What to expect when you decide to go to a salon for a professional keratin treatment

What to expect when you decide to go to a salon for a professional keratin treatment

If you're thinking about getting a salon keratin treatment at a salon be prepared to spend a chunk of cash, several hours in the salon and some very specific instructions which include limitation on activities after the treatment.

What is a salon keratin treatment?

Generally, when salon’s use the term “keratin treatment” they are referring to a Brazilian type of smoothing treatment.  You may want to do a little homework online or look at our blog on what these treatments are, and the chemicals involved.  Don’t be shy about asking the stylist questions as many of these treatments give off formaldehyde gas when the heat of a flat iron is applied during the process.  ASK QUESTIONS!  Another important question to ask is the longevity of the treatment.  They can range from days to months. Be sure to ask.


How much does it cost?

The cost of a keratin treatment varies depending on the salon and stylist, but it's typically between $300-$400. The price also depends on how much product is used and how long your hair is.


What happens during the application of the product and how long does it take?

The average time in a salon for a traditional keratin treatment is about two hours.  It varies based on the particular brand of smoothing treatment, the texture and quantity of hair you have and how you react to the chemicals in the treatment. 

For most salon keratin treatments, the application of the product starts after you get a clarifying shampoo that removes any other treatment you may have in your hair, and which will open the cuticle of your hair to best prepare it for the treatment.

The next step is the application of the product on your hair.  Generally, it will be done on your hair after it is dried and sectioned.  This can be very time consuming but is an important part of the process with most salon treatments.  The application process can take up to 45 minutes, which varies based on the type of hair and the quantity.

After the treatment is applied to your hair, your hair needs to process.  This will vary between 30 minutes and an hour, also depending on your hair type and length and the specific product being used.

After your hair is processed, your hair is rinsed and then blown dry.  The final step with most salon keratin treatments is a meticulous flat ironing, which seals the treatment in place.

This process applies to most salon “keratin” treatments.


What are the restrictions after the treatment?

With most traditional salon keratin treatments, you cannot shower, swim, exercise for a couple of days


Can I have my hair colored any time before or after the keratin treatment?

Most salon keratin treatments require a 48-hour waiting period before your hair can be colored.  If your hair is colored before the treatment, the treatment itself may tend to lift color a couple of shades.

 Woman with brightly colored hair

How long will it last?

These vary with the particular brand and chemistry of the treatment.  Traditional Brazilian type salon treatments generally last for a few months and wash out gradually….and don’t forget to tip your stylist!


Can I do it myself at home?

There are many at-home keratin treatments.  What they all have in common is that they are significantly less expensive than salon keratin treatments. Some only last until the next shampoo and some last for months.    A simple Google search for “at home keratin smoothing treatments” will yield quite a few product choices.  Amazon is also an excellent source for at-home smoothing treatments.

Click here if you are interested in an at-home smoothing treatment that has no toxic chemicals and lasts for months



As you can see, there are many things to consider when it comes to your keratin treatment.  Doing a little bit of homework in advance is worth it.  If you elect to do a salon keratin treatment, select a salon that does these regularly.  Don’t be shy about asking about ingredients and options.

If you elect to pursue an at-home smoothing treatment, google and Amazon are your best resources.  Look for treatments that include keratin, nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins and have long lasting results.  A four-star rating on Amazon is a good indicator.