Just sharing my story. Hope you can benefit from my experience.
EVERYONE I spoke with who had done this ranted and raved over her professionalism and skill. Still, it took over a year for me to buy in. But, inevitably, I did.
I let her put a keratin treatment on my hair.
As I sat in the salon chair, I was truly on the fence about whether or not I really wanted this. I had tried letting another stylist flatiron my hair, and a week later I was gagging from the burnt smell. Yeah, damage. And what do you do with hair damaged from heat appliances? You cut. I wasn't happy.
Then she came along. She was trusted by so many and knew that I wanted to start wearing my hair in a straightened style (with the option to go back to my luscious curls whenever I wanted), so she planted the seed. And she watered it regularly...for over a year.
I hit her with a barrage of questions before she even took the ponytail holder off my hair, and she calmly answered. Not always matter-of-factly, which should have been my cue to exit stage left. But she answered. The keratin would protect my hair. Check. Protective styles would be great. Check. Keep the hair moisturized. Check. DIY moisturizing treatments? Not sure, but would get back to me. (Never got that answer.)
Cool. Let's proceed.
The one thing I paid strict attention to was the "number of passes with the flat iron". She said this was the #1 factor in determining how straight the hair would be, and whether or not the curl pattern would return. Two passes would be sufficient for me. As we talked during the treatment about how to take care of the hair, I noticed that in some areas she was doing three, sometimes even FOUR passes. What??? I quickly brought that to her attention and her response was "oh, it'll be okay."
After the official treatment phase, my hair was completely bone straight. Ummm.... It's already a very fine texture (3C) and not very thick, so it looked....well, thin. A few curls later (with more flat ironing & styling tools) it was starting to look cute. The henna color was popping and I smiled when I left.
I was horrified.
That still, small voice whispered to me "you know what to do." Yes. Yes, I do. I formulate natural hair products for a living, so I immediately went back to what I know best. Lots of berries and juices! That was a year and a half ago, and I'm happy to say that I just cut off the remaining damaged ends 4 days ago. My curls are back.
What a journey! Like I said in the beginning, I should have listened to my gut.