Hair Care Tips Can A Straightening Iron Be Used On Keratin-treated Hair? By Marilyn Atkins Posted on August 29, 2023 0 You’ve just got a fantastic keratin treatment done, and now you’re wondering if you can still use your trusty straightening iron. Well, the answer is not as simple as a yes or no. In this article, we’ll explore the possibilities of using a straightening iron on keratin-treated hair and help you understand the do’s and don’ts to keep your hair healthy and fabulous. So, before you reach for that flat iron, let’s uncover the truth behind this haircare dilemma. Understanding Keratin Treatment What is Keratin Treatment? Keratin treatment is a popular hair straightening method that helps to reduce frizz, tame unruly hair, and create smooth, shiny strands. It is a semi-permanent way to straighten hair and can provide long-lasting results. The treatment involves applying a keratin-based solution to the hair and then using heat to seal it in, resulting in sleek and manageable locks. How does Keratin Treatment Work? Keratin is a protein that is naturally found in hair, skin, and nails. The treatment works by infusing additional keratin into the hair, reinforcing the natural protein structure and creating a protective layer. This helps to smooth out the hair cuticles, reducing frizz and making the hair more resistant to humidity. The heat from the straightening iron or flat iron used during the treatment helps to seal in the keratin, leaving the hair smooth, shiny, and more manageable. Benefits of Keratin Treatment Keratin treatment offers several benefits for those who desire straight, smooth hair. Some of the key benefits include: Frizz reduction: Keratin treatment helps to control frizz and flyaways, even in humid conditions. This makes it easier to manage and style your hair. Time-saving: With keratin-treated hair, you can spend less time styling your hair every day. The treatment can help to cut down on drying and styling time, leaving you with more free time. Long-lasting results: Unlike temporary hair straightening methods, keratin treatment can provide long-lasting results. Depending on your hair type and the product used, the effects can last for several weeks to a few months. Enhanced shine and smoothness: Keratin treatment helps to improve the overall texture of the hair, making it look shinier, smoother, and healthier. Effects of Heat on Keratin-Treated Hair Damage Potential of Heat Styling While the heat used during a keratin treatment is necessary to seal in the product and achieve the desired results, excessive or improper use of heat styling tools can have damaging effects on keratin-treated hair. Excessive heat can cause the proteins in the hair to break down, leading to dryness, brittleness, and even breakage. Impact on Keratin Treatment Results High heat can also affect the longevity of the keratin treatment. Using excessive heat or a low-quality straightening iron can cause the keratin to break down more quickly, resulting in the treatment’s effects wearing off sooner than expected. This can lead to frizz and loss of smoothness. Precautions to Take To minimize the risks of heat damage and ensure the longevity of your keratin treatment, it is important to take certain precautions when using straightening irons on keratin-treated hair: Use a high-quality straightening iron: Invest in a reputable straightening iron that allows for adjustable temperature settings. Look for one that has ceramic or tourmaline plates, as these materials distribute heat more evenly and protect the hair from excessive damage. Use heat protectant products: Before applying heat styling tools, always use a heat protectant spray or serum to create a barrier between the hot iron and your hair. This will help to minimize damage caused by the heat. Avoid high heat settings: Start with the lowest heat setting possible and gradually increase it if necessary. Avoid using the highest heat setting, as this can be too intense for keratin-treated hair and increase the risk of damage. Limit the frequency of use: Avoid using a straightening iron on keratin-treated hair every day. Give your hair a break between styling sessions to prevent excessive heat exposure. Choosing the Right Straightening Iron Considerations for Keratin-Treated Hair When choosing a straightening iron for use on keratin-treated hair, there are a few important factors to consider. These include: Adjustable temperature settings: Opt for a straightening iron that allows you to adjust the temperature. This ensures that you can find the right heat level for your hair type and minimize the risk of heat damage. Plate material: Look for straightening irons with ceramic or tourmaline plates, as these materials help to distribute heat evenly and minimize damage. Plate width: Consider the width of the plates on the straightening iron. For shorter hair, narrower plates may be more suitable, while wider plates are often better for longer or thicker hair. Recommended Features Based on the above considerations, some recommended features to look for in a straightening iron for keratin-treated hair include: Adjustable temperature settings with a range suitable for your hair type. Ceramic or tourmaline plates for even heat distribution. Floating plates that adjust to the hair thickness and reduce snagging. Quick heat-up time to minimize waiting before styling. Avoiding Damaging Irons It is important to avoid using straightening irons that can cause excessive damage to keratin-treated hair. Avoid irons with metal or low-quality plates that can create hot spots and uneven heat distribution. Additionally, stay away from irons with fixed temperature settings, as they may not provide the flexibility needed for keratin-treated hair. Guide to Safely Using Straightening Irons on Keratin-Treated Hair Wait Time after Keratin Treatment After getting a keratin treatment, it is crucial to wait the recommended amount of time before using a straightening iron. This timeframe varies depending on the specific product used, but it typically ranges from 24 to 72 hours. Waiting allows the keratin treatment to set and ensures optimal results. Heat Setting and Temperature When using a straightening iron on keratin-treated hair, it is important to use the appropriate heat setting. Start with a lower temperature and gradually increase it if needed. For most hair types, a temperature between 300-380°F (150-190°C) is recommended. However, always refer to the instructions provided by your stylist or the product manufacturer for the best temperature range for your particular treatment. Using Heat Protectant Products To further protect your keratin-treated hair from heat damage, use a heat protectant product before applying any heat styling tools. These products form a protective barrier on the hair, reducing the direct contact between the heat and the hair shaft. Spray or apply the heat protectant evenly throughout your hair, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends where the hair is the most fragile. Sectioning and Styling Techniques When using a straightening iron on keratin-treated hair, it is important to section the hair and work in small sections. This ensures that each section receives equal heat distribution and allows for more precise styling. Start from the bottom layers and gradually work your way up to the top. Use smooth, steady movements without clamping the iron too tightly or pulling on the hair. Frequency of Use To minimize heat damage and maintain the longevity of your keratin treatment, avoid using a straightening iron on a daily basis. Give your hair a break and opt for alternative heatless styling methods, or limit straightening to a few times a week. Overuse of heat styling tools can lead to dryness, breakage, and a decrease in the effectiveness of the keratin treatment. Alternatives to Straightening Irons Blow-drying with a Round Brush One alternative to using a straightening iron on keratin-treated hair is blow-drying with a round brush. This method helps to create volume, eliminate frizz, and smooth out the hair without the need for excessive heat. To achieve the best results, start by applying a heat protectant product and then blow-dry your hair using a round brush. Focus on lifting the roots to create volume and sweep the brush through the hair to create a smooth finish. Finish off with a blast of cool air to set the style and enhance shine. Using a Curling Wand Using a curling wand can also be a great alternative for achieving different hairstyles without using a straightening iron on keratin-treated hair. While it may seem counterintuitive to use a curling wand for straightening purposes, it can actually create loose waves or natural-looking curls that give the illusion of straighter hair. To achieve this style, start by applying a heat protectant product and then wrap small sections of hair around the curling wand, holding for a few seconds before releasing. Focus on the mid-lengths and ends of the hair to create soft waves or curls. Finish with a lightweight hairspray to hold the style in place. Using Flexi Rods Flexi rods are another heatless alternative for achieving straighter-looking hair without a straightening iron. These flexible rods can be used to create natural waves or curls, while also helping to smooth out the hair and reduce frizz. To use flexi rods, start with damp hair and apply a styling product that provides hold and helps to define the waves or curls. Twist small sections of hair around the flexi rods, starting from the ends and working your way up towards the roots. Leave the rods in the hair until it is completely dry, either by air-drying or using a hooded dryer. Once dry, remove the rods and gently finger-comb the hair to create soft, natural-looking waves. Trying Heatless Straightening Methods Heatless straightening methods, such as using hair wraps, roller sets, or braiding damp hair, can be effective in achieving straighter-looking hair without the use of heat styling tools. These methods require some patience and preparation but can help to maintain the health and integrity of keratin-treated hair. To achieve straighter hair using heatless methods, apply a smoothing or straightening product to damp hair. Section the hair and wrap each section tightly around the head using a hair wrap or roller. Alternatively, you can braid damp hair tightly and allow it to dry overnight. Once the hair is completely dry, remove the wraps or braids and gently comb through for a smoother, straighter appearance. Maintaining and Extending the Keratin Treatment Caring for Keratin-Treated Hair To maintain the results of your keratin treatment and prolong its effects, it is important to follow a proper hair care routine. Some tips for caring for keratin-treated hair include: Use sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners: Sulfates can strip away the keratin and natural oils from the hair, so opt for gentle, sulfate-free hair products that are specifically formulated for keratin-treated hair. Avoid excessive washing: Washing your hair too frequently can cause the keratin treatment to fade more quickly. Try to wash your hair every two to three days, or as recommended by your stylist. Patience with the treatment: Avoid washing your hair or engaging in any strenuous activity that may cause excessive sweating for the recommended timeframe after the keratin treatment. This allows the product to fully set and ensures optimal results. Using Suitable Hair Products Using hair products that are specifically formulated for keratin-treated hair can help to maintain and enhance the effects of the treatment. Look for products that are labeled as “keratin-safe” or “keratin-enhancing.” These products are designed to be gentle and nourishing to the hair while prolonging the smoothness and manageability. Avoiding Chlorine and Salt Water Chlorine and salt water can be damaging to keratin-treated hair, causing dryness and fading of color. If you plan on swimming in a chlorinated pool or the ocean, it is important to protect your hair. Consider wearing a swim cap or apply a leave-in conditioner or hair oil before swimming to create a protective barrier. After swimming, rinse your hair with clean water to remove any chlorine or salt residue, and follow up with a deep conditioning treatment to replenish moisture. Benefits of Regular Trims Regular trims are essential for maintaining healthy-looking hair and prolonging the effects of the keratin treatment. Trimming removes split ends and helps to prevent further breakage, ensuring that your hair remains smooth, shiny, and manageable. Consult with a stylist to determine the frequency of trims that is suitable for your hair type and desired length. Prolonging the Treatment’s Effects To extend the lifespan of your keratin treatment, consider using at-home keratin treatment kits or touch-up products. These products contain the same or similar ingredients as professional salon treatments and can help to refresh the keratin in your hair between salon visits. It is important to follow the instructions provided with these products and use them in moderation to avoid overexposure to keratin or potential product buildup. Risks and Potential Side Effects Burns and Heat Damage One of the key risks associated with using a straightening iron on keratin-treated hair is the potential for burns and heat damage. It is crucial to use the straightening iron safely and avoid excessive heat exposure to prevent burns, hair breakage, and other heat-related injuries. Fading or Altering Color Treated Hair Keratin treatments can alter the color of color-treated hair, especially if the treatment is not done by a professional or if the hair is improperly maintained afterward. It is important to discuss your hair dye history and expectations with your stylist before proceeding with a keratin treatment. Chemical Reactions and Hair Breakage In some cases, individuals may experience unexpected chemical reactions to the keratin treatment solution, resulting in hair breakage or scalp irritation. It is important to discuss any existing allergies or sensitivities with your stylist before undergoing a keratin treatment to ensure that the products used are suitable for your hair and scalp. Consulting a Professional Stylist Expert Advice on Heat Styling with Keratin Treatment If you have any concerns or questions regarding the use of heat styling tools on keratin-treated hair, it is always best to consult with a professional stylist. They can provide expert advice based on your hair type, the specific keratin treatment you have received, and any other unique factors. Personalized Recommendations A professional stylist can also provide personalized recommendations for the most suitable tools, products, and techniques to use when styling your keratin-treated hair. They can assess the condition of your hair, address any specific concerns, and tailor their recommendations to ensure optimal results and minimal damage. Professional Styling Options If you prefer to leave the styling to the professionals, many salons offer professional styling services for keratin-treated hair. These services can help you achieve a variety of styles without the need for at-home heat styling. Whether you want sleek, straight hair, bouncy curls, or voluminous waves, a professional stylist can deliver the desired results while minimizing the risks associated with heat styling at home. Frequently Asked Questions Can I Straighten Keratin-Treated Hair Immediately? No, it is not recommended to straighten keratin-treated hair immediately after the treatment. It is essential to wait the recommended amount of time, typically 24 to 72 hours, to allow the keratin treatment to fully set and achieve optimal results. Can I Use a Regular Straightening Iron? While you can use a regular straightening iron on keratin-treated hair, it is important to choose one with adjustable temperature settings and quality ceramic or tourmaline plates. Regular maintenance and proper heat protectant products are crucial to minimize heat damage and maintain the integrity of the keratin treatment. How Often Should I Straighten Keratin-Treated Hair? To minimize heat damage and maintain the effects of the keratin treatment, it is recommended to limit straightening sessions to a few times a week. Avoid excessive heat exposure and give your hair time to recover between styling sessions. Can I Swim in Chlorinated Pools with Keratin-Treated Hair? Swimming in chlorinated pools with keratin-treated hair should be approached with caution. Chlorine can be drying and damaging to the hair, especially if it is already weakened by chemical treatments. Consider protecting your hair with a swim cap or applying a water-resistant leave-in conditioner before swimming. Can I Curl Keratin-Treated Hair? Yes, it is possible to curl keratin-treated hair using heat styling tools or heatless methods like flexi rods or curling wands. However, it is important to adjust the temperature settings and use heat protectant products to prevent excessive heat damage. Conclusion Using a straightening iron on keratin-treated hair is possible when done with care and proper precautions. It is important to understand the effects of heat on keratin-treated hair, choose the right straightening iron, and follow a safe and suitable styling routine. Consulting with a professional stylist can provide personalized recommendations and ensure the best results while minimizing the risks of damage. By understanding the benefits, risks, and alternative styling methods, you can confidently maintain and extend the effects of your keratin treatment, enhancing the beauty and manageability of your hair.