"Love of beauty is Taste. The creation of beauty is Art" - Ralph Waldo Emerson (American poet)

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Keratin (Brazilian Blowdry) - Article by Guest Corresponent

Keratin Hair Treatment. Don't believe the hype.

Article by friend Janine that needed a platform to tell her story. Thanks for sharing! There continues to be a lot of debate on this treatment - read on.
Living in NYC for 10 years my hair has had to deal with a lot of humidity. After many a frizzy bad hair day, I decided to get a Keratin Hair Straightening Treatment that I had seen advertised all over the city. At the end of July this year, I found a salon in my neighborhood that offered the treatment at a reasonable price and made and appointment.
I was really excited about the prospect of having silky smooth hair that I didn't have to spend time styling straight anymore. I got the treatment about 3 weeks before a family trip to London thinking that i could show off my smooth locks to friends and family. I had heard that some straightening treatments had formaldehyde in them and being cautious, I checked with my stylist who assured me that the treatment was formaldehyde free, with no other toxic or harmful chemicals and actually very good for your hair. While the treatment was applied, he explained that he was not putting it on the scalp to protect it and that he was setting in the treatment at 425 degrees, the temperature recommended for previously untreated hair.  I trusted him.

After keeping the treatment on my hair for 3 days, I washed it and it looked great. It looked great the next day and day after that too. In England my hair got the compliments I had hoped for and I was thrilled. When we returned home after 2 weeks, I looked in the mirror and noticed that my scalp was showing and that the part in my hair was wider than before.  In that moment, I realized that I had lost a noticeable amount of hair. It felt much thinner and it looked lank.
In the week that followed, I scheduled blood tests and a visit to my dermatologist, who had never heard of the treatment. After my blood work came back normal, I realised that it might be to do with the treatment I had just had. I went on line looking for answers and I found this site:

Story after story of women who had a Keratin Treatment and are suffering mild to severe hair loss. We were all told the same lie that these products do not contain formaldehyde. Little did we know that formaldehyde has different names or that there are chemicals when heated together which create toxins that are basically the same as formaldehyde. Shortly after I joined this site, I found these articles that support the fact that Keratin Hair Treatments are dangerous and extremely toxic:

and then this:

Not only are customers suffering these traumatic side effects, but it turns out that stylists are suffering health problems too.

Need I say more? Well yes, I do! Ladies, please don't make the same mistake I did, do some research before you put anything onto your scalp or skin. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Take note that this treatment is NOT offered by by Aveda, or L'oreal or any of the other reputable beauty companies. That alone should be a warning. Don't buy it because its the latest fad. Its mass marketed because companies are trying to make money from you not because they have your best interest at heart. I am lucky that I found out my hair loss was due to this treatment early enough that I could wash it out and start taking vitamins and detoxing myself before the fallout got too horrendous. 
If I can pass along my story and help prevent another person from going through the same experience that I have gone through then in a way it was worth it. 


  1. Janine, I hope you are now looking and feeling much better. It was a truly scary experience.
    Makes me think that really, it's ok to have a frizzy hair day, or week or just to have frizzy hair. Surely it's the pressure to look like a magazine photo that's the problem - not our hair?
    All the best!

  2. Thanks Arabella! I can confirm that her hair is growing back:)

    I agree - we must learn to like our hair for what it is.

  3. Apparently you can buy a version of the brazilian blow dry on ebay for £20...my colleague at work was going to do it...but when I told her about you and your experience she was shocked and said she wasn't going to go through with it. Also I just had a leaflet through my door from a local hair salon offering this treatment at knock down prices! Scary!!