Book a FREE consultation  
For a free consultation or assistance, please call 020 7730 6666

Browse by Category

Hair Loss and Damage from Keratin Treatments

The only person who really knows a celebrity’s hair is the celebrity themselves and their hairdresser – but there’s such a suspiciously high proportion of very straight hair on the red carpet that the use of keratin straightening treatments, also known as the Brazilian Blow Dry, is thought to be prolific.

There’s nothing shady or illegal about using keratin straightening treatments, but just like fake tan, hair extensions and cosmetic surgery, it’s often something a woman may like to keep to herself.

But, as many beauty writers are now speculating about the links between keratin treatments and hair loss, could they really be causing untold damage to the hair?

Aniston owns up to damaged hair

Jennifer Lopez usually wears her curly hair fully straightened often with added hair extensions

Jennifer Lopez usually wears her curly hair fully straightened and is said to be a fan of keratin treatments

The cracks in the keratin story first became public when former Friends star Jennifer Aniston suddenly started sporting a chin-length bob at the end of 2013, which she said was an attempt to regain the health of her hair after keratin straightening treatments. In cutting off the ends – quite dramatically, as her hair had been significantly longer – she hoped to put some vitality back into her locks. “My hair did not react well to it (the keratin treatment),” she told Elle magazine at the time.

More recently both Sienna Miller and Jennifer Lopez (pictured) have had their long, straight hair cut into ‘lobs’ (long bobs) – and speculation is rife that this, too, was something of an emergency measure following hair breakage after keratin straightening treatment. This causes the hair to become brittle and snap off along the shaft, giving the hair an unwelcome frizzy appearance; it can also make the hair look thinner.

Dangerous concentrations

Jennifer Lopez gives a rare glimpse of her natural curls which she often wears straightened

JLo gives a rare glimpse of her natural curls which show signs of hair breakage

The Brazilian Blow Dry originated in Brazil before spreading around the world, but it is especially popular in the US where Formaldehyde, which is sometimes used to strengthen keratin hair-straightening solutions and is highly regulated in Europe, has been seen in some extremely high concentrations. Alarmingly, Formaldehyde has been classed as “probably carcinogenic”, and while certainly not used in all keratin hair-straightening formulations, customers seldom really know.

Talking to Harper’s Bazaar, LA-based celebrity hairstylist David Babaii said that one of the most negative aspects to the treatment is the temperature that the hair has to be heated to in order for the straightening to take effect. “Subjecting a fine or heavily highlighted head of hair to a 450 degree flat iron may not leave your hair feeling as wonderful as these treatments tend to claim,” he said. Subjecting the hair to high temperatures, even just through over-use of heated styling tools, is already known to cause hair loss from styling damage.

Heat can lead to breakage

Jennifer Lopez is thought to have had her hair cut short to address hair breakage

Jennifer is rumoured to have had her recent short cut to help address hair breakage

The process is known as keratin treatment because it is based around liquid keratin, a protein that is used in a number of cosmetic products. While keratin itself is not controversial, there is no getting around the fact that, for the time being at least, high heat is needed to complete the treatment. This, say experts, is what is likely to lead to hair breakage.

The quest for beautiful hair can all too easily end badly if damaging products are applied to the hair,” says Leonora Doclis, senior trichologist at The Belgravia Centre. “Formaldehyde is a potential trigger for hair loss, and there have certainly been claims that Brazilian Blow Dry-style treatments can lead to serious problems. If your hair is thinning or if you have scalp problems, we would certainly recommend that any hairdressing procedures which involve chemicals and very high heat should be avoided.

Whilst a good haircut and intensive conditioning treatments can help to deal with minor cases of hair breakage caused by keratin treatments, if the damage is more severe you may want to consult a hair loss specialist. Often a course of minoxidil combined with hair growth boosters, such as lasercomb therapy and Hair Vitalics dietary supplements, can help to restore the hair’s natural thickness by promoting regrowth.

The Belgravia Centre

Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic - City of LondonThe Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.

Related Stories

Share this article

No Comments

No comments yet.

Comment on this article

* required field

Will not be published

Online Consultation

Submit an instant online consultation so that one of Belgravia’s hair loss specialists can diagnose your condition and recommend an effective course of treatment, wherever you live.

28 Oct

Success Story Alert! New Male Hair Loss Treatment Entry

A new entry has just been added to Belgravia’s Male Hair Loss Treatment Success Stories gallery. Since using his bespoke treatment plan, this client has seen an increase in the overall density of his hair. Find out what he had to say and see his regrowth results close up, or find out more about treating Male Pattern Baldness by […]

Read full article »
28 Oct

Study Unveils First Profile of Toll-Like Receptors in Alopecia Areata Patients

The autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata is increasingly being explored by the medical community, who hope that their ever-expanding knowledge of the condition may lead to new treatments that reduce the hair loss it causes. While some research explores how existing prescription medication for other conditions may be adapted to work on people with various forms of […]

Read full article »
27 Oct

Success Story Alert! New Female Hair Loss Treatment Entry

A new entry has just been added to Belgravia’s Female Pattern Hair Loss Treatment Success Stories gallery.   This client has seen a huge improvement to all areas affected by female hair loss since she started her bespoke treatment plan.   Find out what she had to say and see her regrowth results close up, or find out […]

Read full article »