This is a highly controversial matter. I will explain the bad part first and then I will also explain why you should not worry about it. But first let me tell you, keratin treatment does not damage your hair, though it has some other health concerns that you should be aware of.
The main controversy arises in keratin treatment because it contains formaldehyde. Without formaldehyde, literally, there is no keratin treatment. In the U.S.A., the acceptable level of formaldehyde is 0.2% in any beauty products. Anything above has some serious health concerns.
Branded keratin treatment products follow the U.S.A, guideline strictly, but the problem arises when you go the salon for a keratin treatment. Unless the salon is a brand itself, they will add more formaldehyde than the acceptable limit to give you charming results.
Hazards of Formaldehyde
Our body naturally generates some formaldehyde, but the problem arises when we inhale outside formaldehyde. As you know, the keratin treatment is supposed to take in open/well-vented space wearing a mask.
Why? So that we don’t inhale formaldehyde during the process. You might be surprised knowing that the European Union and Canada have banned Brazilian keratin treatment due to this formaldehyde. In the U.S.A. it is still approved but only after following the condition mentioned above.
Occasionally getting in touch with the formaldehyde is not damaging, but constant in touch may create a serious health hazard. The main sufferers are the employees of the salon where keratin treatment is a regular job.
Here are some health hazards of formaldehyde:
- Inhaling formaldehyde fume is similar to smoking a cigarette, inhaling the fumes of burning woods, and so on.
- Exposing to formaldehyde for a long time ultimately leads to cancer. It’s not hype, its real! As I said above, the main victim of formaldehyde from keratin treatment is the salon workers, not the one who takes it.
- As per CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), just smelling the formaldehyde will lead to a cough, scratchy eyes, sore throat etc.
- It can lead to nervous system damage.
- Depression, insomnia, attention deficit, irritability etc may arise.
- The chemical will reactivate once you use your flat iron or blow dryer on your hair while there is still keratin in your hair.
Should You Still Get Keratin Treatment?
Of course! If you have unmanageable hair, it is a must-have treatment for you. Keratin treatment is fully safe if you do it in a professional salon or do it at home using the branded products.
Keratin treatments become dangerous only when the formaldehyde is being used more than the acceptable limit. All you need to be is just careful. Read carefully how much formaldehyde does your keratin treatment contain.
Most of the professional salons used to use higher formaldehyde for a keratin treatment. Those days are gone. They are now more cautious about the formaldehyde. You can now trust any branded professional hairdresser for the keratin treatment. It has several other benefits for the hair. And here are some:
- It helps you get rid of frizz in your hair.
- Soften your hair and makes it more manageable.
- Helps of getting rid of split end as well.
- Prevent hair breakage.
- Makes hair color looks more natural.
- Helps of styling hair (flat ironing/blow drying) more quickly.
- Repairs the damage of your hair cuticles
You are safe from the deadly formaldehyde from keratin treatment. Because it’s very rare that you get in touch with it occasionally. You should ask the salon worker whether the treatment involves any formaldehyde. If you want to avoid it, don’t go for the treatment.
But if you want to take the treatment and have a bad reaction due to the formaldehyde, FDA requests you to report it to them. Any quality keratin treatment should last for at least 3 months. If you need keratin treatment always, do that only after every 3 to 4 months.
If you already have straight, fine hair, you should consider having a keratin treatment. Keratin treatment is ideal only for those women having frizzy, curly, and thicker hair texture. If you go to the salon for the treatment, trust a brand only, if you want to do it at home yourself, make sure the formaldehyde is at an acceptable limit.
In a nutshell, the keratin treatment is NOT damaging to your hair. But the excessive limit of formaldehyde has some serious health hazard. If you are careful enough to pick the right salon or right kind of keratin treatment, your health is also safe as well.