Do Keratin Treatments Work on African American Hair?

… Continued …

  1. First you need to know that salon treatments don’t require FDA approval. The use of products containing or releasing formaldehyde are also unregulated.
  2. Since the awareness of health risks from formaldehyde increases, many companies and salons claims that their products are formaldehyde-free. But in fact, it is actually not 100 % free of formaldehyde, as mentioned before.
  3. Even though the product is free of formaldehyde, but again some ingredients can release it when heated. For summary, here are the keywords to look for; thiazolidinecarboxylic acid, oxymethylene, methanal, paraform, formalin, timonacic acid, oxomethane, formic aldehyde, methylene oxide, and methylene glycol (these can be alternative names for formaldehyde or substances that can release formaldehyde when heated /mixed with water).
  4. The level of formaldehyde in salon keratin products can vary. Most companies claim that they put it at safe levels, though the acceptable level of formaldehyde is also still debatable. The problem usually comes when it is mixed and used inappropriately that incorporate more formaldehyde.
  5. Therefore if you do want to try keratin treatment – make sure to do it with the right, professional stylist! What you pay is usually equivalent to what you get, though not always! Remember that you are paying for the stylist’s experience, the credibility of the keratin product, and the time spent on your hair. If you find too good to be true price, it’s not bad idea to look for testimonials of other consumers.
  6. Whatever salon-smoothing treatment you choose, take it wisely! For instance, it’s much better to only take it when you need it most (like in summer, when frizzy hair is likely to get worse).
  7. Beware to other smoothing hair treatments that also carry some health risks. Today, there are many hair-smoothing kits that you can purchase affordably to get similar results at home. Most of them are 100 % formaldehyde-free. But some also use glyoxal (alternative names; ethandial or biformyl). It is a kind of aldehyde and not carcinogen, but it also carries significant toxicological risks.

The result of taking keratin treatment for straight and shinny hair is awesome, including for African-American hair. But if you do concern about the risk of formaldehyde (carcinogen) – it’s much better to avoid it, or again take it only when you need it most!


  1. Ailenne Smith Reply
  2. RachelPoo Reply