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. @Lyndsay Great question! I would recommend you consult with your stylist about this, since I can’t see your hair, but my instinct leans toward the treatment for blondes, for a few reasons:

    ~The original solution can stain blonde hair with a golden/brassy tiny
    ~The blonde formula is more moisturizing, making it more appropriate for lightened hair
    ~The blonde formula is activated at a lower temperature, to protect hair that has been chemically processed

    Best of luck–please let us know how it goes!

  2. I prefer the Cocoa Keratin System and it’s been excellent for my hair, very long lasting and I do it myself. It includes the pre-treatment shampoo, smoothing treatment, daily shampoo and conditioner. It contains protein and argan oil so my hair is moisturized and nourished as well as smoothed, strengthened and softened. An excellent treatment for all hair types!

  3. I’m confused. How can you say it’s not a straightener when clearly the product’s own photo shows a woman with curly, frizzy hair walking away with sleek and, dare I say, STRAIGHT tresses? Am I missing something??

  4. Wendy, the only thing you are *missing* is that the model in the after photo (like models in every photo everywhere) has been blowdried, ironed, etc. to look immaculate. As described in the article, when a client leaves the salon after this treatment, their hair is flat-ironed straight and must remain that way for 72 hours, so really anyone’s image as they depart the salon will look very straight.

    However, the treatment itself is categorized as a “smoothing treatment,” (as it says in the product’s name) not a “straightener.” The difference is that a smoothing treatment coats and strengthens the hair, making it smoother and shinier, and therefor easier to blowdry straight, but these results fade away over several months’ time and the hair may not be straight if left to dry naturally. As new roots grow in, the treated hair is returning to its natural state so the difference is milder than with a straightener. A straightener chemically, permanently changes the structure of the hair it is applied to, making it straight whether it is blowdried or not. This comes with some amount of damage, and with definite visible roots as the natural hair grows in.

    I hope this helps explain the difference!

  5. Hi, I just had the Coppola keratin done. There are short pieces on the top of my head that continue to stick up. I cannot get them to stay down. Is it ok to use some type of pomade to flatten it during the 72 hour waiting period. Will this interfere with the process?

  6. Great question, Sally, I’m glad I happen to be online to answer it right away! Short hairs will stick up for a few hours due to the static caused by the super-cleansing shampoos, then all the ironing; it is perfectly normal and your natural oils should stick them down by tonight. It is best NOT to put any product n the hair, because most products contain water, oil or other ingredients that could interfere with the curing of your treatment.

  7. Thanks for the quick response and for doing a great job on this website! Have a great holiday!!

  8. My hair is wavy and frizzy in this humid Northeast weather for the summer. I have medium length, but want it smoothed, not straightened. I actually use hot rollers to get some bounce, volume and lift. Will I be able to get this w/ this product? Someone suggested Bye Bye Frizz by Marc Anthony. Any suggestions?

  9. @Phyllis It’s difficult to make a recommendation without seeing your hair, but I understand your concern. I think that Keratin Complex would be too much for you (makes the hair somewhat stiff and tough to curl) but the at-home treatments like Bye-Bye Frizz, Liquid Keratin, etc. would likely be too mild. I would suggest looking into a mild to medium-strength salon treatment, such as Cadiveu Acai Therapy or Brazilian Blowout. Best of luck!

  10. I have an event to go to tonight and I will need to wash the Coppolla keratin out. It will only be 64 hours v. 72 hours. Will there be a significant impact on the results?

  11. I have been getting a design essential conditioner and a couple of relaxers for the past six months. I’m thinking about getting the keratin treatment but a salon that offered it even said it could damage the hair. I wonder how? I have normally kinky afro hair but its fine and right now its silky but tends to be dry. Thanks

  12. Hi, about 8 months ago I got the Coppola Keratin treatment done to my hair. Originally I had very wavy and curly hair with medium thickness. The treatment straightened my hair completely flat with no volume, wouldn’t hold any curl or wave and became very fine. Over time it has become more thick and wavy, but still not the same. I wanted my hair straight, but only as a temporary fix. I thought by now it would be back to normal. Why would this happen, and do you think it will ever go back to normal? I miss my curls 🙁

  13. @GC I’m afraid there is no way for me to advise without seeing your hair, but if a salon is telling you not to do it, that is usually a good indication you should not do it…they wouldn’t turn away business if there wasn’t a good reason. I would suggest you be grateful for their honesty and not push it.

  14. @Beth I am sorry to hear of your experience, but sadly you are not alone. Coppola’s Keratin Complex treatment is not right for everyone, nor is it a short-term solution. As described in this article, it makes the hair quite stiff and in some cases, very straight. You may want to consider having a more moderate keratin treatment (i.e., GK Curly formula) on your natural growth at the root, to help blend the difference as your natural grows in; or, you may find you like a softer treatment and stick with it as a way to calm and manage curls without eliminating them.

  15. Hi, I had the Coppola keratin treatment 72 hours ago. Is it neccessary that I wash my hair now or can I wait another day or 2?

  16. Pingback: Are Coppola Keratine Treatment Results Affected by Weather? | A Mom in Red High Heels

  17. Great question, Rena! It is important to wash it out today, ideally right at 72 hours or within a few hours of that. If your 72 hour mark is at night, you could wait until the morning but it is most important that you don’t use a ponytail or any clips until after it is washed. For best (and longest-lasting) results, be sure to use Keratin Complex shampoo and conditioner.

  18. Hello. I had the Coppola done on Saturday. I have hilighted hair that is wavy/ frizzy, but when I blow dry and straightn it, it is pretty silky. I did the Coppola done to see if I don’t have to do all that every day. After the treatment My hair felt like I had a tone of gel and hairspray in it an just combed it out afterwards. Is this normal? It is kinda dry and gross feeling. I’m hoping that when I wash it tomorrow it will be back to the normal silkyness. And I have extrely oily hair not. Wing able to wash it is driving me crazy!!!!

  19. Hello, I’m 4 months pregnant and would like to get my hair straightened and my stylist recomended the Coppola Keratin treatment….is it safe to apply while pregnant?

  20. Hi, I have naturally light, thin and curly hair. About 5 years ago I was a desperateb teen with frizzy hair and I relaxed my hair using affirm. The product is way too strong for my hair type and it keeps damaging it. I have been doing it ever since and I can’t find a way out since my curly roots are so hard to manage. I live in Florida and the weather does not help. I would to know which type of keratin treatment would best help me grow out my hair and how to attain it. Please advise.

  21. Hi, I had the keratin treatment done Friday and washed it Monday. I have wavy, straight
    Frizzy hair if not blow dried. Now that I did this treatment is still frizzy air dried not as much but I blow
    Dried it and ironed it and it has a lot of static and frizz. My hair was never liked this when I blow
    Dried it before treatment. Is this normal, or did this stylist or treatment ruined my hair?? 🙁 frustrated!!

  22. Hi there – What do you know about the Bio-Ionic system? How does that work?


  23. Kaile Radford

    I’ve been thinking about the getting the Keratin Complex treatment put onto my hair. Im a very busy full time college students who work, goes to school, and is on a pom squad. With being so busy I need something easier to do with my hair. I have naturally very curly hair and I love it, except the frizz. Im afraid that once I do the treatment I will loose my curls forever or not like what the treatment has done.

  24. @Jeannie keratin Complex is NOT recommend for use while pregnant or nursing! Please share this information with your stylist, so she does not put other women (and her career) at risk. A quote from the company:

    “Lisa Loria from Keratin Complex says, “Keratin Complex is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women. We have not done the research or development, therefore we do not put our stamp of approval.”

  25. @Vanessa I must strongly recommend you stop doing your own hair; even with the highest quality and most texture-appriopriate products, one cannot possibly do their own hair safely and effectively. These are strong chemicals and they can be dangerous! The best thing to do would be to visit a few salons in your area that have good reputations for keratin treatments, and explain your concerns in a consultation; the stylist will be able to see your hair and make recommendations based on its texture and condition.

    Use these tips to help you choose a salon and stylist:

  26. @Karen I am sorry to hear of your experience, but sadly I cannot diagnose the problem via blog. If you are in Los Angeles or Southern California, please contact me (click on my name above) and I would love to see you for a consultation. I would definitely recommend you visit the salon where you had the treatment done and discuss your concerns with the stylist and/or manager.

  27. Hi Jordana. I have wavy hair that I like to blow dry straight, but, when the weather is humid or it rains my hair gets so frizzy and puffs out that you would never know that I blew it out straight- I hate that. I just got my hair cut and colored yesterday by my hairsylist of 20 years and she recommended the Copolla Keratin treatment for me. I trust her perfessional opinion, but, just wanted to check with you. My hairstylist informed me that she only uses this product in her salon and has never used and will not use the Brazilan Blowout because of the formaldahyde issue. She also told me that she has never had a client experience any problems during/after the Copolla Keratin treatment. I get tired of blow drying my hair and if I don’t blow dry, it is messy wavy and I prefer it that way; I prefer it straight. I have some concerns and questions that I would appreciate your feedback on based on your knowledge andexpertise:

    1. I am a 2x cancer survivor: I had Hodgkins Disesase in 1984 when I was 22 going on 23 and was treated with 6 monhts of chemotherapy and 4 weeks of radiation to my chest area. Thankfully, it has been 28 years and I am considered cured. But, having received radiation in January 1985 (16 treatments) at age 23 caused me to have Stage 0 Breast Cancer in 2000 and it was recommended that I have a right mastectomy (I had reconstruction) for my safety even though it was Stage 0 and did not need any treatment other than the mastectomy (no chemo, no radiation, no tamoxofin or any oral medication). I go annually for a mammagram for my left breast (as the radiation put me at an increased risk for breast cancer) and I have had healthy mammos and exams for 12 years to-date (I go in August for my 2012 exam and mammo.) My question is do you feel that the Copolla Keratin Treatment is safe for a cancer survivor who is healthy now. I would love to shorten the time that I have to blowdry my hair to straighten it (less pulling with the brush)and would love to have minimal or no frizz on the humid and rainy days – I live in NY so we have many experience a lot of humidity more so in the summer, but, on rainy days during any season.

    2. I have a thick head of hair, but, over the past ten years, my hair has thinned in a small area at the top of my head (forehead area) – the hair is so sparce in this area that I can no longer wear bangs. I tend to keep my hair chin to shoulder length – never long, too thick to take care of (except in the thinning area.) I always tell my hairstylist that I wish I could paste the hair that she cuts to the balding area. I have asked my endocrinolgist and gynocologist and we have run hormone tests but there has never been any proof of why my hair has thinned in only that area. I contribute it to excessive blowdrying and pulling it with the brush to straighten it for many years and possibly meds/chemo that I had to take over the years. I was also on potent IV antibiotics for 3 months after not tolorating oral antibiotics to treat Lyme Disease 18 year ago that went undiagnosed for 9 months. So, several things could contribute to the hair thinning but it is only in one area that has expanded over the past 10-15 years. Therefore, I would love to limit my blow drying although I know with this treatment I will still have to blowout my hair. but, was informed that it would take less time and would calm my frizzies in humid weather which I would LOVE! Is this product safe for someone who has had cancer but is now considered healthy and cancer-free and has some thinning hair in one concentrated area with the rest of my hair very thick. I was interested in having the Brazilian Blowout a few years ago until the media came out with the formaldahyde issue so I didn’t do it.

    3. In February of this year, 2/3/12, I had two seizures, which I never had before. My tests were thankfully negative: head CAT and MRI tests and brain EEG. The neurologist thinks the seizures may have occurred due to stress in my life, dehydration or not eating much. Over the past 2 years I was caregiver to 2 ill parents and sadly, my father passed away in December 2010. Now I am caregiver to a homebound nervous phobic mother who will turn 87 this year and I live in the same household to care for her. My doctor is hopeful that I will be off the aniti-seizure medication (since my tests were all neggative) within one year by Feb 2013 as long as I remain seizure-free. Thankfully, I have been stable with no more seizures to-date and I am not on a high dose of medication. Is this product considered safe for someone who is not epileptic but has had 2 seizures almost 6 months ago.

    4. My stylelist informed me that I can have both my hair colored (first) and then the Coppola Keratin Treatment (second) on the same day os I can have the keratin treatment 2 weeks after my hair has been colored. What is your opinion on this. This will help me decide if I have the keratin treatment in 2 weeks since I got my hair cut and colored yesterday or should I wait to have them done the same day when I get my cut/colored next time. The color she used on my hair is vegatable-based and is not permanent.

    5. Is this treatment safe for a perimenopausal woman (I am 50 1/2) who is experiencing hormone fluctuations at this time?

    These are my questions and concerns, but if possible, I would love to have this treatment – I think decreasing my blow drying time and pulling to straighten my hair time will help with my hair loss in that one concentrated area.

    I know I have said and asked a lot so thank you for taking the time to read my lenthly note. I look forward to hearing back from you and getting your opinion on these issues. I will also consult with my doctors but based on your experience to-date, you may have valuable feedback as my doctors are men in their 60/70s and may know nothing about this product.

  28. @Kaile From the sounds of it, a Keratin Complex treatment may be too strong and long-lasting for you. I would sugget you look into Brazilian Blowout, which is more moisturizing, less straightening, and fades away in a few months. If you decide you like it straight and want to keep it that way, you may want to move up to a treatment like Keratin Complex at that time.

  29. @Judy What a strong woman you are, to have persevered through so many challanges. Absolutely inspiring!

    Considering all of the information, I think it would be most appropriate for you to make this decision with the help of your Doctors. I suggest you obtain a full ingredient list from Coppola ( and bring it to your Doctor(s) along with an explanation of how the process is performed (applied to wet hair, processed with hair in a shower cap for 20-30 minutes, blow-dried, flat-ironed at up to 450F and elft in the hair for 72 hours.)

    I’m sorry I coulnd’t be of more help, but I wanted to be honest in that your situation is a bit over my head.

  30. Hi, my mother and i got this treatment done 2 days ago. Today our stylist told us to wash our hair so we did. Now the problem is that my hair turned out to be amazing but my mother’s hair look a bit frizzy. We have naturally straight hair and this is the 2nd time we got this treatment done, the first time it was ok for both of us but this time my mother’s hair look a bit messed up. Do you think the frizziness would go away in a few days?

  31. Hi! I’m curious if Keratin can be apply to different hair types? I just have my haircut(with side swept bangs) but my bangs tends to fly away and has little curls and i have thin strands. I want to my hair to be straightened but looks natural. what can you suggest? thanks

  32. @Angela I am happy for you, and sorry to hear about your Mom’s results. I would definitely suggest talking to the stylist, and booking a consultation for him/her to see your Mom’s hair. If her hair is fine, grey, and/or blonde it may be more delicate than yours and the heat could have been too high; if this seems to be the case, she can do some deep moisturizing treatments and try the Keratin Complex for blondes next time.

  33. Hi Jordana,

    I want to have keratin treatment but am confused due to several reviews floating on internet. I already have thin and falling hair though the growth of my hair is excellent and texture is not coarse too but am a bit hesitant about after effects. do you suggest me to have the treatment?? and also please mention how long does its effects stay? Please help

  34. Hi, I messaged you a few days back about how my mom’s hair got frizzy after getting a keratin hair treatment. Her hair got extremely frizzy dried up and look fried now, you suggested that she should use deep moisturizing or keratin for blondes. What i wanted to ask is will deep moisturizing be able to give desired results just like keratin straightening? Can using shampoos with sulfates cause this because we washed our hair with our regular shampoo? When can she have keratin for blondes, because the lady at the salon applied keratin to her hair again when the result wasnt the way it should be. My mom has red hair with blond highlights, she doesnt have any grey hair.

  35. @Iram I would suggest you address your hair thinning issue first, with your Doctor(s) so you can be certain not to do anything to irritate a condition you may already be struggling with. After diagnosing and treating the issue, with your Doctors’ permission, you should then consult with a local stylist or two who offer keratin treatments to decide which treatment and stylist to go with. I hope that helps!

  36. I have type 3b curls, and i want it to become easier to manage and have better straightening results,(i straighten my hair about 2 times a week,) will this make my hair healthier and faster and easier to straighten ?

  37. Hi Jordana – How does Coppla’s Keratin Complex treatment compare to Chi Enviro American Smoothing Treatment? Pros and Cons? I’m considering switching over to Chi Enviro from Keratin Complex.

  38. Hi- I recently got a Coppa Keratin Treatment about 3 weeks ago. I was told not to get my hair wet for 72 hours, but was not informed the importance of washing it out at 72 hours. I believe I left it on for 2 weeks. Should I expect any damage to my hair? So far there hasn’t been.

    Also, the salon recommended using Design Essentials Mega Moisture shampoo and conditioner vs. the Keratin Complex shampoo. Is this best for African American hair?

  39. Margaret

    I had a Keratin treatment done twice, the first time, I loved it! The second time my hair was damaged. I am assuming something was not done correctly the second time. How can I repair the damage that was done?

  40. @Sara You may find this treatment is stronger than you are looking for. I would suggest starting with a milder treatment such as Brazilian Blowout, then switching to Keratin Complex if you still want your hair straighter. The risk would be that if you go with KC the first time and it is too straight, you will be stuck with a noticeable line of demarcation as it grows out (it can change the hair noticeably for 6+ months.)

  41. @Kua I have not tried Chi Enviro personally, since they did not respond to my inquiries for training, but I have read good things about it on a professional forum. However, it is important to note that Keratin Complex and Chi Enviro belong to two different categories: full-strength, long-lasting keratin treatment, and mild-strength alternative smoothing treatment. While Chi Enviro may be a good choice within its category, that category as a whole is much milder and Keratin Complex is among the strongest of its category. Going from KC to Chi Enviro is likely to be a very big change, leaving you feeling underwhelmed and with visible roots. Unless you are having a reaction which indicates you need to stop using KC, I would suggest talking with your stylist about backing off it slowly by having your next few treatments done more mildly, to ease you out into a place where you could transition to the Chi product. If you do need to stop using KC right away, you might consider GK Hair’s “The Best,” which removes more curl than any other formaldehyde-free treatment I have seen.