No More 'Blowouts'—Smoothing Hair Safely


With the Brazilian Blowout catastrophe and keratin treatments testing dirty for formaldehyde, the business of smoothing hair has become quite a mess; and more than that, unsafe. Fortunately, all this fuss has created an opportunity for companies to create (and smartly market with catchy wording) safe, smoothing hair care products, free of formaldehyde and other dangerous chemicals.

New York-based Redken didn't waste any time with the launch of its Shape Control system—Urban Curls, Cold Smoothing and Safe Straightening—using its Kera-Shape technology and a dithio-based formula, and without the use of formaldehyde. Dithio creates temporary links between open bonds and minimizes the risk of breakage. The Kera-Shape Complex ensures safety while reshaping with shaping agents that permanently smooth, curl or wave hair; cationic conditioners that provide moisture and shine; and emollients that help provide control and manageability. So there's no breakage; just reshaping.

“The majority of smoothing treatments (such as keratin treatments) currently available in salons are tied to serious health concerns about the ingredients used in it, including the cosmetic-grade solution of formaldehyde called Formalin," said Elena Marchettini, assistant VP of brand marketing. “Redken’s new Shape Control system features the benefits of a keratin treatment but is formulated without formaldehyde."

Miami-based KeraLuxe followed suit with the launch of Safe Keratin Treatment, which has an advanced low pH mechanism to infuse vital keratin amino acids into the hair. The Treatment is FDA and OSHA compliant, and is formulated to weaken the hydrogen and salt bonds of the hair to allow for the inter-conversion of the cysteine bonds of the hair fibers surface. The benefits include curl reduction up to 95 percent, volume and frizz control, and extra shine for a natural look. The active ingredients are glyoxyloyl carbocysteine, glyoxyloyl keratin amino acids, hydrolyzed keratin, silicones, fatty acids and other natural ingredients.