Fixing Damaged Hair: Is Keratin Right for You?

Here’s everything you need to know about this quick fix for damaged hair.

Okay, so what the hell is Keratin?

Because before I did my research I always just thought of it as a mystical treatment you could get to make your hair smooth, which also made sure you would never be able to use regular shampoo again. 

And well, it’s kinda that, but not all that, so let’s bust some myths.

Fixing Damaged Hair Is Keratin Right for You?_a woman with long dark hair in a white shirt_1080x900Fixing Damaged Hair Is Keratin Right for You?_a woman with long dark hair in a white shirt_1080x900

So, what is Keratin? And what is a Keratin Treatment?

First things first, Keratin itself is a type of protein. It makes up your hair, skin and nails. 

It’s a protective protein that helps to defend against damage, so some people believe that Keratin products and treatments help to improve the strength and health of your hair. 

In the salon, a Keratin serum is applied to the hair and is then infused with heat. These sorts of treatments last about 6 months, and need to be maintained with the right sort of (Keratin-friendly) products

So yes, you may have to ditch your regular shampoo and conditioner (particularly if they contain sulphates). 

In terms of results, I honestly think they depend on your hair and hair type. People with frizzy, heat damaged hair are, of course, prime candidates. The idea is that the Keratin is absorbed by the hair cuticle, creating an extra strong layer that leaves your hair repaired, smooth and ultra glossy

Our Brand and Content Manager Hannah Furst has road tested an in-salon Keratin treatment, so you can see how it worked for her hair type. 

What exactly does Keratin do for damaged hair? And how can I maintain my hair after a Keratin treatment?

So, all in all, Keratin treatments and products are generally pretty great for damaged hair, working to smooth the cuticle, protect from further damage and lock in moisture

But, while heat damaged, bleached and colour damaged hair are all good-to-go it is important to note that Keratin treatments will most likely lift the colour in your hair. You should also wait 2-3 weeks after a Keratin treatment to colour your hair again. 

After a Keratin treatment, you should avoid washing your hair for at least 48 hours, but we suggest that you ask your hairdresser about specific advice about your particular treatment. 

It’s also best to limit your exposure to chlorine and saltwater, and as I mentioned before, avoid hair care products with sulphates and sodium like the plague. They will strip your hair, wear down that glossy Keratin treatment, and potentially break your heart. 

What we do recommend is caring for your hair with these Keratin-friendly products. Some of them actually contain Keratin, and mimic the effects of a Keratin treatment. They can be used to maintain your hair after a treatment, or as stand alone gloss-giving products.

The Klorane Quinine Keratin Strength Fortifying Spray is a three-month treatment boosted by keratin. Designed to reinvigorate the scalp, this treatment takes care of thinning, lifeless hair that needs a bit of a revamp. This formula also contains quinine, caffeine and B vitamins to promote a healthy scalp. It’s a non sticky or greasy formula that helps to strengthen damaged hair that can be used 2-3 times a week to compliment the results of your Keratin treatment.

If you’re looking for a product that will mimic the results of a Keratin treatment, the Wella SP Luxe Oil Keratin Boost Essence works effectively to deliver soft, silky tresses. Texture is improved with the inclusion of Castor oil, Panthenol, Jojoba oil and Argan oil. By nourishing the hair, this leave in treatment works to strengthen the hair’s Keratin. It also feels lightweight, luxurious and is a complete pleasure to use.

If you’re after a Keratin treatment because your hair is bleached, damaged or just a little parched, then the Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Keratin Intensive Treatment is an excellent alternative. It’s also a great treatment you can use to maintain your treatment if you so desire. Best used on a weekly basis, this ultra-hydrating formula contains Meadowfoam seed oil, Awapuhi extract and Keratin for added strength and shine. It also has Ginger tea scent with floral and woody notes for a spa like deep conditioning experience.

The Biolage Keratindose Advanced Deep Treatment Pack is an advanced treatment designed for broken or brittle hair that has been chemically over processed. Revive your locks over time with this powerful treatment, which strengthens using Keratin and Amino acids. Use this treatment like a mask in place of your conditioner once a week for 3-5 minutes (or up to 15 minutes if your hair is really struggling). This formula will help revive even the most damaged tresses, and is the perfect way to supplement your Keratin treatment.

For a Keratin infused shampoo, you can’t go past the Goldwell Kerasilk Control Shampoo. This Keratin enriched formula leaves hair feeling silky smooth as it helps to improve the overall hair structure. It does contain SLS (a type of sulphate), so it should probably not be used with Keratin treated hair immediately. However, it is a great way to mimic the effects of a treatment between salon visits. Ideal for frizzy, dry and unmanageable hair, this formula can be used daily for the best results.

To plump up your locks, the L'Oreal Professionnel Serioxyl Thicker Hair Serum offers a unique formula designed for fine and thinning hair. Combining Intra-Cylane, Incell and Pro-Keratine, this advanced serum thickens hair, while working to protect it. It’s a daily serum that can be used on wet hair before blow drying. We recommend it for natural or colloured hair that requires a fuller look along with their Keratin treatment. It will help maintain your Keratin treatment and provide improvement to your hair health over time.

If you’re looking for a sulphate free conditioner that can be used to maintain your Keratin treatment, we strongly recommend the sulphate-free VIRTUE Smooth Conditioner. This much adored formula is enriched with an Alpha Keratin 60ku complex, which is ethically sourced from human hair. Not only does this formula have regenerative properties, it is packed with smoothing ingredients such as Shea Butter and Phospholipids. It is perfect for dry, frizzy and damaged hair, with rough cuticles that need smoothing out.

The ALTERNA HAIR Multiplying Volume Shampoo is a sulphate-free, Keratin rich formula that helps to boost limp, lifeless hair. This gently cleansing formula contains Keratin, Panthenol and Biotin to strengthen hair and reverse damage. It’s a bougie, caviar infused formula that works wonders on hair that needs a little extra volume. It will compliment your Keratin treatment beautifully as it fortifies, strengthens and hydrates hair over time with a luxurious Green Tea and Bergamot scent.




Brand and product inclusions are at the sole discretion of Adore Beauty. We do not seek or accept payment from brands or individuals listed in our guides.



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