There is a growing concern over the use of formaldehyde in keratin hair treatments. While the procedure is enjoying immense popularity, the controversy over the use of this chemical rages on. Those who have regularly sought the expertise of hair stylists in achieving great hair are certainly no strangers to the fumes that chemicals used to beautify hair emit. In fact, it is an expectation we have to endure if we want to improve what nature has given us. However, this doesn’t stop people from wondering if there is a better option. If chemicals are a health concern, why not pursue the idea of an Organic keratin treatment?
The Danger of Formaldehyde in Keratin Hair Treatments
Not all, but most keratin hair treatments contain formaldehyde. This chemical is considered by the FDA as a dangerous chemical which has the potential to cause cancer, particularly leukemia, when a person is exposed to toxic amounts of it. Formaldehyde is likewise known as formalin. It is primarily used as a preservative for which the FDA has declared its safe levels to be below 0.02% when included in hair, skin and pharmaceutical products. Some concerned parties though, point out that its dangers become more significant when it is heated to high temperatures as in the case of a keratin hair treatment. This observation is a valid concern particularly for people with known allergies to the chemical. If you are hypersensitive to it, its presence, even in miniscule amounts poses a health threat that may be fatal. Even with people who are not allergic to formaldehyde, it has the potential to act as an irritant, resulting to watery eyes, sneezing and coughing. If you experience shortness of breath and wheezing, it may be a serious threat to health that requires immediate medical intervention.
What about Keratin?
Keratin is a natural amino acid found in human skin, nails and hair. It makes up a major portion of each hair shaft and in fact, is a primary determinant of hair health. As people abuse hair or as a result of natural aging, the keratin component of hair decreases resulting to dry, damaged, brittle hair. This means that keratin is helpful in every single way but it needs lipids to adhere to skin or hair. These lipids allow the hair to become pliable and soft but its effects are very short lived. Glue is needed to bind the keratin into the hair shaft and this is where formaldehyde comes in. Some manufacturers, in lieu of formaldehyde use other chemicals from the aldehydes group. This is an alternative but these are still chemicals which has the potential to cause harm to those allergic to them.
Are There Options?
As people move towards more natural methods of hair treatments, manufacturers continue to develop products that use as few chemicals as possible to meet this demand. There are a number of hair treatments that claim to be Natural keratin treatment options available in the market. Combined with a regimen that ensures hair health, these products can do a lot to improve hair texture, shine and manageability just like regular keratin treatments. Often, we are led astray by products that contain harsh chemicals because we focus too much on its benefits rather than looking at the bigger picture. As much as we get excited over the advantages, we should also look out for possible repercussions that a treatment may entail. Only then will we be able to make informed and advantageous decisions that we won’t regret later on.
The concern for the use of hazardous chemicals in hair treatments is not new. Although we shouldn’t swallow everything we hear about, hook, line and sinker, we should be cautious and alert for its possible effects on health. The most sensible thing to do is learn all you can about the treatment before having it done. Often, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and with hair treatments, this is just as true. So, is organic and natural keratin treatment the better option? You decide.