The technology of hair care products is getting better and better each day. What seemed impossible a few years ago today is a reality.
Months and even years of damaged hair can be recovered in a matter of days. That's what the Brazilian Keratin Therapy can do. The following article offers you options and tips for hair care after the treatment. But first, a glance at what keratin consists of.
What is Keratin ?
Keratin is a strong protein that is formed mainly of amino acids, which depending of their properties can be hard or soft to the tact. It is primarily present in the formation of successive layers of nails, skin and hair. Even though we are talking also about dead cells, their care and proper maintenance are important for the formation of new keratin layers, given that the old, dead cells protect the new ones.
That's why it's been determined that good doses applied directly to your hair can repair it from its very core, and recover the strength, elasticity and moisture that lost through the years. You literally have new hair formed of revitalized dead cells.
You begin by washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo that removes any residual from previous products such as conditioners and also the residuals of pollution, wind and smoke.
Then, with your hair blow dried, the keratin solution is applied directly with a brush, just as if you were coloring your hair. It's almost the same process, separating your hair mainly in four parts.
Once the keratin has been applied, blow dry it and use a flat iron. YOU HAVE TO WAIT 72 HOURS STRAIGHT for the treatment to take full effect. That also means no brushing, no sweating, not getting it wet, no coloring, no hair-spray, gel or mousse. Absolutely nothing must happen to your hair during that time.
After the treatment, it is highly recommended that you wash you hair with shampoos that have neutral PH and that do not contain sulfates or sodium chloride or the effect won't last much long. Most keratin treatments last up to 3 or 4 months.
The Truth About Formaldehyde
Formaldehyde is mostly known as a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling gas that is used to manufacture building materials and produce many household products.
That said, although the short-term health effects of formaldehyde exposure are well known, less is known about its potential long-term health effects. In 1980, laboratory studies showed that exposure to formaldehyde could cause nasal cancer in rats. This finding raised the question of whether formaldehyde exposure could also cause cancer in humans.
In 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure. Since that time, some studies of industrial workers have suggested that formaldehyde exposure is associated with nasal cancer and nasopharyngeal cancer, and possibly with leukemia.
In 1995, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that formaldehyde is a probable human carcinogen. However, in a re-evaluation of existing data in June 2004, the IARC reclassified formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen.
(Information taken from the National Cancer Institute)
Ok, what does this have to do with keratin treatments?
Formaldehyde is a component often used in sealing acrylic nails, as nails are also formed of keratin. And it works the same with hair. ALL Keratin hair treatments need a certain quantity of formaldehyde in order to help seal and mold the keratin in each strand of hair, and the heat of the flat iron reinforces that process. This may also explain those funny smells if you got it done in a salon.
Would this make the keratin treatment dangerous?
Absolutely not. In minimal exposure and proportions, as it's often used and still has a strong smell, formaldehyde does not cause any damage or health complications. It is recommended, though, as with all chemical products such as hair-dyes, that you use a protective mask and gloves.
What about these keratin treatment products that claim to be formaldehyde-free?
They probably have 0.01 to 0.05 in regards to the total product, or even a bit more. They can still technically say that it is formaldehyde-free for marketing purposes. It's sort of a white lie, given that the smell in these cases is barely noticeable and the keratin per se is mixed with aromas such as chocolate, lavender, strawberry, etc for commercial purposes.
Our kit contains everything you need to conduct your own brazilian keratin treatment at home. Most salons charge up to $300 ! You can do this process easily at home for less than half the cost and still come out with beautiful, shiny hair ! Our kit includes 2% formaldehyde keratin, mask, gloves, application brush, clarifying shampoo and after treatment conditioner.