Consumer Alert on Keratin Smoothing, Keratin Blow-out, Brazilian Keratin Treatment

One of my clients has been an engineer for Chevron for several years, and as such has an extensive understanding of chemical elements, compounds and dealing with the Food and Drug Administration. As an expert in her field with an incredible knowledge base of chemical formulations, I decided to speak with her about my concerns surrounding the popular “Brazilian Keratin Treatment” now being offered at salons nationwide in the U.S. After sharing my findings with her based on the research and articles I have compiled on the subject, she also provided me with a great deal of information and encouraged me to post a “Consumer Alert” on my website regarding the potential harmful effects of this procedure.

For those of you who don’t know, the Brazilian Keratin Treatment is a procedure that takes up to three hours, involves heating the hair to 450 degrees and claims to use Keratin, a type of protein, rather than chemicals to “naturally” smooth out and straighten hair. However, it’s anything but natural and it has been proven (not to mention widely publicized) by experts that it’s really the formaldehyde in the chemical solution that makes the treatment work. Formaldehyde is considered to be a cancer-causing carcinogen by a number of health and safety agencies, more so toxic Aldehydes such as Glyoxal or Glutaraldehyde, many stylists even wear facemasks and latex gloves when administering this treatment. Especially when heat is applied to formaldehyde, noxious fumes are released which poses potential risks to the customer, the stylist applying it, and even others in the vicinity.

The chemical mixture designed to “restructure” bonds of hair to form soft hair without frizz lasts for up to 12 weeks and it does not/will not work without Formaldehyde and /or Alderhydes. Unfortunately, there is not a single government agency that monitors Formaldehyde levels in cosmetics and according to the FDA press office, “There are no limits.” A panel called the Cosmetic Ingredient Review recommends no more than 0.2 percent but there are several copycat formulas being developed for this treatment so if you are going to take this route, PLEASE do your due diligence on where the chemical mixture is coming from. Allure Magazine ran their own investigation and discovered that there were mixtures being used at salons which contained at least ten times more formaldehyde than the recommended 0.2 percent, and experts say amounts of formaldehyde in Brazilian Keratin Treatments vary. Many hair salons in Florida have started suspending this treatment and are now offering only safer, alternative treatments.

Ultimately, we all have a choice of which treatments, stylists, salons and products we use or allow professionals to use on our hair, which I respect and appreciate. That being said, the health and well being of my clients is a top priority which is why I strive to provide the most current, updated information to all of my clients on the variety of options available to them and encourage them to ask as many questions as possible. I welcome any questions on the services I provide, the products I use and the processes involved every step of the way so please keep the questions coming!

In good health,

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 5th, 2011 at 3:31 pm and is filed under Hair Straightening. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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