As a stylist I try to refrain from jumping on the latest trends – especially if they involve a chemical process. I have learned that it is difficult to assess the pros and cons of a new process without factoring in the effects over time. I regret now that I may have jumped the gun on endorsing one particular process on this blog in the past – keratin treatments. I am rescinding that endorsement in light of new facts.
The problem with keratin treatments – no brands excluded – is that they only work to smooth the hair if they contain dimethicone, a non-water soluble silicone found in many hair care products. Keratin alone will not smooth the hair – I know this because I worked for a distributor of a keratin treatment which shall remain nameless… When complaints were made to OSHA regarding formaldehyde levels in keratin treatments the manufacturer tried playing with the formula and removing different elements like the dimethicone; the problem was, the keratin treatment no longer worked without the silicone component (dimethicone), and back in it went.
Although these treatments seem to be effective in smoothing the hair, over time they build up to such a degree that the hair begins to dry out to the point of becoming brittle. The situation only gets worse when you use the after care products that are recommended, because of course, they contain loads of dimethicone. So not only are you coating the hair, you are also coating the scalp, and thus begins the worst case of dandruff imaginable, and lo and behold, the hair begins to fall out from the scalp because the follicles can no longer nourish and support the hair.
As an aside, many of the hair care treatments on the market are also loaded with dimethicone – in a lot of conditioners it is the third ingredient after water and alcohol. Prolonged use of these products will cause the same problems including loss of hair, trouble combing or brushing the hair, massive loss of hair when combing or brushing, a greasy look particularly at the roots, and dandruff. The hair will start to smell bad after a while because all of the oils from your scalp get trapped. and since it’s not water-soluble, you can’t wash it out.
There is a solution, however. There are in-salon treatments that can begin to remove all of this build-up, and restore the scalp to its optimal balance, allowing your hair to recover. For more information about these treatments please follow the link to another post: Keratin Treatment Disasters.