Have you ever tried Brazilian straightening, also known as Brazilian keratin treatment? The results are really impressive, especially for people with hard-to-style hair. However, as with any treatment, there are risks to your hair and health that you should be aware of before trying it.
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Keratin treatments can damage hair
Although keratin treatments are effective in straightening hair, they cause damage and breakage. Hair appears smooth after the initial treatment, but chemical maintenance is required to maintain the smooth, silky texture. Formaldehyde, also known as formalin, has actually been linked to hair loss, hurting your hair in the long run. That’s why we strongly recommend going through a formalin-free Brazilian straightening, to avoid any problems that may be associated with this chemical.
The heating tools used to apply keratin hair treatments can also damage the hair. Straighteners can be over 450 degrees and each exposure to heat reactivates the toxic chemicals in your hair. Repeated use of Brazilian straightening also accelerates hair loss as well as accelerated bleaching.
After the initial cost of a keratin treatment, you must also purchase follow-up products. Special shampoos, conditioners and treatments without sodium chloride and sulfate make chemically treated hair much easier to maintain. And if you ever skip this post-straightening care step, your hair can become drier, brittle, fall out faster and in worse condition than before. Investing in a Brazilian straightening is therefore a long-term investment and not only during the sealing of the keratin on the hair.
Health risks with Brazilian straightening
The main health complaint and concern with Brazilian keratin treatments is that many (if not all) contain formaldehyde and/or formaldehyde-producing ingredients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, simply smelling formaldehyde can cause sore throats, coughing, watery eyes and nosebleeds. In addition to cancer problems, chronic exposure to formaldehyde can also cause:
- General damage to the central nervous system, including an increased prevalence of headaches, depression, mood swings, insomnia, irritability, attention deficit, and impaired dexterity, memory and balance.
- Allergies: Allergic reactions are common with keratin treatments, leading to irritation, skin rashes and respiratory problems.
- Side effects that can occur within minutes of application and/or in the months to come.
Dangerous and strictly forbidden to pregnant women
Keratin treatments are not suitable for pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding or women who are planning to conceive. Formaldehyde, methylene glycol and other carcinogenic ingredients in these treatments can cause birth defects and can sometimes lead to early death after repeated use. Keratin hair treatments require prolonged exposure to dangerous and potentially deadly chemicals and should therefore be avoided by pregnant women. If you have used a keratin hair treatment or any other chemical treatment in a hair salon, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.
In conclusion about the danger of Brazilian straightening for your hair
Keratin hair treatments may seem like a quick fix for curly or wavy hair, but they can cost you more in the long run. Tests show that keratin treatments contain dangerous levels of formaldehyde and other chemicals.
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogenic chemical. It can also cause skin reactions and other side effects. Hair and beauty professionals are regularly exposed to formaldehyde and other chemicals. This can also have health effects.
Ask your hairdresser about the type of keratin treatment used before making an appointment. Check the labels carefully. Ask about safer or natural alternatives for straightening hair.
It is especially important to avoid formaldehyde and other harmful chemicals if you are pregnant or nursing. Avoid taking children to beauty salons where they may be exposed to chemicals in the air. There are formaldehyde-free Brazilian straighteners that we highly recommend, which are not harmful.
If you suffer from asthma, allergies or are sensitive to odors, you are also at higher risk of side effects from airborne chemicals.