Skip to Content

Side Effects of Keratin Treatment: Damage, Allergies, Cancer (2024)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

side effects of keratin treatmentDo you ever dream of having sleek, straight hair? You’re not alone. Keratin treatments are a popular method for achieving this look – but with it comes the risk of potential side effects that might make you reconsider.

From damage and hair fall to allergies and an increased risk of cancer due to formaldehyde exposure, there’s a lot to consider when deciding if keratin treatment is right for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Side effects can range from hair damage to respiratory issues and even an increased cancer risk.
  • Frequent use of keratin treatments can lead to hair damage and hair fall.
  • Allergic reactions and respiratory problems can occur due to chemicals like formaldehyde.
  • Pregnant women, allergy sufferers, and those with sensitivities are unsuitable candidates.

Potential Side Effects of Keratin Treatment

Potential Side Effects of Keratin Treatment
The potential side effects of keratin treatment can range from hair damage to respiratory problems. Allergic reactions, an increased risk of cancer, and hair fall are just some of the dangers associated with this type of procedure.

Hair Damage and Hair Fall

Frequent use of keratin treatment can lead to weakening of the hair, resulting in breakage and potential hair loss. To prevent this, it is important to limit treatments to once a year and choose products with lower levels of formaldehyde or formaldehyde-free alternatives.

Heat protection products should also be used when styling post-treatment, as excessive heat can cause further damage. When selecting keratin treatments, look for reputable salons that offer 100% formaldehyde-free options or opt for natural alternatives like hot oil treatments, which provide sleek results without side effects.

Allergic Reactions and Respiratory Problems

Beware: Keratin treatments may cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Allergic reactions can include skin irritation, rashes, or hives due to exposure to chemicals like formaldehyde in the treatments.

Additionally, prolonged inhalation of formaldehyde vapors can lead to respiratory issues such as asthma-like symptoms and coughing fits. To reduce potential health risks, it is important to use reputable brands that offer salon ventilation when selecting a keratin treatment or look for alternative products with less hazardous ingredients like glyoxylic acid.

Increased Risk of Cancer

You should be aware that prolonged exposure to formaldehyde, a chemical found in keratin treatments, may increase your risk of cancer. Hair health experts note that the potential effects from long-term use include respiratory issues and allergic reactions.

Cancer risks are linked to formaldehyde exposure as it is classified as a carcinogen by the CDC. It’s important to look for safe alternatives, such as 100% formaldehyde-free options or hot oil treatments, without any side effects.

Finding reputable salons with well-ventilated areas and low levels of chemicals can help reduce damage while ensuring hair safety with proper maintenance over time.

Negative Effects of Formaldehyde in Keratin Treatments

Negative Effects of Formaldehyde in Keratin Treatments
You may have heard of keratin treatments for straightening and smoothing hair, but what you might not know is that many products used in these treatments contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Reports from stylists and consumers indicate respiratory issues related to the use of these products.

Formaldehyde as a Known Carcinogen

Be aware that Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, is frequently found in keratin treatments. Ingestion or inhalation of formaldehyde can lead to serious health risks, including cancer and asthma-like symptoms.

The EPA has set regulatory standards for air quality safety when it comes to formaldehyde exposure, with the maximum level being 0.

If you plan on getting a keratin treatment, ask your stylist about their salon’s practices and product ingredients before booking an appointment. There are some alternatives to using products containing formaldehyde, such as glyoxylic acid, which may be less harmful than traditional treatments or even 100% free from any chemical additives if desired.

However, these options still carry similar health risks, so make sure you consult with both your stylist and doctor before making any decisions regarding hair care products or procedures used at salons for optimal hair health results without potential side effects of Keratin Treatment.

Reported Respiratory Issues

Breathe easy – reports of respiratory issues, such as coughing and eye irritation, have been linked to formaldehyde exposure from keratin treatments. Stylists who perform the treatment have reported breathing problems due to inhaling fumes during application.

To ensure safety, salons should be well-ventilated while performing these services.

Additionally, look for alternative options or products that are 100% free of formaldehyde when considering a keratin treatment. Allergies may also manifest in skin reactions or eye irritation after contact with this chemical compound.

Those with sensitivities should consider other hair care methods without harsh chemicals, like hot oil treatments, instead of using Keratin Complex products which contain harmful components if used excessively over time.

Risks and Concerns of Keratin Treatment

Risks and Concerns of Keratin Treatment
Keratin treatments have gained popularity for their ability to straighten and smooth hair, but the use of formaldehyde in these products can pose health risks. Levels of formaldehyde found in products can exceed safety recommendations, with long-term effects still unclear.

Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or those with allergies and sensitivities should be aware that keratin treatments may not be suitable for them.

Formaldehyde Levels in Products

Take caution when it comes to formaldehyde levels in products, as the FDA warns that they can exceed safety recommendations. Look for product labeling to ensure you are not exposed to dangerous levels of formaldehyde; if possible, opt for a 100% formaldehyde-free alternative.

Consider frequent use: hair breakage is likely with prolonged exposure, and the long-term effects remain unknown. Visit a well-ventilated salon or consider other alternatives such as Hot Oil Treatments or Japanese Hair Straightening instead of Keratin Treatment with high concentrations in their products.

Unclear Long-Term Health Effects

It’s still unclear if the formaldehyde in keratin treatments has any long-term health repercussions, so you’d better be prepared for anything!

There is limited research on the safety of prolonged exposure to this chemical, making it difficult to assess its risk. The effects may only become apparent after years of use and could potentially cause serious health issues.

It’s important to consider all possible implications before committing to a keratin treatment and speak with your stylist about alternative options that are 100% formaldehyde free. Make sure you’re aware of the potential risks associated with these treatments before deciding whether or not they’re right for you.

Unsuitability for Certain Individuals

Due to the known carcinogen formaldehyde present in keratin treatments, those with sensitivities, allergies, or who are pregnant and breastfeeding should be aware of potential risks before deciding on this process.

Unsuitable candidates for treatment include:

  • Pregnant women needing to take extra precautions due to exposure risk.
  • Allergy sufferers that may experience severe skin reactions from contact with product ingredients.
  • Those sensitive to any chemical components found in treatment formulations must be mindful as well.

Breastfeeding mothers also need caution when considering using a keratin service since some chemicals can pass through breast milk into infants’ system.

Consider all factors carefully and consult medical professionals prior to making decisions about a hair care routine if you have special health needs or conditions.

Limited Effectiveness and Maintenance of Keratin Treatment

Limited Effectiveness and Maintenance of Keratin Treatment
Keratin treatments are popular for straightening and smoothing hair, but their effects can be limited. Over time, the treatment can weaken your hair, and when its effects wear off, you may start to notice damage to it.

Weakening of Hair Over Time

Overusing a keratin treatment can lead to weakened hair over time. The hair shaft, already damaged by the heat and chemicals used in the process, is further compromised with frequent treatments.

To prevent damage and keep hair healthy long-term, try alternatives like hot oil treatments or Japanese straightening or tourmaline smoothing treatments that don’t require harsh chemicals. Heat protectants should also be used for any heat styling techniques as they help reduce breakage from high temperatures while maintaining shiny locks.

For those looking for a more permanent solution to their frizzy mane without compromising on their health or weakening of strands, consider using salon quality products designed specifically for strengthening your tresses.

Hair Damage When Treatment’s Effects Wear Off

When your keratin treatment fades, you’ll notice the damage to your hair. Hair fall and thinning can occur due to frequent use of a keratin treatment, leaving you with weak locks that are difficult to style.

Fortunately, there are regrowth options available such as strengthening products and treatments for frizz control or shiny hair. But if it’s straight tresses you’re after, then a formaldehyde-free solution is best.

These provide long-lasting results without the negative effects on health associated with traditional formulas containing formaldehyde.

A keratin-infused product may also offer some benefits like smoother strands, but it will not give the same level of straightening power as salon treatments do.

Choosing Safer Options for Keratin Treatment

Choosing Safer Options for Keratin Treatment
When considering a keratin treatment, it is important to choose reputable brands and ingredients. Look for formaldehyde-free alternatives such as Goldwell Kerasilk or Trissola Solo.

Reputable Brands and Ingredients

Be sure to research reputable brands and ingredients for your keratin treatment, so you can ensure a safe yet effective result. When selecting a salon, make sure they’re using formaldehyde-free products or those with levels below 0.

Also, check product labels carefully for alternative names of formaldehyde – such as methylene glycol or formalin – which may be present in some formaldehyde-free treatments. Consider brands like Goldwell Kerasilk and Trissola Solo, who offer healthier alternatives without harsh chemicals like formaldehyde.

Lastly, look into other options available, such as Japanese Hair Straightening or hot oil treatments, if you don’t want to use any chemical-based methods at all!

Formaldehyde-Free Alternatives

If you’re concerned about the potential health risks of keratin treatments, there are a number of formaldehyde-free alternatives that can give you smooth and shiny hair without any adverse effects. Look for alternative ingredients like glyoxylic acid instead of formaldehyde in products or seek salons with safe practices to avoid exposure.

DIY treatments using natural oils such as coconut oil can provide some smoothing benefits too. If you’re going to the salon for a treatment, ask your stylist if they offer 100% formaldehyde-free options so you know what’s being applied to your hair before beginning the process.

With these safer options available, everyone has an opportunity to enjoy smoother locks without putting their health at risk!

Alternatives to Keratin Treatment

Alternatives to Keratin Treatment
If you are looking for alternatives to keratin treatments, consider Japanese Hair Straightening, heat protectants, and hot oil treatments. These options may help reduce frizz while providing a sleek look without the potential health risks associated with keratin treatments.

Japanese Hair Straightening

Try Japanese Hair Straightening as an alternative to keratin treatment for smooth and sleek hair with no health risks. This chemical-free, heat-protected method of straightening is known for its ability to transform both curly and wavy hair textures into shiny, manageable styles that last up to 6 months.

Heat protectants are used during the process, so no damage occurs while achieving your desired look without any formaldehyde or other harsh chemicals.

So explore your hair smoothing options today without worrying about potential adverse effects from keratin treatments.

Heat Protectants

Upgrade your style with heat protectants for a safer way to get straight, shiny hair without the risks of a keratin treatment. Thermal protection products provide an effective barrier between high-heat styling tools and your strands.

Look for ingredients like silicones, waxes, oils, and polymers in these products to help reduce breakage from flat irons or curling wands used on wet hair.

For best results when blow-drying, use it sparingly and start at the ends first, then work up towards roots.

Hot Oil Treatments

Experience the beauty of hot oil treatments for sleek hair without any harmful side effects. It is a simple application process that involves applying warm oil to damp, towel-dried hair and letting it absorb into the scalp.

Benefits include improved texture, less frizziness, better hydration, and nourishment for all types of hair. Hot oil treatments should not be done more than once every two months as overdoing it can lead to dryness or buildup on the scalp.

Final Considerations for Keratin Treatment

Final Considerations for Keratin Treatment
When considering keratin treatment, it is important to weigh the desired results against potential risks. Proper salon ventilation and safety measures should be taken into account in order to limit exposure to formaldehyde and other chemicals associated with this type of hair treatment.

Balancing Desired Results and Potential Risks

When considering a keratin treatment, it’s important to weigh the potential risks against your desired results. To make an informed decision, take into account health risks related to allergies and formaldehyde exposure, as well as pregnancy concerns.

Ask your stylist for recommendations on which type of product will best address your hair needs while minimizing risk factors like excessive heat or chemical irritation. Consider opting for formaldehyde-free treatments if you have a sensitivity or allergy to chemicals in certain products.

With proper research and by following safety guidelines set by the FDA, you can find a safe solution that provides beautiful results without compromising health or safety.

Proper Salon Ventilation and Safety Measures

To ensure a safe experience, make sure the salon you visit has proper ventilation and takes necessary safety measures when performing keratin treatments. Air quality in salons is crucial to prevent excessive formaldehyde exposure for both stylists and customers.

Many hair care products contain chemicals that can be released into the air during flat ironing or blow-drying services. Therefore, it’s important to check if your salon uses exhaust fans or other methods of keeping the air fresh.

It’s also essential for stylists to protect themselves with protective masks, gloves, and eye protection while working with these chemicals. By asking your stylist about the safety precautions they take before getting a keratin treatment, you can have peace of mind knowing that your health is not being put at risk.


The decision to undergo a keratin treatment should never be taken lightly. Weighing the desired results of straighter, silkier, and stronger hair against the potential risks and side effects of this chemical process is essential.

Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, is often found in keratin treatments and can lead to eye irritation, headaches, and coughing. Additionally, frequent use of keratin treatments can cause hair fall and damage over time.

While there are safer alternatives available, such as Japanese Hair Straightening and hot oil treatments, it is important to conduct your own research and choose reputable brands and salons to ensure you’re making a well-informed decision.

Ultimately, the best way to protect your health and get the desired results is to understand the side effects of keratin treatment.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.