Straightening curly hair can be a difficult process. Using blow dryers, straightening irons and other pieces of equipment can be quite time consuming, and the results are only temporary. Many women and men have turned to keratin treatments to tame their curly hair because of its smoothing and softening effect, which can leave hair much straighter than its natural state. It's important for individuals considering these treatments to understand that they will last for a significant period of time. While it is possible to get natural curls back after a keratin treatment, the process will require some work and a little bit of patience.
Wash your hair. Individuals who receive a keratin hair treatment are typically restricted to washing their hair just twice a week or less often. To remove the chemicals used in the treatment and promote the return of natural curls, wash your hair much more frequently. Washings should occur at least once -- if not twice -- per day to ensure the best results.
Use the right shampoo. After keratin hair treatments, individuals are instructed to use specific shampoos that do not contain sodium chloride. Sodium chloride is often used in "clarifying" shampoos, as it has been found to be quite effective at removing added dyes, chemicals, and other man-made products from the hair shaft. Washing your hair with shampoos and conditioners containing this ingredient can therefore be an effective way to get your natural curls back.
Have patience. Depending on your hair's texture and condition, keratin treatments may last anywhere from eight to 20 weeks. While it may be difficult to wait this long for hair to return to its natural state, it is the only sure-fire way to get your natural curls back.
Keratin hair treatments have recently come under scrutiny due to the claim that they contain formaldehyde, a chemical identified by the Department of Health and Human Services as a possible carcinogen. Some professional stylists claim that the amount of formaldehyde used in the treatment is not enough to cause harm, but others insist that any exposure can be significant and life-threatening. Because of this, individuals who have a family history of certain types of cancer, such as nasopharyngeal cancer, sinonasal cancer or myeloid leukemia, or who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid keratin procedures.
Rolando Vera is an exercise physiologist working in cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation in San Antonio, Texas. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for several years and holds a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology.