ingredient in most commercial shampoos is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or some similar composition, and is great because the sodium breaks down the keratin. Some shampoos are sulfate-free, which is normally a good thing for your hair, but in this case, stay away from sulfate-free varieties.
Other Products With Sodium
Besides shampoo, other hair products also contain sodium compounds, which help to break down the keratin. Sodium is widely used in hair products even though it's known to do more harm than good for many types of hair, especially curly and kinky textures. However it is effective at decreasing the time that keratin treatments are effective, so look for different sodium varieties in your conditioners as well. After washing, comb the conditioner through your hair and allow to sit for up to five minutes before rinsing and styling as usual.
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Whitney Elaine is a freelance writer in the Washington, D.C. area. Besides contributing to Web sites like BusinessWeek.com, AOL and Parents.com, she's worked for magazines like "Essence," "Heart & Soul" and "Sister 2 Sister." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in print/online journalism from Howard University and has been writing for since 2004.