Frizzy hair is a fact of life for most curly-headed folks, stemming from a lack of moisture in the hair shaft. Products that claim to de-frizz are big business these days, as you can tell by the number of items on the shelf at your local drugstore or hair salon. We chose one of the more expensive at-home treatments to put through the A&K Test Lab.
Liquid Keratin claims to be the first safe, at-home hair smoothing and straightening treatment. Each treatment lasts up to 6 weeks. From their website: “In independent clinical lab studies, Liquid Keratin treated hair was longer, softer, and shinier, with 100% less frizz.”
Keratin (one of the main natural components of hair) extracted from New Zealand wool. The product claims that the elements of the keratin allow the formation of coherent films on the cuticle surface and penetration into the cortex.
The manufacturer says it is safe to use on coloured and chemically-treated hair because it doesn’t contain formaldehyde (a carcinogen) or harsh chemicals. However, they also recommend using Liquid Keratin at least 1-2 weeks after colour or chemical treatments, and to do a strand test first.
Initial treatment: 1.5 hours, and must keep hair dry and straight for 48 hours post-treatment. Re-apply treatment every 4-6 weeks.
The starter kit is $69 (USD) and includes treatment product (120ml), shampoo (50ml) and conditioner (50ml). Flat-rate shipping to Canada is $39 USD (incl. duty and tax)
Note: we thought the starter sizes were pretty small, so you’ll likely have to shell out another $56 USD for shampoo and conditioner to last the full 4-6 weeks.
Separate product costs (USD):
- treatment ($49/120ml)
- shampoo ($27/200ml)
- conditioner ($29/200ml)
- leave-in conditioner ($27/120ml)
Where to buy:
Online at LiquidKeratin.com. It’s also available to purchase at some salons in the US. (We haven’t seen it available at salons in Canada yet.)
You’ll also need a hair straightening iron to set the product when you do the initial treatment.
What else is out there:
With an in-salon de-frizz and straightening treatment, you may spend 2 to 3.5 hours in thechair and anywhere from $250-350 (USD). Plus, you’ll be shelling out ontop of that for the salon’s specially-formulated shampoos, conditionersand styling products. As of November 2009 (our test period), keratintreatments are only available in US salons as far as we know.
Test Lab Notes
After our testers applied the initial treatment, they felt the product did a good job at reducing frizz and left their hair soft. After a few days, however, the frizz came back to a small degree.
After 4 weeks, both thought the treatment was a failure and that their hair was just as frizzy as it was before the treatment.
It was a lot of work for a product that didn’t make much of a difference.
A&K Test Lab Result:
Liquid Keratin does not get the A&K Stamp of Approval.
General Buying Tips
When looking at de-frizz products, try to choose one with ingredients that will strengthen and moisturize:
Keratin is the main element of human hair. Keratin protein helps keep the hair shaft smooth and strong. Keratin is available as an ingredient in shampoos, conditioners and styling products.
Soy protein adds strength.
Natural oils and silk extracts add softness and shine.
Silicone-based products work well at de-frizzing but can weigh hair down. Who wants limp and greasy? Apply sparingly.
AVOID products that contain formaldehyde, whether home treatments or salons. Formaldehyde is highly carcinogenic and was an ingredient in early treatments, which originated in Brazil.