Hair Smoothening vs. Keratin Treatment; Which is Better for You?
In my previous post, I thoroughly discussed the difference between hair botox vs. keratin treatment and the best option for you. So in today, we’re going to same on hair smoothening vs. keratin treatment.
Everyone wants bouncy, frizz-free hair. That’s why any haircare treatment exists in the first place.
However, people don’t want to spend a lot of money on what they don’t need, neither do they have the time to sit through lengthy hair treatment processes.
There are so many different hair treatments that make similar changes to your hair. Sometimes, you don’t even know what they do; you notice better hair after the treatment.
If you need to choose between hair smoothening and keratin treatment, this article can help. This post will explain the meaning of both treatments, what they do, and which one is the best for your specific hair type.
What is Hair Smoothening?
Before differentiating between hair smoothening and keratin treatment, understanding what these two terms mean is crucial.
Hair smoothening (not to be confused with hair straightening) refers to a haircare procedure that smoothens unruly or wavy hair.
It is a somewhat complex process that involves saturating your hair with a formaldehyde solution to remove frizz and improve the looks of the hair.
A hair smoothening treatment can last for up to 12 months, maintaining smooth and frizz-free hair throughout the duration.
This treatment is best for people with straight hair, as stylists usually accompany it with a hair straightening exercise.
What is a Keratin Treatment?
A keratin treatment is somewhat similar to a hair smoothening treatment, as it may also require a solution containing formaldehyde.
The treatment involves a thorough hair wash and the application of the keratin solution, usually by brushing. Stylists can apply keratin treatment to dry or wet hair at their discretion.
Keratin treatment can last for up to 6 months with proper maintenance, and it smoothens overlapping cells in the hair, reducing hair frizz and giving the hair a glossy look.
There are non-formaldehyde keratin treatments, but they may not be obvious. Many hair care product companies actively try to hide the fact their product contains formaldehyde.
If you’re unsure why I’m obsessing over the presence of formaldehyde in a keratin treatment, read on to the cons of this haircare treatment to get the spoilers.
Hair Smoothening vs. Keratin Treatment; How much do they cost?
If you’re trying to cut into your budget carefully, you may want to know the costs of these treatments before deciding.
Hair smoothening is more cost-effective than keratin treatment, with all other factors being equal. The price disparity can be attributed to the many processes in a keratin treatment compared to a hair smoothening treatment.
Depending on where you live, a hair smoothening treatment can cost as little as $100 and up to $1000. Some people even smoothen their hair at home, although I don’t recommend doing this.
However, a keratin treatment can only go as low as $300, as it usually takes more time and products.
If you’re the budget-conscious type, you may want to avoid a keratin treatment due to the extravagant cost, but that shouldn’t be the only factor you should be considering.
Hair Smoothening vs. Keratin Treatment; The pros
When comparing two alternate hair treatments, listing the benefits of each is crucial. From the pros of each of these, you can choose which one you want, based on your hair type.
This section will examine the advantages of the two treatments to help you choose which one is the best for your specific use case.
Hair Smoothening Pros
While hair smoothening is strikingly similar to keratin treatment, they’re not the same. A smoothened hair has a few unique advantages about which keratin-treated hair can only dream.
Here are some of the pros of hair smoothening.
1. It keeps the hair’s natural look.
Everyone admires virgin hair. When you apply hair care products to your hair, you want it to stay as natural as possible.
Hair smoothening makes that possible. The goal of a hair smoothening treatment isn’t to enhance your hair artificially; instead, it is to make it look naturally smooth and endearing.
If you’re obsessed with your ‘virgin hair,’ a hair smoothening might be the better treatment for you from the two in this comparison.
2. It causes no long-term damage if used correctly.
While some treatments make your hair look better, they gradually eat into the hair moving forward, causing gradual damage.
With a hair smoothening treatment, there’s no reason to worry about the long-term health of your hair. Formaldehyde doesn’t cause significant damage to human hair if used correctly.
However, it’s worth noting that you should only smoothen your hair a few times every year. For the best long-term results, smoothening two times per year is optimal.
You should also ensure that the smoothening cream doesn’t touch your scalp or skin, as they don’t work well together.
Keratin Treatment Pros
Keratin treatment also has many advantages to boast of, compared to hair smoothening. Due to the similarities in these hair treatment solutions, you may also find some striking similarities in the benefits.
That said, here are some of the advantages of keratin treatment.
1. Strengthens your hair
While hair smoothening focuses on making the hair smoother, keratin treatment focuses on strengthening your hair.
While stronger hair may not seem very useful at the surface, it proves to be immensely useful for hair growth.
With weaker hair, your hair continuously breaks off, setting you back, even if your hair grows fast. If your hair can be strong enough to withstand those breaks, you’ll notice a dramatic increase in its growth rate.
This advantage makes some keratin treatment fans swear by the claim that it quickens hair growth.
2. It makes your hair more manageable.
People with plenty of hair can attest to the difficulty in caring for it. From constant breakage to constant wetness, there is always one more problem to solve.
Keratin treatment solves the apparent problems, making hair management a painless process.
How happy would you be if you could halve your hair drying time? That’s the claim that keratin treatment fans make about hair drying, and it isn’t all fallacious.
Hair Smoothening vs. Keratin Treatment; The cons
Just as we’ve listed the good sides of these hair treatments, it’s time to go to the ugly side.
As expected, each of them has its unique flaws, and they also share some. Without further ado, let’s compare the cons of hair smoothening with a keratin treatment.
Hair Smoothening Cons
Hair smoothening is a formaldehyde treatment, and formaldehyde causes some problems in humans.
Here are some of the problems with hair smoothening that may compel you to try alternate hair treatments.
1. Cancer risk
You probably know this; it’s the issue with hair smoothening that I hinted at some paragraphs ago.
Going with the information from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, formaldehyde is officially a carcinogen. A carcinogen is any substance that causes cancer.
While non-formaldehyde hair smoothening solutions do exist, good luck finding one for an affordable price, if at all.
2. Risk of bodily damage
The cancer risk isn’t the only problem with formaldehyde-based hair smoothening solutions. In addition to that, they also cause varying degrees of damage if they touch the skin.
Applying a hair smoothening cream to your scalp is a perfect way to invite hair fall. Formaldehyde also affects the eyes negatively, posing a risk of blindness depending on the quantity that contacts the eyes.
Keratin Treatment Cons
Most of the cons of hair smoothening also apply to keratin treatment, as formaldehyde makes up a significant portion of most keratin treatment solutions.
In addition to that, keratin treatment also has the following cons.
You probably already know this from the previous sections. Keratin treatment is costlier than hair smoothening treatment, and it doesn’t last quite as long.
Also, the cost of maintaining keratin-treated hair eclipses the cost of maintaining a smoothened hair, as you need to apply special creams and hair care products to maintain the shine.
2. Difficult to maintain for most
Keratin treatment only works for people who can maintain a three-day interval between hair washes. Constantly getting your hair wet will negatively impact the hair’s durability, causing the treatment to wear away faster.
If you like swimming, a keratin treatment isn’t an option for you. Also, this hair treatment isn’t suitable for pregnant women.
Which is Better for You?
The answer to this depends on your expectations from a haircare treatment. Also, it partly depends on your budget and probably how much you hate cancer.
If you’re trying to save as much as possible, a hair smoothening treatment will work better. It works similarly to a keratin treatment without eating into your budget.
It’s crucial to note that hair smoothening or keratin treatment doesn’t necessarily cause cancer. Many people have used either of the two haircare treatments for years without getting cancer.
Finally, if you want your hair to be easy to maintain, and for the long term, hair smoothening is the better choice.
Regardless of how you choose to treat your hair, always consult an experienced stylist to reduce the associated risks to the bare minimum.
I hope you find this post on hair smoothening vs. keratin treatment interesting and helpful.
And if you got questions or feedback, do not hesitate to let me know by leaving a comment below right now.
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