4 Formaldehyde-free keratin treatment side effects

hairdresser applying keratin

These are the 4 possible side effects of formaldehyde-free keratin treatment.

  • Side effect 1: Formaldehyde-free (without formaldehyde) keratin treatment lasts less time. Solution: Include a care routine after the keratin treatment to make it last longer.
  • Side effect 2: It could weigh down or grease your hair. Solution: Wash your hair every other day.
  • Side effect 3: If you have colored hair, the keratin could wash out the color and leave your hair orange. Solution: You should color your hair after the keratin treatment and not before.
  • Side effect 4: Also, formaldehyde-free keratin treatment may make your hair somewhat brittle. Solution: If your hair is damaged, repair it before applying a keratin treatment.

In this article, we’ll look at each of these side effects in depth. As always, I’ll give you tips to solve them in case they appear.


Have you recently had a formaldehyde-free keratin treatment, and now you’re worried about side effects on your hair?


Well, you’ve come to the right place.

As I told you in the introduction, there are 4 possible side effects of formaldehyde-free keratin. We’ll see them in depth in this article. Let’s go!

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The 4 side effects of formaldehyde-free keratin explained by an expert

“Side effects” are the possible consequences of certain actions.

When I hear someone talk about “side effects,” I can’t help but think of something negative. Maybe it’s because we always associate side effects with unfavorable situations.


In this case, you applied a keratin treatment and selected a formaldehyde-free product.

For this reason,   I wouldn’t dare call the effects of a treatment free of toxic substances “side effects.”  


In fact, I could claim that formaldehyde-free keratin treatments don’t really have side effects.

However, they do   require certain care and “rules” so that you can show off your hair in a spectacular way.  

Therefore, I propose that we review the consequences or effects of formaldehyde-free keratin treatment.


Side effect 1: Formaldehyde-free keratin treatment lasts less time

brown dye exposure time
The first side effect, to put it that way, is that   the formaldehyde-free treatment might last less than the classic keratin treatment with formaldehyde.  

Did you know that the durability of keratin depends on two factors?


That’s right.

  • The first factor that affects the duration of the keratin is the type of keratin you have applied.
  • The second factor is the daily care you give your hair after the keratin treatment.


If you’ve applied box keratin, it probably doesn’t have the same durability as salon-applied keratin.

While the at-home keratin treatments help straighten the hair and make it look nicer, they don’t last as long as professional treatments.   This happens because 70% of the success of the keratin treatment depends on the application of the product.  

Let’s face it.


  It’s almost impossible to meticulously dry and flat iron your own hair strand by strand as a professional hairdresser would do.   So: If you have done the keratin treatment yourself, congratulations! You are very brave.

Formaldehyde-free keratin treatments are very safe. But it would be a shame to throw so much work away if you don’t follow the care steps of your treatment. The hair care after a keratin treatment is the same whether you applied the keratin yourself or a professional.


Solution: Aftercare after keratin treatment

  • Blow-dry your hair after every wash for a week after the treatment

You have to blow dry your hair because the products usually leave residues on the hair. Therefore, blow-drying activates this product residue and extends the durability of the keratin treatment.


This way, you’ll continue straightening helping your hair stay free of frizz after the keratin treatment.


Side effect 2: Formaldehyde-free keratin treatment may weigh down and grease your scalp

use of clarifying shampoo on oily hair
Another side effect of formaldehyde-free keratin treatment is that   keratin may weigh down your hair and grease your scalp.  

Keratin is a creamy, greasy product. This can lead to greasing certain hair areas that already have an oily tendency or some extra fine hair.


Solution: Wash your hair every other day or less

If you think you can’t go that long without washing your hair, use a dry shampoo.

Don’t touch or caress your hair and avoid using oils or serums for at least 15 days after the formaldehyde-free keratin treatment. Keep this temporary care and your hair will return to normal.


Side effect 3: If you have colored hair, the formaldehyde-free keratin treatment may wash out the color and turn your hair orange

turn dyed black hair blonde
One of the main consequences is that formaldehyde-free keratin treatment washes out the color of previously dyed hair. This may be more or less noticeable according to the hair color you use.

If your hair is dark brown to light brown, it’ll look oxidized or brassy after keratin, especially in the roots. Why?


This happens because the keratin sweeps away the artificial tone when it’s in contact with the heat of the flat iron.


Solution: Color your hair after the formaldehyde-free keratin treatment

If you have to color your hair, I suggest you do it 10 days after the keratin treatment. Never before.


YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN: How long does a keratin treatment last? Professional vs. home treatments


Side effect 4: Formaldehyde-free keratin treatment weakens your hair and makes it brittle

dry and damaged colored hair
  Keratin treatment promises straight, shiny, and frizz-free hair. But this only happens on healthy hair.  

There’s a misuse of keratin treatments on the market.


Keratin treatments aren’t prepared for damaged, dry, or brittle hair. Other treatments are used in those cases. They rebuild and nourish the damage. So, if you’re having a keratin treatment to improve the quality of your damaged hair, you’re making a mistake.

Before having a formaldehyde-free keratin treatment, you need to repair your hair.

  Be careful. If you do the keratin treatment on your damaged hair, it’ll probably dry out even more.   The damage will still be there.

Solution: Nourish and repair your hair before applying a keratin treatment

If you have damaged hair, use a complete repair kit including shampoo, conditioner, and mask.


Conclusion: Take care of your hair from the side effects of formaldehyde-free keratin treatment

In this article, we have looked at the 4 possible side effects of formaldehyde-free keratin treatment.

  Now you know: formaldehyde-free keratin treatment lasts less time, it could grease your scalp, it could wash out the color of your color-treated hair, and finally it could make your hair brittle.  


Apply the solutions I gave you for each case and your hair will look amazing. Say goodbye to the side effects of formaldehyde-free keratin treatment.

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