The best at-home keratin treatments for smooth, frizz-free hair

Our guide to at-home keratin treatments reveals the budget buys that offer pro-level shine and smoothness

Three at-home keratin treatments from kerastase shea moisture and virtue
(Image credit: Future)

At-home keratin treatments are ideal for those seeking an alternative to in-salon keratin treatments. Don't get us wrong, there's a lot to love about the pro version, including the smooth, frizz-free results they yield as well as the impeccable shine they impart. The problem? It can be difficult to find a stylist you trust, the process can be lengthy, and the results can be hard to maintain - not to mention, it's usually seriously costly. 

At-home keratin treatments, on the other hand, are an affordable solution to help smooth frizzy hair, or for those with unruly locks who want to nail how to get shiny hair. But it's important to be realistic about how at-home keratin treatments measure up. According to Chicago-based celebrity hairstylist Alex Brown, (opens in new tab) in-salon keratin treatments, sometimes referred to as the Brazilian Blow Dry, are performed by highly trained pros who are able to customize the service to your specific hair type and texture. "This helps prevent potential damage to hair, and the results of the treatment will last months," she notes.

That being said, if an in-salon treatment isn't in the cards for you, at-home treatments can be very beneficial. "Product technology has come a long way, and there are several at-home products that provide great results," says Brown. At-home treatments are designed to be milder, with results that vary based on the application and processing time," explains hairstylist and Cantu ambassador Angela Stevens (opens in new tab). Ready to find out more? Consider this your expert guide.  

How to select at-home keratin treatments

At-home keratin treatments can be tricky to shop for. With this in mind, we tested a wide range of the at-home keratin treatments the market has to offer. We tested each on the hair type they were designed for and assessed them based on frizz-reducing, smoothness boosting, and hair strengthening results. However, you will also need to keep in mind your own personal hair needs. Here are the top two things to look for, according to the experts.

  • Consider the type of treatment: At-home keratin treatments come in many forms. Among the most common are two-step, three-step, and four-step treatments as well as some of the best hair masks containing keratin, which are great if you are time-poor. These systems closely resemble an in-salon treatment and aid in reducing frizz and straightening hair, according to professional hair stylist Allyson Carter, who adds that some of the best shampoo and conditioner options can also act as at-home keratin treatments. "In this form, the product is aimed more at repairing dry hair and moisturizing (versus straightening), and is best for those with dry, damaged hair." High-tech treatments that penetrate the hair can be very effective, albeit pricy as our K18 review reveals.  Finally, Carter explains that keratin serum is great for making hair appear glossier.
  • Consider your hair type: Your hair type plays a role in what type of at-home keratin treatment you should purchase. If you have fine hair, Brown says to avoid oils and instead seek out bond-building products that help repair and protect hair without weighing it down. "For dry, thick, coarse, or damaged hair, a full regimen may be most beneficial," she advises. "However, if someone has fine hair that needs protection from heat and/or color damage, a styling or protecting product may be best."

The best at-home keratin treatments, chosen by our beauty team

Keratin Complex Infusion Therapy Infusion Keratin Replenisher

(Image credit: Keratin Complex)

1. Keratin Complex Infusion Therapy Infusion Keratin Replenisher

Best at-home keratin treatment overall

Specifications

RRP: $30/£25
Type of product: Blow-dry cream
Ingredient callouts: Keratin, rosemary leaf extract, hydrolyzed wheat protein, soy protein

Reasons to buy

+
Cuts drying time in half
+
Reduces frizz
+
Enhances moisture and shine

Reasons to avoid

-
None, we love this product!

Blow drying your hair can be a mundane task, but Keratin Complex's Infusion Therapy Infusion Keratin Replenisher makes the process so much better. Aside from nixing frizz (which most people with thick hair experience post-blow dry even with the best hair dryer), we found that it actually cut drying time in half, even on coarse hair types. It's also made with a medley of hair-nourishing ingredients—keratin being the main one responsible for smoothing out locks as well as rosemary leaf extract to condition and soy protein to stop frizz in its tracks. If you're on the fence about at-home keratin treatments, we say give this line a go above all others.

Kérastase Discipline Heat Protecting Leave-In Treatment For Frizzy Hair

(Image credit: Kérastase)

2. Kérastase Discipline Keratin Thermique

Best luxury at-home keratin treatment

Specifications

RRP: $39/£21.95
Type of product: Leave-in
Ingredient callouts: Keratin, ceramides

Reasons to buy

+
Protects against breakage
+
Offers heat protection
+
Prevents humidity-related frizz

Reasons to avoid

-
Thicker hair types may need a thicker product

Humid climates are no feat for this keratin-enriched pick from Kérastase. It's made with specially-formulated keratin that smooths out the hair without compromising movement and bounce, as well as ceramides to shield hair against damage at the hands of hot tools or intricate styling. During testing, we found that it significantly reduced flyaways and made hair easier to style. We also love that the cream was lightweight, didn't feel sticky on strands, and tamed frizz on thinning hair, as well as medium hair types. Thicker hair types may want to opt for a richer formula, but all in all, this definitely has our stamp of approval.

Hask Keratin Protein Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment

(Image credit: Hask)

3. Hask Keratin Protein Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment

Best budget at-home keratin treatment

Specifications

RRP: $3/£8.99
Type of product: Mask
Ingredient callouts: Keratin, jojoba seed oil, hydrolyzed rice protein

Reasons to buy

+
Softening formula
+
Safe for colored or over-processed hair
+
Made without sulfates, parabens, and silicones

Reasons to avoid

-
Single-use packaging

Strands in need of some TLC? This keratin-enhanced deep conditioning mask from Hask will do just the trick, delivering the hair-boosting, frizz-defying benefits of keratin and jojoba seed oil directly to your strands. The single-use packets, though not earth-friendly, are incredibly easy to use (we were able to get two uses out of one packet despite having a long hairstyle) We simply applied half the packet from mid-hair to ends, massaged it in, and let it sit for ten minutes. After rinsing, our hair felt soft, silky, and ready for styling. Pro tip: make sure to wash it out thoroughly, as it can leave behind a wax-like residue.

Gussi Bundle

(Image credit: Gussi)

4. Gussi Bundle

Best at-home keratin treatment kit

Specifications

RRP: $99 (US only)
Type of product: Full keratin treatment
Ingredient callouts: Keratin, castor oil, moringa seed oil, vitamin B3

Reasons to buy

+
Salon-like quality
+
Results last 6 weeks
+
Protecting formula

Reasons to avoid

-
More labor intensive than other options

If you're seeking powerful, semi-permanent results, look no further than Gussi's keratin treatment kit with aftercare. Sure, it's pricey, but considering the fact that it mimics an in-salon keratin treatment, it's well worth it. The kit comes with everything you need to give yourself an at-home treatment from start to finish: the priming shampoo, keratin treatment, and shampoo and conditioner that helps maintain results.

Besides the fact that the formula includes cuticle-repairing castor oil, dandruff-defying moringa seed oil, and scalp-protecting vitamin B3, the brand provides thorough, easy-to-follow instructions that make using the treatment a breeze. On testing, this multi-step system did take a bit longer than your average mask, so set aside a quiet evening to make a nice job of it. As for results, our hair stayed mostly smooth and frizz-free for nearly five weeks, with the occasional flyaway making an appearance around week four.

Virtue Healing Oil

(Image credit: Virtue)

5. Virtue Healing Oil

Best at-home keratin treatment oil

Specifications

RRP: $44/£42
Type of formula: Oil
Ingredient callouts: Keratin, vitamin E, Tahitian gardenia flower extract

Reasons to buy

+
Protects hair from the elements
+
Suitable for all hair types
+
Repairs hot tool damage

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive for such a small bottle 

Healthy-looking hair, here you come! Chock-full of botanicals and strand-conditioning ingredients, this hair oil from Virtue is impressively lightweight for the amount of shine and smoothness it delivers. The big ingredient here is Alpha Keratin 60ku, which is a human keratin protein that mimics the keratin you find in your hair, skin, and nails. At $44/£42, it's definitely not the most affordable on our list, but we found that a little product goes a long way, which means the bottle should last you a while.

 It's also super easy to use, simply apply it to damp hair, much like many of the best hair styling products, then top off with a bouncy blow dry for best results. The formula is also transparent (versus other oils, which are yellow), so you won't have to worry about it affecting your color, which will be a blessing to anyone with balayage or another painstakingly created hair color.

CHI Keratin Leave-in Conditioner

(Image credit: CHI)

6. CHI Keratin Leave-in Conditioner

Best at-home keratin leave-in treatment

Specifications

RRP: $15/£9.95
Type of formula: Leave-in
Ingredient callouts: Keratin, jojoba oil, argan oil

Reasons to buy

+
Improves softness
+
Minimizes tangles
+
Doesn't weigh hair down

Reasons to avoid

-
Floral scent can be overpowering for some

Often used in upscale hair salons, this pick from CHI is a solid option no matter your hair type. It's good for those with dry, damaged hair because it contains hydrating jojoba and argan oil, but it also helps manage frizziness and prevent further breakage thanks to the keratin in the formula. And, unlike many leave-in conditioners, this one is in spray form, which means you're less likely to over-apply or be left with a weighed-down feeling. During testing, we were impressed with how easy it was to apply (it literally only requires a few spritzes on wet hair) as well as the floral fragrance, though some may find it overpowering.

It's A 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin

(Image credit: It's a 10)

7. It's A 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin

Best at-home keratin treatment spray

Specifications

RRP: $23/£17
Type of formula: Spray
Ingredient callouts: Keratin, green tea leaf extract, sunflower seed extract

Reasons to buy

+
Multi-purpose product
+
Detangles
+
Replaces lost protein
+
Good for all hair types

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't do much for shine

It's a 10 is a brand known for its original leave-in conditioner, but if you're looking to up the ante, the keratin version is well worth getting to know. As the name implies, the product is meant to do 10 different things to your hair, smoothing out frizziness, detangling, and sealing the hair cuticle among them. We're big fans of this product because it actually works - every time we used the product post-shower and proceeded with styling, our hair was left super-soft with no frizz in sight. While the product could do more on the shine front, we were still impressed with its ability to make split ends less visible and the hair appear healthier overall.

Shea Radiance Keratin Deep Conditioning Hair Mask

(Image credit: Shea Radiance)

8. Shea Radiance Keratin Deep Conditioning Hair Mask

Best at-home keratin treatment mask

Specifications

RRP: $20 (US only)
Type of formula: Mask
Ingredient callouts: Keratin, shea butter, castor seed oil

Reasons to buy

+
Ultra-conditioning for dry, damaged hair
+
Maintains hair bounce
+
Formaldehyde-free

Reasons to avoid

-
We can't think of any!

Have ultra-dry, frizz-laden hair? For anyone with hair that really struggles to maintain moisture, especially those with curly hairstyles or natural hairstyles, this deep conditioning mask from Shea Radiance is a must. Its protein-packed formula softens the hair cuticles, detangles unruly strands, and even supports healthy hair growth. We found the texture of this to be quite thick, so be mindful of this if your hair leans fine or thin. If you have curly hair and want to maintain bounce but want to eliminate frizz, this is the mask for you.

OGX Anti-Breakage + Keratin Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

(Image credit: OGX)

9. OGX Anti-Breakage + Keratin Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

Best at-home keratin treatment shampoo and conditioner

Specifications

RRP: $16/£15 (for both)
Type of product: Shampoo and conditioner
Ingredient callouts: Keratin, argan oil, ceramides

Reasons to buy

+
Prevents breakage
+
Mends split ends
+
Doesn't leave a greasy residue
+
A little goes a long way

Reasons to avoid

-
More daily care than powerful treatment

Keratin, argan oil, and ceramides are a match that make for smooth-as-butter hair, which is why we're partial to this best shampoo and conditioner duo from OGX, which makes use of these hero ingredients. During testing, we found that the shampoo thoroughly cleansed the hair but didn't leave it feeling 'squeaky clean' (which is actually a sign your strands are dehydrated). As for the conditioner, it boasts a thick, deep conditioning mask-like texture we found to be especially helpful for making the ends look and feel healthier. Just be careful of using too much product, as it could take a while to rinse out. Overall, if you're looking to incorporate an at-home keratin treatment into your routine in an easy, subtle way, check these out.

Keranique Scalp Revitalizing Shampoo

(Image credit: Keranique)

10. Keranique Scalp Revitalizing Shampoo

Best at-home keratin treatment for colored hair

Specifications

RRP: $24
Type of formula: Shampoo
Ingredient callouts: Keratin

Reasons to buy

+
Reduces hair loss post-coloring
+
Repairs split ends
+
Hydrating formula

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey

Color-treated hair doesn't always respond well to washing, use the wrong product and already-sensitized strands can be stripped of moisture. Here, however, parched strands will get special treatment with this shampoo from Keranique. Our favorite part about this keratin-rich pick is that it not only tackles frizz, dryness, and future damage, but it also takes into consideration how important scalp care is, with ingredients like moisturizing allantoin and dandruff-eliminating celery extract to prove it. We also loved how mild the formula was during testing and the fact that it didn't mess with color or cause fading.


Michelle Rostamian
Michelle Rostamian

Michelle Rostamian is a Los Angeles-based beauty writer with 10 years of experience in the beauty industry. She began her career as a publicist, content writer, and social media manager, representing beauty brands and industry professionals. Currently, she is an editor and writer on all things makeup, beauty, skincare, and lifestyle. Michelle graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.A. in Communications. She has bylines at Cosmopolitan, Elle, Marie Claire, Allure, The Zoe Report, HelloGiggles, Yahoo, Byrdie, Well+Good, Reviewed, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, The Girlfriend, and more.