Keratin is a fibrous protein forming the main structural constituent of hair skin and nail, it is a protective protein. The protein is also used as an ingredient in hair products. According to some keratin products can help your hair become healthier, smoother etc. The natural keratin present in our hair can be diminished due to overuse products, chemical treatments and heat styling. It is when this happens that many people use keratin shampoos and treatments. The keratin in cosmetic products are taken from animal parts such as hair, feathers etc. So people who prefer vegan products tend to not use it.
Keratin treatment or Brazilian Blowout, is a cosmetic treatment that helps smoothen out your hair Some even use keratin treatment as an umbrella term for all types of hair smoothening.
Keratin shampoo is one of the most popular forms of keratin treatment used by people, the shampoos claim to improve the appearance and texture of the hair while simultaneously reducing frizz and breakage. So how does keratin shampoo work, just like how natural keratin forms a barrier in a hair shaft, the shampoo works by creating a barrier on the hair. This coating will protect the hair from further damage while smoothing it out and making it appear healthy.
Keratin salon treatment is done in a salon by a professional hair stylist, and gives more intense results compared to the shampoos because the process involved in salon keratin treatment is also more intense.
Despite this and the popularity of keratin products, the protein also has some major flaws (i.e. side effects). Not many people know about the side effects of keratin products, mainly because the probability of the bad effects happening is not confirmed. But it is a known fact that Keratin treatment products contain formaldehyde (according to a study conducted in the year 2012 it was found that6 out of 7 keratin treatment product contains 0.96 to 1.4 percent of Formaldehyde), which is considered to be carcinogen by the American Cancer Society. Formaldehyde is a strong smelling, colorless gas. Other than cancer it also has many other side-effects such scratchy eyes, a sore throat, and nose bleeds.
The question is does keratin cause hair loss?
Keratin at salon and at-home treatments both causes hair damage and loss because of the harsh chemicals including formaldehyde. So it is wrong to say keratin causes hair loss but instead, it is the chemicals in the keratin treatment products and shampoos that may cause hair fall.
How to stop hair loss due to Keratin?
- Massage: Use an oil that promotes hair growth like castor or coconut oil and massage it into your scalp. This will increase blood circulation to the scalp and the properties of the oil will help in the healthy growth of your hair
- Avoid brushing wet hair: It is easier to lose strands of hair when you brush your hair while it is wet. This is because wet hair is weak.
- Use gentle or mild shampoos and conditioners: You already let your hair go through chemicals it doesn’t need anymore. Also, the Keratin barrier may get destroyed if you use products with harsh chemicals.
- Moisturize: Use nourishing products that lock in the moisture in your hair or help add more moisture to your hair.
- Enrich your diet with protein and also try to take biotin supplements for the better health of your hair.
- Drink water and stay hydrated, drink at least eight cups of water a day.
- Green tea: Brew two bags of green tea in one cup of water and cool it. Apply it to your hair and wait for about an hour and wash it off with water.
Alternatives for keratin treatments
Use a straightener to smooth out your hair
Use a straightener to smooth out your hair and get a temporary smooth and silky appearance. This method is not completely safe because too much heat styling will strip the natural keratin from the hair.
Japanese Hair Straightening
You can use Japanese Hair Straightening. According to hairstylist Sabit Hantal, “This is an alternative to keratin treatment for some because it doesn’t contain formaldehyde, and it will permanently straighten hair.” “It’s actually a relaxer and is permanent because it breaks hair bonds using ammonium thioglycolate and sodium hydroxide.”
Tourmaline Hair Smoothing Treatment
It uses glycolic acid instead of formaldehyde and excluding that it is very similar to Keratin treatment
Almond Milk Hair Mask
Smash together banana and avocado and add a few tablespoons of maple syrup as well a few tablespoons of olive oil and almond milk. Blend it very well by stirring the mixture. Apply the mask to hair, leave it on for 15 minutes and then rinse it off using a shampoo.
Coconut Milk and Hibiscus hair mask
The protein in coconut milk will make the hair healthy while the amino acid in the hibiscus will help nourish and strengthen the roots. The mask will also help in the regrowth of the hair. Mix coconut milk, Hibiscus powder, honey, yogurt, aloe vera gel to make a paste and apply it to your hair. Leave it on for 30- 40 minutes and rinse it off using shampoo.
Flaxseed hair mask
This acts as a homemade gel, it makes your hair strong, smooth, and silky. Add flaxseeds in water and keep it overnight. Then grind it well and apply it on your scalp and hair, leave it on for 30-40 minutes, and wash it out with a mild shampoo. If you want you can even add fenugreek powder.
This product kind of acts like a mini keratin treatment. It helps make your hair silky, glossy, frizz-free results.
As per the product description from the company –
“Spirulina protein strengthens and nourishes while an innovative formaldehyde-free bonding polymer mimics the coating and smoothing properties of a keratin treatment when activated by heat. IGK Good Behavior Spirulina protein smoothing spray also helps to cut down on blow-drying time and protect against humidity, heat, and UV damage, leaving hair soft, shiny, and frizz-free.“