The Truth About Keratin

Do you have frizzy hair? It's the effect from the elements that we all like to avoid. So when the revolutionary Brazilian Keratin Treatment first became available - promising smooth, silky, straight and frizz-free hair, many woman ran diredtly to their nearest salon.

However, like any miracle treatment there has been some controversy surrounding the safety of the formaldehyde-based Keratin treatments on the market and their link to cancer.

So we decided to get the facts from hair expert and salon owner Tim Mackellar, to find out the truth about Keratin smoothing hair treatments.

What is Keratin treatment?

Keratin Smoothing Treatments are a keratin based treatment that relaxes amd smoothes the hair naturally without strong chemicals. It is a reconditioning treatment that transforms the hair and restores shine. The are a few steps in the treatment process, which include washing the hair with clarifying shampoo. Treatment is then applied and left in the hair for 15 minutes. Hair is blow dried, then straightened with an iron as this activates the treatment. Hair is washed again then we repeat the process of blow drying and straightening with an iron. With our solution, we also apply a crystal shield Keratin sealer (available with Frizz Ends Keratin Treatment).

Who is it suitable for?

This treatment can be done on any coloured, highlighted, relaxed, bleached or virgin hair). This treatment is also great for African American hair. The most consistent feedback we have from people is the fact that it saves them lots of time when it comes to doing their hair. For anyone who wants to save time this is a great treatment; great for Mum’s who have little time to themselves, great for working women, great for someone going on holidays who doesn’t want to spend lots of time on their hair. We have clients who have just certain areas of their hair treated so it is very versatile in its applications

Why is it considered better than other hair straightening treatments?

Keratin treatments are a great alternative to chemical straightening services as there is no chemical change to your hair, no re-growth and no damage to the hair. They also work as a great support treatment to hair that is chemically relaxed or straightened.

There's been a lot of speculation on cancer-causing formaldehyde-based keratin treatments. Are there formaldehyde free solutions?

Yes there are. The Australian standard is a maximum concentration of 0.02% formaldehyde. Treatment like Frizz Endz for example, have been independently tested in Australia by Australian Laboratory Services. Their equipment can test to within 0.0005% concentration (40 times lower than the Australian standard) and their report indicated if there was formaldehyde in the solution then it was below this level.

How can you tell if your salon/hairdresser is using formaldehyde free keratin treatment?

Check the brand of product they are using and ask to see any report that supports their claim of formaldehyde free. For example, there is a copy of the report for our salon product on our website for all to see.

How long does it last?

2 – 4 months; depending on the hair type that the treatment is applied to and how the hair is cared for following the treatment. Critical to the longevity of the treatment is using the correct shampoo and conditioner at home. The shampoo needs to be sodium laureth sulphate free (that is the foaming agent in most shampoos) and sodium chloride free (salt). Using a product with these two ingredients in them will significantly reduce the effectiveness and lifespan of the treatment.

What are your top tips for maintaining hair, following the keratin treatment?

Use the correct shampoo & conditioner at home; it’s the cheapest insurance you can buy. We recommend Sodium Laureth Sulphate free shampoo and conditioner, like Frizz Endz. Do not over shampoo your hair; 2-3 times a week is best. Blast drying your hair after shampooing followed by light ironing will help you get the best look.

There are “at home” keratin treatments now available on the market. What tips would you give to someone doing their own keratin treatment at home?

My opinion is that it’s like trying to do your own dentistry at home; why would you bother? Critical to the success of the treatment is the ironing of the hair so that the treatment is infused into the hair and the use of an iron at the correct temperature. This process would be very difficult to do yourself or by someone who has not had the proper training.

Is it costly?

Certainly there are cost considerations when it comes to something like this however your hair is the only component of your fashion look that you get to wear 24/7. I’ve seen people pay in excess of what we charge for a keratin treatment for one item of clothing that they wear infrequently. A keratin treatment works out at about $3.50 a day. Most people pay more than that for a coffee in the morning.

Special offer: exclusive to, Hair Traders (North Ryde) is offering a FREE bonus Frizz Endz Hair Moisturiser (that has UV & saltwater protection built in) valued at $31.00 with any full priced Keratin smoothing hair treatment. Click here to download your voucher.

Want more? We thought you might like this video.

Like this artice? Subscribe to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered striaght to your inbox.

By registering you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Privacy Notice


Sign Out

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.

1 comment
Please login to comment
Posted by Mireille5Report
How can you say it is safe? It is loaded with formaldehyde, plus other gluing and straightening agents. It is not safe, not at all!