Brazilian Keratin Treatment 411

A Brazilian Keratin hair treatment (BKT), also known as “escova progressiva”, is a considerably costly salon procedure that promises to transform frizzy, dull, dry hair into silky smooth, shiny strands that last for up to 4 months. Sound too good to be true? It is. Unless you like wearing a gas mask at the salon.

Wildly popular in all the blogs and a hot topic in those social networking forums I love to hangout in, everyone seems to be thinking about getting one. Wait! I type. Before you call your stylist to book your salon appointment, make sure you have all the info you need to make your choice. Silky hair is good, but with a Brazilian Keratin Treatment you might be getting more than you planned.

What you and your stylist may not know is that the active ingredient in these BKT “wonder” treatments is formaldehyde, which is a dangerous chemical, especially if you breathe it in. Hence the protective equipment – face masks, gloves, ventilation fans – as a safety precaution when giving or getting a treatment. Is straight hair worth wearing a gas mask? Now THAT’S something to consider.

According to Allure Magazine (we love them!) “some of the most popular BKT treatments contain at least ten times more formaldehyde than the .2 percent considered safe by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel. The FDA doesn’t currently regulate cosmetics, but they are investigating the safety of escova progressiva treatments.” Now, I’m no expert, and I have considered a BKT when I originally heard about them, but ten times more formaldehyde really sounds like a bad idea. Very bad. There’s no way that’s good for you.

The best, or I should say worst part about the Allure Magazine expose? I’ll loosely paraphrase here, but the gist is: “Keratin has nothing to do with straightening. Nada. There is nothing in Keratin that will change the structure of the hair, it’s the formaldehyde that makes the treatment work. Keratin is window dressing and provides a good marketing story.” Sounds like a sham to me. And really, who wants that kind of toxic treatment?

I’ll opt for my own straightening treatment – a super smoothing shampoo and conditioner combo, followed by a silky straightening lotion, a great flat iron and a strong thermal protectant. And maybe a trip to Brazil!

-CurlyBelle

Credits: Allure Magazine

For more info, check out this article: Brazilian Keratin Treatment FAQ’s.