Are Keratin Treatments Safe?


Keratin Treatments

Choosing a Keratin Treatment

I strive to educate women about their hair so they are empowered to be able to style, treat, and care for their hair at home – the right way. Every day I am surprised at how many of us outside of the professional hair stylist network don’t know about how to care for the hair on our head. The internet is bustling with easy to access information, and so much misinformation is out there, especially when it comes to beauty and hair care techniques.

One of the hottest hair topics today is the keratin treatment. With concerns about Brazilian blowout hair straightening being cancer-causing and bad for your health, the industry has consistently hit the headlines. Many are hearing about keratin treatments for the first time, while others are confused about whether or not the hair treatment they have grown to love is dangerous. The term “formaldehyde-free” is especially causing a stir, prompting the questions: Which brands really are free of formaldehyde? Are they still effective without formaldehyde? Which ones are the best? Moreover, what is a Keratin treatment and what can it do for my hair?

A keratin treatment is a deep fortifying process that rebuilds your hair from the inside out. It infuses the hair shaft with the protein the substance your hair is made of . . . keratin, which rebuilds strength, adds shine, eliminates frizz, and also relaxes, straightens, and appears to lengthen hair. It is not dangerous for you or your hair. On the contrary, it is a great conditioning treatment and many who use it swear they never want to be without it.

At this point, you maybe be wondering: If keratin treatments are so good for my hair, what about all those horror stories of a friend of a friend frying their hair and having all their hair fall out after a keratin treatment? This is where we can point to the culprit recently under fire, formaldehyde. When included in a keratin treatment formula, the formula becomes very harsh. It will straighten your locks to be pin straight, but it is very dangerous for your hair and your lungs.

Luckily, most brands don’t contain formaldehyde anymore because of its dangerous side effects, and yes, they are still effective. The difference is the active ingredient. When developing our product, Zelo, we ensured that it was 100% formaldehyde-free in liquid form and when the product is heated during application. If you are looking for a good keratin treatment to try, make sure you check the ingredients. Formaldehyde hides under other aliases – methyl glycol, aldehyde, and urea are red flag ingredients in keratin treatments to avoid.

As a result of the growing concern of formaldehyde in keratin treatment products, at home treatments have become very hot. Not only can you guarantee the product is safe, but they are much more affordable. While some salons and keratin treatment brands are taking concerns about formaldehyde seriously, some are not, insisting that it is just a scare and continuing to use dangerous products, so it’s up to the consumer to be smart. If you do opt for a salon treatment, be informed! Don’t be afraid to ask your salon which product they use and make sure it is safe.

Smooth, silky hair can be anyone’s and no, it doesn’t mean risking your lungs if you do the research, talk to your hairdresser, and make sure you are getting the real deal.

Guest contributor Emily Schetter is a beauty blogger for Zelo, formaldehyde-free keratin hair straightening product designed for home use. Also follow Zelo on Twitter@zelocare.