What is meant by the terms “Smoothening treatment” and “Keratin treatment”?

In our busy day-to-day lives, we barely get the time to look after our body, skin, and hair well and they mostly tend to bear the brunt of pollution and stress that we endure in our hustle. Though we may sometimes take out a day or two for a spa session to rejuvenate and nourish our skin, our hair is a completely different story. Firstly, pollution and stress have many adverse effects on our health and we suffer from such hair concerns as hair loss, dull hair, unmanageable hair, and so on. To take care of these issues, it’s necessary to visit the salon once in a while. But how to decide what treatment you should get so that you may tame your unruly tresses and have the luscious, beautiful hair of your dreams?

You might have such terms as “Keratin treatment” or “Smoothening treatments”. They are mainly hair treatments that would help frizzy hair. Since both of these treatments generally have the same objective, how do you know which treatment to opt for? To find out more about both of these hair treatments, keep reading till the end so that you can make a conscious choice while getting a hair treatment yourself.

How does a Keratin treatment work?

What most people understand by the term “Keratin Treatment” are hair-smoothing processes that are applied on frizzy hair to tame them for weeks and even months. Many people use the terms “Keratin treatments”, “Brazilian blowout” and “smoothing treatments” interchangeably, but, needless to say, each of them is quite different from the other. Through a Keratin treatment and a Brazilian blowout are the same thing but smoothening treatments are different. Keratin treatments refer to procedures that straighten your hair semi-permanently.

Keratin Hair Spa
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Keratin treatments employ the use of the protein keratin, which is the same one that makes up our hair. But keratin is not actually the crux of this treatment. A traditional Keratin treatment only aims to straighten your hair and not smooth it. It generally involves a formaldehyde-releasing solution. Here is the procedure that is followed in a Keratin treatment.

First, your stylist would saturate all your hair in the formaldehyde-releasing solution for about 20 minutes such that your cuticles are coated like armor. Then, your hair would be blow-dried and straightened out. This entire process straightens your hair and leaves it frizz-free at least for three months.

Read – How to straight home at home

How do Smoothening treatments work?

The core aim of Smoothening treatments too lies in making the hair frizz-free, not unlike Keratin treatments. Moreover, Smoothening treatments also add shine to the hair without damaging its texture. The main difference between a Keratin treatment and a Smoothing treatment is that the latter is formaldehyde-free. Smoothening treatments are those that deeply permeate the cortex of your hair rather than sit on the hair cuticle. Here is the procedure of a Smoothing treatment.

Smoothening treatment
images: EnvatoElements

The solution used in this treatment isn’t as potent as that in a Keratin treatment, where formaldehyde plays the main role in straightening out the hair. However, the application process is the same in Smoothing treatments as is followed in the keratin treatment. Thus, as the name suggests, you will have smooth, frizz-free hair but it won’t be straight if you get the Smoothing treatment. Smoothing treatments last longer than the Keratin treatments- generally four to six months.

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Keratin treatments vs Smoothening treatments

Now that you know the basics of both treatments, here are some additional details. But first, you must know a few more things. Both Keratin treatments and Smoothing treatments are followed through after a few simple processes. Those involve shampooing your hair so that dirt and build-up from your scalp and hair may be removed. Next, your hair would be blow-dried and a smoothing solution or a formaldehyde-releasing (keratin-based) solution would be applied to your hair, based on the type of treatment you are getting. Now here are the other details about both of the treatments.

images: EnvatoElements
  1. Frizz-free hair: We have all been a victim of frizzy hair more often than not in our lives and it certainly seems to dampen many of our plans. Frizzy hair can also ruin your prospects of having easy, manageable hair that is easy to style. Hence, getting either a keratin treatment or a Smoothing treatment would help you get straighter, smoother hair and you won’t be bothered by any flyaways or frizz. For a well-groomed look, these treatments are the perfect solutions.
  2. Healthy, shiny and silky tresses: While both of the treatments help you achieve smoother, healthier hair, a keratin treatment improves the health of your hair more as it is a protein-based treatment. During a Keratin treatment, hydrolyzed keratin penetrates deep into your hair cuticle and bonds with it; this strengthens your hair from inside out. You will notice that your hair looks healthier and voluminous after a Keratin treatment.
  3. Time investment: Both treatments last for about 3 or 4 hours in the salon and this amount of time varies depending on the hair length and type. It would be best if you get the treatment when you are free for an entire day.
  4. Lasting effects: As aforementioned, a Smoothing treatment lasts longer, that is, for about 6 to 8 months, unlike a Keratin treatment which lasts for 3 to 4 months. However, the longevity of these treatments also depends on another factor which is how well you have been taking care of your hair post-treatment.

How to choose between the two treatments?

images: EnvatoElements

Choosing between the two treatments can be confusing. Here are a couple of factors you might consider before visiting the salon.

  • Aftercare or maintenance: Both treatments would require you not to clip or wash your hair for 3 days after getting the treatment. After getting a smoothing treatment, you would need to switch to a gentle, SLS and paraben-free shampoo and conditioner so that the effect of the treatment lasts longer. Keratin treatments generally require more aftercare, as you must use a keratin-based shampoo and conditioner after the treatment.
  • Cost investments: Smoothing treatments cost less than keratin treatments. Keratin treatments are more expensive because of a number of reasons. Firstly, for maintaining your hair after a Keratin treatment, you would have to switch to special keratin-based products. Moreover, you will also have to get frequent touch-ups at the salon to keep the effect intact.


It may not always be possible to visit a salon when you want to get a hair treatment. Thus Yes Madam brings to you their perfect services so that you can get the full salon experience right in the comforts of your home. Lay back and relax as our trained and experienced professionals take care of your hair and change it into healthier, shining, luscious hair. Besides hair care services at home, we also offer other salon and spa services.

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