Keratin treatments are used to reduce frizz and for those who desire to wear straight styles it makes the transition from curly to straight easier with longer lasting results. Keratin, on it’s own, is not the reason why many questions as to whether or not this treatment is safe arise. Keratin is, actually, beneficial to the hair because it provides protein. What causes concern is that Keratin Treatments are known to contain formaldehyde. Even those who claim to be formaldehyde free are most likely under-reporting and using that claim as a marketing gimmick. Chances are your formaldehyde free solution contains formaldehyde, even if it’s just a little.
My Decision to Try Keratin
Even knowing I wasn’t getting formaldehyde free I felt a Keratin Treatment was the right choice for ME. I felt I needed something that would make my hair easier to get through without turning to the blow dryer every time.
I am able to set my twists on wet hair, which was something I was never able to do before because I have high shrinkage hair. The look of shrinkage alone isn’t what bothered me the most, it was the tangles and difficulty in detangling it produced. As my hair grew, it was unrealistic for me to go without using a blow dryer at some point, which is something that I definitely wanted to avoid. Now that I have chosen to do a Keratin Treatment I actually use less heat because my hair is easier to stretch and detangle. I am currently on week 3 and have no complaints.
Where I think some naturals may find the treatment damaging is if there is an overuse of heat. To apply the treatment a blow dryer and flat iron must be used to seal the treatment in. So then to follow up with heat styling time and time again after your hair has already gone through a process is just asking for damage. It also has to be taken into account that some treatments have higher levels of formaldehyde than others and this could be damaging as well and an important factor to consider when selecting your keratin product. I’ve heard of treatments where the stylists has to wear a mask to even apply the treatment and this alone sounds like a sign that you should run for the hills.
My choice to use Keratin was not to change the texture or look of my hair or to wear straight styles. It was done to make detangling and styling just a tad bit easier, and that, it did. I also was aware of the risk that I would hate the results. If that meant cutting my hair to restore its health I was down, because in my view; its just hair and it will grow back.
Fortunately for me a chop was not necessary as my hair feels great! The You Be-Natural Treatment, my keratin product choice, suggests to reapply after 30 days, which I definitely will NOT be doing. If I find it necessary I would probably have a keratin treatment every 6 months as formaldehyde is not something you want to be continuously exposed to in any amount.
Also a good note from the article on from Black Girl Long Hair: “The effects of the Brazilian Keratin Treatment vary according to hair’s resilience and strength. Some naturals have reported excessive shedding and breakage after doing a Brazilian keratin treatment”.
So here’s the best tip of all ; if your hair is already in bad shape do not try it. If you need a little help with your natural hair without throwing in the towel then due your research and check out a Keratin treatment.