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Side Effects of Keratin Treatment; Everything You Must Know

Looking forward to try a hair smoothing therapy like the Keratin Treatment or Brazilian Blowout on your delicate manes to sport frizz-free, pin-straight locks everywhere you go?

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But worried about the aftermath of this styling procedure?

Well, you should be worried, because this hair treatment comes with some serious side effects that might affect your tresses as well as your health severely in the near future.

Alongside its wonderful sleek, straight results, this semi-permanent hair treatment also has some serious drawbacks which are not discussed often. Keep on reading to find out more.

1. Keratin Treatment Might Cause Cancer

Many of the keratin treatments that we use for hair smoothing purpose incorporates a chemical named Formaldehyde; Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas that helps to eliminate annoying frizz from your manes and also keep them smooth straight for months.

But even after possessing such an amazing quality of keeping your tresses straight and silky, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared this component to be dangerous to human; this is because this chemical has the potential to cause cancer (or help cancer grow and spread) if exposed to for a long period of time.

Now you might be wondering how this chemical gets inside your body to result in such a dangerous phenomenon?

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Well, when you are getting your tresses straightened and smoothen, Formaldehyde gas is released into the air from the treatment solution which then gets into your system while you breathe in the fumes and your skin absorbs it from the air.

Aside from you (who is getting the keratin treatment), the hairdresser who is helping you for the treatment is also at a great risk suffering from cancer and other health hazards.

2. Has the Risk of Severe Allergic Reaction and Other Health Problems

In addition of being a carcinogen (substance that might cause cancer), formaldehyde is also known as to trigger other health side effects and severe allergic reactions to cause extreme dis-comfort; from itchy skin to coughing, sneezing and mood swing, this chemical can turn your world upside down and that’s why in the year 2016, the Environmental Working Group and Women’s Voices for the Earth (EWG) sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for not regulating the use of formaldehyde in beauty and hair care products.

EWG claims that the FDA is well aware of the health hazards associated with the products containing formaldehyde since at least the past decade, but they failed to put any regulation on this. Many users, as well as the salon stylists, have faced difficulty breathing, eye irritation, and nosebleeds after this straightening treatment.

Some of the most noticeable allergic reactions from formaldehyde you should know about are:

Nose and throat irritation

3. Potential Increase in Hair Breakage and Hair Damage

Damaged Hair - V1 Sep One of the main steps during a keratin treatment is drying your tresses with heat and straightens them with a keratin flat iron for an outstanding result. But if you apply too much heat for quick drying or over-straighten them with a very high heat level to lock in the treatment deep into each hair strands, your manes are more likely to suffer from extreme breakage in the long run. Additionally, on top of that, when the heat is applied to the hair, it releases more formaldehyde into the air and the people around end up inhaling it exposing them to health problems. Additionally, as the formaldehyde causes scalp irritation, it means that your scalp become sensitive which weakens the hair root leading to extreme hair fall in the near future.

How to Avoid the Damaging and Dangerous Side Effects of Keratin Treatment

If you ask us, well will say never try any permanent or semi-permanent treatments on your precious hair locks as they are very damaging as well as harmful. But then again, it’s your life and once in a while, you might want to switch up your hairstyle to change your look. If you want to try the Brazilian Blowout, we would recommend you chose a hair salon that doesn’t use formaldehyde infused treatment chemicals (you already know the dangerous effects formaldehyde on your hair as well as health). Instead, you might ask your stylist to use glyoxylic acid on your manes which is much safer yet ensures the same smoothing and straightening results as formaldehyde would have been produced.

Another salon treatment you can try instead of the Brazilian Keratin one is the Keratin Complex; this procedure uses a few different formulas from a classic smoothing treatment to repair your damaged tresses and make them silky, smooth and frizz-free. But this treatment doesn’t straighten your tresses and therefore, you are not exposed to any dangerous effects of the formaldehyde.

On the other hand, if you wish to practice this salon treatment at the comfort of your home, we would suggest you this INVERTO REVOLUTION Complex Brazilian Keratin Formaldehyde Free Hair Blowout Treatment because it is safe to use as there is no Formaldehyde present in the formula.

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Lastly, now that you have a very clear idea about the dangerous side effects of keratin treatments, we hope that you would make a very smart decision before trying it on your tresses for your own safety.


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Reader Interactions


  1. Hello!

    I am a regular reader of your blogs. Some of your writings are just wow. They are really praising worthy.

    But why did you write this article? Don’t you think this piece of writing would discourage others to go for keratin treatments?

    Looking forward to your response!

    • Dear Lee Naa

      Thank you for reading our blog regularly. We are pleased to know that you liked them.

      This article was written to inform our readers that even though keratin treatment gives your hair a lustrous look, there are some severe side effects that you must know about and be prepared for that.

      It was not meant to encourage or discourage anyone.

      Stay with us!

    • I’m grateful for this article. I’ve started using the Keratin hair growth formula and developed a rash on my neck and scalp. I stopped taking it for a week and the rashes and itching subsided but as soon as I took another dose the rashes returned so now I’m sure it’s the KERATIN .. there was no warning of this possible side effect.

  2. Cancer!?

    Are you sure that keratin hair treatment causes deadly cancer?

    I haven’t heard anyone getting this disease after a keratin treatment?

    Please check your facts first.

    • Dear Teri,

      If you are a regular follower of our blog, you would know that we never put something up when we are not 100 % sure.

      We have checked our facts and then stated this in our article.

      We hope we could provide you the answer.

  3. You people never fail to amaze me.

    This is one of the best informative articles I have read in a long time. You guys managed to keep it clean, minimal yet full of useful information. That’s the true beauty of writing.

    Hats off to the writer as well as the researchers!

    Keep on writing like this.

    • Dear Angelina,

      Thank you very much for your praise words. Our readers’ feedback is what keeps us motivated.

      Stay with us!

  4. I agree with your article. It’s to the point and brought up everything thing a person might suffer from after getting a keratin hair treatment.

    I did get this procedure done once in my hair. And you won’t believe what I had gone through right after. From runny nose to sneezing and red eyes, I suffered from everything.

    At that time I thought it was cold. But now I understand what it was.

    Thank you for such an amazing article.

    Lots of good wishes!

    • Dear Edward,

      We are extremely sorry to hear about your experience. That was really awful.

      And thank you for sharing it with us. Our readers might find it helpful.

  5. Excellent idea and amazingly penned article!

    I really enjoyed reading it from top to bottom.

    Readers will get a very clear and informative idea about the deadly effects of keratin treatment from this article.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Dear Dian,

      Thank you so much for your sweet words. We are inspired and motivated by such empowering words.

      Stay with us for more of such articles.

  6. I have been following your blog for the longest time.

    Can you tell me after exactly how many treatments I will get cancer?

    I am really worried because I have done keratin treatment quite a few times to date.

    Please respond ASAP.

    • Dear Missa,

      Thank you for following our blog regularly.

      Unfortunately, there is no exact number of treatments that would determine what you have asked for. It depends on your immune and health conditions.

  7. First of all, I would like to thank you for this precious information.

    And I’m wondering if you can help me. I did get keratin treatment done twice on my hair. For the first time, it was great and I haven’t experienced any complications. But its effect was faded gradually and my hair back to normal again. So I decided to do it again but I changed the product, and here the story began. First, my scalp was irritated, my hair started to shed and after a few months baby hair started to grow, but it was coarse and curly not like my normal hair, and now I’m really depressed. I need my hair back to normal.

    If you have any idea about how to fix it please help me.


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