Your Keratin Questions, Answered

Seeya, frizz! Don’t forget to shut the door on your way out!

Ever heard the beauty philosophy of choosing to be ‘high maintenance to be low maintenance’? The premise is this: if you invest in short- to medium-term treatments, you’ll spend less time in the mirror each morning. The perfect example? Keratin treatments. 

If your hair is frizzy and unruly, you’ll know what I’m talking about. A salon-standard keratin treatment promises to smooth hair and speed up your drying time – in turn, helping you break up with your hair straightener and spend five more minutes snoozing on weekdays. 

While keratin treatments aren’t new, they’re always evolving thanks to advancements in technology. Once upon a time, high levels of formaldehyde (yes, as in, the known carcinogen) was part and parcel with the service but these days, most brands opt to go formaldehyde-free – although, it’s worth noting that the legal limit of formaldehyde in Australia is 0.2 per cent. 

It’s a treatment that promises a lot – but does it deliver? We speak to Jaye Edwards, Founder, Colourist and Director of EdwardsAndCo and Rita Marcon, Director of Education of Goldwell Australia to find out more.

What is keratin?

“Keratin is the structural building block of your hair,” Marcon explains. “It provides the shape of your hair – whether that be straight, wavy, curly, etc.”

How does a keratin treatment work? 

Way back when, a keratin treatment was also known as a ‘Brazillian blowout’. The latter would result in an ultra-straight finish. Nowadays, technically-speaking a keratin treatment smooths rather than straightens. “It penetrates into the hair and creates new keratin bonds to re-shape the hair structure, taking it from frizzy to smooth,” says Marcon.

It’s a treatment that is popular amongst EdwardsAndCo clients. “Our philosophy is around future proofing hair, so we are huge advocates for treatments that provide low maintenance styling, improve the condition of your hair and maximise the longevity of its colour,” Edwards tells Gritty Pretty. This semi-permanent treatment reduces the need for daily heat styling, meaning hair is healthier in the long term.

The results

Keratin is an option for anyone wanting to reduce frizz, cut down on styling time and increase shine (um… yes, yes and yes). It’s a treatment that is fully customisable and requires a consultation with your hairdresser to determine the cost, time spent in salon, and results. 

How long does it last? Well, that depends on how well your hair takes to the treatment. Typically, you’ll see the continued effects for three to six months. To prolong the effects, invest in a quality sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner (Edwards recommends Virtue Labs Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner) and avoid dips in the pool or ocean. 

When keratin is good, it’s really good. After consulting our Gritty Pretty Gang on Facebook, I can confirm that many women swear by this treatment and believe the semi-permanent effects are worth the bi-annual investment. 

A word of warning: the more hair you have, the more you can expect to pay. If your hair is really thick, have an honest conversation with your hairdresser about the level of smoothness that you can realistically achieve – there is nothing worse than dropping a few hundred $$ only to be disappointed. 

Things to consider 

Some treatments require you to leave your hair straight (no tucking it behind your ears or throwing it in a bun) for up to three days. Yikes. However, Goldwell’s new Kerasilk Keratin Smoothing Treatment offers the same results, minus the down time. “You can style, wash or wear your hair however you like as soon as you leave the salon,” Marcon says.

While modern versions are much better for your hair than previously, they’re not exactly good for your hair, per se. “If your hair is dry or damaged before your treatment, consider increasing the use of moisturizing treatments prior to your keratin service to ensure best results and condition,” Marcon continues. Hair that is very dry and/or damaged could turn brassy post-keratin. 

If you colour your hair, you’ll need to speak to your hairdresser to ensure that you’re timing your keratin right – otherwise, it could throw off your hue. 


Prices vary salon to salon depending on the brand used and amount of hair. Goldwell Kerasilk Keratin Smoothing Treatment costs between $250 and $450. 

We now have a podcast! Introducing, Gritty Pretty Radio – a new beauty podcast where we chat to some of the industry’s leading beauty entrepreneurs, brand founders and celebrities. Hosted by Founder & Editor-In-Chief, Eleanor Pendleton and Beauty Director, Erin Cook, this platform is your one-stop beauty shop. Click here to listen. 


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