Straightening hair

Hair Botox or Keratin - Which is Better

By Sara . Updated: April 25, 2017
Hair Botox or Keratin - Which is Better

As seasons change, our hair is subjected to the shift in climate which affects its strength and shine. Coloring, styling and even increasing pollution add to our hair woes meaning it is often too easy to have a bad hair day. Beauty specialists find new products and treatments to get healthy lustrous hair. Two such recent treatment options are Hair Botox and keratin. But what are the advantages in using Hair Botox over keratin and vice-versa? In this oneHOWTO article we explain what Hair Botox and keratin are and help you decide Hair Botox or keratin - which is better?

  1. Hair Botox vs Keratin - What are the Treatments For?
  2. What is the Difference between Hair Botox and Keratin
  3. Which Hair Treatment: Hair Botox vs Keratin
  4. How to apply?

Hair Botox vs Keratin - What are the Treatments For?

Hair Botox and Keratin are two different hair treatments which claim to give you beautiful, healthy and shiny hair. Both these treatments eliminate frizzy hair which is one of the main hair troubles of today’s women. They also have a smoothing effect on hair due to which your styling time decreases significantly.

However, Keratin has more of a straightening effect. This means even very frizzy hair has the potential to be smoothed and straightened with keratin. Botox provides more of a rejuvenation process. It strengthens your hair and will leave it smooth, but if you have curly hair it will not likely straighten it completely. It may not straighten curly hair, but it can give a delightful wavy effect which can look wonderful.

What is the Difference between Hair Botox and Keratin


Even though both treatments give quite similar results, there are some significant differences. The first difference is in their chemical composition. One of the most harmful chemicals that Keratin treatment contains is Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is toxic and the Environmental Protection Agency and federal OSHA had classified formaldehyde as a suspected human carcinogen. If you have heard of formaldehyde being used on humans, this is technically correct, but only on the pre-deceased. This is because formaldehyde is still used for preserving corpses in some countries. While using keratin on your hair in small does is not the same thing, the risks are still present. Hair Botox is free of this chemical and other harsh chemicals. If unsure about this product, take a look at the following article for more details: can Hair Botox damage your hair?


Contraindications are another word for reasons why you should not use a certain product or medicine. This is because in doing so you can make a problem worse or even create a new one. People with sensitive skin or scalp issues such as seborrheic dermatitis, eczema or psoriasis should refrain from using keratin due to its chemical composition. Though the use of keratin is recommended every 12 weeks, it has been linked to hair loss and potentially even kidney failure. This is why prolonged use is not recommended. Keratin is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women either, as there are still no studies on how it can affect a fetus. However, Hair Botox is not recommended for expecting women either.


The second difference is that Keratin is mainly a hair straightening method and is not recommended for use on extremely damaged hair. On the other hand Hair Botox acts as a deep conditioning treatment which restores the damaged hair by turning it healthy and shiny by filling in split ends and hair fibers.

Hair Botox or Keratin - Which is Better - What is the Difference between Hair Botox and Keratin

Which Hair Treatment: Hair Botox vs Keratin

Now that you know the main differences between both treatments, let's take a look at the treatment that will suit you best.

Who should try keratin?

Keratin treatment works best for thick, curly and unruly hair. Hair treated with keratin treatment becomes naturally straight, frizz free, shiny and smooth and generally more manageable. It shouldn't become frizzy even when exposed to humid environments, but its effect does not last long on chemically treated and porous hair. It is not suitable for super fine, thin or straight hair. Also, keratin treatment is not recommended for pregnant women, nursing women and for children under 12 years of age.

Who should try Hair Botox?

Hair Botox treatment is suitable for all types of hair whether it is curly or straight, grey or blonde, thick or thin or any other types of hair. It is best for especially those who have very long hair suffering from split ends or frizzy and brittle hair.

How to apply?

Last but not least, let's take a look at how keratin and Hair Botox are applied, so you can make a decision that will benefit your hair and lifestyle:

How to apply keratin

Some keratin treatment fills the gap in hair cuticles which are cracked, damaged or dry while other keratin treatments are spread on the top of hair and not in the cuticle. It is then sealed in by the heat of the flat iron. The formaldehyde in keratin treatment holds the keratin together which gives your hair the smooth appearance. Keratin treatment takes about 90 minutes or longer and lasts for 2 to 2 ½ months. It should be done in a reputable saloon by a professional stylist as it involves some safety precautions.

How to apply Hair Botox

Hair Botox treatment is conducted on clean hair which has been shampooed but not conditioned. If you are familiar with other types of Botox, you may be expecting to hear about syringes or hypodermic needles, but this is not the case. The Hair Botox is used in a product similar to that of shampoo. The hair is then combed to make it tangle free and then sectioned. The scalp is then massaged so that the hair can absorb the product.

Then the product is left on the hair for 45 minutes and before being washed off completely. Then the hair is blow dried. The final step is application of ceramic hair straighteners. The heat will help the active ingredients in the product seep deeper into the hair. Hair Botox treatment fills the hair with essential nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins and amino acids which helps to restore hair protein from inside and makes it healthy and shiny. The result lasts for about four weeks.

You can also learn how to apply Hair Botox at home for a more detailed description of what you need to do.

Hair Botox or Keratin - Which is Better - How to apply?

Keratin is used by many people because it is often more effective with more instantaneous results. The reason for this is because it is a stronger product. However, just because it is quicker and effective when it comes to straightening your hair, doesn't mean it is ideal or even recommended. Keratin needs to be treated with respect and caution which is why it should only ever be used by professionals who know what they are doing and can assess if you should use a keratin treatment for hair.

Although Botox injected in the skin can have some harmful side affects, there is little similarity when it is applied to hair. This is true even though it works in a similar way to preserve your hair and make it appear shinier and more youthful. You can use it at home relatively safely, but just make sure you test a little on your skin before using. If you are unsure, you can ask a hair care professional for some advice or even help with application.

If you are deciding between Hair Botox and keratin as hair treatments for straighter, shinier or healthier hair, Hair Botox is the least potentially damaging of the two. Only use keratin if absolutely sure you need to have straight hair, which is an unlikely scenario when you think about it.

If you want to read similar articles to Hair Botox or Keratin - Which is Better, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.

Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
Can I apply botox to only my hair bottom ends, or do I need to start from scalp?
Ameera Mills (oneHOWTO editor)
Hi Mariella
When applying a hair botox treatment you should start from the root moving down your hair, applying evenly all over your head. Make sure that every hair strand is completely coated in treatment.
thank you for this article. I was using keratin but noticed my hair was going brittle and breaking more easily. It exacerbated my scalp dermatitis which is why I looked into hair botox. I am now changing hair treatments and we'll see how this method and treatment works for my case.
Just make sure you never apply much heat or all will be in vain, as these treatments will not create a barrier against methods that will damage your hair.
Really interesting article. Thanks for sharing it.
I need to know if this hair straighten is permitted for celiac sufferers.
Necesito saber si el laciado es permitido para celiacos. Necesito este dato ya. Pens ab air hoy 13 a la trade a la peluqueria.
OneHowTo Editor
Dear Mabel,
Keratin may be a trigger for an alergic reaction in people with celiac disease. However, hair botox does not have any known effect on people with this disease.
Hope this helps.
There are plenty marks of botox in the market. Which one you recommend?
Alba Charles (oneHOWTO editor)
Hi Glenda, depending on the country you live in there will be different brands available. We recommend you to always use one that is regulated under law. Many less reputable brands can be purchased online at good prices, but using these is dangerous.
How long dose botox last ? Can I apply it myself as non professional ? Where can I get it from ? Thank you
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Nina,
Hair botox can last up to 6 months and can be applied at home. Here's an article that explains how to apply it:
On the other hand, you can easily buy it on the Internet or specialized shops.
Hope this helps!
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Hair Botox or Keratin - Which is Better