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

Get clued up on these popular salon treatments.

Hair botox and keratin treatments are two of the most common treatments used in salons for those seeking smoother hair. This makes sense, as they both give similar results, like smoothing hair and boosting shine. However, 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 flyaways. Meanwhile, keratin treatments are a chemical smoothing process (usually containing formaldehyde). These also combat flyaways 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 with long wavy healthy hair
Source: Shutterstock


What Is Hair Botox?

Hair botox is a hair treatment designed to help eliminate flyaways. It smooths and “turns back the time” on your hair clock. It’s a deep conditioning treatment that helps to restore and reconstruct your hair. Hair botox uses key ingredients such as proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and lipids. Because of this, it’s a great option if you’re keen to avoid using too many harsh chemicals on your hair. The anti-ageing hair treatment acts like filler (hence the name). It fills 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. This removes any residue on your hair and opens your hair cuticles. Afterwards, the hair botox treatment will be applied and left on for roughly 45 minutes. Then it will be 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 Brazilian blow-dry) is a chemical treatment which smooths hair and gets rid of flyaways. Many keratin treatments include the chemical formaldehyde which can produce a rather unpleasant odour. An important thing to note: these 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. Finally, it is rinsed out and restyled. After this process, you’ll be left with sleek, smooth strands.


woman getting her hair washed
Source: Shutterstock


Is It Suitable for My Hair Type?

The great news about hair botox is, that it’s pretty much suitable for all hair types.

Keratin treatments are best for those with thick, curly hair. They make the hair smoother, making everyday styling easier. Those with thin strands may find a keratin treatment weighs down their hair, while hair botox retains more volume.


How Long Do They Last?

Both hair botox and keratin treatments offer semi-permanent results. The effects of hair botox typically last between 2-4 months. Keratin treatments last 3 months on average. 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.

Editor’s tip: We suggest testing out the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Range if either of these treatments are on your radar. The range includes the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shampoomade with lower sulphates, while the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Conditioner, Deep Smoothing Mask and Shine Oil are infused with keratin and marula oil, to smoothen the hair fibre, giving you soft, silky and shiny hair.

TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Conditioner


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