Difference Between Keratin and Protein Treatment

Hair treatments are well-known among individuals of different hair textures. Hair treatments refine the life span, health, dynamic quality, and upgrade texture.


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They shield the hair from sun harm and harm by standard styling. Keratin and Protein procedures are well-known treatments utilized generally for adding strength and sheen while managing frizz. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Keratin treatments focus on smoothing and straightening hair by infusing keratin protein, while protein treatments strengthen and repair damaged hair with various proteins.
  2. Keratin treatments typically involve using heat to seal the keratin into the hair, while protein treatments do not necessarily require heat application.
  3. Keratin treatments generally last several weeks to months, while protein treatments provide shorter-term benefits and require more frequent application.

 Keratin vs Protein Treatment 

Keratin treatment is a chemical hair treatment that involves applying a keratin solution to the hair, then using heat to seal the solution into the hair shaft. Protein treatment is a hair treatment that involves applying a protein-rich solution to the hair to strengthen and repair damaged hair.

Keratin vs Protein Treatment

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Keratin treatment is a popular hair treatment popularized as Keratin is a crucial component in hair. It is ideal for all hair types- straight, wavy, and curly.

The treatment straightens the hair and maintains the softness and endurance. It nourishes the hair and fulfills the lack of protein in the hair. 

Protein Treatment is a treatment providing all the essential proteins for hair to maintain its length and restore vitality. It is a mixture of amino acids that adds smoothness to hair and avoids brittleness, roughness, and fizziness.

There are many types of Protein treatments used as per hair needs and requirements.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonKeratin Treatment Protein Treatment 
Relation Between Keratin and Protein TreatmentKeratin is one of the types of protein treatment.Protein treatment can be of many types. Keratin treatment is one of them. 
UpkeepDo not use water for 2-3 days to let the treatment soak in hair, then wash with mild shampoos.You can follow up a protein treatment with deep conditioning to ensure no protein overload in hair.
TypesIt includes Brazilian keratin, Soft keratin, Japzillian keratin, and more.It includes wheat protein, Silk protein, Soy protein, Caviar protein, and more. 
Time TakenThe treatment takes around two to four hours. It may take 20-45 minutes to soak into the hair follicles.  
How Long Does it Last?It can last for six months when taken good care of.It is done every four-six weeks or according to hair needs. Its effects are minutely gone after four weeks. 

What is Keratin Treatment?

Keratin is a major part of the hair. It is because keratin is a pre-existing protein found in skin, nails, and hair. Keratin is present in large amounts in straight or wavy hair, whereas the levels are low in curly hair. 

Genetic factors and chemical processes to straighten the hair are causes for keratin deficiency. Thus, Keratin treatments are available in the market. They are effective in nourishing the hair and protecting it from damage. 

Keratin is extracted from the skin and nails of cattle, and plants. It is a hair treatment, not a hair straightening product. Thus, it cannot alter or enhance the texture of the hair.

It means that it cannot turn the coarse hair texture into finer hair. It protects hair from further damage and compensates for the lack of keratin in hair.

It is a restorative treatment that strengthens the shaft and adds resilience. Keratin treatment is added to the hair and sealed with the help of a flat iron. It penetrates the solution into the hair. The process may take around 90 minutes or more. 

Keratin treatment is criticized because formaldehyde, a component responsible for carcinogen production hampers the hair. You can go for Zero Formalin products. 

What is Protein Treatment?

Protein treatment is an advanced idea of Keratin treatment. Hair is made of protein, specifically Keratin. Protein treatments help the hair to retain moisture, get nourished. It is because Keratin protein in the air unravels and breaks down when susceptible to regular damage over time. 

Protein treatments are not simply Keratin. They are an amalgamation of a variety of amino acids and other types of proteins that work together to eliminate hair damage by boosting the protein matrix, supporting and rebuilding the hair bonds. 

The treatment has proteins like silk amino acids and hydrolyzed wheat protein attaching to the hair follicle and tightening the cuticles.

It avoids dust particles, sun rays, and other harmful foreign objects penetrating the cuticle layer. It protects from contamination and impairment. 

It is essential to enhance the hair elasticity to stretch more and bounce back. It eliminates split ends and breakage. It elongates the hair by preventing weakness and brittleness in the follicles. It is essential for timely deep cleansing and nourishing based on different strengthening needs. 

There are many protein treatments: 

  • Caviar treatment: is rich in vitamins and fatty acids. 
  • Silk Protein: Revive dry hair.
  • Soy Protein: Improve hair strength and restore moisture.

Main Differences Between Keratin Treatment and Protein Treatment 

  1. Keratin treatment is perfect for people who straighten their hair every day. Protein treatments are great for people looking to reconstruct hair bonds. 
  2. Keratin treatment turns the hair straight, reduces frizziness and roughness. Protein treatments are primarily focused on improving the hair structure and strength by reconstructing the strands and roots. 
  3. Keratin treatment is preferred every 4-5 months to ensure minimal hair damage and optimum results. Protein treatments can be done at home once or twice a month based on hair needs. 
  4. Keratin treatments are more prone to containing Formalin, which is harmful to hair. Whereas, Protein treatments are less prone to having Formalin in their formula. 
  5. Keratin treatment is not ideal for curly and wavy hair due to its effects. Protein treatments are perfect for curly and wavy hair for providing softness and encouraging hair to clump better. 
Difference Between Keratin and Protein Treatment


  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jocd.12030
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12221-010-1055-z
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