Flat Irons for Keratin Treatments

Using the right flat iron is vital for getting the desired results from performing a keratin treatment. The flat ironing stage of the treatment requires a hair straightener with ultra-high heat output. High heat is necessary to seal the treatment and ensure superior shine and a silky smooth finish.

When you use a hot hair iron for performing keratin treatment, it would be best that you have one constructed with titanium plates. Also, make sure to have an iron that heats up to 450°F with easy to read display. An adjustable heat setting is a vital feature that enables you to set the temperature that is appropriate for your hair type.

Why You Should Opt for Titanium Plates?

Titanium plates can reach a very high temperature in just a few seconds. Titanium is inert and will not interact with any hair product. Titanium also provides even heat distribution and retains heat better than ceramics. The titanium plates hold high heat consistently during the flat-ironing stage. This will result in the perfect finish and gives your hair an unbeatable shine.

flat ironing stage of a keratin hair treatment

To activate the keratin in the straightening product, the flat iron should be capable of reaching 450°F. When you are sealing the product into your hair it is important to use a flat iron that can maintain a high temperature without heat fluctuation. Later, you can use the same flat iron to style your keratin-straightened hair. However, for styling purposes, you don’t need to go over 400°F degrees.

Now, you are ready to make a choice among different models of titanium hair straighteners and find the one that suits the purpose of doing keratin treatment.

The following flat irons are worth considering if you are planning to apply the treatment in the comfort of your home.

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Best Flat Irons for Performing Brazilian Keratin Treatment

1. Professional Titanium Hair Straightener by Karma Beautyir?t=softerhair 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B078YD624Y

The ideally sized titanium plates make this hair straightener truly a “one pass” flat iron. It can straighten even super thick hair quickly, leaving it feeling silky smooth. The plates glide smoothly through the hair without snagging, allowing you to straighten your hair with just one pass.

MCH TECHNOLOGY– provides even heat distribution and helps maintain a consistent temperature to prevent hair damage.

Adjustable temperature settings (122°F – 450°F) allow for matching different hair types and different styling options. According to the manufacturer’s information, this appliance is approved for performing Brazilian Keratin treatments and also for styling hair after keratin treatments.

The rounded cool tips make it convenient for curling the hair, while the dual voltage feature enables it to be used worldwide.

The long and durable 360-degree swivel cord allows for comfortable styling by preventing cord entangling.

This pink hair straightener makes for a great gift.

2. KIPOZI Professional Titanium Flat Iron Hair Straightener ir?t=softerhair 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B07211D5GM

Also available at Walmart

This flat iron works just as well as much more expensive, high-end hair straighteners. The wide plates considerably reduce straightening time. Plus, your hair will remain straight all day long without touch-ups.

keratin hair straightening

The temperature ranges from 170°F to 450°F to suit different hair types. It is capable of achieving the high temperature required for performing the keratin straightening procedure. It heats up to 450°F in under two minutes and holds the temperature consistently. The floating plate design prevents your strands from getting pulled or snagged. The plates glide smoothly over the section of hair, straightening it with one single pass.

3. Nano Titanium Glittering Flat Iron by DORISILK

What makes this flat iron stand out is its beautiful design with sparkling rhinestones and the ability to achieve extremely high heat.

1-inch titanium 3D floating plates allow for faster styling with less friction. It can go up to 470℉ in 30 seconds and retain the heat. It is a good choice for performing keratin treatments.

Adjustable temperature settings range from 120 to470℉, making this straightener suitable for all hair types, from fine and fragile to very thick and coarse hair.

4. Brazilian Heat BBH3003 Brazilian Heat After Dark Titanium Keratin-Safe Flat Iron

This straightening iron has a sleek design and extra-long floating plates. It also has a ceramic heater which is gentle on your hair.  The temperature setting range (250°F – 450°F) is ideal for sealing keratin treatments into your hair. You can get close to the scalp without burning your skin.

This flat iron is lightweight and comfortable to hold. The locking feature prevents you from accidentally changing the heat setting during use.

The Brazilian Heat After Dark straightener is safe for use on your keratin-treated hair, but it will also straighten any type of hair, reducing frizz and adding shine to the hair.

A free thermal pouch is included to keep your counter surfaces free from burn marks.

Girl with long straight hair sitting in the cafe

Flat Irons with Keratin-Infused Plates

4. BaByliss PRO Keratin Straightening Iron icon

Available at Walmart

This professional styling tool has exceptionally smooth titanium plates infused with keratin to offer silkier and longer-lasting styling results. This powerful combination conditions your hair while sealing the cuticle and boosting shine.

When used for keratin treatments it easily reaches the required temperature (450°F) to ensure that the treatment is sealed into the hair. The heat is evenly distributed through the plates to ensure smooth and straight results.

BaBylissPRO Keratin Straightening Iron can be used for performing Brazilian Keratin treatments as well as for styling keratin-treated hair. This lightweight flat iron straightens coarse hair and leaves it silky smooth, even if you don’t have a keratin treatment in your hair. It provides sleek, one-pass straightening, keeping it silky and frizz-free until you shampoo.

Flat Irons that Utilize Keratin Capsules

K3 Styling Treatment Iron introduced by Corioliss uses keratin oil capsules that fit directly into the reservoir in the iron body. The iron can be used either with the capsules inside or as a regular flat iron. Heat-activated capsules turn into a conditioning vapor, that restores strength, reduces hair breakage, and improves shine. A package of Keratin Elixr Capsules is included in the packaging and is also available for purchase separately when you run out of the capsules.

Keratin & Argan flat iron by Olyvya is another brand that uses Keratin pills infused with argan oil to protect and condition your hair while you are styling it. This conditioning treatment works best for coarse or thick hair. When you run out of pills, you can purchase refills.

African-American girl with straight hairstyle

Why Should You Use Salt & Sulfate-Free Shampoo after Receiving a Keratin Treatment?

Since keratin treatment is an expensive and time-consuming process, you’ll want to take the appropriate steps to care for your hair by choosing a shampoo and conditioner that will ensure its longevity. To preserve the smoothness of keratin-straightened hair, you should use shampoos and conditioners that are formulated without sulfates and sodium chloride. Before buying any aftercare product, check the label to ensure that the product is compatible with your keratin treatment

Why Should You Avoid Sulfate-Containing Shampoos After Receiving a Keratin Treatment?

Generally, sulfate-based shampoos are not recommended for chemically treated hair. The cuticle of processed hair can easily be lifted due to the action of harsh lathering agents, which leads to dryness and the appearance of frizz. Sulfates can also strip proteins from your hair. Many experts believe that strong sulfates such as sodium laureth sulfate can significantly shorten the longevity of keratin treatment and lead to the appearance of frizz.

Beautyful woman washes the hair in the bathroom

Is Sodium Chloride Bad for Your Hair?

Sodium chloride is used in hair shampoos as a thickening agent because of its ability to increase the thickness of liquid personal care products. However, sodium chloride tends to lift the cuticle and pull moisture and proteins out of hair. Salt can diminish the duration and quality of keratin treatments, so you will need more frequent reapplications. Any product that opens up the cuticles should be avoided after receiving a keratin treatment.

Sodium chloride is not a toxic substance and even some brands of organic shampoos may have salt listed on the label. However, if your hair is chemically straightened, make sure that your shampoo and other hair products are free of sodium chloride.

Keep in mind that salt water also contains sodium chloride and can negatively affect the keratin treatment you have received.

The Purpose of Sulfates in Hair Shampoos

Sulfates are powerful cleansing agents, that are included in hair shampoo formulas to provide better lathering ability. When mixed with water, sulfates effectively lower surface tension in the water, making it easy to wash away oil and dirt from your hair. The most common sulfates in conventional shampoos include SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), ALS (ammonium laureth sulfate), and SLES (sodium laureth sulfate).

SLS and SLES are inexpensive detergents that efficiently remove excess oil from the scalp and hair. However, harsh sulfates in hair shampoos can strip hair of natural oils, leaving your locks prone to frizz and leaving your scalp dry and vulnerable to irritations.

Common Adverse Effects Associated with Sulfates in Hair Shampoos

Although very common in hair care products, sulfates do more bad than good when used as a primary cleansing agent. The following is a list of negative adverse effects associated with sulfates in hair shampoos:

  • The cleaning power of sulfates is overwhelming and can strip the hair of its natural oils, leaving your strands dry and frizzy.
  • Sulfate-based shampoos can compromise the natural moisture balance of your scalp, causing itchiness and redness.
  • Sulfate-based detergents create deposits in hair follicles that may result in hair loss. The damaged follicles have a hard time recovering, and your hair may grow slower than normal.
  • The aggressive cleaning action of sulfate detergents can strip the color from your hair, leaving you with dull and lifeless locks.
  • Sulfate cleaning agents remove good bacteria that are necessary for having a healthy scalp, leaving your skin vulnerable to infections.
  • Sulfate cleansers tend to destroy the protective oil layer of the skin, allowing potentially toxic chemicals to penetrate the deeper dermal layers and accumulate in the body.
  • The negative effects of using sulfate-containing shampoos are not limited to the hair and your overall health. Sulfates in personal care products also pollute our groundwater and the environment.
Woman holding the bottle of salt-free shampoo

Benefits of Using Sulfate-Free Shampoos

Sulfate-free shampoos have become very popular recently as consumers increasingly opt for more natural personal care products. Here are some more benefits of using shampoos without sulfates:

  1. Hair shampoos without sulfates eliminate dirt and excess oil without ruining the skin’s protective moisture barrier.
  2. Natural cleansing agents gently cleanse your strands without stripping their moisture, which helps reduce breakage and shedding.
  3. Using a shampoo without sulfates helps preserve the hair color for longer.
  4. Using sulfate-free shampoos protect your hair against premature aging, reducing the occurrence of gray hair.
  5. Sulfate-free shampoos leave your hair soft and easier to style.
  6. Hair shampoos formulated with mild detergents reduce your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

Final Word

The sulfate-containing shampoos will not ruin the effects of your keratin treatment overnight. However, to stay on the safe side, use shampoos with mild detergents and with natural ingredients. This will be good for your hair and scalp in the long run. Finally, if you want your straightened hair to stay sleek and beautiful, make sure to avoid shampoos with sodium chloride.

young woman with long smooth hair

Introduction to Botox Hair Treatment

Recently, there has been an innovative hair treatment out on the market that’s been garnering a lot of attention. It’s called Hair Botox, and can reverse damage to the hair cortex and hair cuticles while straightening, hydrating, and bringing your hair back to life.

The way that the Botox procedure can wind back the clock for your facial wrinkles, Hair Botox can transform hurt and abused hair back to its lustrous, natural form. With this moisture-injecting procedure, your hair will become healthier, more radiant, and much more manageable.

Don’t let the name of this fool you, though—Unlike Botox injections, this version of the miracle treatment is a little different. It contains no Botulinum and is applied to the hair to work a brand of magic similar to a Keratin treatment, where it penetrates the cuticles and fills in the gaps and breakages. It easily mends tears in the hair follicles, creating sleeker, shinier, and tougher strands.

A model with hair Botox treated hair

What is Hair Botox?

Hair Botox contains a protein-rich formula that fixes the imperfections in each strand of hair. This mixture of proteins, caviar oil, collagen, vitamins, antioxidants, natural acids, and healing agents promises to moisturize, nourish, and restore hair from the inside out. These ingredients will make your hair softer, frizz-free, and less prone to damage.

Did you know that a bad hair day is not just a one-time problem? This is your hair’s way of showing you that it needs immediate help! With all the coloring and styling we do, our hair is crying out. Just using a conditioner is not enough to keep your hair healthy. Hair Botox reverts your hair to its healthiest state by plugging up all the holes, repairing internal damage, fixing the tears, and hydrating your thirsty strands.

As we age, so does our hair. It produces less keratin over time, a protein essential for hair strength. Dying can cause the cuticles to remain open for long periods, which makes hair lose its strength. Hair Botox works through each piece of hair, from root to tip, restoring individual fibers and making your locks smooth.

Who is the Best Candidate? 

A woman with dry hair-that-needs-Botox-hair-treatment

Hair Botox works on all types of hair! Straight hair, curly hair, and any type in between will benefit from this treatment. Everyone deserves manageable hair, and this protein-packed formula delivers noticeable results. Here are a few of the possible reasons why you may need to do hair Botox:

• Your once-lovely locks appear dehydrated and frizzy.
• Your hair looks dull and lifeless.
• White flakes of dead skin appear on your scalp and hair.
• Your hair has recently been bleached, colored, or highlighted.
• Your hair tips are prone to splitting.
• Your hair is badly damaged by frequent heat styling.

What are the Benefits of Hair Botox Treatment?

Hair Botox contains acidic compounds that are safe for your hair and body. There are no harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde that are common in traditional keratin treatments.

This newly popular conditioning mask won’t hurt your hair in any way. Instead, this treatment will give you healthy and beautiful hair for a long time. Botox for hair also protects against dandruff and other scalp conditions and helps reduce hair loss.

The Procedure

First, the hair professional will wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo, to eliminate buildup and open hair cuticles. After sectioning the hair, the stylist will apply the product to the hair and scalp and leave it for approximately 45 minutes.

Once the product is fully absorbed, your hair is washed with a sulfate-free shampoo and blow-dried carefully to avoid any breakage.

The stylist then uses a flat iron to seal the treatment into your hair, which results in silky, shiny, and easy-to-style locks.

Will Hair Botox Make Hair Completely Straight?

Definitely not! This treatment enhances your hair’s natural texture to make it more manageable and radiant.

If your hair is naturally straight it will become shinier and smoother. Heavy curls will become soft, bouncy, and frizz-free. Coarse hair will see an immediate reduction in frizz and the treatment will make dry and brittle hair shinier and healthier.

How Long Do Hair Botox Effects Last?

Botox hair treatment generally lasts between two and four months and is recommended to be re-applied afterward.

You need to follow the instruction for maintenance given by your stylist. Use sulfate-free shampoos, similar to those used after receiving a keratin treatment, to maximize the effects and the longevity of Hair Botox treatment.

Atractive model with hair Botox treatment

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Safe Alternatives to Traditional Keratin Treatments

Keratin straightening treatments have become increasingly popular due to their frizz-fighting abilities and silky, smooth finish. However, many people are still unaware of the possible adverse health effects of exposure to the chemicals that can be found in hair straightening products.

The main issue with the keratin treatments is the formaldehyde vapors that can be released during blow-drying and flat ironing. Although formaldehyde makes the straightening solution more effective, this advantage is not worth the health risk that you and your stylists are exposed to during the straightening process.

The following smoothing treatments are formulated without formaldehyde or formaldehyde donors and are much safer for clients, stylists, and the environment than formaldehyde-based keratin treatments. These innovative smoothing treatments can be customized to your liking and give you more styling flexibility than traditional straightening treatments.

Girl with healthy straight hair

This post contains links to Amazon. The publisher may get paid if You purchase something through the links without additional costs to You.

1. Keratin Cure Gold & Honey Bio Hair Treatment

Keratin Cure Gold & Honey Bio Hair Treatment is a glycolic-based smoothing treatment. It is designed to infuse your hair with powerful moisturizing and shine-enhancing ingredients. It smoothens rough and unruly hair, adds shine, and keeps your locks frizz-free for up to 3 months. It is not supposed to make your hair pin-straight, but it does make it frizz-free, soft, and silky. If your hair is curly, you will get glamorous loose waves. This hair smoothing treatment does not contain harmful chemicals.

How it works:

Keratin amino acids act as crosslinking agents that link the hair’s protein and the added keratin, strengthening hair fibers from the root to the tip.

Silk Protein fills in the gaps in the hair cuticle, reducing porosity and giving a silky feel to the hair.

Behentrimonium Methosulfate is known for its de-tangling, hair thickening, and cuticle smoothing properties.

Hyaluronic Acid nourishes the scalp and moisturizes your hair, improving its softness and shine.

The nourishing blend of organic oils includes coconut, argan, hemp seed, marula, and peppermint oils.

Hair types:

Keratin Cure Gold & Honey Bio Hair Treatment works well on frizzy, unruly dry, damaged, or overprocessed hair.


  • Smoothens your hair and makes it easier to manage
  • Eliminates frizz and leaves hair silky soft
  • Leaves hair hydrated and shiny
  • Rebuilds inner strength and boosts volume
  • Reduces breakage and encourages hair growth
  • Soften your hair’s natural waves
  • Reduces blow-dry time
  • Hair can be washed on the same day of the treatment


  • The product has a strong odor that lingers in your hair.
  • Straightening can make the color lighter, especially if your hair is bleached.

The application and aftercare

The application process takes 2 – 3 hours depending on your hair length and type. You will need a clarifying shampoo, wide-toothed comb, blow dryer, and flat iron that can reach and maintain a temperature of about 450F. For maximum absorption, your hair needs to be clean prior to application. The product comes with detailed instructions on how to use it.

To get optimum results, a licensed hair professional should perform the treatment.

You can wash your hair the same day after receiving the treatment. You can also style your hair the way you want. You are supposed to use sulfate- and salt-free products when washing your hair.

A woman with perfectly straight keratin treated hair

2. Unique Amino Style Keratin Treatment 

This innovative formaldehyde-free keratin treatment product is designed to reduce volume, eliminate frizz, and restore damaged hair. The formula uses a blend of amino acids, sugar cane, and acai extract.

Hair types:

The treatment is compatible with other chemical hair treatments and can be applied to previously straightened, relaxed, or colored hair. However, this treatment can change your hair color to a lighter shade or even leave some brassy tones. To avoid this, it is advisable to dye your hair after, not before the treatment. For your convenience, you can get color service the same day after receiving the Unique Amino Style Treatment.

According to the manufacturer’s claim, this product is completely free of harmful chemicals and safe to use on any type of hair.


  • After receiving the Unique Amino treatment hair looks straighter, shinier, and healthier. The styling time is greatly reduced. The results resemble those obtained after applying a hair Botox treatment.
  • This treatment will not make your hair pin-straight, but it greatly improves the look of dry, damaged, frizzy, or dull hair. If you want to make your hair completely straight, you can do it with a few strokes of a flat iron.

The procedure and aftercare

To obtain the best results, the treatment must be applied by a certified hair professional. The procedure is the same as for most keratin treatments. The product should stay in the hair for about 20 minutes. When your hair is dried up to 70% the stylist uses a flat iron to seal the treatment in the hair. You can wash your hair the same day and style it the way you want.

With proper maintenance, the effects will last between 8 and 12 weeks. The manufacturer offers a complete aftercare line, which includes aftercare shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in conditioner.

The results are progressive and cumulative so that you can apply the treatment every 8 to 10 weeks and your hair will look shinier and healthier with each application.

African American model with straightened hair

3. Cezanne Perfect Finish Keratin Smoothing Treatment

This hair smoothing treatment (formerly known as Cezanne Perfect Finish Keratin Hair Treatment) is advertised to reduce frizz and make hair smoother, stronger, and shinier for up to 4 months.

Hair types:

This treatment is especially suitable for people who want to cut drying and styling time such as individuals with dry, frizzy, curly, coarse, and unmanageable hair.

How it works:

The treatment uses a low pH system to raise hair cuticles and infuse hair strands with a blend of keratin, sericin, botanical extracts, and vitamins. These healthy ingredients replenish lost and damaged keratin and help protect the inner hair bonds. The heat in the flat ironing stage helps lock in the treatment and create a smooth and shiny finish.


  • Cezanne Smoothing Treatment improves the strength of the hair, reduces frizz, and adds intense shine.
  • The treatment will soften and loosen your curls, but it won’t make your hair bone straight. Your hair will still hold a curl if you desire that.

The procedure and aftercare

The procedure takes up to two and a half hours, depending on the hair texture and length. The stylist can customize the process to obtain the desired results.

Cezanne Express treatment formula is meant for clients who want a more affordable treatment option or want to cut the time spent in the salon. It is less effective than the classic option and lasts about 8 weeks.

Unlike chemical-based keratin treatments, you can shampoo your hair the same day and style it the way you want. You can also exercise or go swimming right from the salon. Color service can be performed the same day, either before or after the smoothing treatment.

To maintain the results, use sulfate-free and salt-free products. Daily washing is not recommended.

The Treatment can be reapplied after about 4 months. Make sure to consult your stylist, because frequent applications can make your hair feel heavy.

4. Argan Protein Therapy by UNEX PROFESSIONAL

This treatment promises to make hair straight up to 95 % without the use of Formaldehyde or any other harmful chemicals. It doesn’t cause itchy and burning eyes or make your throat hurt.

Hair types:

The best candidates for receiving Argan Therapy are individuals with damaged, chemically treated, bleached, and frizzy hair.

How it works:

The treatment is formulated with hydrolyzed keratin, collagen, cysteine protein, and argan oil which are biocompatible with human hair. The effects last 2-6 months.


  • Straightens your hair up to 95 % with no harm to the strands
  • Restores damaged hair, improves hair elasticity, and reduces breakage
  • Repairs and seals the hair cuticle, resulting in soft, shiny, and frizz-free hair
  • Reduces the appearance of split ends
  • You can wash your hair the same day after receiving the service.

The procedure:

Argan Protein Therapy can be done at home. However, you may need an extra pair of hands during the flat ironing stage to ensure the best results. The procedure will take 2-4 hours, depending on hair length and thickness. To read the detailed directions, visit the manufacturer’s website.

A blonde woman with keratin straightened hair

5. SAFFRON SECRET Formaldehyde Free Saffron Smoothing Treatment

SAFFRON SECRET Smoothing Treatment uses an organic saffron-based formula to make wavy, frizzy, and curly hair straighter, healthier-looking, and more manageable. Saffron is a spice, derived from the flower of Crocus sativus plants. The spice is rich in concentrated Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, and niacin. The company claims that the product, when properly applied, gives instant smoothing results that last up to four months.

How it works:

This straightening treatment has several convenient features that can make the application procedure safer and more comfortable:

1. Saffron Smoothing Treatment straightens the hair without the use of damaging chemicals and is claimed to be safe for the user and for the stylist. This product can be used on hair roots, which makes the initial application procedure as well as touchups easier. There are no strong vapors that can irritate your eyes, nose, or throat.

2. This product is easier to apply and the application process takes less time than traditional straightening services. You don’t have to wash your hair before application, which eliminates the initial steps of clarifying as well as blow-drying your hair. This means that you will spend less time in the salon and probably pay less money for the straightening service.

3. The product is poured into a bowl and applied to the hair section by section, using a hair dye brush. A plastic wrap is then placed tightly over the hair for 50 minutes. After removing the plastic wrap, your hair is blow-dried and brushed for 10 minutes. Your hair is then flat ironed at a temperature of 380-450 Fahrenheit.

4. The final steps also differ from standard straightening treatments. After the flat ironing step, the hair is simply washed with a sulfate-free shampoo, blow-dried, and styled.

5. Another convenience is that the treatment provides you with an instant result. Plus, there is no downtime. You can color or style your hair the way you want immediately after the procedure is completed or on any of the following days.

brunette woman with long keratin-treated hair

6. Keratin Komplex Hair Treatment by Damilla

This straightening treatment utilizes a blend of natural keratin, silk amino acids, collagen, soy protein, and wheat protein to replenish the lost proteins and strengthen hair. Argan oil conditions your tresses and boosts shine.

The product is non-toxic and easy to use at home. One bottle is sufficient for multiple applications.


The treatment gives you straighter, frizz-free, and easy-to-manage hair for up to two months.

A brunette woman with shiny hair after receiving a keratin treatment

7. Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger KeraTriplex Treatment (Available at Walmart)

This frizz-fighting treatment uses isolated proteins identical to human keratin to replace keratin lost during chemical services. The treatment is not meant to straighten your hair, so there is no flat-ironing stage. This repairing treatment is designed to reconstruct hair damaged by chemicals and restore hair softness and sheen.

KeraTriplex Treatment is much easier to apply than traditional keratin straightening treatments.

More brands to consider: Keratin Straightening Treatment by Paul Brown Hawaii, Brazilian Perola Organic Hair Straightener Treatment (formaldehyde-free) by ETERNITYLISS, COSMO-9 Proliss Anti Frizz hair Treatment – Formaldehyde Free, Revamp Keratin Smoothing Treatment by Biolustre, and Brazilian Treatment Ingel Maxx by Forever Liss Professional.

a blonde woman with long, smooth hair

8. Amino Acid-Based Smoothing Treatments

This type of smoothing treatments utilize amino acids to tame your curls, control unwanted volume, and make your hair smooth for up to three months. The formula penetrates deep into the hair shaft to fill up tiny gaps, resulting in smoother, frizz-free, and more manageable hair.

The most popular amino acid-based smoothing treatments include Cysteine smoothing treatment, Pravana Perfection SmoothOut, CHI Enviro American Smoothing Treatment, Argil Therapy, and Thermafuse f450 Amino Fusion Smoothing Treatment.

Popular Brazilian Blowout Smoothing Treatment also uses amino acids to smooth hair. However, this line of products has formaldehyde in its formula.

Amino-acid smoothing treatments can be performed on all hair types including color-treated, highlighted, bleached, permed, relaxed, and keratin-straightened hair.

The application process is similar to keratin treatments. However, your hair can be washed the same day using an appropriate shampoo and conditioner.

gorgeous blonde woman with keratin straightened hair

Is there a Safe Keratin Smoothing Treatment?

Brazilian keratin treatment is one of the biggest innovations in the world of hair care. The treatment is extremely popular because it provides fabulous styling results that were never before possible. After a keratin treatment, hair remains smooth, glossy, and easy to handle for up to four months.

However, recent research has revealed that the majority of keratin treatment formulas available in today’s hair care market emit formaldehyde at toxic levels. Formaldehyde is a highly reactive hydrocarbon that has been linked to several health issues, including allergic reactions on the skin and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs.

While some product lines are labeled “formaldehyde-free”, they actually contain formaldehyde donors that emit formaldehyde as a gas when heated with a flat iron.

Safe Alternatives to Traditional Brazilian Keratin Treatments

A beautiful brunette woman with keratin straightened hair

Healthy Alternatives to Brazilian Keratin Treatments

While traditional keratin treatments remain widely available, new market research indicates that most consumers prefer safe and more flexible hair-styling options. There is a growing demand for safe keratin treatments, without toxic chemicals and dangerous side effects. Safe hair-smoothing treatments can revolutionize hair care while protecting stylists and clients and preserving the integrity of the hair. Some innovative companies have developed products that mimic the results of traditional keratin hair treatments without using harmful ingredients.

These new keratin-smoothing products are safe and effective alternatives to formaldehyde-based keratin treatments. They don’t emit toxic formaldehyde fumes and don’t require the use of special ventilation systems or masks. This new generation of keratin treatments delivers smoother, straighter, and healthier-looking hair, without any risks for the stylists or their clients. These safe treatments can even improve the health and the condition of the hair over time.

Additionally, new alternative treatments offer more flexibility to clients than traditional keratin treatments. A flat iron can be set on lower heat settings than with classic keratin treatments. There is no need for a three-day, water-free grace period after application. You can style your hair immediately after the treatment and go anywhere you choose. You can also choose to wear your hair curly, straight, or wavy.

a woman posing with partially straight and partially curly hair

1. Cezanne Perfect Finish Keratin Smoothing Treatment

Cezanne Perfect Finish is a 100% formaldehyde-free smoothing treatment that delivers similar results as formaldehyde-based keratin smoothing treatments but without the use of harmful ingredients. The treatment does not require special ventilation or wearing a mask in the working area.

Cezanne Perfect Finish uses a blend of botanical extracts, amino acids, vitamins, and proteins, including sericin – a protein created by silkworms, to straighten the hair from inside the shaft and restore hair’s luster and brilliance. Cezanne treatment reduces unwanted frizz and leaves your hair stronger, healthier, and more manageable, without turning it pin straight or flat.

The process includes three easy steps: After a standard wash and dry, the Perfect Finish Keratin Smoothing Treatment is applied and left to sit on the hair for 30 minutes. The hair is then blow-dried and flat ironed to seal the product in the hair.

Available only in salons, this treatment can be performed on any hair type and texture. The effects will last up to four months. You will enjoy several distinct advantages over common straightening methods:

  • You can leave the salon with whatever beautiful, style you want.
  • Your hair can still hold a curl if desired. You can even style hair with a curling iron immediately after the treatment.
  • Coloring can be performed on the same day (either before or after the treatment).
  • You can go right from the salon to the gym, swimming pool, or anywhere you choose.
  • There’s no inconvenient waiting period before you can wash your hair.
  • You can use pins or wear a ponytail or a bun.
attractive woman with shiny, keratin-treated hair

2. KeraGreen Keratin and Protein Hair System

KeraGreen Keratin and Protein Hair System is a non-toxic, formaldehyde-free keratin treatment designed to improve the health and beauty of the hair. It offers a similar or better result than formaldehyde-based formulas. The KeraGreen system provides soft, silky, shiny, and manageable hair for up to 3 months. This treatment can also help to treat hair loss.

This organic-derived formula won’t expose clients to any health risks through the use of harmful agents. The ingredients include keratin complex, hydrolyzed collagen, silk, L-Cysteine, and Vitamin B5, as well as 18 amino acids and proteins.

Here are some benefits of KeraGreen Keratin and Protein Hair System:

  • Natural and organic ingredients
  • Easy application procedure
  • Does not emit toxic fumes
  • Faster drying times with no residue
  • Does not irritate the scalp, so can be applied close to the roots
  • Eliminates frizz and softens curls
  • Adds shine
  • Seals in color 
  • Does not contain silicone
  • Helps to control hair loss

3. KERAPURE Smoothing Products

This keratin and amino acid-based smoothing treatment is another safe alternative to Brazilian Keratin Treatment, without toxic chemicals and dangerous side effects. KERAPURE smoothing products use natural agents to enhance the strength, shine, glossiness, and manageability of all hair types.
KERAPURE smoothing products combine gold peptides, keratin proteins, cross-linked amino acids, and exotic oils to penetrate through the hair cuticle to restructure and rebuild individual strands.

The vapors released by KERAPURE products have been tested by independent laboratories in enclosed environments and actual salon environments to reveal that there are no toxic levels of formaldehyde released at any point throughout the process.

4. Liquid Keratin 30-Day Straight Smooth & Long Treatment

Liquid Keratin’s 30-Day Treatment is an innovative, formaldehyde and aldehyde-free keratin smoothing system. The treatment is also free of all formaldehyde donors, sodium hydroxide, urea, thio, and guanidine.

Lately, Liquid Keratin has launched the new and improved Liquid Keratin 60-Day at-home treatment with results lasting up to 12 weeks.

5. Cysteine Hair Treatment

Cysteine Hair Treatment is the latest innovation in hair smoothing technology, which revitalizes and straightens your hair by infusing cysteine. Cysteine is an amino acid that is naturally occurring in the hair. Cysteine smoothing treatment is considered much safer for you and your hair than formaldehyde-based keratin treatments. The main active component in the formula is cysteine, but it can be combined with collagen, vitamins, and herbal extracts.

Cysteine treatment softens the curls, eliminates frizz, helps manage weak and coarse hair, and improves the overall condition of your locks.

A young woman with healthy, smooth hair

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Should You Be Using Silicone-Free Shampoo and Conditioner?

Silicone is a plastic-like material that works as an emollient providing slip and silky feel to hair. Silicone-containing hair products can make dry, lackluster hair look and feel smooth and shiny. The silicones form a waterproof coating around the hair shaft that repels humidity, reduces frizz, and tames unruly strands.

You can spot silicones on a product label by their name ending in “cone,” “conol,” “col,” or “xane,”. The most frequently used silicones in hair products are cyclomethicone and dimethicone. Silicones are commonly used in hair conditioners and slightly less frequently in hair shampoos, and styling products.

Brunette beautiful woman touching long curly healthy hair

What do Silicones Do to Your Hair?

Silicone in hair products acts as a filler and forms a thin film around the strands. This coating reduces porosity and prevents internal moisture from escaping. This way, silicones help to tame frizzy hair, giving it a silky softness and shine. Silicones also reduce friction and make hair smoother, easier to comb, and less prone to tangling.

Silicones can be beneficial for some hair types, but they are not suitable for everyone. They work best for people with frizzy, overly porous, and unruly hair. Silicones make unruly hair softer, less frizzy, and more manageable.

However, individuals with naturally curly hair should be more conscious when choosing their hair products. The film that silicones form around the hair may prevent the moisture and active ingredients in hair products from entering the hair shaft. This can reduce the effectiveness of nourishing hair treatments that are essential for dry curly hair.

People with fine hair also should avoid silicone-containing products because this ingredient can weigh down fine hair.

Brunette beautiful woman long curly smooth hair

The Dark Side of Silicones in Hair Products

The positive effects that silicones have on hair are just aesthetic and temporary. Despite giving the temporary illusion of healthy hair silicones can do more harm than good in the long run.

As noted above, the waterproof film around the hair strands blocks moisture and nourishing ingredients in conditioners and hair treatments from penetrating your hair shaft. Hair that lacks moisture and conditioning treatments can become dull and brittle.

Some silicones can build up in the hair over time leaving your strands weighed down and heavy. The polymer film also tends to attract dust and dirt, leaving your hair feeling greasy and “dirty.”

Some silicones can’t be removed by mild shampoos or co-washing which has become a trend among curly-haired people. Using strong shampoos that can strip silicones deposited in the hair can dry out delicate curly locks.

Which Silicones Are Bad for Your Hair?

Bad silicones are not soluble in water and tend to build up in the hair. They can be removed from the hair only by using shampoos that have strong sulfate-based detergents. The group of non-water-soluble silicones includes Dimethicone, Cetyl Dimethicone, Cetearyl Methicone, Dimethiconol, Stearyl Dimethicone, Bis-Phenyl Propyl Dimethicone, Propyl Dimethiconestearyl Dimethicone, Behenoxy Dimethicone, Stearoxy Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Dimethiconol Hydroxy Stearate, Amodimethicone, Trimethylsilylamodimethicone, Polysilicon-18 Cetyl Phosphate, and Cyclopentasiloxane.

Sulfate- and Silicone-Free Shampoos and Conditioners

A young woman washes the hair with a silicone-free smoothing shampoo

If you opt for a silicone-free hair care routine, start with selecting hair shampoo and conditioner formulated without silicones. If your goal is weightless and bouncy hair, this is a good start. Also, make sure that your shampoo is sulfate-free, so it will cleanse your hair without stripping its natural moisture.

The following is a list of sulfate-free and silicone-free shampoos and conditioners that have a temporary smoothing effect on the hair.

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1. ALTERNA BAMBOO Smooth Anti-Frizz Shampoo

This gentle formula moisturizes and strengthens hair while keeping frizz at bay. It is designed for all hair types but is especially suitable for chemically processed and frizz-prone hair. This ultra-caring shampoo makes your hair more resistant to humidity and leaves it with a smooth, frizz-free finish.

Bamboo extract keeps hair strong and helps reduce breakage, while organic kendi oil locks in moisture and tames frizz and static.

This shampoo is color-safe and free of harsh sulfates, parabens, silicones, and sodium chloride.

2. Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner (available at Walmart)

A team of biomedical scientists based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, invented and patented new molecules that create an invisible shield around each hair strand to lock in moisture-proof smoothness.

Healthy Hair Molecule (OFPMA) blocks humidity, repels dirt and oil, and creates healthier hair over time. This molecule polishes hair strands and eliminates frizz-causing surface friction.

PBAE molecule creates a microscopic pattern of thickening dots on every hair strand which helps build body and volume without stiff, sticky resins. This new frizz-taming technology is clinically proven to be 70% more effective in reducing frizz than silicone- and oil-based hair care products. If you live in a very humid climate or spend a lot of time in humid areas, this duo will make your hair look better than usual in these places. In combination with leave-in conditioner and styling gel, they can produce even greater results. 

3. Devacurl No-poo Cleanser & One Conditioner

This combo is designed for curly hair which tends to be drier and more susceptible to damage than straight hair. These products are formulated with natural ingredients and are free of silicone, parabens, and sulfates. They have a pleasant minty smell.
The shampoo doesn’t create a rich lather but it effectively removes dirt, without stripping natural hair oils. It also makes hair softer, silkier, and more manageable. The conditioner keeps hair hydrated and tangle-free.

4. L’Oreal Paris EverSleek Sulfate-Free Smoothing System

This sulfate and silicone-free shampoo and conditioner duo is designed to smooth unruly, frizzy hair. It is formulated with natural argan, sunflower, and olive oils that help to improve texture and control frizz. Both products are safe for colored and chemically straightened hair.

This system gently cleanses hair leaving it softer, shinier, and tangle-free. It controls frizz for up to 48 hours.

5. Aveda Smooth Infusion Shampoo

This daily cleansing shampoo is formulated with plant ingredients to soften hair up to 60%, leaving it feeling smooth and silky.  It works great on unruly, curly, frizzy, tangled, and uncontrollable hair.

For hair that is naturally straight, it minimizes flyaways and adds shine.

Aveda shampoo makes curls soft and frizz-free. It also makes it easier to straighten hair.

smiling brunette woman with long curly hair

Guide to Buying the Best Shampoo for Frizzy Hair

Hair gets frizzy when the cuticles of the strands lift, resulting in a rough hair texture and increased friction between hair fibers. As a result, if your hair is prone to frizz you may find it difficult to keep your hairstyle in place.

But not to fear! Certain types of shampoos can help you tame your frizzy hair, transforming it to have a smooth and shiny texture. The following post will give you a better understanding of how to purchase the right shampoo to keep your frizzy hair under control.

Frizz mostly occurs due to a lack of hair moisture and an increase in atmospheric humidity, but some other factors can make your hair susceptible to frizz.

woman with dark skin and afro frizzy hair

What Causes Frizzy Hair?

Dry hair: Frizz mostly occurs due to a lack of moisture in the hair and an increase in atmospheric humidity but some other factors can make your hair susceptible to frizz.

Damaged cuticle: The outer layer of your hair consists of small scales —cuticles. When cuticles lay flat, it’s difficult for moisture from the air to pass to the inner layers of your hair. The tightened cuticle layer also helps to keep internal moisture inside your hair.

On the other hand, a raised cuticle allows the internal moisture from the hair to escape, leaving your strands thirsty. A raised cuticle also allows moisture from humid air to pass easily through the cuticle layer, causing hair fibers to swell.

High porosity hair: Chemically treated hair is overly porous and more prone to frizz than virgin and healthy hair. High porosity hair can easily be deprived of natural moisture.

Hair type: When it comes to curly hair, the natural oils can’t flow down the strands smoothly as they can flow down naturally straight hair. This is why kinky hair lacks internal moisture and is particularly susceptible to frizz due to changes in humidity.

Sulfate-Free Shampoos for Better Frizz Control

For those who struggle with frizzy hair, it is especially important to realize that the problem they experience can be associated with the type of shampoo they use.

Ordinary shampoos lack the moisturizing agents needed to soothe and prevent frizzy hair. These shampoos can dry out your hair, stripping away the much-needed natural oils.

The reason why ordinary shampoos pose such a problem is sulfate-based cleansers. Sulfates are effective cleansing agents that also create rich foam and bubbles, but they are also responsible for excessive dryness of your scalp and hair. Harsh sulfate-based cleansers in hair shampoos can damage the cuticle, leaving your hair vulnerable to changes in humidity levels.

beautiful dark skinned girl with frizzy hair

How to Buy a Good Frizz-Control Shampoo

Not every shampoo advertised to tame frizzy hair is effective. Those who want to put an end to their frizz problem must learn how to pick their regular hair care products wisely.

A good shampoo for frizzy hair not only should be free of all harmful ingredients, such as sulfate cleansers and other harsh chemicals, but it should have moisturizing and nourishing ingredients that help repair damaged strands and keep hair hydrated.

Hair shampoos enriched with amino acids and hydrolyzed proteins repair the damaged cuticle and lock in moisture making hair more resistant to humidity.

Shampoos that contain humectants, such as glycerin or Panthenol are proven to help manage frizz. An anti-frizz shampoo should also contain natural oils, such as argan, jojoba, or coconut oil.

Another thing to watch out for is the optimal pH value. Contrary to some misconceptions, it’s actually better to use a slightly acidic shampoo, as this helps to keep hair cuticles flat. 

Good looking afro woman with frizzy hair

Shampoo Brands Designed to Tame Frizz

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1. Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Defrizzing Shampoo is formulated to moisturize and tame frizzy hair, giving you the curls you have always desired. The gentle cleansing action and moisturizing properties of this shampoo make your curl soft, well-defined, and frizz-free. This shampoo is most suitable for wavy, curly, and coiled hair.

2. Silk18 Natural Hair Shampoo contains silk amino acids that have been hydrolyzed from raw silk. Due to their small molecular weight silk amino acids have excellent penetrating and moisture-binding abilities. Amino acids contained in the formula penetrate through the hair cuticle and draw moisture into the hair shaft, improving hair hydration. This results in well-hydrated, softer, and smoother hair. Such hair is more manageable and less prone to frizz.

3. Maple Holistics Argan Oil Shampoo is formulated with six hair oils that are highly beneficial for hair and scalp health: Argan, Jojoba, Avocado, Almond, Peach Kernel, and Camellia Seed oil. These ultra-nourishing oils lock in moisture and strengthen dry and damaged hair while restoring shine and softness. While some moisturizing shampoos can make hair look greasy and heavy, this shampoo doesn’t weigh your hair down or reduce volume. The gentle formula is safe for color-treated hair. A neutral, mild smell makes this product suitable for both genders.

4. Agave Healing Oil – Smoothing Shampoo (Walmart) is infused with Agave plant extracts and moisturizing emollients to nourish and hydrate your hair while helping boost color vibrancy. Agave Smoothing Shampoo also tames curls and coils, prevents frizz, and adds shine to your dry, lifeless hair. It leaves your hair soft and easy to style. This shampoo has a fresh soothing scent.

5. Moroccanoil Smoothing Shampoo is a highly concentrated hydrating shampoo formulated with amino acids to replenish lost keratin, tame frizz, and improve manageability. It softens and moisturizes hair, leaving it clean, shiny, and more resistant to frizz in humid weather.

beautiful dark skinned girl with frizzy black hair

Anti-Frizz Conditioners

Taking care of picking out a good shampoo for frizzy hair will prove to be in vain unless complementing products are also used, including an anti-frizz conditioner. Some people have the habit of simply buying the matching conditioner to go along with the chosen shampoo, but that might not always be the best approach.

Much like shampoos, conditioners must be free of all the wrong ingredients, and full of the right ones. Some of the right ingredients for conditioners meant to combat frizzy hair include vitamin E, Panthenol, and Aloe Vera.

In addition to washing and conditioning the hair regularly, it’s also important to do deep moisturizing treatments once a week. This helps combat the original problem of the hair not having enough moisture.

Choosing the right shampoo and conditioner is a powerful approach to preventing frizz, but how those products are used is also important. Add a bit of the conditioner to the shampoo when washing, then let the hair air dry after applying the conditioner. Finish up by rinsing with cold water, which helps seal the cuticle and prevent the appearance of frizz.

Hair Care Routines that may Lead to Frizzy Hair

  1. Frequent shampooing, accompanied by using harsh, sulfate-based shampoos can result in dry and frizzy hair.
  2. Hot water can strip your hair of natural oils and lift the cuticle, leaving hair prone to frizz.
  3. Overuse of hot styling tools can damage the cuticle and dry out hair, causing it to look tangled or untamed.
  4. Hair coloring and other chemical treatments can damage the hair cuticle, leaving your hair dry, overly porous, and prone to frizzing.
Girl with curly hair washed with frizz-control shampoo

How to Maintain your Hair after Japanese Hair Straightening

What is Thermal Reconditioning?

Japanese Hair Straightening, also known as Thermal Reconditioning, is a permanent hair straightening treatment developed for those who want to spend less time styling their hair. The treatment works by using a combination of heat and chemicals.

Once you’ve got a Japanese straightening treatment, your hair requires little or no effort to get it looking completely straight. However, that doesn’t automatically mean your straightened hair doesn’t still require appropriate care. Your treated hair must be properly maintained to overcome the effects of chemicals and to prevent it from getting dry and brittle.

What Aftercare Is Required Within the First 72 Hours?

Woman brushes thermally reconditioned hair

The first 72 hours after receiving a Japanese hair straightening treatment is critically important. During this time the hair must not get wet in any way, whether it be due to shampooing, rain, swimming, or sweat. Skipping exercise during these 72 hours is highly recommended. This waiting period gives the treatment time to set in your hair.

Also, avoid putting any type of product in the hair, which means no hairspray, mousse, gels, wax, shampoo, or dry shampoo. Keep your locks as straight as possible and avoid tucking the hair behind your ears or pulling it into a ponytail. The use of hair accessories must be avoided as well as wearing hats, glasses, etc.

If your hair gets wet or bent, you should blow-dry and flat-iron the affected area immediately with a flat iron at a low temperature.

Long Japanese straightened hair

How to Take Care of Japanese Straightened Hair?

It is important to follow the instructions provided by your stylist and carefully protect and treat your newly straightened hair until the next touch-up. Swimming should be avoided for the first couple of weeks, as the hair mustn’t come into contact with chlorinated pool water during this time. Excessive exposure to the sun must also be avoided, in the first days after the treatment, which means wearing a hat when you are out in the sun.

Thermally reconditioned hair absorbs less moisture and dries more quickly. You don’t need to blow dry your Japanese straightened hair to maintain a straight look. You can blow dry it if you want to get the moisture out quickly. The blow-drying will take less than half the time it previously did. It would be best to use a dryer with a ceramic heating unit and tourmaline-infused inner components. Keep the hair dryer at the right distance and use a diffuser attachment to disperse the airflow.

Use only gentle hair accessories to avoid breakage. Avoid using hair elastics and look for more hair-friendly hair ties.

Some shampoos and conditioners (like sulfur-based anti-dandruff shampoos) have adverse effects on chemically straightened hair. It is important to use shampoos and conditioners that are specifically formulated for Japanese straightened hair to help maintain the quality of the treatment and keep your hair healthy.

Comb the hair with a wide-tooth comb to gently remove the tangles. Use a thermal heat protector when blow-drying to prevent heat damage. Use only a natural bristle brush and blow-dry in a downward drying motion to close the cuticle and prevent stripping moisture from the hair.

To revitalize your thermally treated hair, make sure to give it a protein-rich deep conditioning treatment once a week.

Thermal Reconditioning and Hair Coloring

Those who want thermal reconditioning but also want to color their hair shouldn’t do the coloring before they get their hair straightened. Hair that has been bleached and color-treated hair that’s damaged should not receive thermal reconditioning. For highlighted hair, the hair should only be highlighted up to 50 percent. Those who have hair that’s already color-treated, but not bleached or damaged, may get their hair thermal reconditioned, but the results they get may vary.

Find a reputable salon and consult a specialist to make sure that this straightening procedure is right for you. You will receive a pre-treatment to tell if it works for your hair type and condition. The outcome depends on what type of chemicals was used and how many coloring or highlighting treatments your hair has been through.

When coloring hair that has been straightened using the Japanese method, it’s important to wait at least four to six weeks after receiving the treatment to apply the color. Consider gentle, ammonia-free hair color. It’s a good idea to skip the at-home hair coloring kits and have the color done professionally. You must inform your hair color technician that your hair has been chemically straightened before receiving color service. You also want to make sure that the technician understands the effects of color on Japanese straightened hair.

Your colorist may suggest upgrading your hair color service with Olaplex or other bond-protecting products to preserve the integrity of your hair.

To keep the rebonded hair looking sleek and shiny, consider the cellophane hair treatment. This treatment uses hydrolyzed proteins and silicone polymers to seal the cuticle layer and keep your hair smooth and beautiful. You can do this treatment every 3 months to exchange hair color and maintain a high gloss shine.

Shampoos and Conditioners for Thermally Reconditioned Hair

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Chemical treatments and dyes tend to weaken hair, making it fragile and more vulnerable to damage. Chemically processed hair needs gentle handling. It is important to follow a strict routine when it comes to your hair care products.

Milbon Nigelle Er Shampooir?t=softerhair 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B002ALQOJ8 and Milbon Frizz Controlling Conditioner have been specially formulated to repair damage and maintain the softness and health of the hair after Japanese Hair Straightening. The duo also works to smooth out new growth, which helps extend the longevity of your treatment.

The products are pricey, but you can keep the original jar and order refill bags to get a larger amount of the product for your money.

The shampoo is very thick and although it doesn’t create a huge amount of suds your hair will be clean without feeling stripped.

The duo also helps keep hair conditioned and healthy between color treatments.

Leave in Treatment for Rebonded Hair

Milbon Deesse’s Aprou Moisture Milk Leave-In Treatmentir?t=softerhair 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B000SE7VSW repairs the cuticle layers of damaged hair, keeping it shiny, sleek, and soft. This leave-in treatment also blocks humidity and makes hair manageable. Apply a few pumps to your damp hair, before blow-drying. If your hair is permanently straightened, this product will help keep your regrown hair smoother, and more manageable.

Beautiful Asian woman with Japanese straightened hair

How to Properly Use a Clarifying Shampoo

There is a time when your hair feels lifeless and weighed down even if you’ve washed it. No matter what you do, it still looks untidy. Well, then it’s probably time to clarify.

All of the mousses, gels, hairsprays, and even your regular shampoo and conditioner can leave residue on your hair and scalp over time. Some hair products contain silicone that isn’t water-soluble. This type of silicone can’t be washed away by regular shampoo and tend to coat your strands.

Clarifying shampoo is formulated to remove dulling residues that can cause bad hair days. Clarifying shampoo dissolves the layers of products sitting on the surface of hair strands and gives your hair a healthy-looking fresh start.

a woman with buildup in her hair

Hard water in your area and the chlorine in swimming pools can deposit hard water minerals and chlorine residue in your hair. To remove buildup from minerals and chlorine, you need to use a chelating shampoo, which is a bit stronger than conventional clarifying shampoos. Chelating shampoos are formulated to remove minerals such as calcium and magnesium that can build up on your hair

How Do Clarifying Shampoos Work?

Clarifying shampoo contains a higher proportion of cleansing agents than your regular shampoo and doesn’t contain conditioning agents. The majority of clarifying shampoos on the market contain acetic acid, a mild, acidic chemical compound that is known for its descaling capabilities. Acetic acid is also contained in vinegar, which is used to de-scale household appliances, etc. In the same manner, the acetic acid in clarifying shampoo helps remove the buildup in hair that makes it feel oily, heavy, and unmanageable.

When to Clarify Hair?

young pretty woman massages her hair with a clarifying shampoo

If you use a lot of hair care products, your hair will benefit from using a clarifying shampoo. The following are the four most obvious signs that you have lots of buildups:

  1. Your favorite shampoo doesn’t seem to be cleaning your hair as well as it used to. Your hair doesn’t look fresh and bouncy after washing.
  2. Your strands are breaking/splitting more than normal. Your strands lose elasticity because the water/moisture can’t penetrate inside.
  3. Your hair is hard to style no matter which styling product you use.
  4. Your hair has turned green after swimming in chlorinated water.
Woman after washing the hair with a clarifying shampoo

How Often Should You Clarify your Hair?

The optimal frequency of clarifying depends on how many styling products you use, the quality of water in your area, and how often you go swimming.

If you use a lot of styling products, go swimming regularly, and/or live in a hard water area, you should clarify your hair more than twice a month.

If your hair gets oily fast, (in addition to the previously mentioned reasons) you should consider using a gentle clarifying shampoo on a weekly basis.

If you live in an area with soft water and use hair products in small quantities, you only need to clarify when your hair starts to show signs of product build-up. The majority of people only need to use a clarifying shampoo once a month. 

How to Clarify Color-Treated Hair?

beautiful woman with clean color-treated hair

If you color your hair you shouldn’t use a clarifying shampoo more than once a month and never within the first few weeks of coloring. Clarifying color-treated hair too often will make your hair color fade faster. Also, make sure to use a clarifying shampoo that is safe for colored hair

However, if you want to get rid of a bed hair dye job, a harsh clarifying shampoo can help you fade unwanted hair color in a few washes.

Always use a rinse-out conditioner after washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo to restore lost moisture and make detangling easier. However, if you clarify your hair prior to receiving a chemical treatment you may need to skip the conditioning step, depending on the treatment you are going to receive.

beautiful smiling woman with long color-treated hair

Use Appropriate Clarifying Shampoo

Ordinary clarifying shampoos contain strong sulfate surfactants that can strip away the natural oils, that keep your hair and scalp well-moisturized. If your hair is fine, dry, or chemically treated, make sure to use a gentle sulfate-free formula that is appropriate for your hair type.

Gently massage the shampoo into your scalp by doing circular motions of your fingertips to avoid damaging the skin.

Scalp Clarifying Shampoos

Using a deep cleansing shampoo is a good method for clarifying your scalp. By removing dead skin cells and residue from dry shampoos, scalp-purifying shampoos unclog the pores, renew hair follicles, and create a healthy environment for hair growth. Scalp cleansing shampoos in common contain antiseptic and soothing ingredients to calm itchiness and skin inflammation.

Scalp clarifying shampoo should cleanse without redness or irritation, so make sure to get quality formula and use it per instruction. Consider formulas developed by trichologists and gentle sulfate-free clarifying shampoos.

beautiful young woman in white dress with long colored hair

Uses of Shea Butter for Hair

Shea butter is a solid fatty oil that is extracted from the nuts of the Karite tree. The shea tree is most common in the western and central regions of Africa. Shea butter has been used in beauty regimens since ancient times. This versatile product has gained popularity in the last decade due to the increased demand for natural and organic products for Afro-textured hair.

Shea butter has a high content of beneficial fatty acids such as oleic, stearic, and linoleic acids. It is also a rich source of vitamin E, which is known as a powerful antioxidant, and Vitamin A which protects the skin against UV damage.

Thanks to its wide array of benefits, Shea butter has many uses. When used topically, this product can protect, moisturize, and heal your skin. It works great when used as a lip balm to keep chapped lips at bay. It also helps heal cuts, and scrapes and reduces wrinkles and stretch marks.

African-American woman with curly hair moisturized with shea butter

Shea butter is an essential ingredient in chocolates and a vegan-friendly substitute for regular butter. When used as a spread, it makes baked goods wonderfully brown. In many households, it is considered a staple that must be kept in supply. 

Those who struggle to protect and maintain healthy hair should consider adding Shea butter to their hair care regimen.

Benefits of Shea Butter for Hair

Unrefined Shea butter is loaded with healthy fatty acids and other phytonutrients that can provide many benefits to your hair and scalp. One of the greatest advantages of using Shea butter as a hair treatment is that it can be used in its most natural form without any further processing. Shea butter nourishes the scalp and hair without exposing your skin to potentially harmful chemicals. Many hair care products include Shea butter as an ingredient, but why not enjoy all benefits that unrefined Shea butter can provide? Here are several of the benefits that may come from the use of Shea butter for the hair and scalp:

1. Keeps moisture in the hair: People with curly and coarse hair textures use Shea butter as an emollient to seal in the moisture and keep it inside their hair. Afro hair is the driest hair type due to its curly texture. Shea butter soothes dryness and has restructuring effects on dry and fragile curly hair. When applied to the strands, it forms an outer protective coating that protects hair from moisture loss. It absorbs quickly without leaving the hair feeling greasy or heavy.

Shea butter acts as a sealant on the hair, not as a moisturizer. That means that moisture must be present so that the Shea butter can seal it in. If the hair is dry, applying Shea butter may result in hardness and dryness. Instead, be sure to wet the hair first. It is best to apply Shea butter directly after washing the hair, while your hair is still damp.

2. Supports hair growth: Studies have found that Shea butter possesses remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. It can penetrate deeply into the skin to help reduce inflammation. It helps restore weakened hair follicles, providing a healthy environment that supports hair growth. When applied to the scalp twice a week Shea butter has been shown to improve overall scalp health.

3. Tames frizzy hair: Dry and coarse hair tends to get frizzy, especially in humid weather.  Shea butter coats your strands, creating a thin, non-greasy film. This helps smooth down flyaway hair, reduces frizz, and gives your hair a mirror-like sheen.

The application to the hair is very simple. Just put a tiny amount of the product onto the palm of your hands and rub your hands together until it melts.  Then you can easily apply it to your hair.

A girl with curly hair nourished with Shea butter

4. Protect hair from the elements: Prolonged sun exposure can dry out your hair and reduce its natural elasticity and strength. Too much sun can also damage hair follicles and cause hair color to fade. The cinnamic acid found in Shea butter has the capability to absorb some of the harmful ultraviolet radiation. With its natural SPF of 6, it provides mild to moderate protection from sun damage. When applied to the hair before swimming, Shea butter protects your locks from the damaging effects of salt and chlorine. It also acts as a barrier against air pollutants.

5. Soothes scalp irritation: Unrefined Shea butter is loaded with fatty acids and phytonutrients that are needed for healthy hair and scalp. When applied to a dry scalp, it helps replace natural oils lost due to washing hair with harsh, sulfate-based shampoos.

Shea butter has soothing properties that provide relief from annoying scalp conditions such as dandruff, itchy scalp, dermatitis, eczema, and flaking due to dryness.

The product is easily absorbed into the scalp without clogging pores or leaving your hair greasy. Another convenience is that it can be easily washed off afterward.

Rub a quarter-sized amount of Shea butter on your hands and massage it into the scalp and hair. Cover the hair with a plastic shower cap and wrap your head in a towel to lock in the heat. Wait at least one hour before washing or leave overnight to refresh your scalp and keep it free from infections. Shea butter can be mixed with coconut oil and other hair oils to make this scalp treatment even more effective.

While shea butter is quite safe it is not recommended for people who are allergic to nuts.

How to Buy a Quality Shea Butter?

It is important to understand the difference between refined and unrefined Shea butter, as this greatly impacts the benefits received.

For maximum benefits, it is best to choose a natural product over the bleached and de-scented one. Raw or unrefined Shea butter is processed without using chemical solvents and it is preferred over refined one, regardless of intended use. Since unrefined Shea butter has been extracted by pressure, it is not deprived of bioactive nutrients and its natural healing properties. Raw Shea butter has a yellow or ivory color and comes either in blocks or in jars.

Unrefined Shea butter in a metal bowl

The refined Shea butter has been extracted using high heat and chemicals to make the color and texture more appealing and to eliminate its characteristic smell. The process often involves adding additives, such as perfumes or chemical preservatives to maximize product shelf-life. However, chemical processing affects some beneficial properties of Shea butter. The refining process adds chemicals while removing vitamins, fatty acids, and other bioactive nutrients.

Raw Shea butter has a strong earthy scent that many people find irritating. However, this characteristic smell is actually a sign of a good quality product. The product is categorized into grades labeled from A to F. Class A is the purest form of Shea butter, with a high content of healing ingredients, while class F is pure quality butter that may be also contaminated with harmful ingredients. To ensure that the product has passed proper safety and quality laboratory testing, purchase only certified premium A-grade Shea butter.

To receive all healing benefits, make sure that you use the product before the expiry date. The shelf life of raw Shea butter is about 24 months. Its healing power declines with time, so a very old product is not as beneficial as a fresh one. To avoid it going rancid, it is advisable to buy Shea butter in small quantities.

a beautiful dark-skinned girl with natural curly hair

Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoos

Frequent use of styling products can create buildup on the hair over time and make your strands feel heavy, dull, and unmanageable.

Clarifying shampoos are designed to deeply cleanse hair and scalp to remove product build-up and residue from regular shampoos and conditioners.

Ordinary shampoos are a mixture of surfactants, conditioning agents, and special care ingredients that should treat specific hair and scalp issues. Due to the high content of conditioning ingredients, ordinary shampoos can’t effectively eliminate mineral buildup, chlorine deposits, and polymer film created by styling products.

Clarifying shampoos contain a higher concentration of detergents than standard shampoos. They can thoroughly remove product buildup, without leaving any residues. To refresh your scalp and keep your hair shiny and healthy-looking, you need to use these deep cleansing shampoos.

How often you need to clarify depends on your hair care regime, the frequency of swimming, and the quality of water in your home.

Happy woman after clarifying hair hair

Advantages of Sulfate-Free Cleansing Shampoos

Commonly used primary cleaning agents in hair shampoos are sulfate-based surfactants. Sulfates are excellent cleansers that produce abundant foam. However, if you overuse them, sulfates in hair shampoos can irritate your scalp and strip your hair of its protective natural oils.

Sulfate detergents in hair shampoos also may cause hair color to fade.

Sulfate-free clarifying shampoos have a formula that balances the cleaning ability and other factors that include scalp irritation and overall product toxicity. The “Sulfate-Free” label means that your shampoo is formulated without harsh sulfates such as sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, or ammonium laureth sulfate.

Sulfate-free deep cleansing shampoos do not foam as much as sulfate-containing shampoos, but this does not mean that they are less efficient. The foam does not have cleaning properties, although it helps in spreading the shampoo over the scalp and hair. Knowing customer preferences, shampoo manufacturers often add foam boosters to their products to make them more commercially successful.

Is Clarifying Shampoo Safe for Color-Treated Hair?

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People with color-treated hair should clarify less often and they should only use a clarifying shampoo specified for colored hair. Color-safe clarifying shampoos are designed to remove product residue and other impurities without stripping hair color. They remove product buildup and color-dulling residue while preventing excessive dryness and color stripping.

Pureology Purify Shampoo for Color Treated Hair (available at Walmart) is a sulfate-free formula that uses a purifying blend of natural oils and organic botanicals to gently yet thoroughly cleanse and detoxify scalp and hair.

Verb Reset Renouveau Clarifying Shampoo gently removes the build-up from styling products and adds a glossy shine to your hair. The product doesn’t contain harmful sulfates, parabens, or gluten. It clarifies and soothes the scalp and doesn’t strip natural moisture or color out of the hair.

If your hair is color-treated, use a clarifying shampoo no more than once a week. Even the most gentle formulas shouldn’t be used regularly on colored hair. Also, make sure to use a moisturizing conditioner after each shampooing.

Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoos for Natural Hair

If you are looking for an alternative to chemical-laden clarifying shampoos, you will be impressed with Shea Moisture Sacha Inchi Oil Omega-3-6-9 Rescue & Repair Clarifying Shampoo (available at Walmart). This shampoo uses natural ingredients to remove the buildup of styling products, leaving your locks clean, soft, and supple. It gently cleanses hair without stealing its natural moisture or being aggressive on your scalp.

Unlike most sulfate-free shampoos this shampoo creates a rich lather and easily spreads all over the hair. It also refreshes the scalp and helps with the dandruff issue.

This shampoo works great on dry curly hair and is suitable for daily use.

Scalp Cleansing Shampoos

Styling products you apply to the hair, as well as excess sebum and pollutants, can build up on your scalp. Such accumulated deposits can clog hair follicles causing inflammation and irritation to this sensitive skin area. Scalp cleansing shampoos are designed to thoroughly cleanse the scalp and keep it feeling refreshed and healthy.

Activated Charcoal Shampoo by Saragan is formulated with pure natural ingredients to thoroughly cleanse the hair and leave it soft and moisturized. It also de-greases the scalp, removes buildup from products and hard water, and relieves itching. The possible downsides of this shampoo are its intense black color and masculine scent.

Use your fingers to massage the scalp or use a shampoo brush to work the shampoo into your scalp. Such massage helps to remove the build-up and boosts blood circulation in the scalp area.

Clarifying Shampoos for Oily Hair and Scalp

Degrease Shampoo for Oily Hair and Scalp by Maple Holistics helps alleviate grease and hair buildup, and restores the pH balance of the scalp.

This natural clarifying formula uses a blend of essential oils to clean hair follicles and lift the roots of the hair prone to getting oily and flat. It also contains Jojoba oil which is known for its ability to control the production of sebum and keep the pores clean.

Cypress, lemon, and rosemary essential oils have antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. These oils help fight infections and keep the scalp healthy and each-free. They also support blood circulation to the follicles, stimulating hair growth.

Hairdresser washes client's hair with sulfate-free clarifying shampoos

What is Chelating Shampoo?

While most clarifying shampoos are formulated to remove styling product residue that leaves a film on the surface of the hair, chelating shampoos are preferably meant to remove minerals, metals, and swimming pool chemicals from the hair.

Chelating shampoos are more potent than ordinary clarifying shampoos and can efficiently eliminate deposits from hard water and chlorine as well as product buildup.

When used as a post-swimming shampoo, a chelating shampoo prevents the build-up of chlorine and other pool chemicals and protects your hair from damage, dryness, and discoloration.

Chelating shampoos are also must-have products for people who struggle with hard water in their areas. If the water in your area is very hard and you don’t have a whole house water filtration system, you should use a chelating shampoo as a part of your hair care routine.

Sulfate-Free Chelating Shampoos

If you live in an area with hard water, Ion Hard Water Shampoo can help reduce the negative impacts of hard water minerals on your hair and scalp. This shampoo prevents hard water minerals and iron from coating your strands. It also reverses existing damage and discoloration and increases hair manageability and shine. Ion Hard Water Shampoo helps reduce hair loss caused by extremely hard water.

Malibu C Swimmers Wellness Shampoo is designed to prevent the build-up of pool chemicals in the swimmer’s hair. This gentle, sulfate-free shampoo is formulated with botanicals, antioxidants, and vitamins to get rid of chlorine and keep hair from becoming heavy, tangled, or discolored. It also helps get rid of the chlorine smell that tends to linger in the hair after swimming. Malibu swimmers shampoo is safe for all hair types, including color-treated and permed hair.

Smiling girl using a mild clarifying shampoo

Is a Color-Safe Shampoo Worth the Extra Money?

Hair color is made up of small molecules. Once the color is applied to the hair, a chemical alkalizer opens the cuticle layer to enable the dye molecules to penetrate the cortex and deposit a new color. Following this process, the hair is rinsed with cool water and conditioned, which helps the cuticle to close, keeping the color molecules inside the hair.

When you find the hair color that is your perfect type, you will want it to stay looking vibrant for as long as possible. Once your hair has been colored, it needs to be treated with special care. Artificial color pigments tend to gradually disappear and your hair may become dull and lifeless after a few washes. Hard water, harsh cleansers, heat styling tools, and prolonged sun exposure can take out the color pigments deposited in the hair, causing fading and dullness. To keep your color looking fresh and prolong its life, you need to use special products and take the proper care of your locks.

A woman with freshly shampooed red colored hair

Washing Hair After Dying

Before purchasing any color care product, make sure to follow a few basic rules when it comes to washing your colored hair.

1. Wait to Wash Hair After Coloring

The hair cuticle is the outside protective layer of a hair strand that helps prevent damage to the cortex and controls the look and appearance of the hair. When you dye your hair, the cuticles must first be opened, so that the color can deposit effectively. It takes up to 72 hours for the cuticles to fully close, sealing the color inside. Shampooing hair too soon after coloring will wash out color pigments. If you would like your hair to completely absorb and lock in the new color, skip shampooing for the first two days after dyeing your hair.

2. Avoid Frequent Washing

To prevent your vibrant color from being washed away, stretch out the time between washes. The shampooing process removes a little bit of color every time you wash your hair. It’s a good practice to shampoo only as often as necessary. If possible, shampoo your hair no more than three times per week. Protect your hair from the water in the shower on no-wash days.

3. Lower the Water Temperature 

When you wash your hair, it’s important not to expose it to hot water. Hot water tends to raise the hair cuticle, allowing the color molecules to escape. On the contrary, cool water seals the cuticle, which helps reduce color fading.

4. Avoid Using a Chemical-Laden Shampoo

It doesn’t matter if you have a temporary, semi, or permanent hair color: it is vital to avoid shampoos that can cause hair color to fade. Ordinary shampoos may contain strong detergents that will fade the brilliance of your color.

Read the label on the shampoo bottle before purchasing. Make sure that your shampoo is labeled “sulfate-free”. Sulfates are powerful detergents that will cut grease and create a nice, soapy lather but they will also reduce the vibrancy and sheen of your hair color. Hair cuticles need to stay closed, to ensure color longevity. Sulfate detergents rough up the cuticle layer, allowing color molecules to leak out. Stronger clarifying shampoos can even remove the color completely from your hair in a few washes.

The most common harsh sulfates in hair shampoos are sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, and ammonium lauryl sulfate. Study the ingredients and go for sulfate-free shampoos and those that are labeled “color safe”. Sulfate-free shampoos use milder cleansers to carry out the cleaning task. You may see fewer foamy bubbles that are associated with cleansing action, but you will still get effective cleansing.

Color-safe products also shouldn’t contain alcohol, parabens, salt, and artificial fragrances.

Shampoo and Conditioner for Color-Treated Hair

Hair shampoos formulated for colored hair shouldn’t contain ingredients that can negatively affect the color. They are supposed to maintain proper pH balance and cleanse hair without stripping the color. There are three main benefits that color care shampoos offer:

  1. In addition to being sulfate-free, color-protective shampoos and conditioners are formulated with extra moisturizing ingredients that deliver extra hydration and protect your over-processed hair from breaking.
  2. Color-protecting shampoos contain antioxidants, proteins, and amino acids that help strengthen the hair cuticle which prevents the pigment from leaking out and provides long-lasting color retention.
  3. Color-enhancing shampoos also contain pH adjusters and sunscreens that provide color-treated hair with a radiant shine which helps the color stay vibrant.

Keep in mind that color-safe shampoos will help you slow down color fading, but they will not stop it altogether.

A conditioner specially formulated for color-treated hair helps keep the cuticles smooth to lock the color pigments deep inside the hair. These products contain UV filters to shield strands against UV rays and environmental pollutants that can cause damage and color fading.

There is also the category of color-depositing shampoos and conditioners available on the market. These products deposit a small amount of dye with each wash to revive color and help you go longer between touch-ups.

Dry Shampoos for Long-Lasting Color

Young woman applying dry shampoo to colored hair

A great way to save color and prevent premature fading is to keep hair dry as long as you can. Dry shampoos help reduce your hair’s contact with water which helps extend the life of hair color. These products soak up excess oil from your scalp and strands and give you more time in between your washes. Dry shampoos also add texture and bounce, making your hair look fuller.

a beautiful Asian girl with pastel hair color