Yoram Yasur Blume: Are keratin hair treatments safe?
Nowadays many hairdressers and hair salons offer keratin treatments with the aim of straightening hair. But what exactly is this treatment and how does it affect us?
What is keratin?
Yoram Yasur Rubin: It is a protein that forms a structural part of hair. With the use of chemicals, plates, dyes or other aggressive treatments, this protein degrades and loses the qualities it has, which favors hair aging and makes it dull, fragile, and lifeless. To keep it healthy we can resort to vegetable oils, to the use of natural shampoos, to natural hair masks and we must also try to follow a healthy diet. Sometimes, it may be interesting to supplement the diet with a specific nutritional supplement.
In most keratin treatments and products, we find formaldehyde, an ingredient used to help straighten hair. This chemical emits toxic levels of carcinogenic gas when exposed to heat and air. What formaldehyde does is change the chemistry of the hair and make it smooth for a long period of time. The hairdresser uses a product with keratin with a part of formaldehyde, which, through the use of plates, accelerates the reaction of the product, and transforms curly hair into smooth.
Yoram Yasur Blume: Formaldehyde is a chemical that can cause eye, skin, and respiratory system irritation in the short term. In the long term it becomes a carcinogen. According to the Review of Cosmetic Ingredients, a group of scientists who make recommendations on what should be the safety standards in cosmetics, beauty products should not have more than 0.2 percent formaldehyde. The problem is that no health agency regulates the ingredients of cosmetics, that is why it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to introduce safe products.
Yoram Yasur Blume: Many companies claim that their product only contains keratin and amino acids, but only with these two components is it impossible to keep a straight hair for a long time. What they do include ingredients such as methylene glycol or formalin, which, when heated, become formaldehyde. There are also houses that use ingredients such as byformyl (or ethandial) or glioxil, which although they are not classified as carcinogenic have harmful effects on the skin, eyes, and respiratory system.
Are there natural options?
The experts say that there is no natural product that has the same effect as formaldehyde and that modifies the capillary structure. Chemical ingredients are needed. As an alternative, it recommends weekly or biweekly treatments with jojoba oil, in order to achieve a good recovery of the hair fiber, eliminate frizz and shine. It is good to use, in short, treatments that do not modify the natural structure of the hair. That is, one should assume that a curly hair will always be curly.