For many curly, wavy and kinky haired girls, keratin treatments seem like a blessing. This hair straightening and smoothing process is thought to keep the hair straight without frizz or fly-aways for a long period of time. For many curly girls wanting to go straight, this means less time styling and less worry about our end result. However, the process has come under some harsh medical scrutiny. So, the question is, do the pros outweigh the cons?

What are Keratin Treatments?

And how do they do it?

When receiving a keratin treatment, the hair is first shampooed with a clarifier. The hair is then blow dried so that all moisture is removed. Next, solution is applied with a brush and then combed throughout the hair. The hair is then wrapped into a plastic cap, and is allowed to set for approximately 20 minutes.

After this time period passes, the hair is blow dried once more and then flat ironed. The oils of the treatment will set into the hair within a few hours – so static strands are normal at this time.

The hair must be kept straight, as the stylist has it, for 72 hours. No hair accessories may be used in the hair as it may disturb the process. Do not allow the hair to get wet while in the shower.

Pros of a Brazilian Keratin Treatment

It must be popular for some reason!

Ultimately, a treatment can be done on nearly any type of hair whether relaxed, chemically straightened, color-treated, curly, kinky or wavy. The treatment is also suitable for men.

The treatment can last for nearly six months. A keratin treatment will help to prevent frizz, fly-aways and leave a silky, shiny gleam to the hair. Ultimately, this treatment is great for men & women who are looking for straighter hair for longer periods of time.

Cons of Keratin Treatments

Health Concerns Galore

One of the biggest concerns and cons of using keratin treatments is the risk of one’s health. The Department of Labor issued a hazard alert for keratin treatments, stating the dangers of the formaldehyde. While keratin treatments have yet to be banned, the danger associated with being around the chemicals used in the treatment poses health concerns for both the stylist and you!

Formaldehyde is most commonly associated with a high cancer risk. According to the National Cancer Institute, while we have always been well aware of the short-term health affects — such as watery eyes, skin irritation, coughing, nausea and burning sensations in the eyes, ears and throat — long-term health affects were still unclear until 1987 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen. Since then, Canada has outlawed the treatment due to the health concerns.

Today, despite the health risks, the keratin treatments are still popular with curlies looking for straighter strands over a long period of time, and the U.S. has yet to outlaw the treatment.

Weigh Your Options

  • Are you willing to trade straighter strands for health risks?
  • For this curly, I’m taking probable human carcinogen as a message to stay away!

Our Co-Founder’s Brazilian Blowout Experience

Read all about Michelle’s Brazilian Keratin Treatment.