Does Keratin Treatment Cause Cancer?

There is no conclusive scientific evidence to suggest that keratin hair treatments directly cause cancer. Keratin treatments are cosmetic procedures that use a chemical solution to smooth and straighten hair by altering its structure. These treatments can be effective in reducing frizz and creating a smoother appearance.

However, some keratin hair treatments, particularly those that use formaldehyde-based products, have been associated with potential health risks. Formaldehyde is a chemical that can be released as a gas during the application of certain hair straightening treatments. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified formaldehyde as a Group 1 carcinogen, meaning it is considered to be carcinogenic to humans when exposure occurs in specific occupational settings, such as industrial environments.

It’s important to note the following:

  • Formaldehyde Exposure: Exposure to high levels of formaldehyde over a prolonged period, such as in occupational settings, has been associated with an increased risk of certain types of cancer. However, the levels of formaldehyde exposure in cosmetic treatments like keratin hair treatments are typically much lower.
  • Regulations and Safety: Regulatory agencies in many countries have established guidelines and limits for the use of formaldehyde in cosmetic products to ensure consumer safety. Many jurisdictions have taken steps to limit the use of formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing agents in cosmetic formulations.
  • Alternatives: Formaldehyde-free keratin treatments are available, and many salons and hair professionals offer safer alternatives that do not use formaldehyde or other potentially harmful chemicals.
  • Precautions: If you are considering a keratin hair treatment, it’s important to research and choose a reputable salon or professional. Ask about the products they use and inquire about their safety measures to minimize exposure to harmful chemicals.

Ultimately, the safety of any cosmetic treatment, including keratin treatments, depends on factors such as the specific product used, the application process, and individual health conditions. If you have concerns about the potential risks of a keratin treatment, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional or dermatologist before proceeding.