Formaldehyde is a substance commonly used in most industries in variety of products as preservatives and disinfectants. It adopts different forms. For instance, it is gas at room temperature, and the gas readily converts to a variety of derivatives. Formaldehyde is a simple, highly reactive hydrocarbon that is used in the manufacture of foam insulation, cosmetics, drugs, clothing, and furniture.
Much has been written about the harmful effects of the substance. It is a chemical is toxic known to cause variety of other health problems – can cause different kinds of diseases including cancer, skin diseases, pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases and a lot more.
The substance is said to be found in most hair straighteners with keratin. Keratin is a prevalent component of hair care products. As a protein rich substance, it is ideally known to aid hair growth, repair of damaged cells and to preserve and replace the natural nutrients in the hair that has been depleting due to some factors.
However, the issue lies not on the use of keratins on hair products but on the formaldehyde contents of most keratins. Studies show that keratin treatments on hair combine high heat, formaldehyde and keratin to break disulfide bonds within the hair, thus modifying its shape.
So, is formaldehyde good or bad as keratin content? The level of the formaldehyde content in the product could tell if it is or not. If it exceeds, .2%, then according to FDA, it is indeed harmful. Since the harmful effects of formaldehyde is clearly established, a cautious cosmetic user now should always look for a formaldehyde-free keratin products to ensure safety. .2% or less is still formaldehyde and why not go for 0% if there are other alternatives. After all, people cannot just take for granted the need to have well nourished hair and the pursuit to look for hair care products is tremendous. The bottom line is, always be aware of the chemical substances present in every hair product you will use.