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Does Keratin Treatment Cause Hair Loss?

By March 14th, 2024Blog6 min read
Does Keratin Treatment Cause Hair Loss?

Keratin treatments have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering a solution for those seeking smoother, straighter hair. However, concerns have been raised about the potential side effects of these treatments, including the possibility of hair loss. This article aims to explore this issue in depth, examining the science behind keratin treatments, their potential risks, and how to mitigate these risks.

Understanding Keratin Treatments

Keratin is a type of protein that is naturally found in our hair, skin, and nails. It is responsible for the strength and structure of these tissues. Keratin treatments, also known as Brazilian blowouts or smoothing treatments, are designed to replenish this protein in the hair, reducing frizz and adding shine.

The process involves applying a keratin solution to the hair, which is then sealed in with a flat iron. This creates a barrier that protects the hair from environmental damage, including heat and humidity. The result is smoother, straighter hair that is easier to manage.

The Science Behind Keratin Treatments

The effectiveness of keratin treatments lies in their ability to fill in the gaps in the hair’s cuticle layer. The cuticle is the outermost layer of the hair shaft, and it is made up of overlapping cells. When these cells are damaged, they lift and separate, creating gaps. This leads to frizz and a lack of shine.

Keratin treatments work by filling in these gaps with keratin protein. This smooths down the cuticle layer, reducing frizz and adding shine. The heat from the flat iron then seals in the keratin, creating a protective barrier around the hair.

Potential Risks of Keratin Treatments

While keratin treatments can offer a number of benefits, they are not without their risks. One of the main concerns is the potential for hair loss. This can occur for a number of reasons, including damage from the high heat used during the treatment, allergic reactions to the chemicals used, and damage to the hair follicles.

Another concern is the use of formaldehyde in many keratin treatments. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, and exposure to it can cause a number of health problems, including respiratory issues and skin irritation. In some cases, it can also cause hair loss.

Heat Damage

The high heat used during a keratin treatment can cause significant damage to the hair. This is especially true for those with already damaged or weak hair. The heat can weaken the hair shaft, leading to breakage and hair loss.

Furthermore, the heat can also damage the hair follicles, which can lead to permanent hair loss. This is because the heat can cause the follicles to become inflamed, which can disrupt the hair growth cycle.

Allergic Reactions

Some people may experience allergic reactions to the chemicals used in keratin treatments. These reactions can cause inflammation and damage to the hair follicles, leading to hair loss. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include itching, redness, and swelling of the scalp.

If you experience any of these symptoms after a keratin treatment, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. In some cases, an allergic reaction can be treated with medication, preventing further hair loss.

How to Mitigate the Risks

While there are risks associated with keratin treatments, there are also steps you can take to mitigate these risks. This includes choosing a reputable salon, avoiding treatments that contain formaldehyde, and taking care of your hair before and after the treatment.

Additionally, it’s crucial to consider the frequency of keratin treatments. Overuse can lead to increased hair fragility and potential damage. Generally, it’s advised to space treatments 3 to 6 months apart, depending on your hair type and condition. This interval helps maintain hair health and prevent over-processing. Always seek advice from a professional stylist to determine the best schedule for your specific hair needs.

It is also important to remember that not everyone will experience hair loss from a keratin treatment. Many people have had positive experiences with these treatments, and the risks are often outweighed by the benefits. However, it is always important to make an informed decision about any treatment you are considering.

Choose a Reputable Salon

One of the best ways to mitigate the risks of a keratin treatment is to choose a reputable salon. A good salon will use high-quality products and will have trained professionals who know how to apply the treatment correctly. This can reduce the risk of heat damage and allergic reactions.

It is also a good idea to ask the salon about the ingredients in their keratin treatment. Avoid treatments that contain formaldehyde, as this chemical can cause a number of health problems, including hair loss.

Care for Your Hair Before and After the Treatment

Taking care of your hair before and after a keratin treatment can also help to mitigate the risks. This includes using a deep conditioning treatment before the treatment to strengthen the hair, and avoiding heat styling and harsh chemicals after the treatment.

It is also important to use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner after the treatment, as sulfates can strip the hair of the keratin treatment and cause damage.

While there are risks associated with keratin treatments, including the potential for hair loss, these risks can often be mitigated with the right precautions. By choosing a reputable salon, avoiding treatments that contain formaldehyde, and taking care of your hair before and after the treatment, you can enjoy the benefits of a keratin treatment while minimizing the risks.

As always, it is important to make an informed decision about any treatment you are considering. If you have any concerns about keratin treatments, it is a good idea to consult with a professional.

  • Dr. Zafer Çetinkaya

    (Author)

    Dr. Zafer Çetinkaya is a Head of Hair Transplant Medical Team at Estenove with over 9 years of experience in the hair transplant industry. Throughout his professional life, he’s left his artistic impact on over 10,000 hair transplant patients both in operation and consultation.

    https://www.estenove.com/en/doctors/zafer-cetinkaya/