Keratin hair treatments for thick and curly hair

Posted on February 11th, 2010 by Michelle

I have tried to go straight for years now, off and on. But with this much hair, it’s really just easier to walk on the wild side. And wear a hat.

Even with effective products, it takes a good 30-60 minutes of blow-drying to deal with the waves and the cowlick (Keep THAT in mind all you people who have said ‘I wish I had thick hair like yours.’)

That’s a lot of time to invest on a regular basis, and for that reason, keratin hair treatments – sometimes called the Brazilian Blowout – have caught my eye. The idea of having a process done that would straighten these dreaded locks for 3-6 months seems almost too good to be true. What had kept me from it previously was the cost ($350-$500) and the time (about 3 hours) as the chemicals are applied section by section, the hair is dried and then slowly straightened with a flat iron.  It is a fair price for the time it takes a stylist, to be sure, but it is steep, nonetheless.

What will keep me from a Brazilian blowout now are the ingredients in most of the products needed for the process to work: formaldehyde or some other “aldehyde.” recently did a great slideshow about the process that included a look at the most popular solutions being used.  They report that the amount of formaldehyde – a known cancer-causing agent — or similar substance, is low enough to be within acceptable standards of the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA).  Separately, however, Beauty Brains weighs in on the safety issue, warning that the levels of these ingredients may be unsafe.

There are also some side effects that could come with keratin hair treatments, too, like hair loss. Handfuls. Each time you wash. Some women also reported excessive dryness, altered color; dullness after the initial shine … the list goes on.

There are other women who swear by the treatment, though, calling a Brazilian blowout life changing. The chance to have straight hair, without the frizz or the work for months at a time is so appealing. And I completely understand the anguish in a question submitted to by someone desperate enough to consider a surgical hair transplant to get straighter hair.

The point here isn’t to condemn the treatment or scare you away, but to remind you to do your homework.  It’s easy to get carried away by the thought of a process that will simplify and beautify our lives.  Just like you’d find a reputable surgeon, if you’re considering this, find a reputable stylist. Talk to people you know and trust.

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A short history of cosmetics

150BC Romans use yellow eye shadow.

The Romans preferred to use gold-colored eye shadow which was made from saffron and painted onto the area around the sides and under their eyes. Then they used powdered wood ash to color their eyelids black. This gold color was quite significant at the time because they saw themselves as the rulers of the Mediterranean.