ARE CHEM­I­CAL HAIR TREAT­MENTS SAFE FOR PEO­PLE SUF­FER­ING FROM CHRONIC DIS­EASES?

Two ex­perts weigh in on the topic...

Hair - - Hair Debate -

Ker­atin treat­ments or Brazil­ian blow-outs are ac­tu­ally a mis­nomer. Th­ese are chem­i­cally packed treat­ments to break the ker­atin bonds in the hair. The chem­i­cals in­volved are am­mo­nium thio­gly­co­late and sodium hy­drox­ide. Oth­ers, such as methy­lene gly­col, for­ma­lin, methanal, and methane­diol, re­lease formalde­hyde when heated or mixed with water. Th­ese treat­ments have been banned in Europe and Canada due to its high chem­i­cal con­tent The In­ter­na­tional Agency for Re­search on Can­cer as well as the Na­tional Tox­i­col­ogy Pro­gram clas­sify formalde­hyde as a known hu­man car­cino­gen. Formalde­hyde in­creases the chances of can­cer. Ex­po­sure to this chem­i­cal is not only haz­ardous to the per­son get­ting it done but also to the stylist and the co-work­ers work­ing in the sa­lon and in­hal­ing the fumes. It can cause headache dizzi­ness vom­it­ing sore throat amongst many other hazards. Af­ter this re­al­iza­tions var­i­ous prod­ucts got mar­keted as “formalde­hyde free” but this is su­per mis­lead­ing as the chem­i­cal used to as a re­place­ment is usu­ally methy­lene gly­col which when heated re­leases formalde­hyde. Nev­er­the­less newer treat­ments are avail­able in some markets, which are us­ing sericin, an in­gre­di­ent that’s pro­duced by silk­worms as a hair smoother. Or still if you are go­ing to get a ker­atin treat­ment with formalde­hyde (or formalde­hyde-re­leas­ing in­gre­di­ents), do make sure the area is prop­erly ven­ti­lated and don’t hes­i­tate to pay for a well-trained hair stylist with good ex­pe­ri­ence.

Sad­dique Alam

Artis­tic Di­rec­tor, Hairol­ogy

Chem­i­cals like formalde­hyde creams are ap­plied to the hair and the hair is then heated with hot irons in chem­i­cal treat­ments. The com­bi­na­tion of chem­i­cals like formalde­hyde, heat, com­pres­sion is not good for even nor­mal hair. It is only worse for peo­ple al­ready suf­fer­ing from can­cer and whose scalp and tis­sues are al­ready made quite sen­si­tive from the process of chemo­ther­apy and ra­di­a­tion. Even Brazil­ian blow-outs that claim they have no formalde­hyde have methy­lene gly­col which when heated pro­duces formalde­hyde. Med­i­cally we do not rec­om­mend any treat­ments to do with chem­i­cals or heat. We do not know the ef­fect of such treat­ments and what bear­ing they have in the long run and even in case of re­lapse there should be no am­bi­gu­ity to the pa­tient that his con­di­tion could have been pre­vented. SLS free sham­poos, min­i­mal heat styling and avoid­ing chem­i­cal pro­cess­ing of hair are def­i­nitely to hair that has un­der­gone a lot of trauma. Deep con­di­tion­ing treat­ments, oil mas­sages will also help im­prove con­di­tion of the hair.

Dr. Shuba Dhar­mana

Der­ma­tol­o­gist & Med­i­cal Di­rec­tor, Le­je­une Medspa, Ban­ga­lore

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