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Keratin Protein and its Use in Hair Treatment

Mayuri Kulkarni
Use of artificially manufactured keratin protein for straightening hair is in trend. Know more about this protein and how it is used in hair treatments.
Keratin protein is basically a family of tough and insoluble proteins that form a protective coating like fur, feather, wool, claws, nails, etc. in mammals and birds. This protein is found in large quantity in our hair, and helps to keep it strong and pliable. Almost 88% of our hair contains keratin. It is an important component that helps to gain the original texture, when hair is damaged.
The keratin protein structure is held together by chemical bonds known as cysteine bonds. These bonds are amino acids that help to attain the flexible and durable structure of keratin. The factor that determines the level of curliness of someone's hair is the number of cysteine bonds.
People who have large amount of keratin protein have silky, soft and straight hair, while those who do not have it in sufficient quantity have dry, frizzy and curly hair. For such people, keratin protein hair treatment, can prove to be useful.

What is Keratin Protein Hair Straightening?

Keratin protein hair straightening is also known as Brazilian keratin treatment. It is beneficial for people who do not have naturally straight or silky hair. It is preferred over other straightening methods which use flat iron.
The substance used in this technique contains hydrolyzed keratin protein obtained from the hooves of animals, feathers of birds or even from sheep wool. It comes in three basic varieties. The first one is complete natural keratin protein, while the other two contain 2% and 4% formaldehyde, respectively.
The last option is used for very frizzy and extremely unmanageable hair. You can choose any one of these three options.

The Process

Now, the process of keratin protein hair treatment starts with thorough washing of hair. After which, the hair stylist will apply the keratin protein to all the parts of the head, and then blow dry the hair. Then each and very strand of hair is flat ironed. This step helps to infuse the keratin into the hair.
This treatment is quite lengthy, and you must not wash your hair for the next 48 hours. Later, the hair is washed with a salt-free or sodium-free shampoo. You can also use shampoo products that are specially made for keratin protein-treated hair. The final result is smoother, shinier, and frizz-free hair.

Are there Any Side Effects?

Just like any other hair straightening treatment, it has certain side effects. The effect does not long last, and you may find your hair going back to its original texture.
The main caution is the use of formaldehyde. It is one of the carcinogenic chemicals and hence, there are risks of getting cancer. Burning of eyes and breathing difficulty are some more side effects that may be experienced. This treatment is very expensive and you may have to spend several dollars for the same.
This was a summary on keratin protein treatment, its procedure and potential side effects. It is recommended that you make a detailed search of all the information before going for this permanent hair straightening technique. Also, make sure that you have approached the right hair stylist who has got enough experience.