Are Keratin Treatments Safe for a Pregnant Woman?

Keratin treatments work wonders on frizzy and puffy hair. These treatments deposit keratin proteins onto your hair, leaving it more moisturized and less frizzy. A salon professional applies keratin to your hair, then flat irons the strands to lock it in. When you're pregnant, keratin treatments may not be the healthiest for you or your baby.

A pregnant woman wity her husband kissing her on the cheek. Credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

The Deal

Keratin treatments don't contain strong chemicals like perms and relaxers do, so they're thought to be better for your hair. However, because the treatments do use keratin proteins to temporarily change the structure of your hair, they may have an effect on your unborn child. Most hair stylists will advise you to forgo them until after you've given birth and have finished nursing. Keratin treatments are relatively new, and there's no specific proof that they won't harm your child.

Formaldehyde and Keratin

Some keratin treatments contain formaldehyde, which could compromise your health and the health of your baby. While non-formaldehyde keratin treatments are a "probably no," any formulas with formaldehyde are a definite no-no. Treatments containing formaldehyde can lead to cancer, so whether you're expecting or not, avoid them. Ask your stylist for the specific ingredients, so you know exactly what is being applied to your hair.

At-Home Treatments

At-home hair treatments may seem safe, but check the ingredient list of any product you use. Some at-home keratin kits have been known to contain ethandial and glyoxal, both of which are classified as carcinogens. They can lead to complications such as skin, eye and respiratory tract irritation. While pregnant, avoid any type of keratin treatment, including at-home versions.

Other Options

Instead of keratin treatments, look for other, healthy things you can do to keep your hair in check during your pregnancy. Get regular deep-conditioning treatments to keep hair moisturized and less frizzy. Thoroughly apply hair conditioner, slip on a shower cap and let it soak into your locks for at least 10 minutes. Visit a salon for more frequent defrizzing blowouts, or use a blow dryer and round brush to blow out your hair at home.

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