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Amino Acids Treatments vs. Keratin Treatments

Summer is here and so is the humidity! Many of our clients are looking for a smoothing treatment to help prevent their hair from swelling when straight or to help it become more manageable while wearing natural styles. For those who have never worn a smoothing treatment, we are constantly asked the difference between an Amino Acid Treatment and a Keratin Treatment. Let’s start with the breakdown of a Keratin Treatment:

Keratin Treatments:

Keratin is a type of natural protein that makes up approximately 88 percent of your hair. It is high in the amino acid cystine and is what makes hair “super tough and extremely elastic.” Keratin is a biopolymer, which gives "form and structure to naturally occurring substances,” such as hair and nails, and that the liquid keratin formula “blends with the hair on your head to help restore what has been lost over time.” The keratin works to adhere itself to the hair and hair cuticle, allowing the hair to contain the moisture, which keeps it hydrated.

The issue is the size of the keratin bond in the keratin treatment competes with the size of the keratin bonds already present in your hair. Because the keratin is larger, a chemical is used to penetrate the strand so the product can get in.

Most Keratin Treatments have the ingredient "Formaldehyde" as a preservative because it bonds the conditioners to your hair, but it can cause respiratory distress and health issues.

For this reason, stylists use masks to cover their nose and mouths, as well as, their clients. Keratin treatments are also known to permanently straighten naturally textured hair. The process can be timely, as it requires several trips to the shampoo bowl, multiple blow dry and flat iron applications.

Amino Acid Treatments:

At Replenish Salon we prefer Amino Acid Treatments and we use the Basic One-Step Smoothing System.

The BASIC One-Step Smoothing System combines new technology and proven results for a safe alternative to harsh keratin treatments, because it’s all natural and do not need the use of formaldehyde. The active ingredient in the One-Step Smoothing System is " Cystine Amino Acids."

Anything that is measured on the Ph scale is “considered” a chemical, even water--which has a pH very close to seven. BASIC's One-Step Smoothing System has a pH of 1.5 which means it is acidic (like lemon juice) and very low on the pH scale. Therefore, it poses no harm to the hair like harsh chemicals, such as relaxers and permanent hair colors, which have a much higher pH. Additionally, the system does not contain chemicals that break disulfide bonds, therefore the effect is not permanent.

The process is based on the One-Step Smoothing Foam and does not involve multiple trips to the shampoo bowl, multiple blowdries and multiple passes with the flat iron. The system only requires a cleansing, a Smoothing foam application, Blow-dry and flat iron with one pass. Lasting 6-8 weeks, the amino acid treatment wears off without permanently straightening your hair. Our clients can go back and forth, between straight or natural styles with ease. The hair is more manageable and lightly stretched to prevent easy reverting during the summer hot months, and easier to manipulate during styling natural twist, wash n go’s, or braid-outs!

The smoothing treatment penetrates deep within the hair strand to restore, replenish, and strengthen the bonds of your hair. It is a great component to promote length retention and healthy hair.

Is the Basic One-Step Smoothing Treatment an option for you?

Whether you wear your hair in a sleek style or natural style, the smoothing treatment can be a good option for you. Some clients, like the one shown in the photos, likes the idea of having semi-looser curls, so when wearing a wash n go, her curls are more defined. Other’s may get the treatment to help keep the hair from reverting as easy while exercising or during hot, humid days.

If you choose to wear a smoothing treatment this summer, have a detailed conversation with your stylist about your options, and if you want to remain chemical free and free of harsh chemicals; I say choose an Amino Acid Treatment!

Senior Stylist,

Stephanie Lipsey

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