Is Keratin Bad for Hair? Debunking Common Myths

When it comes to hair care, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there. One common myth is that keratin treatments are bad for your hair. Keratin is a protein that makes up hair, skin, and nails, and is essential for maintaining healthy hair. However, there are many myths surrounding keratin treatments that have led some people to believe that they are damaging to hair. In this article, we will debunk these myths and look at the benefits of keratin treatments for hair.

What is Keratin?

Keratin is a fibrous protein that makes up the structure of hair, skin, and nails. It is responsible for the elasticity, strength, and texture of these tissues. Keratin is produced by cells called keratinocytes, which are found in the outermost layer of skin, as well as in hair follicles and nail beds. When keratin is damaged, it can lead to dry, brittle, and weak hair.

What is a Keratin Treatment?

A keratin treatment is a hair styling process that involves applying a keratin-based product to the hair, and then sealing it in with heat. The treatment is designed to smooth down the hair cuticle, reduce frizz, and promote shine. Keratin treatments can be done in a salon or at home, and can last for several weeks to several months, depending on the product used and the method of application.

The Benefits of Keratin Treatments

  • Reduced frizz:
  • One of the main benefits of keratin treatments is that they can help reduce frizz in the hair. The smoothing effect of the treatment helps to seal the hair cuticle, which can help prevent humidity from penetrating the hair shaft and causing frizz.

  • Increased shine:
  • Keratin treatments can also help to promote shine in the hair. When the hair cuticle is smoothed down, light can reflect off the surface more easily, giving the hair a shinier appearance.

  • Improved manageability:
  • Another benefit of keratin treatments is that they can make the hair more manageable. The smoothing effect of the treatment can help to tame flyaways and make the hair easier to style.

  • Long-lasting results:
  • Depending on the product used and the method of application, keratin treatments can last for several weeks to several months, making them a great option for those who want long-lasting results.

Myths About Keratin Treatments

MYTH: Keratin treatments contain formaldehyde, which is toxic.

This myth stems from the fact that some keratin treatments used to contain formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen. However, the use of formaldehyde in cosmetic products is strictly regulated by the FDA, and any product that contains more than 0.2% formaldehyde must be labeled as a carcinogen. Most modern keratin treatments do not contain formaldehyde or use very low levels that are within the safe limit.

MYTH: Keratin treatments can damage the hair.

This myth likely comes from the fact that some people have reported that their hair became brittle or started to break after getting a keratin treatment. However, this is typically due to improper application of the product or overuse of the treatment. When done correctly, keratin treatments can actually help to strengthen the hair and make it healthier.

MYTH: Keratin treatments are only for people with curly or frizzy hair.

While keratin treatments are often marketed towards people with curly or frizzy hair, they can actually be beneficial for all hair types. Even those with straight or fine hair can benefit from the smoothing, shine-enhancing effects of a keratin treatment.

How to Get a Keratin Treatment

At-Home Keratin Treatments

If you want to try a DIY keratin treatment at home, there are many products available that can be used safely and effectively. Look for products that contain low levels of formaldehyde (if any), and follow the instructions carefully. It is also important to note that at-home treatments may not be as long-lasting as salon treatments.

Salon Keratin Treatments

If you want a professional keratin treatment, it is best to go to a salon. A trained stylist will know how to properly apply and seal the product in your hair, giving you the best results. Prices for salon keratin treatments vary depending on the location, but expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $400.


Keratin treatments are a safe and effective way to improve the health and appearance of your hair. While there are some myths surrounding these treatments, most of them are unfounded. As long as you choose a reputable product or salon and follow the instructions carefully, you can enjoy the benefits of a keratin treatment with no negative side effects.


  • Q: Can keratin treatments be done on colored or chemically-treated hair?
  • A: Yes, keratin treatments can be done on hair that has been colored or chemically-treated. In fact, they can even help to improve the condition of hair that has been damaged by these processes.

  • Q: How often can I get a keratin treatment?
  • A: The frequency with which you can get a keratin treatment depends on the product used and the method of application. Some treatments can be done as frequently as every 4-6 weeks, while others may require several months between treatments.

  • Q: Will a keratin treatment completely straighten my hair?
  • A: While keratin treatments can help to smooth down the hair cuticle and reduce frizz, they may not completely straighten the hair. The extent to which your hair will be straightened depends on your individual hair type and the method of application.

  • Q: Can I wash my hair after a keratin treatment?
  • A: It is important to avoid washing your hair for at least 48 hours after getting a keratin treatment. This allows the product to fully absorb into the hair shaft and provide the best results.



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