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What is Keratin?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Keratin is an extremely strong protein that is a major component in skin, hair, nails, hooves, horns, and teeth. The amino acids which combine to form it have several unique properties and, depending on the levels of the various amino acids, it can be inflexible and hard, like hooves, or soft, as is the case with skin. Most people interact with this tissue after it is actually dead; hair, skin, and nails are all formed from dead cells that the body sheds as new cells push up from underneath. If the dead cells are kept in good condition, they will serve as an insulating layer to protect the delicate new tissue below them.

It is difficult to dissolve keratin because it contains cysteine disulfide, which means that it is able to form disulfide bridges. These bridges create a helix shape that is extremely strong, as sulfur atoms bond to each other, creating a fibrous matrix that is not readily soluble. Depending on how much cysteine disulfide keratin contains, the bond can be extremely strong to make hard cells like those found in hooves, or it can be softer to make flexible tissue like hair and skin. Because of the high levels of sulfur in this protein, it emits a distinct sulfurous odor when burned that some people find distasteful.

Keratin is formed by keratinocytes, living cells that make up a large part of skin, hair, nails, and other parts of the body. The cells slowly push their way upwards, eventually dying and forming a protective layer. Thousands are shed every day, and the process can be accelerated by various medical conditions, such as psoriasis. Damage to the external layer of keratin can cause skin, hair, and nails to look unhealthy or flaky.

Hair and nails on humans especially tend to become dry and brittle, because the dead keratin is being pushed to great lengths. By eating foods like gelatin and keeping hair and nails moist, they can be grown out while still remaining healthy. In general, the thicker the layer of keratin, the healthier the hair or nail is, because the dead cells outside protect the living cells at the core. Keeping the external layer moisturized will also keep it healthy and prevent cracking and splitting, whether it is forming the hooves of a horse of the skin of a human.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon946647 — On Apr 21, 2014

I don't wash my hair too excessively. In fact, I don’t use shampoo when I clean my hair; I use baking soda, then just spray apple cider vinegar, then give it a rinse. I think the hair needs its own natural oils, but too much can make it limp. So I apply rice flour to my scalp, which turns transparent when it absorbs the excess oil.

My hair is now thicker because it gets to keep the right amount of oil on the strand (no more stripping) while the excess is absorbed. It's growing beautifully at the age of 44, my frizziness that I struggled with for years is going away. My hair hasn't looked this good in a long time.

Lately, I wash just once a week, but now I think I can wash two or three times at most. Shampoos just strip the oils. When you are young with bountiful hair, I think a lot of people can get away with using shampoos and such but I noticed changes when I hit 36. I expect to have a lion's mane like my twenties as I continue to let it grow out. Hooray! The future looks brighter! I don't have excessive shedding like I used to. There is something to this "no poo" movement!

By AnnaFurst — On Feb 28, 2014

Now I'm using Unnique's deep repair treatment which is a formaldehyde free treatment. It is really easy to use and controls my frizzy hair. It lasts for about eight weeks.

By anon925554 — On Jan 12, 2014

Please do not use products that release formaldehyde. I have been experiencing itching, burning and swollen lips, eyes and face for almost four weeks now. I had a hair smoothing treatment mid December and have come to realize this is not a mere allergy! I have bee suffering miserably and would not wish this on anyone! I will be seeking additional medical help this week. I have been given a steroid cream that has not helped! I pray I am able to get back to my old self!

By anon346099 — On Aug 25, 2013

After reading all this about keratin, I am certainly not going to allow it anywhere near my hair.

By anon326836 — On Mar 24, 2013

I just bought pure keratin, not an actual hair product with keratin on it, but pure hydrokeratin. Can someone please tell me if I can apply it directly to my hair or do I need to dissolve it on some shampoo or hair product?

By anon283465 — On Aug 04, 2012

I have never used Keratin and I'm fundamentally not interested in the Keratin-based products, but out of curiosity I have to ask: wouldn't more use of Keratin make the hair more "nail-like", so why the hair break off?

By anon232986 — On Dec 03, 2011

Many thanks to all the brave women who posted their experiences of Keratin.

If I have to consider and compare the possible side effects to the actual benefits then I would not proceed with Keratin. Keratin sounds to me overrated by hairdressers and salons. Glad that we can share experiences online before to avoid any massive mistakes.

Many thanks, ladies and best regards

By anon207721 — On Aug 20, 2011

Do not do this or any straightening treatment. My hair was severely damaged. Major breakage. I'm devastated.

By anon200041 — On Jul 25, 2011

I had my second keratin treatment (Pravana) in mid June and have had serious side effects ever since. My scalp went numb, then felt burned, and every day I felt as if someone was pulling my hair out of my head. I had headaches, eye pain, a sore throat and breathing difficulties. All that and my hair not only has been breaking off, but it also comes out from the roots. I have almost no hair on the top and sides of my head. I'm forced to wear a wig every day. I regret this decision every day of my life.

By anon194359 — On Jul 07, 2011

I recently had the Organic Natura Keratin Treatment or Natura Keratin done, as it was recommended by my salon as being better than the other ones since it is supposed not only to be nutritive, but also organic and they are very selective when it comes to the ingredients.

I was surprised when I saw other brands' ingredients that they use and compared to this nutritionist keratin that uses only raw organic material. They explained to me that all this supposedly seals into your hair and that you have to be aware of what you really want to go into your system as they explained that our hair is an organ and everything that penetrates our hair cuticles goes into our system. So I felt relaxed knowing that whoever created this Natura Keratin was concerned about hair nutrition as well.

So I think we should all be aware that whatever we put in our hair could be the same as we put into our skin and even what we eat. Since everyone is becoming more conscious about what they eat, I think we should be conscious about what we put in our hair as well. So I went online and did some research and found out that the website tells that the main ingredient comes from the aloe vera, like is the base for all the products. Now this makes sense because the product did not smell and the process was very pleasant compared to other treatments I had done before. As for the results, I cannot tell a difference, but at least know that I don’t have sealed in my hair a bunch of artificial colorants and fragrances. At least it is all natural.

So I will rate this product 9 of of 10. After five weeks, my hair feels still like it did the first day. Note: I am using after care Natura keratin products, too. They seem to have keratin as the main ingredient in all of the product line so I guess that helps to prolong the care of the treatment in the hair. Thanks.

By anon193961 — On Jul 06, 2011

The type of keratin i used while i was pregnant was the Natura Organic Formaldehyde Free Hair Treatment line, due to the fact that it had no formaldehyde (poison). And my results were the same as the leading brands that use outrageous amounts of formaldehyde.

By anon191511 — On Jun 29, 2011

For those who are looking for scientific information about keratin, i suggest Keraplast and the Keratin Answers blog.

Keraplast is one of the companies that makes keratin, using sheep's wool, and their product has been proven to be highly compatible with human hair and skin, being used in hair conditioning and shampoo products, and also for medical applications for people with skin disorders.

The trademarked name for Keraplast's keratin is Replicine. Research scientist Rob Kelly has published a number of papers in various journals about the results of his research with keratin applications.

By anon185853 — On Jun 13, 2011

Hello, I had the Marcia Teixeira keratin treatment done in October of 2010. I have long, thick, wavy hair that tends to frizz easily in humid weather. Prior to this treatment, I had to straighten it with a flat iron and put humectant on it afterward to keep it from getting frizzy in humid or damp weather. I thought the treatment would allow me to not have to use the flat iron so frequently.

The treatment itself was tedious, to say the least. I had to leave it on my hair for a full five days after having it done, and had to keep from getting it wet and also from doing anything to put a kink in it such as pinning it back or wearing a ponytail (so needless to say after the third day my hair was really looking sad. It was limp, lifeless, and looked greasy). I could hardly wait for the fifth day to arrive.

My stylist washed my hair and conditioned with the "special" shampoo and conditioner that I had to purchase in order to maintain the treatment.

I will admit that, at first, my hair was beautiful. It was silky, shiny, manageable and I did not have to use the flat iron hardly at all. I went back to my stylist two weeks later to have my hair colored, and that was when everything fell apart -- literally. Not only did my hair not take the color well, but it began to get brittle and break off at the crown. The color was washing out after only two washings, and I noticed that at the crown, the color appeared to take on a different hue altogether -- almost brassy in nature. I went back to my stylist in a panic, and he agreed that my hair felt like straw. He gave me a deep conditioning treatment but it didn't help. My hair continued to break off in clumps every time I washed it. Fortunately, I have a lot of hair so I was able to camouflage the breakage, but I would tell anyone considering this treatment not to do it, because it could have ruined my hair if I had less of it to work with. I can't even begin to imagine what I would have done if my hair broke off like this and it was fine in nature.

I have purchased a special shampoo and conditioner designed to prevent hair breakage and thinning and encourage growth, which I've been using for the past two months. So far, my hair has not broken off any more, however I'm still struggling with trying to camouflage the breakage and I know that it will be many more months before my hair will finally be back to a point where I don't have to hide the damage. I have always had healthy hair and this product destroyed it. I will never have this done again.

By anon184308 — On Jun 07, 2011

Okay, now I am seeking advice.

In Sep 2008 (four months before getting married) I was given a all over bleach. This burned my hair. I went from having thick, long, curly hair to losing half my hair in two months to top it off with white hair.

Now I have thin, frizzy and dull hair and it is very uneven. I was advised to do the karatin treatment as it will restore my hair? I was told by my hairdresser that those healthy hair should not use it as very harsh on the hair, but great for damaged hair as it will restore?

Now that I have read so many posts, I don't want cause any more damage to my hair, so please, what do you suggest?

By anon179275 — On May 23, 2011

With a keratin treatment, the keratin is sealed in with very high heat. In fact the directions on some of the professional products tell direct the stylists to use a 450 degree flat iron. If you have fine, colored, damaged (even slightly) your hair will almost definitely break under 450 degree heat. I don't care what they say, anything over 350 degrees is way too hot whether you are using a keratin treatment or not.

By anon170069 — On Apr 24, 2011

I have been getting coppola keratin for over 2 years without any problems until recently. Anytime my hair got wet it would start falling out and snapping off, so I used the coppola shampoo and conditioner. At first I thought maybe it was something in my water, but nope, it was too much keratin in the hair and it breaks off!

Not all hair dressers are aware of this fact - even the highly educated ones, because Coppola is telling them that its healthy for the hair - blah blah blah. No it's not and I am living proof. My hair is breaking off like crazy every time that it gets wet.

Under the advice of the stylist, I am moisturizing to try to save it but it doesn't look good. I am not looking forward to them telling me that it's too damaged and needs to be all cut off. Do not get this treatment done! It's not healthy for the hair. It may look healthy initially but is horrible for it!

By anon162288 — On Mar 22, 2011

I had a Global Keratin Treatment in Oct 2009 and was diagnosed with a brain tumor six months later. Don't do it. It is not worth your life.

By anon160633 — On Mar 16, 2011

i use the keratin in my hair and now its coming out every time i comb it. what do i do? I'm scared i will go bald. my hair was nappy before i used it and now it's straight but coming out. please, please help me. can i reverse the treatment?

By anon159438 — On Mar 12, 2011

I had a hairdresser apply the keratin treatment to my hair. I have longer very thick hair. *Very* curly, frizzy and sometimes it looks like straw. I have spent many dollars on products trying to tap it down and usually by the end of the day, it resembles a witch's hair.

Well, I am a few weeks out from having the treatment. I'm 54 years old and have been dealing with this hair forever. I am thrilled. I have breathed a sigh of relief to have finally found something that works.

I have to keep from running to the bathroom towards the end of the day to check to see how wild my hair became. I went out to lunch today and the wind just whipped my hair all over the place and I was afraid to look in the mirror. Whatever... my hair was fine!

By kerastrait — On Feb 27, 2011

@101: yes you can. i have done it already and it works great. much better than a relaxer.

By anon156164 — On Feb 25, 2011

I am Black American. can i use keratin treatments?

By anon152765 — On Feb 15, 2011

my daughter is 12 and i have had her to hairdressers, head lice specialist because she has these things on her hair that look like head lice eggs. After taking her to all these people, no one had any idea what it was. finally a scientist at the JCU townsville qld, took a a sample and identified it as keratin. This is very visible on her hair, and could anyone tell me a fast, efficient way to get rid of it.

By anon142797 — On Jan 14, 2011

My name is Tara! I recently saw a coupon deal on the internet for the keratin treatment and looking into getting it. I am, however, scared!

My natural hair is medium in length, really fine curly, and frizzy (yes girls, i was blessed with it all lol).

I love to wear my hair with clip in extensions when i go out and i love to add volume to my hair by curling it with a curler. I was wondering if i get the treatment will my hair be really, really flat as i know they straighten it heaps during the process!

I am really nervous I'm going to have flat hair which is something i really don't want. Also, will i be able to use the curler on my hair after the rebonding? will the hair curl?

By anon140872 — On Jan 08, 2011

I'm just wondering if anybody could tell me what salons there are in Sydney, NSW, in the areas of parramatta, carlingford, and epping that do the Keratin treatment. And how much is it.

By anon138754 — On Jan 02, 2011

I have very dull and frizzy hair, so after reading all the comments, I'm thinking to do keratin treatment. Can anyone tell me from which salon i can do keratin treatment in ajman or sharjah?

By anon137116 — On Dec 26, 2010

i bleached and dyed my hair blonde. what keratin line should i use? i got the treatment done called simply smooth keratin treatment, but it really didn't make my hair super super shiny. what keratin treatment makes your hair really really shiny and smooth -- without formaldehyde?

By anon129692 — On Nov 24, 2010

Too many products have excessive levels of formaldehyde.

Buy an effective brazilian keratin treatment that doesn't use formaldehye, lasts for up to 5 months and revitalises and improves your hair.

By anon128205 — On Nov 18, 2010

i have thin straight hair. what would a keratin treatment do for me?

By anon127395 — On Nov 16, 2010

I have had a couple of effective keratin treatments - i.e. they looked and felt smooth and silky while the treatment lasted, but as soon as the treatment wears off my hair's condition is so much coarser and fuzzier than ever before. So either I continue or wait months and months for it to grow out.

By anon126925 — On Nov 14, 2010

I had the Coppola express done about 10 days ago. My salon has been trained how to apply the product so this is not a case of someone not knowing what they're doing. I have had a lot of hair breakage, especially the first few days. There are little short pieces now around my scalp and every time I style it there are lots of little pieces on the counter.

I have never had a problem with hair breakage in the past, and I have healthy hair, only highlight it about three times a year. I have always been told I have strong hair so I am not what happens with those of us that have this result. My hair seems more frizzy now, not less.

I have gone back to curly and using lots of leave in conditioner to help it repair which seems to be helping. I know of people have had great results, I am not one of them and if I knew this would happen I'd never have done it. At least it was the express as I think if I had done the full treatment the breakage would be a lot worse.

By anon123895 — On Nov 03, 2010

Could you tell me please if anyone (pregnant or breastfeeding) get the treatment? i know that there is no scientific proof on the pregnant women, but i would like to know.

By anon121020 — On Oct 22, 2010

please do not get the keratin treatment. I have a lot of fine, very curly hair, and had the expensive keratin done about four times. Gradually my hair got worse every time. It looked great the first time, but after that with at least four months in between. it started looking dull, with a little breakage.

I stopped for about a year and then decided to have the new keratin express, which has destroyed my hair. At first it looked good, but over the past month my hair is breaking off around the crown. It doesn't seem to be stopping either. Not sure what to do as i have all the good conditioners and sulfate free shampoos. I will never get this done again, but am posting to urge people that I'm not a skeptic. I tried this several times, and over the course of the past two years the buildup, I believe, is too much for my hair to handle. I want easy to manage hair but this is not the answer. Kinky hair is what I would rather have than hair that's breaking off.

By anon120536 — On Oct 21, 2010

I am seeing a lot of comments about keratin so i decided to post my two cents.

Keratin contains formaldehyde and now people are complained about lumps in their throat, cancer, breathing problems and also either the customer or hair dresser have died from breathing in the fumes. That is why it is not recommended to do a keratin while you are pregnant.

I used a keratin that has no formaldehyde and it worked great. I can even say i had better results. I don't know if a lot of people know about it but i went to a hair show and discovered them there.

It's organic and has no formaldehyde and doesn't have any chemicals in it that turn into formaldehyde.

I love my hair but i don't think it's worth putting people in the salon at risk and my heath or my hairdressers; that's insane. It's a great alternative. I requested my hairdresser to purchase it for me and now i have been using it almost a full year. I wouldn't go back. I would rather keep my curly hair than ever go back to another keratin honestly.

By anon109923 — On Sep 09, 2010

I just had the keratin done on my hair for the second time in two years. It worked great for me the first time and is working great the second. I have not experienced any of the problems all of you have. I think that you need to have a professional do the treatment to your hair -- someone who is certified to perform the treatment.

By anon109086 — On Sep 05, 2010

can having a keratin treatment help my hair to grow?

By panget — On Sep 04, 2010

I had hair rebonding treatment just last week from a salon, the hairstylist advised me to go back after two days for the first hair washed, so I went back.

By mistake, the other hairstylist applied hot-oil into my hair, which is not appropriate according to the one who made my hair rebonding. So they washed it and applied another cream for cream massage treatment.

I did not wash my hair on the following day as advised by the hairstylist, so I bathed the next day and found out my hair was a little frizzy and brittle and dry. Can anyone please give me some advice on what’s the right thing to do to get my hair back to normal and shiny? Will applying keratin be a big help? Please help me. Thank you so much.

By anon107522 — On Aug 30, 2010

Well, all I can say is that it's brilliant. My hair has stayed smooth, silky and shiny and I've had so many complimentary comments. It's the best thing I've ever done to my hair and I love it! After I had it done, it poured with rain everyday and it was also windy, but my hair stayed frizz-free. Normally I would have had a nervous breakdown trying to cope with the frizz!

Not sure how long it will last, but I will definitely continue to have it done. I might need the fringe doing in between, but I will wait and see.

Hope these comments are helpful.

By anon103575 — On Aug 12, 2010

I had the 'express version' of keratin straightening done two weeks ago. I only had to refrain from shampooing for 24 hours and the treatment should last two months. Way cheaper than the original version.

My hair is shiny, smooth, healthy. It takes half the time to blow dry and a fraction of time to flat iron. I don't know the brand of straightener my hairdresser used but it smelled like chocolate brownie batter.

I have had no side effects other than gorgeous hair! The frizz is gone! I have read that it is very important to use sulfate free and sodium chloride free shampoo after keratin straightening. It seems to be working. Hope that helps!

By anon103438 — On Aug 12, 2010

I've just been told that the fragments coming out of the back of my neck are keratin. I had a neck fracture when i was younger. Is there a treatment to reduce this recurrence?

By anon99831 — On Jul 27, 2010

RazorKittee I am currently using kerasmooth. it has thio in it. Have you heard of it? how do you think it compares to other keratin treatments?

By anon94782 — On Jul 10, 2010

In reply to the question about keratin treatment while pregnant, the websites say no, don't have it done while pregnant.

I had my long, wavy, frizzy hair straightened with keratin last week. It looked beautiful, healthy and shiny. Expensive, but then it's going to last 3-4 months. Washed it today and it's frizzy again. Bummer! The hairdresser followed the correct procedure and I did everything right - didn't get it wet or sweaty or tie it back or anything. Any clues anyone?

By anon94476 — On Jul 08, 2010

hi! i was wondering, i just got the treatment done today, its really flat and i usually have really thick wavy hair, will it stay this way? and when the treatment comes out will my hair be back to normal? or will it just be half straight and frizzy?

By anon93396 — On Jul 03, 2010

i am a african and i relax my with dudley's relaxer. can i get keratin treatment?

By razorkittee — On Jun 29, 2010

To Anon92453, post #70: More information, please. What is the natural texture of your hair, coarse or fine, and the natural curl pattern? Was there any change at all? For instance, did you want all the curl gone, and it was just half-gone, or what? There are different methods, even with the same product, for keeping curl but losing frizz, or going totally straight. Maybe your stylist needs to try another method with the same product.

Further, I would want to know more about your "chemical history." Have you had another straightening service, chemical straightener, or relaxer? What is your color history? What type of color? Is there color build-up? Do you use other protein treatments, or, God forbid, Mane and Tail? Do you have hard water, or high sulfur or other minerals in your water? Do you swim regularly? What about your medications? All of these things will affect how your hair responds to any treatment or service, and should be fully disclosed in exact detail to your stylist.

Also, you stylist should be able to call the manufacturer for tech help, tell them the exact info and method, and be advised on how to correct it. If by "chemically straightening" your hair after the service, I would be very very cautious about that. Even if your hair didn't go as straight as you may have wanted it, there is still keratin infused in the hair shaft, which will affect how a chemical straightener works.

Straight up, if you were my client, I would redo the original service, with the original product, and not charge for the redo. I would re-read the instructions again, make sure my flat iron was hot enough (most keratin treatments require a heat setting of 450', and most flat irons do not get that hot. Chi does not, for instance, nor the Paul Mitchell flat iron) and make sure I was doing the proper application method for the results you wanted.

A second application should not be damaging to your hair, or certainly not as much as a chemical straightening--whether it is an old fashioned relaxer or "perm", or another type of permanent chemical straightener.

By anon92453 — On Jun 28, 2010

I had this process done three weeks ago. My hair is not breaking, but the process did not work. Not sure if it was done incorrectly, although I think the stylist did all the right things since I watched a video before I had it done and he did everything just the way the video showed.

Since it did not work, he now wants to chemically straighten it. I'm wondering if that would be okay to do after having the keratin treatment.

By razorkittee — On Jun 09, 2010

I am hoping that someone with sound knowledge in this area will discuss it with me, either in this forum or via email, preferably another stylist or someone with extensive chemistry and/or product background. I have been researching these products for some time, and have come to some conclusions, but have other questions.

Firstly, keratin is insoluble, as the wisegeek pointed out, unless it is exposed to a reducing agent which breaks or reforms the disulfide bonds. This means, for all intents and purposes, a relaxer such as sodium hydroxide. This being so, how then is the keratin derived from its original source, processed and bottled, and then applied to a client's hair and "bonded" to its existing keratin structure?

I am interested in this, because it seems that to extract the keratin in the first place, it must be somehow reduced, then reformed in the hair shaft. OK. Then we are in the familiar ground of thioglycolates, which have the ability to reform disulfide bonds, and if enough cysteine is present, could conceivably not only reform the bonds, but make new ones, but then, is the new hair structure merely patched with free-floating, unbonded keratin and the real magic in the extra disulfide bonds?

It seems to me that if keratin polymers were indeed bonding with those in the hair, the bond would be permanent unless exposed to another reducing agent, which doesn't seem to be the case in smoothing systems which gradually fade out and leave the hair in its initial curl pattern.

The other "clue" that most of the keratin treatments out there are just "patching" or "coating" the hair is that in many cases the hair takes on qualities of being "over-proteinated", which is why straight placental protein is only available to licensed professionals.

Over-proteinated hair becomes stiff and brittle, because the individual cells are saturated with the protein, and lose elasticity, the ability to absorb any moisture (no room in the full cells) and are prone to snap and break because the hair is so inflexible. I have seen similar results from many of the current keratin smoothing systems, and am beginning to think that I am on the right track.

On another note, I believe stylists should educate themselves, and then their clients. Reading labels is a must! For instance, of all the keratin treatments I have researched, only one actually contained keratin; all the others contain plant starches, usually wheat starch or soy, but I have seen potato starch also. The polymers formed by cellulose (plant starch) are different from the polymers formed by keratin, and will not bond on a permanent level with each other.

I have a lot more I would like to discuss with someone, but will wait to see what kind of responses I get to this.

By anon88982 — On Jun 08, 2010

Keratin Complex is the way to go. I have used it on many clients and the results very from client to client.

A lot of people think this process will give you dead straight hair straight from the shower. It doesn't!

It reduces frizz, gives a shine, makes your hair soft and healthy and most of all relaxes the hair.

You need to dry your hair off with an ionic hairdryer as the process is heat activated.

Although the formaldehyde makes you teary eyed and smoke comes from the hair from straightening it 10 times over with a 230 degree straightener, this is all normal and if done correctly by a trained professional the keratin complex could be one of the best things for your hair!

By anon88030 — On Jun 02, 2010

I just tried using Brazilian Keratin Treatment at home (bought online from Brazil). I have chemically lightened blonde hair and right now it feels like straw, not anything like the results promised.

It had a foul smell during use and emitted a 'smoke' when i straightened it. I am concerned i may have inhaled some of the vapour after reading these other comments about formaldehyde etc. I wish i never used it in the first place. It's overrated. Should have just stuck to using my GHD, would have caused a lot less problems.

By anon85595 — On May 20, 2010

I do not advise the keratin treatment with formaldehyde. I have been very ill since my treatment. I have been diagnosed with bronchospasm due to chemical exposure.

I am unable to speak, and when I do, it is raspy. I get muscle spasms, and I have never been so sick in my life. I can tell you from experience, the treatment is dangerous.

By anon83791 — On May 12, 2010

No keratin is safe. "Formaldehyde free" keratins are not safe. They aren't even formaldehyde free.

They contain a certain percentage of formaldehyde because that's what gets the hair straight for a long period of time. it's false advertisement.

By anon80508 — On Apr 27, 2010

I got the keratin treatment done two weeks ago and my hair has not fallen out.

By anon78744 — On Apr 19, 2010

Simply put- if it lasts longer than one shampoo, it has formaldehyde or some sort of formaldehyde derivative in the formula. These are formalin or aldehyde or aldehyde. All are chemicals, all are hazardous. If it is all natural and chemical free, the treatment only lasts one shampoo. Bottom line, no B.S.

By anon77979 — On Apr 16, 2010

I love Keratin! I've had my hair straight now for several months from it, it's quite expensive though, which is a downside. I was able to find it relatively cheap online

By anon76972 — On Apr 12, 2010

i noticed a difference in my hair after the treatment. it was nice for awhile, but after a few weeks, i did have some breakage.

By anon75229 — On Apr 06, 2010

what could be the possible sources of keratin and has it been formulated into a food supplement?

By anon73973 — On Mar 30, 2010

I, like someone else here, did the Keratin treatment. Big mistake! I color my hair blonde.

After the first week my hair started breaking at incredible speed. I used the have to section off my hair to flat iron it. Now I simply grab the entire piece.

So much hair fell off that it takes four or five turns to grab a pony tail and before only twice. I would advice not to do it. Use what God gave you and work with it! You will be much better off. I now have brittle blond funky hair.

By anon69978 — On Mar 11, 2010

Could any one tell me, how does hair get Beta Keratin?

By anon63636 — On Feb 02, 2010

At 450 degrees aren't you going to have formaldehyde vapor, which means you don't have to eat it, you simply have to breathe it in, and if its so safe then why does the container say to wear a mask and keep the area well ventilated when using?

By anon60459 — On Jan 13, 2010

My question is why are some people so dense! How many different ways dies this poor person have to explain the sane thing? Did some people even read the article at all?

Here. I guess I'll break everything down for you:

Is keratin harmful to pregnant or breast feeding mothers?

They said there are no proven effects. That means no side effects have been found. They said consult a doctor to be safe!

Does Keratin cause cancer?

No Keratin itself does not cause cancer! What does is Formaldehyde! They said there are Keratin treatments on the market with no Formaldehyde in them. So stick with those and there are no risks of cancer! They also said you gave to physically eat formaldehyde to get cancer. Who's really going to eat formaldehyde?

What is it of made of?

the same thing our skin and nails are already made of. It is just putting more of it back into the hair and scalp to make it healthier and stronger!

By anon59177 — On Jan 06, 2010

is it possible that keratin in hair can be used in building construction?

By anon57010 — On Dec 19, 2009

I would like to use the keratin for my six year old daughter. Is it safe? Could it cause skin allergy or anything?

I will be using the one with the Jujuba extract. Brand is Trust Way. The color of the product is chocolate brown. Please advise if safe. Thank you.

By lvichot5 — On Nov 20, 2009

Keratin does not cause cancer. The FDA states that formaldehyde is what may be causing cancer and although most keratin treatments contain formaldehyde there are some keratin companies that offer formaldehyde free formulas. Formaldehyde is known to cause cancer when ingested. There is formaldehyde in everything (canned food, nail polish, dry wall, carpet). Unless you are eating the keratin treatment, you are safe! And if you are still skeptical, use a formaldehyde free formula. If you are getting irritated by a keratin treatment you are using, you might be over saturating the hair or using one of the treatments that smoke when you dry. I would suggest trying to use a bit less when you do the treatment or try another formula that is used on wet/damp hair(you will still get some some vapor but anything wet when applied heat will give you a bit of steam. If worst comes to worst, try using a fan to blow away the smoke.

Now as for pregnant or nursing mothers, although there are no known adverse effects, it is recommended that you consult you doctor before having the treatment done.

By anon53197 — On Nov 19, 2009

What is the source of the keratin used in hair straightening processes?

By anon52541 — On Nov 15, 2009

i want to make keratin free from formaldehyde, but does the keratin cause cancer? and does it affect me if i am preparing myself to get pregnant? please advise me.

By anon48081 — On Oct 09, 2009

keratin doesn't cause cancer. there are a lot of companies out the selling this product.

By anon45434 — On Sep 16, 2009

hi, i had keratin done two weeks ago. i am nursing. can this harm my baby? how can it harm him?

By anon45161 — On Sep 14, 2009

hi, i am a hairdresser. i was thinking if using keratin really causes cancer. anyway while working i feel my eyes burning, and the smell is really bad! can you advise me?

By memo — On Aug 26, 2009

I need to know the side effects of using Keratin. Does it really cause cancer?

By anon42305 — On Aug 20, 2009

FDA is disputing that Keratin contains no formaldehyde. If FDA is proven correct, occupational exposure to keratin can cause nasopharyngeal cancer. So it is primarily the stylist who is at risk of getting this cancer.

By anon41467 — On Aug 15, 2009

hi, i eat keratin every six months and i like the result of it, but does the keratin cause cancer? and does it affect me if i am preparing myself to get pregnant? please advise me.

By anon40628 — On Aug 10, 2009

Dose Keratin cause allergies on scalp or eyes?

By anon40536 — On Aug 09, 2009

I need to know the side effects of using Keratin. Does it really cause cancer?

By webomg — On Jul 10, 2009

most of the questions are answered but i found a site that gets more in depth with Questions & Answers

By doddzzy — On Jul 09, 2009

does amino keratin cause cancer?

By anon35123 — On Jul 02, 2009

I need to know the side effects of using Keratin. Does it really cause cancer?

By anon33667 — On Jun 09, 2009

i once rubbed baby oil in my scalp stupidly, a week or so my scalp grew so itchy, that as i scratched my hair fell out at the age of 23, living in England gets really windy and cold, my bed is by a window where i used to get a lot of cold draft on my head, am 25 now but want to get my hair back, my dad recently turned 50 and also started losing hair just to rule out genes. Can taking keratin help grow back my hair in the faint areas with very faint weak hair, will keratin help hairs come out of my inactive pores?

By manno0o — On May 22, 2009

hello, i have (TS)tourette syndrome and serotonin problems, so is it OK to use keratin for my hair fixing? thank you

By anewlife2009 — On Apr 26, 2009

I want to take the 6 month Keratin treatment and am worried that it causes cancer or has after effects. What shall I do?

By anon28530 — On Mar 18, 2009

What is the best brand of Keratin to buy? -Dina

By zouzi — On Mar 07, 2009

Hi, i did the kertain treatment a month ago and it's the formaldehyde free one, but i don't like the results and i want to get rid of it? do you know how to get rid of it faster than usual?

usually it takes 6 months for the hair to return to normal. so do you know anything i can do? thank you.

By anon27556 — On Mar 02, 2009

If keratin is also found on the labia minora, why is the labia minora then be classified as skin, and *not* as mucous membranes? What makes them considered to be skin and not mucous membranes if they have keratin?

By meshmesh — On Feb 12, 2009

what about the side effects of formaldehyde content of keratin hair treatment products?

By anon25265 — On Jan 26, 2009

hi i just wondered if there was a difference in the amounts of keratin in afro-Caribbean and Caucasian or bi-racial hair types? I was just wondering why the appearance and textures of the hairs in difference races are so vast.

By anon24878 — On Jan 19, 2009

Hi, I had long and beautiful hair, but I just turned 45 and I thought I should change my look. I decided to cut it and go black instead of light, and I used the Keratin instead of straightening my hair. Now I feel that my hair is breaking and it feels like silk that's not how I wanted my hair to to be. can you please advise if I made a mistake by using that product.

By anon24237 — On Jan 09, 2009

Hi, I had the treatment done back in October. My hair was blonde, pretty and processed blonde. My hair would break each and every time I washed it or it was washed at the salon! I had to go dark, it is still splitting and I have a mullet style now! My gray roots (at 40) are coming in, I hate the dark color, I cannot go light and my hair has 2-2 1/2" of splitting....now the salon wants to add extensions! Wrong. Leave your hair alone. Blow it out yourself. Who cares. Just don't use this "stuff". MAYBE it works on natural hair, without color or heat, but I still wouldn't do it. I wear hats now and I feel so sad. I no longer have my long, blonde, sexy, healthy hair.....not by a long shot.

By walid — On Dec 16, 2008

My wife wants to take the 6 month Keratin treatment and is worried that it causes cancer or have after effects. Can you advise?

By anon21408 — On Nov 16, 2008

Hi, I've been asking so much about Keratin products. And the only concern I have is that I don't want my hair to be straight. All i need is to give it a wavy fluffy look. Can you please instruct me how to do that ?

By anon20442 — On Oct 30, 2008

response to jackie8263

Since KP is caused by hormonal imbalance and has a strong genetic disposition, there are medicinal treatments that can ease the symptoms both prescription and OTC. i wouldn't take any oral supplements as your keratin levels are already high. i would also stay away from using keratin based shampoos as you rub them into your scalp. however conditioners which contain keratin are fine as long as you don't use leave in conditioners or massage it into your scalp. apply to ends and your fine. limiting keratin won't lower your levels, but you won't make them any higher.

By anon20441 — On Oct 30, 2008

response to anon11401

Keratin, mucous membrane and labia minora

All membranes are made of epithelial cells incl. mucous membranes. and all epithelial cells in order to function properly as a barrier/protective layer do have keratin. however the difference b/w labia minora and mucous membranes is that the epithelial cells which line the labia minora do not have goblet cells which produce mucous.

Labia minora are considered skin folds b/c they are one the exterior of the body and their sole function is to protect the uterine entrance.

By anon19227 — On Oct 08, 2008

Can keratin cut through human skin?

By anon19143 — On Oct 06, 2008

you can't have a keratin hair treatment if you're pregnant or breast feeding, and yes and if use the keratin treatment it will make your hair straighter and more so take the frizz away.Kertin treatments are meant to smooth out frizz and make the hair more straight, and reduce your styling time by at least 40 to 50 percent.

By anon18251 — On Sep 18, 2008

i want to know if Keratin causes brain cancer or cancer?

By anon15946 — On Jul 25, 2008

what are the disadvantages of keratin hair treatmen? Can i make the hair keratin treatment while i am pregnant? what does it consist of? how long does it last for? what happens to the hair /how it looks like after the keratin goes away?

By raghda — On Jul 14, 2008

Hi, I have long frizzy wavy hair and I want to know if Keratin will make my hair straight and how long will it remain straight? Are there any side effects of using Keratin on my hair??

By anon14564 — On Jun 19, 2008

Hi.. I did Keratin hair treatment twice and it works well on my hair :) but my question; does keratin cause cancer? I will greatly appreciate your sincere feed back. Thank You.

By anon11523 — On Apr 18, 2008

Can I take keratin orally and if so, will it make my hair grow longer and faster? You see I have short, dry and brittle hair and have been on a quest to making my hair long and soft and all that good stuff. Can you shed some light on this?

By anon11401 — On Apr 15, 2008

is the presence of keratin a reason why the labia minora in a female are considered to be skin folds, and not mucous membranes? That b/c the labia minora have keratin, and mucous membranes don't, the main reason why the labia minora are skin and not mucous membranes?

By rawcliffe — On Apr 15, 2008

My daughter has keratosis pilaris. if i cut out foods that have keratin in them will this help? If you have any advice on this problem i would appreciate it.

By anon8984 — On Feb 25, 2008

Can keratin fix my nails or make them grow longer if i have really short nails?

By anon6206 — On Dec 19, 2007

Hi, I have long frizzy curly hair and I want to know if Keratin will make my hair straight and how long will it remain straight? Are there any side effects of using Keratin on my hair??

By anon6005 — On Dec 12, 2007

Will collagen & keratin help my nails to become stronger and grow and how long would you say it will take for this to happen?

thank you

By anon5447 — On Nov 25, 2007

my hair is soft but it's a little bit wavy, will Keratin be useful in my case?

By jackie8263 — On Sep 11, 2007

I have keratosis Pilaris, it is due to extra keratin in my body. My question is this...If I cut back on products or food that has keratin in them will that improve my KP? Thanks ahead for any help you can offer.

By anon889 — On May 08, 2007

Can i make the hair keratin treatment while i am pregnant?

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