You may have read about the Brazilian Blowout™, Global Keratin, and Brazilian Keratin Treatments on A Mom In Red High Heels; now learn about Keratin Complex by Coppola! Resident keratin treatment expert and A Mom in Red High Heels Beauty Task Force member Jordana Lorraine tells us how Keratin Complex differs from the others.


First your hair will be shampooed with a clarifyer, then loosely blow- dried to remove moisture and allow the stylist to see patterns in your hair, such as curl and frizz. Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy solution is then applied with a brush and combed through, wrapped in a plastic cap and allowed to settle in for 20 minutes. Your stylist will blow-dry the treatment in and then iron it. Your hair may have some static at this point, but natural oils will stick those down within a few hours. You must keep your hair very straight as the stylist leaves it, with no clips or ponytails, for 72 hours. It is important to avoid wetting your hair in the shower, or even with perspiration, but if it happens the best thing you can do is re-dry and flat-iron it.

The Keratin Complex solution is gel-based and has almost no fragrance. The treatment is formaldehyde-free, but does contain an organic aldehyde which works similarly but causes irritation in fewer people. Because it is gel-based and not cream-based, the steam that evaporates during the treatment is not as thick in the air as with some other treatments that are cream-based. In my salon, we do all keratin treatments in a private room to minimize both fumes and irritation. Keratin Complex by Coppola is headquartered and manufactured in the US (Florida).

Keratin Complex is not a straightener, but does give stronger results than many other keratin treatments, and for this reason I called it “demi-permanent” rather than “semi-permanent”. I have seen the results linger (they do fade, but don’t completely disappear) for as long as 6-8 months; this could be a pro or a con, depending on your hair type, situation, and desired results. I like to use Keratin Complex on clients who are growing out a Japanese or other permanent straightener, because it gives a slightly stronger, stiffer result which blends better with their ends. Or for a client who is currently flat-ironing her hair daily and wants to make it easier to get that pin-straight look. However, on a curly girl who just wants to try it out and may want her curls back, I would recommend Brazilian Blowout™ instead because it fades completely back to natural in 3-4 months after one treatment.

As with all keratin treatments, it is important to use shampoo that is free of sulfates and sodium chloride. Coppola makes a shampoo, conditioner and deep conditioner which are safe for the treatment and also contain some of the active ingredients to help prolong the effects of your treatment. See this recent post on AMIRHH to learn more tips on taking care of your keratin treatment: Caring For Your Keratin Treatment.

Contributed by:

Jordana Lorraine, Hair Stylist
Los Angeles, CA (Marina Del Rey)
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Looking for an alternative to Keratin Complex by Coppola?  Try the NEW Hyde-Free Brazilian Blowout™!  As of April 2010, it is now free of formaldehyde and all hyde family ingredients, as shown on their website Read our report: BIG NEWS: Keratin Hair Treatment, Brazilian Blowout™ in Now HYDE-FREE!

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TAMMY GIBSON, founder of A Mom in Red High Heels, is a God-loving, coffee-drinking, heel-wearing, wife and mom offering up her best tips to help women look and feel fabulous so they can achieve their biggest dreams.


  1. Bailey (makeover momma)

    I would LOVE to try this treatment…have you done it?

  2. Tammy

    No, I haven’t tried this. Just the Brazilian Blowout (TM). I am going to try the Global Keratin next….just need to make my appt! 🙂

  3. I am so glad to see this article on here. I have a app. this Saturday for the Global Keratin. I have been waiting almost a month and a half! Anyways, thanks for the info. I am even more excited now!

  4. Tammy

    Amanda, I think you will LOVE it! Please let me know if you do. Having quick drying, sleek hair is the best thing ever!!

  5. Jessica O

    I had the treatment in late July. It is really great. I have a good hair day everyday! My hair looks shiny and sleek, with no flat ironing. I had the hair straightening treatment a year ago and have liked the results of both. I deserve it, as the mom of a 2 year old and a 4 month old…who has time to flat iron/blowdry….and I still want to look like a hot mama! It will drive you absolutely crazy that you cannot put your hair up, get wet, or even tuck behind your ears for 72 hours….tough with kids!

  6. Tammy

    Thanks for your input Jessica! I’m so happy to hear from moms who have great hair stories!

    Last time I had a Brazilian Blowout which doesn’t have ANY downtime. Since I did experience eye irritation I am going to try the Global Keratin Treatment next but it too has a waiting period before washing, which concerns me. I’d hate to mess up the treatment! Fingers crossed!

  7. I am so excited to try this, nut I also like to add a little curl to my hair on occasion. Will this be possible with a Keratin treatment? I am a little nervous that with my already thin hair it will be too stick straight. Any suggestions?

  8. Jessica O

    You can still curl your hair. Keratin does not take away all wave/curl, just all the frizz. It will only be stick straight until you wash it. You will like it alot – I do!

  9. Sharon R

    Can you use styling products, such as hairspray, in your hair during the first 3 days@

  10. You cannot put any products in it for the first 3 days…you cant even tuck it behind your ears or put it up in a ponytail. It will be stick straight and will be so greasy by day 3…ewww. But once it is washed…voila!

  11. danielle

    I was recently certified to do the keratin complex by Coppola. I did it on my 12 yr old daughter whom I have relaxed just about a month ago. Her hair came out beautiful. I even washed it out a day early to see if she might still be able to wear it curly, but there was just a faint wave. Her hair is ethnic hair and extremely thick. I was very pleased with the product, but now I’ve been reading some websites that say people are losing their hair due to the treatment. Have you heard this or had any problems? Is there truly no chemicals in this product?

  12. We heared about it & then fell in love with it at Hair Expo Sydney 2009.Done heaps,doing heaps,given it the “Hair to Toe” test & love it.10 out of 10.We am still amazed at the result everytime we use it.And so are our clients.
    Thanks from everyone.:):):):):):):):):):):):):)

  13. There is a lot of misconception regarding Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy by Coppola, I’d like to clear up. The product is amazing because of the results and longevity of the clients hair. It’s a smoother that eliminates frizz, curl factor down to 15% or more, makes the hair shiny, easier to manage with or without blow drying, and can last up to 6 months. No harsh chemicals or formaldyhyde are found in the product. If maintained and proper consulting has been made by your stylist who has been certified by using this product, results will be satisfying. There are now two types of treatment for the Keratin Complex, regular solution and new blonde solution. The blonde is for clients who are double processed, 40 vol high lift, highlighted blondes, platinum blondes, fine, damaged dry, including white and grey hairs. This is something new and evolutionary for blondes that need an extra kick of protein and TLC. When doing treatments such as straighting, smoothing, or any type of relaxer, you should be able to maintain an MSDS sheet which talk about the product. Get the facts and research what your working on.

  14. I have dry frizy hair, my husband thought I should get a streight perm and gave me a gift cert. to get it done. Bad idea, my hair fell out in clumps and I basicly had to shave my head. When my hair started growing back out it was frizzier than it was before and totally unhealthy. I had the coppola keratin complex and it was the best thing I have ever had. I’m almost 40 and have been surching my whole life on how to manage my hair and get it healthy. It takes me over an hour to get ready from a shower due to my hair. Now it takes me less than ten minutes. I love this product! Take it from someone that actually has the worst hair on the planet. If it works for me you will look fantansic!

  15. Hello,
    I am thinking about getting the keratin complex smoothing treatment BUT I have very thin fine hair that damages VERY easily. I am concerned about the flat iron they use and the high heat in the application process. Can I have some input in this from anyone? Will this process help my hair?

  16. Unfortunately the coppola keratin complex did not work for me at all . It actually made my hair stiff on the top so it’s actually worse. I think the regular keratin treatments that are cheaper work a lot better! I did this product in a salon in doral fl because of all the fantastic reviews. I went back to the salon twice because I wasn’t happy with the results and demanded some sort if compensation . They simply did only the root of my hair in the front and bottom, I am still not happy…. Maybe it’s just me ?!

  17. @Shannon if your hair is fine and brittle, I would recommend a more moisturizing treatment in a cream base, such as Brazilian Blowout. Since Coppola’s product is in a gel base, the result can come out stiff and a creamier formula will moisturize more and better protect from the heat (which also can and should be adjusted based on hair type)

  18. @Mel I’m sorry to hear about your experience. This is why I work with 3 different treatments, because no one thing can be right for everyone.

    There are many keratin treatments out there, so don’t give up on them. Most stylists will only learn and offer one type because the training/product are expensive. I would recommend seeing a few stylists for consultations (this should be free) and researching the products as well as the stylists before making your choice.

  19. I am a hairstylist in Montgomery Alabama and I have been offering the Coppola Keratin Complex for almost two years. I have a few clients that had very damaged hair and the complex has tremendously helped the hair condition and made it much smoother and easier to handle. I will be the first to say that there was a period of time that I questioned if I was going to continue offering this service, when the company had changed something in the product and would not acknowledge that there was something wrong with the product. It took a couple of months and they finally agreed to replace the bad product. So, if anyone had less than desirable results…. just know that there was some bad product out there at one point last year.
    I am back in full swing using the product and very pleased to hear the wonderful feedback from my clients.
    As far as fragile damaged hair…. I find that is when it works the best. It actually makes the hair healthier, stronger, and grows faster. Not to mention you do not have to apply as much heat to already damaged hair (over the long run) because the hair dries so much faster after the complex.
    Another note to those who are not crazy about the Coppola shampoo, Thermafuse has a Great shampoo that is sulfate free (Strength shampoo and condtioner) and I was told by my rep, that it helps to add more protien back into the hair extending the life of the complex. My girls love it as well

  20. i just got the bkt by coppola and i absolutely LOVE it. i had wavy, frizzy hair and now it’s virtually frizz-free with a little bit of wave.

  21. i also have thin hair that is easily broken. shannon, hope that helps.

  22. I have heard of major hair loss after these treatments. I was really excited to get it done, but am too scared now. Has anyone experienced hair loss after the coppola treatment?

  23. I have done hundreds of keratin treatments on clients, and had 7 done on myself. I haven’t experienced it or heard of it from any of my clients, or I would have discontinued use immediately.

    There seem to be a few cases and a few rumors in the Internet, but no one has really named names or shown pics or done anything to make the claims seem credible, so I am not alarmed and would recommend doing some research on products and finding a stylist who is knowledgeable, experienced in the treatment you want, and professional.

    For more information on various keratin treatments, search A Mom in Red High Heels’ posts on Brazilian Blowout, Global Keratin, and BKT.

  24. Having Keratin on my hair was the biggest mistake ever made, after a while my hair es completely bad, please do not apply any kind of keratin on your hair…

  25. I have rather curly hair but it is thin and I have alot of it. I shopped around and found a salon in northern NJ that does this using Coppola. I had a quick cosultation with them and they told me my hair would still be very wavy, just not as curly. Is this true? I have already done the Japanese straightening treatment several times, but the last time, every other strand of my hair fell out! It has been 3 yrs and all my hair is now untreated. I also read that this keratin treatment won’t work as well on “virgin” hair. Any advice for me? Thanks!

  26. I got the treatment on my hair about six months ago and my hair STILL looks great. I’m planning on getting it re-done done sometime next month. I’m in love with this treatment but I have a problem.. when I googled it there were all of these links about how it can kill you and how horrible it is for you. When I tried further researching it, all I found was pages that were totally against it, speaking only of the worst circumstances and pages that were totally for it, speaking only of the good things. So here’s what I want/need: Someone to give me both the pros AND cons. I want someone to tell me the benefits of it as well as the risks, in a more realistic manner (not trying to sell me on the product and not trying to scare me away). I would really appreciate it! It would put my mind at ease!

  27. @Kristen I’m so glad you loved the results of your Keratin Complex treatment. The internet is always a good place to find extreme stories 🙂 Please do not be scared by what you’ve read, other than to be sure you are working with a qualified and experienced professional in an appropriate environment. By the latter, I mean in a well-ventilated area. There are inevitably some chemical fumes (as there are with hair color, bleach, perms), but so long as the air is circulated (or ideally, filtered), there should not be a problem.

    Part of the confusion is that many brands have similar names, but very different ingredients. So someone may be ranting about something that isn’t even relevant to your choice of treatment, such as another brand which uses formalin (liquid formaldehyde). Almost anytime I have heard a horror story and been able to engage with the writer, it has been linked to improper use of the product. Of course there are instances where someone may be allergic to an ingredient, but if you’ve already used it without trouble, an allergy test should not be necessary. Keratin Complex contains an organic aldehyde and has relatively low fumes compared to its competitors. I would not worry, especially if you’re only having it done twice a year. I hope this helps!

  28. I had this done for my 10 year old daughter about a month ago and it is awesome!!! She is biracial (black/white) and has very very curly hair but it is the same texture as my baby fine blonde hair so I’m sure you can imagine the tangles..ugh! They are non existent now.
    In her hair, her curl pattern is the same, but the curls are looser and longer and now so shiny!! When she does want to wear it straight it actually stays straight and smoothe even with the humidity.
    Probably the best part is that her hair is so much more manageable now, it used to take me 30-45 minutes just to get her combed out good after shampoo and conditioner and still involved more conditioners to not damage her hair in the process. Now SHE can rumb a comb through root to tip when she gets out of the shower!!! That is important to a little girl who is becoming an adolescent!
    People thought I was crazy for going to spend over 400 on her hair, but I have saved probably 50 of that already by not buying additional products and the time and frustration that has been spared is priceless!
    We couldn’t be happier, I think that trusting your stylist is key, I also drove 3.5 hours back to Atlanta to get this done by the stylist I have gone to for years and trust completely.

  29. Hey all…I had the keratin treatment done on my thick course hair..I live on the coast with lots of humidity and needless to say I can get really frizzy. I no longer have this problem. I can blow dry my hair silky straight in 5 is the best thing I ever did!!! I use to spend at least an hour blowing and straightening my hair now i barely have to use a hair is so happy. I highly recommend this treatment run dont walk to get this done…I had mine done at Ulta on special for $185.00…

  30. My daughter had keratin complex done last week. She loves her curls, but hates frizz. Stylist told her it would only relax her curls and eliminate frizz, not make her hair straight. Well, it’s pretty much straight! Can anyone tell me if this is permanent? Will her curls come back? does she have to wait for it all to grow out? I was told it lasts 3 to 5 months? Do just the roots grow in curly? Any Ideas to speed the process along? Deep cond., different shampoos, etc….

  31. do you have any information about the keratin treatment done at home?
    whats the longevity of it?
    is it the same as the salon doing it?

  32. Tammy

    @Lisa (from Jordana) I’m sorry to hear that you were misled; Keratin Complex is not the best choice for clients who want to keep their curls, or even waves. I know there is a lot of information here, so I have copied+pasted the following quote from the section marked “results” “Keratin Complex…does give stronger results than many other keratin treatments, and for this reason I called it “demi-permanent” rather than “semi-permanent”. I have seen the results linger (they do fade, but don’t completely disappear) for as long as 6-8 months…” This is one of the stronger keratin treatments out there. I’m sorry to say that your daughter is likely to see the roots as they grow in, if her hair is curly near the scalp. Perhaps even more frustrating, the results may be visible in the ends for a long time, making it awkward to wear natural as the roots are curlier and the ends are straighter. Rest assured that her hair has not been chemically damaged or changed (the internal protein structure remains intact). You best bet for removing the treatment fast would be to use a strong detergent shampoo containing plenty of sulfates and sodium chloride. This will unfortunately dry her hair out, and not be good for her color (if it is colored), but it will help remove the coating more quickly. You could also check beauty supply stores for a product called Malibu Crystals; they are designed to remove build-up. There are several kinds; you will want the most abrasive one, perhaps for hard water or chlorine deposits. You will want to use a very moisturizing conditioner regularly to combat the drying effects of the aggressive shampoo and hair stripping treatments. Again, I am sorry to hear of your daughter’s frustrating situation. If she wishes to try a treatment with milder results in the future, either Brazilian Blowout or Global Keratin (Light Formula) can be used to reduce frizz but maintain curl. You will definitely want to communicate your desired results with the stylist, and the products are used differently to garner different results. If you are (or she is) in Los Angeles, it would be my pleasure to help her find the right product and look for her.

  33. @Liza The keratin treatment shown here (Keratin Complex by Coppola) is not available for home use. One must have a cosmetology license to purchase the product. There are some at-home kits, but I have not researched them for quality, ingredients, safety, effectiveness or longevity. But, I can offer the following advice:

    Consider how a home perm looked if you ever saw one…consider the occasional bump, crimp or line in your hair when you flat-iron it, and imagine it being stuck there for weeks or months…some things are best left to the pros. If you’re looking to save money, try calling salons and offering yourself as a model for their training class. But be prepared for it to take longer and know that you are gong to a novice…however, even that novice, is still a professional hairdresser using a professional quality product.

    Best of luck to you!

  34. Cornelia

    How long should you wait from the day of the treatment to get your roots dyed? CV

  35. @Cornelia Great question! You should wait 2 weeks before coloring, after any keratin treatment. If you can plan for it next time, it is ideal to color first, then do the treatment. If done in this order, there is no waiting period; we often do them back-to-back in the salon.

  36. My daughter has super frizzy, curly hair..not the good curly, the BAD curly! I did the Japanese Straightening a couple of years ago and it made her hair break off. It was a horrible experience for a 13 yr old! She now has hair that is uneven and needs to be straightened every other day just to look decent. her stylist is recommending the Keratin Complex. I’m scared to death to do another process on her hair for fear of more breakage while she’s trying to grow it out and just look like normal hair. Should she do it?? Please help!

  37. @Steph I’m so sorry that happened! And, a bit surprised a salon would do that process on a 13 year old…in any case, Keratin Complex by Coppola is definitely gentler on the hair than the Japanese treatment. But is does contain an (organic) aldehyde, so my sure the salon plans to do it in a well-ventilated area.

    Best of luck!

  38. D. Jones

    I just had the Coppolla Keratin Complex Treatment applied last night. I have very thin hair and when I woke up this morning after sleeping on it all night it’s very very flat against my head and flips at the ends which I don’t like. Is it okay to use a flat iron to reshape providing I’m careful not to leave any creases? It’s been approximately 16 hours. I would prefer not to wear it to work this way for the next couple of days and I’m not sure what the effects would be if I were to wash it before the 72 hours. Please advise. Thank you!

  39. @D. Jones. Yes, your plan is perfect. Any incidental crinkle, wave or moisture should be dried/flat-ironed out as smooth as possible. 3 days is a long time to go unwashed, especially for thinner hair. If you wash it sooner, it won’t reverse the treatment, but it could reduce the effects and/or longevity. Keratin Complex is a strong treatment, so with fine, thin hair there’s a good chance you will be happy with the results even if you wash it sooner.

    In the future, you may want to consider Brazilian Blowout, which has no waiting time before you can wash it. Best of luck!!

  40. D. Jones

    Jordana, I just wanted to say “Thank You” for your quick response. I’m relieved to know that I can wash it sooner without the risk of reversing the treatment or causing any damaging effects. I made it through the work day flat, but plan to wash it first thing in the morning; (only 12 hours sooner) than the time that’s specified. Also thanks for the tip on the Brazilian Blowout!

  41. Please help! I had the Coppola Keratin done 1 month and 1 week ago in San Francisco where I live – at the “best” salon for Keratin in the area. It’s practically 100% gone from my hair. I loved it at first, I only had to blow dry with my fingers, when I let it dry naturally it was my natural wavy hair with less frizz, way less poofy volume…and now my hair gets big, doesn’t stay straight, I’m SOO disappointed and almost mad. None of my friends who had this had this happen to them, theirs lasted months. My hair is pretty dry to begin with but I use the Keratin shampoo and conditioner. What should I do?!

  42. Hi – I just got the keratin treatment done yesterday. I usually use tanning lotions/sprays, but I have very long hair, and it is hard to do when you can’t put your hair up for 3 days. Is it okay to go tanning within the 3 days of getting the treatment?

  43. @Jen If you clip your hair in any way, it may develop a kink or crease that could stay for several weeks or even longer. Maybe you can have a friend or roommate help by holding your hair up out of the way? Next time, consider Brazilian Blowout; you don’t have to wait before washing/clipping your hair 🙂

  44. Ok, so I have very long, very curly hair that is slightly graying, so I color regularly. It’s pretty thick, not fine, but also not crazy textured. I’ve managed it for years with blowdrying and a Chi Iron. I’ve had good results but in the summer the humidity makes it a real drag to dry. I’ve been wanting to try the Keratine Complex for awhile, but was too cheap to pay the $300 plus for the treatment. I did some investigation and found the product online. I’ve read the instructions, and I was going to have my mother apply it, but after reading all this “hair falling out” business, I’m frankly a little frightened. I don’t know what I should do as I’ve purchased the product already for 150. I used the Shampoo and Condition today after coloring my hair, and I like it.
    SO, my question is can I do this at home and is it safe to do so now? I was going to have my mother do it on Sunday.

  45. I just had the Keratin Complex done a week ago last Friday. I have to say I’m a little disappointed, because not only did it completely remove any curl whatsoever, it also made my hair extremely flat. I was surprised to find that I didn’t even have any wave left in my hair, especially since it is posted everywhere that this product is NOT a straightener, only a relaxer. While I don’t mind that it made it straight, I can’t believe how there is absolutely no body to it! I had the Japanese straightening process done several times about 5 or 6 years ago, and that treatment never made my hair as limp as it is now. I am holding out hope because someone I work with who had this treatment told me to give it a few weeks, that some of the volume/body will return. I’ve tried to blow it out with a big round brush, but after about an hour, my hair falls limp again. Any suggestions to help me?

  46. Oh, and by the way, the product I bought from lists itself as “Coppola Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy: Natural Keratin Smoothing Treatment for Professional Use Only,” so one can buy it online without any trouble.

  47. @Laurie As you said, the product is labeled
    “For Professional Use Only.” Just because some retailer wanted to make money by re-selling it to whoever wanted to buy it over the Internet, doesn’t mean it is safe for home use. Have you ever seen a home perm? How did that look…

    I must strongly recommend against this. The company itself would never sell you the product because it requires professional training to perform it properly. You also have no guarantee that the bottle you purchased, actually contains the true and correct product.

    Improper use could lead to poor results, heat damage, scalp damage, even respiratory irritation. I repeat this product is not meant for home use and I strongly caution against it.