Woman with long straight blonde hair

Hair Botox vs Keratin Treatment: What’s the Difference?

Hair botox and keratin treatments are two of the most common treatments used in salons for those seeking smoother, straighter hair. However, while they both give similar results (like eliminating frizz and boosting shine) there are some key factors which differentiate the two.

Hair botox is a non-chemical, deep conditioning treatment which coats the surface of the hair, filling in split ends and fending off frizz. Meanwhile, keratin treatments are a chemical smoothing process (usually containing formaldehyde), which also combat frizz, but are more effective at straightening. Read on to find out more about the pros and cons of each, and figure out which treatment is right for you and your hair.

Woman brushing her hair

What Is Hair Botox?

Hair botox is a hair treatment designed to help eliminate frizz, as it smooths and “turns back the time” on your hair clock. A great option if you’re keen to avoid using too many harsh chemicals on your hair, it’s a deep conditioning treatment that helps to restore and reconstruct your hair, using key ingredients such as proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and lipids. The anti-ageing hair treatment acts like filler (hence the name), by filling in any gaps in the hair fibres, leaving it silky, shiny, and more youthful-looking.

Typically, your hair will be washed (skipping conditioner) with a clarifying shampoo to remove any residue on your hair and open your hair cuticles. Afterwards, the hair botox treatment will be applied and left on for roughly 45 minutes, before being washed off with a gentle, low or sulphate-free shampoo, blow-dried and typically, sealed with straighteners.

What Is a Keratin Treatment?

A keratin treatment (also known as a Brazillian blowdry) is a chemical treatment which smooths hair and gets rid of frizz. Many keratin treatments include the chemical formaldehyde which can produce a rather unpleasant odour and can sometimes cause irritation for those with sensitive scalps. However, formaldehyde-free options, which are less harsh, are also available.

The treatment is applied to damp hair after shampooing, then blow-dried and straightened in sections to activate the product, before being rinsed out and restyled, after which you’ll be left with sleek, smooth strands.

TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shampoo front


Editor’s tip: Want silky smooth hair? We suggest trying the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shampoo, formulated with hydrolysed keratin and marula oil, that controls frizz and is gentle enough to use every day. For an extra layer of shine, pair it with the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shine Oil that offers up to 72 hours of frizz control.

Woman getting a professional hair treatment

Is Hair Botox or Keratin Treatment Suitable for My Hair Type?

The great news about hair botox is, that it’s pretty much suitable for all hair types. However, you’ll probably reap the benefits more if you suffer from dry, frizzy, dull locks, or fine hair that you wish had more volume.

Keratin treatments are best for those with thick, curly hair that’s prone to becoming frizzy in humidity. They make the hair more manageable, making everyday styling easier. Those with fine strands may find a keratin treatment weighs down their hair, while hair botox retains more volume.

How Long Do Hair Botox and Keratin Treatments Last?

Both hair botox and keratin treatments offer semi-permanent results. The effects of hair botox typically last between 2-4 months, while keratin treatments last on average 3 months. For both treatments, it’s recommended that you use a low or sulphate-free shampoo to help maintain the treatment’s benefits for as long as possible after leaving the salon.


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