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    Keratin: Everything You Need to Know

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    Keratin is one of the most talked-about treatments in the industry, prompting questions from clients and hairdressers alike. Here, HJi asks keratin experts for the lowdown on one of the most popular services of recent times.
    How should you go about the consultation for a client considering a keratin treatment? And how should hairdressers advise clients on the aftercare for keratin treated hair?
    “Keratin treatments work for most hair types, but you have to make sure your client knows what to expect from their treatment in comparison to its natural state. If they already have straight or just slightly wavy hair, they can expect to achieve fantastically conditioned hair. Whereas if their natural hair is tight curls and frizzy, hair will look tamed and conditioned but thick.
    “Keratin aftercare products are sold on the idea of using them to protect an investment. Ensuring clients know that products which are specifically fortified with keratin will increase the longevity of the results and get the most out of their treatment will encourage them to invest in the best aftercare range.” 
    Ben Collins, Keratin Revolution
    Who is keratin suitable for? 
    “The system is suitable for all hair types, but especially effective on damaged or coarse hair, such as bleached, coloured or lightened hair, hair extensions made from natural hair and sun damaged hair. It should be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding mothers and children under the age of 10, as no medical testing has been done in these groups.
    “A consideration for hairdressers is the porosity of the hair, and its ability to withstand the 230°C heat. The heat from the irons is the only thing that can damage the hair during treatment, so it is vital that hairdressers diagnose the degree of porosity prior to carrying out the service. For overly-porous hair, the temperature of the irons will need to be lowered slightly.”
    Gary Green, Nanokeratin
    What are the rules when it comes to using keratin on coloured hair?
    “Keratin treatments will always improve and enhance the condition and texture of coloured hair but, generally, there will always be a degree of fade on freshly coloured hair. It is advisable to colour hair or refresh the colour after the treatment, as hair structure will be stronger so you will achieve more vibrant, longer-lasting colour results.”
    Chris Vieyra, Brocato UK
    How should a salon deal with complaints and concerns from customers?
    “If they are using a quality brand and have been properly trained, salons should receive few issues with keratin treatment services. That said, any problems that do arise should be dealt with no differently than issues with other salon treatments and services. Listen to the client and reassure them, examining the hair to verify their claims. Review the client’s records on which product was used and how the service was delivered, then decide on the appropriate course of action and discuss it with the client. After this is done, review the results and update any salon processes or training if necessary. 
    “To avoid possible issues with keratin treatments, use a service with a good technical support department, undertake regular training with your staff, carry out detailed consultations to manage clients’ expectations and ensure they have the right aftercare products.”
    David Vickers, GK Hair
    What are the most important safety precautions to take?
    “Check that your supplier has a safety certificate; these should always be made available for clients to view if requested. When applying keratin treatments always wear gloves and apply in a well-ventilated salon as when ironing the hair a small amount of smoke or steam will be released. A skin test is always advisable.”
    Lorraine Rose, L’Kerabelle
    What ingredients should you look out for in keratin treatments?
    “Keratin protein itself strengthens, repairs and smoothes the hair. Other good ingredients to look for in a treatment are cystine, which is found naturally in the hair and adds extra strength; argan oil for moisture; collagen for elasticity and pro vitamin B5 (panthenol) for shine. Nano-technology leads to better ingredient absorption and longer-lasting results. Avoid anything that includes formaldehyde and/or formaldehyde releasers.”
    Mark Shorrock, La Brasiliana
    What should you be looking for when choosing a keratin supplier?
    “It is essential that any products brought into the salon pass all UK health and safety laws for the safety of your team, clients and business. Any non-compliant products could void a salon’s insurance. Suppliers should provide Material Safety Data Sheets and be able to explain thoroughly how their treatment works. A supplier should be happy to answer all and any questions you may have and should appreciate that salons need to be 100% certain that the products they choose are not only safe, but will deliver fantastic product performance and help them boost their profits.”
    Jez Barnett, KeraStraight
    What should you charge for the keratin treatment service, and how should you market it?
    “On average you should charge about £200 and the service should take two hours. If the client has less or more hair than average, you should price accordingly and the same for the time taken. You can market keratin treatments in many ways: as a relaxer to tame very curly hair,  
    as a way to eliminate frizz, as a way to repair chemically damaged hair, as a way to keep hair more manageable and attractive on holiday or atrs a way to stop ends breaking and splitting for clients trying to grow their hair.”
    Darren Crook, Louella Belle 
    Rachael Gibson

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