If you're not a fan of needles, you'll be pleased to hear that "hair Botox" doesn't involve a syringe being wielded at your scalp, nor does the treatment harness the botulinum toxin used in injectables.
Now that we’ve cleared up any confusion, you’re probably wondering where the name comes from. Well, in the same way that botox holds the power to smooth, iron out and polish your complexion, hair botox can also do a Cher and help you turn back the time.
Hailed by hair stylists as the ultimate smoothing and super hydrating treatment, hair botox is already doing the rounds on TikTok with impressive before-and-afters revealing locks that look glazed, glossy, glass-like.
So, whether you're desperate to undo heat damage, looking to reduce frizz, or simply want smooth and shiny hair for the summer, here’s everything you need to know about hair botox.
What is hair botox?
Hair botox is a smoothing treatment that uses ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, pracaxi oil, shea butter and tanin plus to restore deep hydration to the hair,' says Bernadett Rafain Colour Technician and Hair Botox Specialist at Michael Van Clarke. who performs the treatment on her clients.
No injectables are involved in hair botox but the name essentially comes from the way the ingredients work as they 'fill' the individual hair fibers, seals split ends and reduce frizz. This gives your hair a new found strength and shine, and you more manageability when it comes to styling.
'Not only is hair botox a technique responsible for rebuilding damaged areas of the hair but also for the recovery of the necessary nutrients for its well-being, making hair much stronger, softer and more balanced,' adds Flavex Lima, hair health expert and treatment specialist at Nevilles Hair and Beauty Salon.
What happens during hair botox treatment?
Your stylist will begin with a consultation prior to the treatment. Because hair botox is bespoke, every treatment will be a little different, depending on how much damage there is to contend with.
Then also depending on length, texture and desired result, the hair botox treatment can be left on for anywhere between 25 minutes to an hour. Afterwards, the hair botox will be rinsed out, washed with shampoo and conditioned. It can't be washed or allowed to get wet for at least 48 hours after the initial treatment.
How long does hair botox last for?
It lasts anywhere between 2-4 months depending on the hair type. 'For some people is can last as long as 6 months,' reveals Rafain.
What does Botox for your hair do?
- Hair botox will smooth out frizzy and uncontrollable hair, making it easier to manage.
- It acts directly on the internal and external structure of the hair fibre providing an intense restoration and immediate healing, sealing the cuticles and promoting the hair mirroring effect.
- Hair botox is completely adjustable to the client needs. The technician can make the treatment gentle for more movement or volume in the hair or more intense for a straighter look.
- It is a smoothing treatment rather than a straightening treatment.
Is hair botox healthy for your hair?
Yes, says Lima. 'It's practical, popular and extremely safe for the health of hair.'
Rafain adds that, 'hair botox is a very moisturising treatment for your hair, and it does not contain formaldehyde. It will leave the hair silky and smooth. Straightening irons are used to lock in the product however a key benefit is that following the treatment a client will go on to use less heat overall when styling the hair at home. This is a huge benefit in the long run.'
What is hair botox vs keratin?
The confusion between hair botox and keratin stems from the end results, which can be very similar.
However, the overall treatments are quite different. 'Hair Botox, treats the hair from the inside out, concentrating its treatment on the inner part of the hair,' explains Lima. 'The technique confers hydration and reconstruction to the strand, giving it that healthy hair look and, with that, provides that more aligned look and without frizz and excessive volume.'
'Keratin and taninoplasty treatments [an organic alternative to keratin that works similarly] guarantees wonderful results when it comes to hair aesthetics, that is, the external part. The procedure aims to smooth, hydrate and straightens the hair shaft,' clarifies Lima.
Finally, unlike hair botox, Keratin treatments also have the issue of formaldehyde, which is toxic. 'While they do not actually contain formaldehyde (because formaldehyde is a gas), many contain ingredients that release formaldehyde when they are heated or mixed with water. Examples include methylene glycol, methanediol, methanal and formalin,' explains Annabel Kingsley, trichologist at Philip Kingsley.
How often should I wash my hair after hair botox?
This is totally up to you, however Lima explains that 'the more you wash, the more you will remove the products used and thus the botox lasts less. 'Ideally, you should wash hair 3 times a week or every other day so that the effects can be felt over 2 months at least.'
There are things you can do to prolong your treatment, such as using a gentle shampoo and sleeping on a silk pillowcase, which are thought to help your hair retain moisture and reduce the potential of frizz caused by friction when you're asleep.
Will hair botox keep my curls?
Remember, hair botox isn't a straightening treatment, so your curls will stay put.
'The function of botox is not to remove curls. What often happens is that, due to its high hydration power, the treatment ends up leaving the curls more relaxed, which can give the impression of smoothing. But the procedure does not change the structure of the curls,' says Lima.
How much does hair botox cost?
Prices vary from salon to salon, but in London, you're looking to pay around £180.