Keratin hair straightening is also known as Brazilian keratin treatment. Most of us are fascinated seeing the before and after pictures of keratin treatment. The results are impressive but we are often misled, as the aftermath of keratin treatment is somewhat risky. This works perfectly for the first few months, but might ultimately lead to health hazards.
First, let us understand all the facts about keratin. It is the natural protein composed in our hair, nails, and skin. These treatments can repair damaged hair follicles and leave you with silky, straight hair. It sounds like a perfect deal until you learn about the presence of formaldehyde. In fact most hair stylists complain about the keratin hair treatment side effects of exposure to formaldehyde and its real risks to your health.
What is Keratin?
Keratin is present in the outermost layers of our skin. There are two types of keratin proteins namely alpha-keratins and beta-keratins. The keratin that is present in our skin and hair is known as alpha-keratin. Keratin care is a semi-permanent hair straightening treatment done by temporarily coating the hair strands with a liquid keratin complex and solution with the use of a flat iron. This Brazilian hair treatment is commonly done in a salon for the duration of 90 minutes or longer. It can depend on your hair length. The effects can last for about three months only.
You should not even consider doing a keratin treatment if you have fine, straight hair. Rather, keratin treatment is more suitable if you have frizzy or thick hair.
Side Effects of Keratin Treatment
One of the main concerns of keratin treatment is that it contains formaldehyde or formaldehyde producing ingredients. As a result, there are a lot of potential dangers associated with keratin hair treatment. For your awareness, we are going to cite few keratin treatment side effects.
Here are few of examples of the same:
1. Does not offer Poker Straight Hair
Keratin treatment works by changing the hair structure. Each hair strand is composed of keratin chains, which is a natural infused protein. Doing chemical treatments can affect the way these chains are supported together to de-coil each hair strand. While, keratin treatments is a semi-permanent procedure and can last about three to five months. It cost you about $150 to $300 per treatment. The keratin treatment does not provide you with pin-straight hair, but reducibly takes care of frizzines and curls.
2. Heat Damage
During keratin treatment, a flat iron is used for straightening hair strands. The use of this heat styling tool attributes to hair damage. This can happen as the iron temperature is kept on a high temperature that can lead to the damage of hair follicles. Continuous use of keratin treatment can lead to brittle hair, split ends, hair fall, and other hair damage.
3. Skin and Eye Irritation
Keratin contains formaldehyde which cause burning, drying, scaling, and cracking when it comes in contact with your skin. When inhaled, this can also result in throat and eye irritation, skin sensitivity, and nausea. Prolonged use of the same can also lead to skin numbness and tanning. You should also make sure not to let the formaldehyde get into your eyes, as it can lead to injuries and cause temporary discomfort and worst-loss of vision, too.
4. Health Risk
The formaldehyde present in keratin can also lead to certain health issues. These keratin treatment side effects can lead to damage of nervous system, blurred vision, headache, mood change, insomnia, and lack of concentration. According to the Health and Safety policy, formaldehyde is classified as carcinogen which is linked with nasal and brain cancer. Even if salons take special precautions in applying Keratin treatment, there are chances of some fumes being released in the air.
So with each application, it releases more formaldehyde. Hence always visit a reputed salon to ensure proper treatment is done with all safety precautions and using formaldehyde-free products.
5. Not Suitable for Certain Skin Conditions
Keratin treatment will not be suitable if you are suffering from certain skin diseases or conditions. If you are suffering from skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis, then it is best for you to speak with your dermatologist before going for the treatment.
6. Wait Several Days to Wash Hair after Keratin Treatment
After the chemical treatment, you cannot go for a hair wash for three to five days. This drying period can last for several days depending on your hair stylists’ suggestion for allowing the product to set in. After which, you need to wash your hair with a recommended sulphate-free keratin shampoo and conditioner which is compatible with the hair treatment products.
7. Temporary Lasting Result
Keratin treatment usually lasts for about six months which means you need to repeat the treatment in order to make its effects last. The constant follow-up treatment can cost you a lot, and therefore can be a drawback.
8. Lung Irritation
The formaldehyde present in keratin is a lung irritant. Even little concentration of formaldehyde can cause difficulty in breathing, nose and throat irritation, and cough. When these concentration levels increase, there are chances of severe respiratory tract injury, which can possibly lead to pulmonary edema.
9. Not Regulated and Approved by FDA
Keratin treatments are not approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It does not measure to the beauty safety standards needed in cosmetic ingredients which are set to up to 2% of formaldehyde to be considered safe.
10. Can Release Toxins Post Treatment
There are chances of toxins getting released even after you leave the salon after chemical treatment. It is possible that formaldehyde can release in the air and give you a skin reaction post keratin treatment.
11. Hair Damage
You can experience hair damage like hair loss after the keratin treatment. This can particularly occur if you have colored your hair prior to the treatment. Your fine hair can get damaged due to use of heating products used. This could result in burnt hair, which ultimately needs to be chopped off. You hair will become drier and more static sometimes after the first keratin session.
12. At-home Keratin Hair Smoothing Treatments Side Effects
Most at-home keratin smoothing treatment might not contain formaldehyde listed on the label. But formaldehyde will be present in the listed ingredients that can contain methylene, glycol, paraform, oxomethane, and other harmful substances. Apart from that, you should watch out for disinfectant gluteraldehyde which can cause allergic symptoms especially if you are asthmatic. Therefore, you should be in the clear when trying keratin treatment at home.
13. Keratin Supplements can lead to Elevated Protein
Keratin is a protein that is naturally found in our hair, skin, teeth, and nails. It is also found in supplement form. These keratin supplements are taken for supporting healthy hair, skin, and nails. But remember to consult your health care provider before taking these supplements. It can lead to excess protein in the body known as proteinuria, in few cases. Proteinuria is a protein measurement that is expelled through urine. Elevated protein levels in our body can ultimately lead to kidney failure. Therefore, you should be wary of taking keratin supplements.
14. Hyper-Sensitivity to Side Effects after Repeated Use
There is a higher chance of developing symptoms after prolonged use of chemical hair straightening methods. After you reach a level of exposure to keratin treatment, you will start to experience allergic reactions because of the presence of formaldehyde. And sadly, formaldehyde is present in most keratin hair smoothing products.
Final Thought on Keratin Treatment
Initially keratin treatments can seem to be a treat to your hair woes, but in the long term it can affect your health and hair. These treatments contain formaldehyde and just a whiff of this carcinogen is dangerous. Hence, consider these hair smoothing side effects to prevent damage to your hair and health.
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