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What Side Effects Can Keratin Treatments Cause?

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Keratin treatments are some of the most prominent hair smoothening procedures performed daily in every corner of the world. Beauty seekers love their sleek, smooth, and shiny hair right after Keratin treatment and recommend their friends and family choose Keratin to get rid of their frizz and waves. Some people experience less hair loss, more robust hair follicles, and less breakage and hair splits.

Most Keratin treatment side effects are not visible after some time, and it takes a few weeks or months for them to really take their toll on your hair. After a few weeks, however, not everybody has such positive feelings about this chemical treatment. To explain Keratin treatment side effects, we need to understand how Keratin treatment works, what products are used, and how they are applied to your hair.

How does Keratin treatment work?

Keratin treatment is named after the main element used during the process. Keratin is naturally found on your hair, is made inside your scalp, and makes up your hair, nails, and skin. During the treatment, The stylist adds chemical dissolvents to your curly hair to break down molecular bondings that make your hair curly, making it temporarily flexible and fragile. Then, once reshaped into a straighter structure, Keratin is added to fix the hair in its smooth and refined form, using plenty of heat from flat irons and blow dryers. 

Of all Keratin treatment side effects, few of them are directly related to Certain itself. The main side effects are derived from the chemical dissolvent, formaldehyde, and the high degrees of heat projected on your head for hours. Even with the arrival of formaldehyde-free products for Keratin treatments, they have not proven to be any safer. The studies have found pretty similar levels of formaldehyde in these “safer” products, and the ones that are genuinely free of any formaldehyde have not been able to be as effective as their more dangerous counterparts. 

Let us go through some of the disadvantages of Keratin treatment and see how they affect your hair, skin, and some other body parts in the long run. 

Hair Loss

Hair Loss

When you reinforce your hair strands with Keratin, it seems like you have repaired all the damaged parts, split ends, and loose follicles. You will notice smaller piles of hair after a shower and inside your hairbrush. This could be the case if you did not have frizzy, curly, or wavy hair before the treatment. But if you went through Keratin treatment to break down the curls and achieve smoother hair, the chances are you used plenty of formaldehyde in the process. 

Formaldehyde simply dissolves parts of your hair, making it easier to be detached from the root. For the first few weeks, Keratin does hide many of your hair damages and fortifies the hair on the scalp. But as Keratin treatment is not a permanent transformation, it starts to wash away after some time, which will expose the hair that is much more fragile to falling from your head easier. So you can either reapply the process, which will be a short-term solution that will worsen your hair fall in the long term, or change your Keratin Aftercare with hair loss products and prescriptions. 

Hair Breakage and Splits

Hair Breakage and Splits

As Keratin covers each strand, it is fixed on your hair with lots of heat. Whether a flat iron or a blow dryer, this excessive amount of heat dries up your hair quickly, increasing the rate of hair breakage, split ends, and brittleness. Lack of moisture will result in easier hair detachment as well, as dry hair is more crispy. 

Another Keratin treatment side effect is the combination of lots of heat and formaldehyde. Formaldehyde evaporates faster when put under lots of heat which releases all kinds of toxins into the air, paving the way for all sorts of dangerous respiratory problems. 

Dryness and Dandruff 

Dryness and Dandruff

It is true that Keratin will wash away after a few months, but that does not mean there is no residue left on your hair. As every used substance has been in contact with your scalp during the treatment, they will find their way inside it, blocking natural moisturizers and nourishments from reaching the strands. This results in drier hair, which is crispier, brittle, and prone to breakage. 

You will experience more dandruff due to a dry scalp as well. Not only will your scalp lose its drier skin parts, but the residuals will accompany the skin in producing more dandruff which will be noticeable every time you put your fingers through your hair. 

Irreparable Damage

Irreparable Damage

When you use dissolvents to alter the molecular structure of the hair, you remove it from all kinds of natural moisturizing and protective elements that shield your hair from the likes of sun rays, excessive heat, and other types of damage. If you give your hair enough rest, it will replenish the lost resources and heals itself over time. 

The problem is, once you go smooth, it is hard to go back. Many people book another Keratin treatment the moment they feel like their hair is losing its smooth effects. Repetitive smoothing treatments prevent your hair from restoring its natural state. As people get chemical treatments right after another, they will begin to totally transform their hair in the long run, to the extent of terminally altering its natural composition. When you reach that point of no return, your only option would be to cut your hair and wait for regrowth. 

Also Read: What Are The Pros And Cons Of Keratin Treatment?

Reactions to the chemicals

Reactions to the chemicals

With the exposure of your skin and eyes and other external body parts to the chemicals used in the Keratin treatment, it is normal to experience some allergic reactions. Usually, the professional Keratin specialists try their best to only apply the products to the strands and not the scalp. But it is inevitable for the chemicals to find their way to your skin, resulting in rashes and itching. Your eyes may be irritated after the treatment due to the release of the chemical gasses during Keratin treatment. Headaches, dizziness, and nausea are other common Keratin treatment side effects caused by these gasses.     

However, the worst health hazard caused by Keratin treatments is the inhalation of these gasses. If you expose your respiratory system to these toxic chemicals, you may experience several short and long-term Keratin treatment side effects. Sore throats, coughing, and chest pain may be some of the more typical symptoms. In more severe cases, you may throw up or faint. In the most extreme scenarios, mainly happening to the specialists who expose themselves regularly to the chemicals, there is the threat of several respiratory diseases and even skin and lung cancer. It is crucial to apply Keratin in an airy, well-ventilated area to get rid of the toxins in the air and avoid breathing the chemicals as much as you can. 

Mental Health Problems

Mental Health Problems

Everyone interested in a chemical hair treatment must study the side effects, the necessary commitments, and the restrictions that will be forced on themselves beforehand. It is improbable to experience the worst of these worrisome effects if you choose a reputable hair salon and a professional, experienced, and educated Keratin specialist. But learning about the possible Keratin treatment side effects and going through it anyway may put a bit of pressure on your mental health. 

A Keratin treatment will give you smooth, shiny, and sleek hair, with the expense of being more prone to all kinds of damage. It requires the user to commit to comprehensive aftercare to reduce the possibility of damaging your hair after the treatment, which is another added task to your busy schedule. Keratin aftercare products are not cheap either, extending your hair care bills by a lot. Lastly, as you get used to the manageable, smooth, and shiny hair, approaching the fading end of your treatment may be a source of overthinking, anxiety, and stress.   


Can keratin treatments cause hair loss?

Yes, they indeed can. You may actually experience a reduction of hair loss a few weeks after Keratin treatment, as Keratin reinforces your hair follicles with protein. But as the treatment effects start to fade away, you will experience larger piles of hair going down the drain after each wash. 

Is it worth getting keratin treatment?

Keratin treatment can introduce a milder approach to achieving smoother hair if appropriately maintained. It costs a lot, but it is still cheaper than straightening alternatives, and the harm is also significantly lower. Experts suggest a maximum of three Keratin treatments per year. So if not overdone and followed by professional aftercare, it can be a good choice for smoothing your hair. 

Does hair fall after keratin treatment?

Hair fall is a common side effect of Keratin treatments because chemicals weaken hair follicles during the treatment, and your hair can detach easier as a result. Recurrent itching of the chemically irritated scalp can boost the hair fall too. 

Explore other types of Hair Straightening with this video!

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