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The increasingly popular keratin hair treatment, which produces glossy, vibrant and straight hair, originated in Brazil, where it is called escova progressiva, or "progressive blow-dry." The keratin hair treatment is different from chemical straighteners of the past because it does not involve breaking down and restructuring the hair. The older chemical processes permanently change the structure of the hair, but keratin works differently because of its high pH levels, which "soften, not swell" the hair and hair cuticle.
Keratin is a type of natural protein that makes up approximately 88 percent of your hair. It is high in the amino acid cystine, which is what makes hair "super tough and extremely elastic." Keratin is a biopolymer, which gives "form and structure to naturally occurring substances," such as hair and nails, and that the liquid keratin formula "blends with the hair on your head to help restore what has been lost over time." The New York Times explains that keratin works well because it adheres to the hair and hair cuticle, allowing the hair to contain the moisture, which keeps it hydrated and healthy.