Keratin is an essential protein that is necessary for hair strength and health. So a keratin treatment would be absolutely fantastic for one’s hair, right? Well, the answer is a bit more complex than you may think.

What is keratin?

Keratin is a key protein that makes up your hair, skin, and nails; it can also be found throughout your body, such as in your internal organs. Keratin is a protective protein, and it’s less prone to certain types of damage than other cell types produced by the human body.

The keratin that you may often encounter in hair care products can come from a multitude of sources, such as the wool or horns of various animals. You likely see keratin in many hair related products, such as shampoos, conditioners, and serums. However, it does come in many forms. For example, you can find Keratin supplements in capsules and powder forms at many stores. A word of warning when it comes to keratin supplements be careful about taking too much as it can lead to a buildup of protein in the body.

What are keratin treatments?

A Keratin Treatment is not the same as using products with keratin in it. In many cases, keratin treatments refer to a treatment that you can typically get at a salon, you may know it as a Brazilian keratin treatment or Brazilian blowout. The intended purpose of a Keratin treatment is to straighten the hair. The process is a bit involved. A cream containing formaldehyde is first applied to the hair before it is straightened. The client is instructed to keep their hair dry for a set amount of time; afterward, they will return to the salon to have the chemicals removed. Another treatment will then be applied, so the hair remains straight for longer. A Brazilian blowout is said to last for approximately three months and can cost anywhere from $300 to $800.

What are keratin treatments designed to do?

Keratin treatments are designed to straighten, smooth, and add shine to the hair. The results of a keratin hair treatment will have some dependence on the hair type and texture of the hair. Additionally, different treatments will have different effects with varying degrees of success. Additional reported benefits of keratin treatments are that they help fill in the gaps of protein in each hair strand, give the hair a thicker and fuller appearance and increase the manageability of the hair.

What are some of the side effects of keratin treatments?

A huge part of the risk comes with the ingredient formaldehyde, which has an extensive list of potential side effects, including irritation of the skin and eyes, headache, nausea, respiratory complications. If those risks weren’t scary enough, another risk of formaldehyde could negate the entire point of the keratin treatment, which is the risk of hair breakage, damage, or even hair loss.

While a keratin treatment may help make your hair look and feel better, there are other safer alternatives that can help you get similar results. You could opt for straightening your hair with a blow dryer and flat iron without a keratin treatment. Remember that curly and wavy hair is often drier than straight hair, so be sure to restore moisture and use a heat protectant if you opt for this method. While keratin treatments may seem like the perfect end-all quick fix to naturally wavy or curly hair, the truth is it’s quite dangerous!

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