What is a Brazilian Keratin Treatment?

Is your hair difficult to manage? If yes, you’ll have probably experimented with a number of different solutions, but have you tried a Brazilian Keratin treatment yet? Whether your hair is dry or damaged, too thick or too curly, Keratin hair treatments can help with your hair’s misdemeanours.

But what is a Brazilian Keratin treatment? And are they a reliable route towards frizz-free, easy to manage, smooth hair? This helpful guide covers everything from the basics of Keratin proteins to Brazilian Keratin treatments and KeraStraight.

Let’s begin by looking at Keratin itself...

What is Keratin?

Keratin is a compound of proteins and the essential structural components of the skin, hair and nails of both humans and animals. Formed from a combination of amino acids, including cysteine which is rich in hair-strengthening sulphur, the cortex or structure of the hair is a little like a ladder or stair case, with bonds of varying strengths as the steps.

Straight hair is structured much like a traditional ladder, whereas curly hair is like a spiral staircase. Strong hair is typically the result of stronger sulphur bonds. Breaking these bonds makes it possible to permanently transform the structure of hair from curly to straight and restore the spiral staircase as a ladder.

What is a Brazilian Keratin treatment and how does it work?

It may seem counterintuitive to use a Keratin treatment when our hair is already made up of up to 95% Keratin, but these proteins are easily damaged and depleted day to day. This degradation is mainly caused by physical damage including using thermal styling tools and chemically treatments like perms and colouring. In fact, the structure can even be adversely affected by stress.

Most Keratin treatments include hydrolysed Keratin proteins, which fuse with our hair’s natural Keratin when heated. Known as the ‘sealing process’, this happens when the hair is infused with a Keratin treatment, dried and flat-ironed.

Depleted Keratin can make hair look dull and frizzy in appearance, and can be extremely brittle and prone to split ends. Replacing the Keratin will help rebuild the cortex of the hair, giving it strength and a shiny appearance. The latest Brazilian Keratin treatments also include low pH amino acids, straighten the hair as well as rebuild it to enviable strength which is, of course, great for anyone looking to grow their hair.

Are Brazilian Keratin treatments good for hair?

Initially, straightening treatments were made from chemicals like thioglycolate which breaks down the structure and can cause huge damage. These have become far less popular. Firstly, people colour their hair more often, and colour and chemical straightening is not a healthy match. Plus, the fashion for a more natural straightness and less lifeless has resulted in salons have moved away from these types of harmful treatments.

These earlier straightening treatments saturated the hair with a formaldehyde solution before drying and ironing, earning them a bad reputation. Formaldehyde is a highly toxic and corrosive chemical and is reported to be carcinogenic, potentially fatal to humans. There are very strict laws regarding the allowance of this ingredient in cosmetics and these early formulations were found to have between 10-50 times more than the legal limit. They also had many rules like not being able to shampoo for days and may people found they didn’t like the two to four days of greasy flat hair.

With superb technological advancements, safe and restorative Brazilian Keratin treatments have been developed and have transformed both clients’ hair and salons’ businesses. While formaldehyde is yet to be effectively banned from hair treatments in USA, it is illegal in UK, EU, Canada and most of the rest of the world. We believe health & safety laws are there for a reason and recommend avoiding formaldehyde treatments at all cost. Use only reputable brands like KeraStraight and salons who are open and honest about the treatment they are using.

Introducing Ultimate Treatment

Whether your hair is straight, wavy or full-on curly, KeraStraight’s award winning Ultimate Treatment will strengthen and repair any hair type, creating a straighter texture, resulting in silky, smooth and manageable hair that lasts up to 4 months.

Founded by hairdresser Jez Barnett in 2009, KeraStraight's innovative formula works by straightening and strengthening the cortex of the hair with Keratin, Cysteine, wheat proteins and an exclusive KS Complex (to keep the treatment sealed in for up to 4 months). Added benefits include incredible strength as well as repairing and softening the cuticle, the outer layer of the hair resulting in gorgeous shine.

Here's how Ultimate Treatment works in four easy steps:

  1. Pre-Treatment Cleanser - The sulphate and sodium chloride-free Pre-Treatment Cleanser gently opens the cuticles and softens the hair. This is left on the hair for up to five minutes for more resistant hair types.
  2. Pre-Treatment Spray Plus - Following the cleanser, Pre-Treatment Spray Plus regulates the protein balance and moisture of the hair, creating the perfect balanced base for the treatment.
  3. Ultimate Treatment - The exciting moment has arrived! KS Ultimate is applied to the hair and left to sink in for 30-45 minutes before being quickly rinsed.
  4. Moisture Lock - With a low pH of just 2.5, KeraStraight’s Moisture Lock includes Argan Oil and hydrolysed wheat proteins to lock in moisture without any barriers. Moisture Lock is applied for two minutes, and the hair is rinsed again before being blow-dried and ironed.

For more information, take a look at this introductory video:


For those looking to sample the wonderful transformative effects of KeraStraight, our Intense Boost is a superb introduction. This includes ground-breaking Protein and Moisture Masks, which are designed to repair, rehydrate and renew hair from the cortex to the cuticle lasting for up to 30 days.

Will KeraStraight work on Afro-Caribbean hair?

Afro-Caribbean hair has less cuticle layers than other hair types. As a result it is easy to damage with harsh chemical relaxers and colour which can cause internal harm to the hair's cortex. Like all KeraStraight products and treatments, KS Ultimate is designed to provide intensive straightening and repairing for all hair types, using an innovative formula, which is both highly effective and very kind to Afro-Caribbean hair.

Afro-Caribbean hair has less cuticle layers than other hair types. As a result it is easy to damage with harsh chemical relaxers and colour which can cause internal harm to the hair's cortex. Like all KeraStraight products and treatments, KS Ultimate is designed to perform on all hair types and provides intensive straightening and repairing using an innovative formula, which is both highly effective and very kind to Afro-Caribbean hair. 

For a closer look at KeraStraight’s effect on Afro-Caribbean hair, watch this video. Risskat wanted quicker-to-manage hair with more shine and moisture and the results are spectacular.

To maximise the treatment's benefits, we recommend using the either Moisture Enhance or Volume Enhance Shampoo and Conditioner, which also include our exclusive KS Complex and deliver a gorgeously luxurious shampoo experience. KeraStraight Moisture Mask can be used once a week as an extra hydrating treat to keep hair hydrated and soft. Weaker and finer hair will benefit from our Protein Mask which continues to strengthen and repair hair, delivering incredible softness and shine.

KeraStraight founder, Jez Barnett has continually developed the life changing treatments since 2008 and is thrilled at results of KeraStraight, saying, "KeraStraight’s family of treatments and styling products will radically transform all hair types, leaving it feeling repaired, looking gorgeous and easy to manage. Every product we create is designed to deliver like no other as a result of combining the latest technology with our commitment to excellence and our passion for gorgeous hair."

KS Ultimate is an incredibly popular choice for top salons across the UK and worldwide. Nathan Walker, the International Technical Director at Trevor Sorbie, is a true advocate of the treatment, adding “KeraStraight continues to be our choice of Brazilian smoothing treatment. The commitment that KeraStraight has to being the best in the industry is a perfect match for our own philosophy. Clients continue to enjoy the benefits of beautiful smoothness shine and condition. New innovations mean that powerful repairing and smoothing is now easier than ever and the most comfortable client experience yet."