Keratin hair treatments, also known as Brazilian straightening treatments, promise silky, straight, frizz-free hair for months at a time. While the results might last for months, the dangers could last a lifetime. This is due to the ingredients included in Keratin hair treatments. The ingredient of most concern is formaldehyde. Understanding the Keratin hair treatment dangers and how the treatments work can help you decide if treatments are worth the risks to you.

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What is Formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring gas that can be converted to various forms and used for a number of things. In 1999, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act declared formaldehyde a toxic substance. Later, in 2011, the US National Toxicology Program Report on Carcinogens officially recognized formaldehyde as a known carcinogen.

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Popular applications of formaldehyde include:

  • Anti-creasing agent in many clothing items
  • Foam Insulation
  • Paper strengthener
  • Antibacterial disinfectant
  • Tissue fixative
  • Embalming agent
  • Drug detection kits


What Are The Possible Keratin Hair Treatment Dangers?

The largest Keratin hair treatment risks are exposure to formaldehyde and heat damage from flat irons. While formaldehyde is limited and regulated in hair products by many governments, the levels of this chemical found in Keratin hair treatments can vary. Most products that claim to contain no formaldehyde still contain trace levels of formaldehyde derivatives.

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The application process typically involves a chemical application, followed by lengthy flat-ironing sessions at high heat settings. This process releases concentrated fumes that can irritate the eyes, lungs and skin. Regardless of brand, the Keratin hair treatment dangers and Keratin hair treatment side effects remain the same. These side effects include headache, runny nose, itching sore throat and general malaise.

People at greatest risk of Keratin hair treatments side effects include:

  • Psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis sufferers
  • African-Americans
  • Frequent hair dyers
  • People with thin, fair hair

Coppola Keratin hair treatment dangers to the hair its self are fairly low if proper procedures are followed. While the benefits of Keratin hair treatments are valid, the biggest risk to hair health is the flat ironing process itself. By exposing the hair to stress and high heat levels, the risk of damage and breaking is increased. If at any point during the treatment process, hair breakage occurs ask your beautician to stop the process immediately.

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Regulatory Actions Against Keratin Hair Treatment Manufacturers

In the United States, both the Food and Drug Administration and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration monitor formaldehyde content. In Canada, Health Canada monitors formaldehyde content as well. Both companies released Keratin hair treatment dangers warnings of dangerously high formaldehyde concentrations in a popular product known as the Brazilian Blowout. Measured levels ranged from 8.7-percent to 12-percent.

The makers of Brazilian Blowout responded stating that levels were below OSHA standards and safe for use. However, they later released a new line of products known as Brazilian Blowout Zero that claim to release no formaldehyde during the treatment process.