Here’s How an At-Home Keratin Treatment Works


Who amongst us has had a keratin treatment?

More specifically, a back in the day keratin treatment? If you didn’t subject yourself to this brand of torture in the name of lessening frizz, I’ll break it down. A stylist would apply what smelled like rotting chemicals to your mane, you were hostage to a salon for the better part of the day, and when you left you had to make sure you didn’t get your hair wet for a few days. Enter, Gussi, the brand innovating keratin treatments with natural ingredients and the ability to DIY. We reached out to Danielle Waldron, CMO of Gussi to find out how this new keratin treatment works—minus the formaldehyde.

How It Works

“At Gussi we don’t believe you should have to risk your health to get beautiful hair,” Danielle shares. “We’ve developed a highly effective formulation based on natural ingredients that fortify the hair while smoothing it powerfully, yet naturally. Gussi is not a chemical relaxer, but it effectively penetrates the hair without damaging it, leaving it healthier than before.”

The first step of the Gussi Treatment is to wash hair twice with Priming Shampoo. This deep cleansing shampoo, with a neutral PH of 7, gently prepares the hair for the treatment by slightly swelling the hair and removing product build up.

Gussi Smooth Operator is a combination of ingredients like keratin, amino acids, castor oil and vitamins. Carbocysteine amino acids penetrate past the cuticle to soften the hair’s curl pattern while keratin amino acids add strength internally and externally.

When heat is applied to the hair, the castor oil locks the cuticle sealing in the keratin and vitamins, reducing the frizz, and fighting humidity.

 Moringa seed oil and anti-aging E, C and B vitamins also support the healthy hair cause, moisturizing and helping in the fight against split ends.

Not Your Typical Treatment

Gussi differs from a typical stylist delivered keratin treatment for a number of reasons, including time and chemical compounds. “Unlike many in-salon treatments, Gussi forgoes formaldehyde and delivers six weeks of professional caliber, frizz-free hair, utilizing an easy at-home application at an affordable price. Gussi’s Smooth Operator Keratin Treatment processes in just 20 minutes, resulting in fuss-free hair without any post-treatment waiting period like most in-salon treatments. Gussi’s innovative formula doesn’t break hair’s bonds or structure; by smoothing the hair rather than chemically straightening and altering it, Gussi offers a new way to keratin smooth,” Danielle notes. “In addition to creating salon-quality results, Gussi also allows for versatile styling options while retaining the healthy and smooth hair that comes from a keratin treatment.”

Gussi wasn’t developed over night. It took a team of professional hair industry veterans spent about a year to research and develop the novel formulation. The products are manufactured in a lab renowned for crafting high-end professional haircare products to ensure quality. “To date, Gussi’s keratin treatment system has been applied successfully over 20,000 times,” Danielle continues.

Type of Hair

Gussi can be used on all hair types, but results may vary according to factors like hair type, texture, coarseness, porosity, and overall condition and health of the hair.

It’s safe for color-treated hair and Danielle adds that you can color your hair immediately following your Gussi treatment – talk about a total DIY makeover. “If you’ve very recently colored your hair, you may experience a slight color shift after using Gussi — brightening and refreshing blondes or lifting artificial color for darker hues. We recommend waiting 3-5 days post-coloring to apply Gussi, and also reducing the temperature of your flatiron to 360° to prevent heat damage when applying Gussi,” she says.

For those with natural dye, the results may be less than optimal. “Henna and progressive hair color may contain metallic salts like copper, silver, lead, and magnesium. These metallic salts can eventually build up on the hair causing adverse results; dry, damaged, dull, or brittle. If the hair has been treated with an at home henna, it is recommended to remove the henna from the hair prior to a Gussi treatment,” Danielle explains.

What Not to Do

While the process is pretty simple, don’t forgo the instructions totally. “It’s important to follow the Gussi treatment steps when applying the treatment. You’ll need to pre-treat the hair with our priming shampoo to ensure the cuticle is lifted enough for the treatment to penetrate the hair shaft. When applying the Gussi Smooth Operator we recommend really saturating the hair from root to tip, using most (if not all) of the Gussi bottle for one application. After applying the treatment and waiting 20 minutes, you should rinse it lightly with only water (no shampoo), leaving a bit of the product in the hair. Your hair should be left with a little bit of slipperiness to it (similar to what you’d expect from a leave-in conditioner). Finally, the last step will require you to blow dry your hair completely bone dry before flat ironing it patiently in 1” segments. After that, you’re good to go. No waiting time before using a ponytail, going to the gym or showering,” she notes.

20 Minutes to Frizz-Free Hair

We wanted to know why 20 minutes is the magic number for a Gussi treatment as opposed to 4 hours in salon, and Danielle broke it down. “The treatment has been specifically formulated to be left on the hair for 20 minutes, after which the treatment will have finished penetrating the hair. Leaving it on the hair for a few extra minutes will not hurt the hair. Left on for more than 5-minutes extra can result in the excess treatment adhering to the outside of the cuticle resulting in a temporary dry feel to the hair.  This dry feeling will disappear after 2-3 shampoos.”

Remember That…

Gussi is not a chemical relaxer or straightening treatment. Unlike a relaxing treatment it won’t break the bonds of your natural curl pattern or remove your waves, but it will reduce frizz, increase softness and shine, and make it much easier to achieve a smooth look when styled. Like keratin treatments before it, it won’t straighten – it just makes straightening the hair much easier.

“Gussi’s keratin treatment has been proven to have the same pH as lemon juice, so it lifts the cuticle only a small amount, allowing nature-derived ingredients to penetrate hair without incurring damage. Gussi also strengthens thin hair that is experiencing breakage, strengthening it with botanicals so that it can grow longer, stronger, and thicker. Repeated application of Gussi treatments over time will restore the hair’s health and condition, repairing damage from prior chemical services such as coloring, bleaching, relaxing or formaldehyde-based treatments. In fact, if you use Gussi repetitively, results improve and the treatment will last longer each time it is used,” Danielle concludes.

Your hair is made from keratin. A doctor explains what else makes a mane, HERE.

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