Well, turns out I had to cut it out. And I have decided to give up keratin and every other "treatment." I have been using the Curly Girl method for approximately 8 weeks. My hair is FINALLY starting to show the benefits. I am actually quite happy with it - for the first time EVER. NOw that I am being nice to my hair -- it is being a bit nicer to me! ha ha ha. Who would've guessed! Wishing all of you the best...hopefully you won't have to cut it out like I did!!!