Greetings Readers! As a natural hair and scalp specialist I feel it is my responsibility to speak about issues that are relevant in the industry. My goal here is to clarify the difference between keratin treatments vs. keratin.
Recently, keratin treatments have flooded the market and I felt I should utilize this forum to discuss this new trend. Let's start with at the beginning, shall we? First of all, what is Keratin?
Keratin is the KEY structural component of hair, nails and skin. Keratin is formed by keranocytes. It is a fibrous protein structure of hair. Polypeptide chains are arranged and held together by polypeptide bonding. It is made up of amino acids and it varies in degrees of hardness. Hooves are made of keratin and so is skin. The way it is structured make skin virtually waterproof. Most of the keratin we see is actually dead, however if properly cared for by eating foods that promote elasticity and keeping the external layer moisturized it can protect new keratin forming underneath. It also contains cysteine disulfide, and forms disulfide bridges that create a helix shape making the bonds very strong. Sulfur atoms bond across each other from across the helix creating a fibrous matrix or something like a net.
Keratin is what makes hair strong.
So, what is a keratin treatment? A keratin treatment is a process of temporarily straightening the hair by sealing a liquid keratin solution with heat or a thermal styling tool. The treatment lasts about 10-12 weeks.
The primary purpose of a keratin treatment is to repair damaged hair by infusing a keratin formula with the hair. The treatment increases elasticity, decreases frizz and increases shine. The treatment also temporarily straightens the hair.
I've done a lot of research in preparation for this blog post. There is so much information on this subject. There are very many keratin treatments on the market. A lot of companies promote their product saying that it is Formaldehyde free. Some products claim to have keratin and protein when in fact keratin is a protein. Words like "innovative technology" and "smoothing therapy". It is promoted to protect the hair and be safer than permanent straightening.
Are there adverse effects to keratin treatments?
Because most keratin treatments have Formaldehyde, a carcinogen,
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that Brazilian Blowouts, also called Brazilian Keratin Treatment, BKT, Brazilian Blowout, Escova Progressiva, Keratin Cure or Keratin Straightening can cause health problems such as eye disorders, nervous system disorders,nausea, rash or even permanent hair loss. Even if they do not contain formaldehyde, they contain some form of aldehyde, acting as a preservative for the product and relaxes the hair follicle.http://www.livestrong.com/article/180040-keratin-hair-treatment-ingredients/
So, there is indeed a difference between keratin and keratin treatments.
I have personally used Coppolla Keratin Comlpex on my daughters' hair with no adverse effects. It is an at home simple serum I put in their hair as a heat protectant. It is not the same treatment done in salons by professional, licenced hairstylists. It is a one step treatment to be applied prior to blow drying. My daughters are exploring other styling options besides natural hair styles and I embrace that. When their hair is wet, it returns to its natural, curly state.
There is soooo much information I could go on and on....and on. I posted this for the purposes of enlightenment, not to bash any one for choosing this styling option. Knowledge is indeed power and I believe anything you choose to do with your body should be done from an educated point of view.