Afternoon beauty fix: Don’t fear the keratin treatment!

I’ve heard both good and bad news about keratin treatments recently—should I try keratin to help my dry, frizzy hair or should I avoid it?
First off, it was the addition of formaldehyde in a few specific keratin treatments that can be blamed for the bad press, not the keratin itself. To get a little scientific, keratin is a naturally occurring protein found in hair, nails, and skin. It’s also key in the composition of healthy hair: each strand of hair is composed of three layers—the surface, the cuticle, and the core—and surrounded by a whole bunch of proteins, including keratin, which look like shingles on a roof. (We did say “a little” scientific!) There are a slew of factors that impact the health of hair. Chemicals, UV rays, and product build-up are all guilty of negatively affecting moisture levels in your hair, and can make your strands feel fried. When the surface is brittle and dry, the shingles are uneven and your hair looks lacklustre and rough. If the cuticle is damaged, your hair is officially “dry” inside. And if the core of your hair is damaged and weak, this is when it starts to break or develop those dreaded split ends. This is where keratin treatments come in handy: by adding proteins back into your hair, you help smooth down those shingles. A treatment like LaCoupe Orgnx Brazilian Keratin 14 Day Smoothing Treatment ($13 at Shoppers Drug Mart) will rid your ‘do of frizz with the aid of oils and keratin protein and without chemicals or formaldehyde. Then, use a deep conditioner regularly to help maintain, repair, and moisturize your hair, down to the core.

In need of an afternoon beauty pick-me-up? Email us at beautyfix@fashionmagazine.com.