Hair Protein vs Keratin Treatment – What’s Their Difference? 

Do you know the difference between a protein in hair and a keratin treatment for hair?

If not, you’re not alone! Many people get the two confused, but they are pretty different. 

In this post, I’ll discuss the differences between hair protein and keratin treatments to decide which is best for you.

Stay tuned!

Key Takeaways

  1. Target Area: Keratin treatments primarily focus on enhancing the outer appearance of the hair, making it smooth and shiny, while protein treatments work on repairing the inner structure of damaged or fragile hair.
  2. Best Suited For: Keratin treatments are versatile and can be used on all hair types, while protein treatments are specifically beneficial for hair that’s dry, damaged, or fragile.
  3. Duration of Effect: The smoothing effects of keratin treatments can last for several weeks, making them a longer-term solution, whereas protein treatments offer a more temporary but immediate boost to hair health and structure.

What is Protein Treatment?

Protein treatment treats hair with a protein-rich product, which can be applied to your scalp or hair and left on for several hours before rinsing.

This step aims to help strengthen weak areas in your hair by adding proteins that will bind together the strands of hair.

This helps prevent breakage and split ends. It also adds shine and luster to the hair.

Several types of protein treatments are available, ranging from deep conditioning masks to Leave-in conditioners.

How Does Protein Treatment Work

When it comes to achieving healthy, lustrous hair, proteins are essential.

Unfortunately, our hair is constantly exposed to damage from heat styling, UV rays, and other environmental factors [1].

This can lead to dryness, breakage, and split ends. Protein treatments can help replenish your hair’s proteins, giving it the strength and elasticity it needs to withstand daily wear and tear.

Many types of protein treatments are available, but they all work by providing a temporary protective coating around each strand of hair.

This helps to seal in moisture and prevent further damage. Depending on the treatment type, the effects can last from a few weeks to several months.

So if you’re looking for a way to boost your hair’s strength and shine, a protein treatment may be the perfect solution.

Check out this video for a more in-depth explanation:

Benefits of Protein Treatment

Protein treatments can do wonders for your hair. They can help to repair the damage, add strength and elasticity, and protect against future damage. Here are just a few of the many benefits of protein treatments:

  1. Help to repair damage caused by heat styling, coloring, and other chemical processes.
  2. Add strength and elasticity to your hair, making it less prone to breakage.
  3. Protect your hair against future damage from heat styling, coloring, and other chemical processes.
  4. Give limp or fine hair a boost of volume
  5. Improve the overall health of your scalp and hair follicles.

If you’re looking for a way to improve the health and appearance of your hair, protein treatments are a great option.

Talk to your stylist about which type of treatment would best suit your needs.

How Does Keratin Treatment Work?

If you’re considering a keratin treatment, you’re not alone. This famous hair straightening treatment has become a go-to option for those looking to achieve smooth, sleek locks. But what exactly is a keratin treatment, and what are the benefits?

lady having salon treatment (Hair Protein vs Keratin)

This protein naturally occurs in your hair, but exposure to the elements can deplete it, leaving your strands dry, frizzy, and difficult to manage [2].

A keratin treatment is designed to replenish the protein in your hair, resulting in softer, shinier, and more manageable locks.

The treatment usually takes around 90 minutes and involves using a special keratin-infused serum to condition the hair deeply.

Once the serum has been applied, it is sealed into the hair with a flat iron.

Many women report seeing a dramatic difference in the condition of their hair after just one treatment, and the effects typically last for several months.

If you’re looking for a way to give your hair a healthy boost, a keratin treatment may be right for you.

Benefits of Keratin Treatment

If you’re considering a keratin treatment, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth it. After all, it is an investment of both time and money.

But some benefits make keratin treatments worth considering.

  1. Keratin treatment can help to repair damaged hair. If your hair is dry, brittle, or frizzy, a keratin treatment can help to restore its natural moisture and shine.
  2. Keratin treatment can also make your hair easier to manage. After a treatment, you’ll find that your hair is more manageable and less likely to frizz or tangle.
  3. Keratin treatment can also help to protect your hair from future damage. The keratin used in treatments helps to form a protective barrier around each strand of hair, making it more resistant to damage from heat styling and environmental factors.

Here’s another great video explanation:

Similarities Between Keratin and Protein Treatment

Hooray for hair care! Let’s dive into the fabulous world of keratin and protein treatments that make your hair look stunning and infuse it with much-needed nutrients.

Here’s a happy table comparing the wonderful similarities between these two hair treatments!

Keratin TreatmentsProtein Treatments
PurposeImproves health and appearance of hairEnhances health and appearance of hair
SuitabilityIt can be used on all hair typesIt can be used on all hair types
MethodInfuses hair with nutrients to repair damage and strengthen strandsInfuses hair with nutrients to repair damage and enhance strands
Where to UseCan be done at a salon or home (with a purchased kit)Can be done at a salon or home (with a purchased kit)

Key Differences Between Keratin and Protein Treatment

Great news, hair care lovers! This handy table is your golden ticket to understanding the exciting differences between keratin and protein hair treatments. Enjoy!

Keratin TreatmentsProtein Treatments
Affect on Hair StructureMinor changes to the outside of the hair shaftIt affects the hair’s inner structure
SuitabilityIt can be used on all hair typesBest suited for damaged or fragile hair
Application MethodIt uses heat to seal the product into the hairIt uses cold to penetrate the hair shaft
PurposeSmooths the hair shaft, makes hair shiny and manageableRepairs damaged hair and improve its overall structure
Best ForReducing frizz and adding shineParticularly dry or damaged hair
Lasting EffectResults typically last several weeksResults are more temporary

So, which treatment is proper for you?

The answer may depend on the current condition of your hair. If your hair is dry and brittle, protein treatment can help replenish lost moisture and boost your strands.

If your hair is prone to frizz and flyaways, a keratin treatment can help to smooth down the cuticle and give you sleek, manageable locks.

Ultimately, both treatments can be beneficial for your hair. It just depends on what you are looking to achieve.

Of course, there are also hybrid treatments that combine both protein and keratin. These options can be a great way to get the best of both worlds.

If you’re curious about the impact of “Keratin Treatment on Black Hair“, or questioning “Does Keratin Treatment Cause Hair Loss“, my articles provide some useful insights. Moreover, for those pondering “Does Cold Air Damage Hair” or comparing “Keratin vs Brazilian Blowout“, I have articles on those topics too. Be sure to give them a read!


Can I use both hair protein and keratin treatments on my hair?

prepping hair for dying at the salon

Yes, but it’s important to balance and not overdo protein treatments, including keratin, as too much protein can make the hair brittle.
A hair care professional can provide guidance based on your specific hair needs.

How often should I get a hair protein or keratin treatment?

The frequency depends on your hair type and condition. For hair protein treatments, many recommend once every one to two weeks.
Keratin treatments typically last 2-4 months, and waiting until this period ends is best before getting another one.


So, what’s the difference between hair protein and keratin treatments?

Protein treatments help to strengthen your hair from the inside out, while keratin treatments help to seal in moisture and add shine.

If you’re looking for a treatment that will provide long-term results, we recommend opting for a keratin treatment.

However, if you’re looking for a quick fix or experiencing serious damage, a protein treatment may suit your needs.

lady getting a Keratin Treatment

Have you tried either of these types of treatments before? Let us know in the comments!


  • 1. Lee Y, Kim YD, Hyun HJ, Pi L, Jin X, Lee WS. Hair Shaft Damage from Heat and Drying Time of Hair Dryer. Annals of Dermatology. 2011;23(4):455. doi:10.5021/ad.2011.23.4.455
  • 2. Powell BC, Rogers GE. Hair Keratin: Composition, Structure and Biogenesis. Biology of the Integument. Published online 1986:695-721. doi:10.1007/978-3-662-00989-5_34
About Martina Todorovska

Martina is a graduated Doctor of Dental Medicine with a huge obsession for anything beauty-related. Her freelance writing started out as a creative outlet and turned out to be a full-time job. If you have any beauty questions, the chances are Martina has the answers. READ HER LATEST ARTICLES . Follow her on LINKEDIN , INSTAGRAM. Learn more about her HERE.

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