To Keratin or Relax? That's the Question.

To Keratin or Relax? That's the Question.

We all know the beauty industry is fast changing. Throughout the years, keratin treatments have become a staple option for salon guest. But what does it really do?

Guest now want the ability to explore the many ways their hair can be worn. Being able to find an option that allows for flexibility, but also complements your lifestyle can be a tough decision. Here are some notable details when deciding between a traditional relaxer or keratin treatment to make things a little easier.

How Do Relaxers Change Your Hair?

Fun Fact: The first documented history of the relaxer was discovered by accident in 1909. African American inventor Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr was trying to find a solution to ease the friction produced by sewing machine in his tailor shop.

Relaxers work by changing the molecular structure of the hair. By breaking down the coils in curly hair and reforming them into straight bonds. Once this process is completed, it can not be undone. Typically, women will select this option if they are looking to greatly reduce the texture and volume of their natural curl pattern, seeking greater protection against humidity vs blow drying natural hair, a quicker shampoo and detangling process, and low maintenance care between appointments.


The Effects of Keratin Treatments

Although keratin treatments can offer almost identical results when compared to relaxers, the process as well as method of application is completely different. Keratin is the protein that strengthens our hair and nails; this treatment replicates that same protein. Instead of changing the molecular structure of the hair, this solution coats and seals the outer layer, also know as the cuticle, of the hair. It fills in any holes caused by damage - whether it be naturally occurring (dryness, etc), chemical (color, etc), or mechanical (hot irons, etc). Once the cuticle is sealed, this treatment also leaves the hair silky, shiner, and stronger than before. Another differentiator is this treatment is temporary allowing for more flexibility between styles.


Knowing When to Chose

I'm running late and my hair just needs to be fly. Sooo....

Knowing where you are in your hair journey and also what you are looking to achieve not only in the short term but ultimately will help guide your decision. Am I looking to wear a short tapered haircut, but don't hair the skills needed to style my hair outside of the salon? If this is so, the chances are high that a relaxer is best. Am I looking to keep most of my volume and thickness, but a busy lifestyle does not allow for high maintenance styling between shampoos? If this is so, the chances are high that a keratin is the winning choice. If you are still unsure, a stylist can help you develop a game plan.

Final Thoughts

When is comes to great hair care, there is no one size fits all. As a hairstylist, it is our job to be knowledgeable about all of the tool in our arsenal. Sitting down with someone you trust is the only way to determine which methods is best for you. Lifestyle, length and texture, past experience, future goals and so many other factors will determine which option is best. Your experienced professional should do a through consultation with you to gain a full understanding your needs and hair goals . This personalized attention to detail, not only helps you weigh the pros but also the cons for each method.

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