Keratin hair treatments popular, but draw health warnings

Presence of formaldehyde has agencies issuing alerts about products, but some in the industry insist they are safe. Professional Beauty Association Releases FAQs on March 2011.

Presence of formaldehyde has agencies issuing alerts about products, but some in the industry insist they are safe.

Professional Beauty Association Releases FAQs on Keratin Smoothing Products

Added: March 09, 2011

The wide use of professional-use hair smoothing products containing keratin has sparked varying concerns regarding ingredients and questions around potential safety issues. In response to this industry-wide issue and to help educate and inform the industry, the Professional Beauty Association (PBA), the largest national organization of beauty industry professionals, has released a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document, which is the industry’s most current, comprehensive and objective report on the keratin smoothing product category. In addition to the FAQs, PBA formally requested that the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) take up a re-examination of the use of formaldehyde-releasers in cosmetics, and initiate a formal examination of methylene glycol in personal care and beauty products.

PBA is committed to providing relevant information regarding beauty products and services to its members, the industry, and general public. Having first issued information in 2007 regarding these types of products and the possible presence of formaldehyde, PBA’s FAQs will address many questions that beauty professionals, the media, and consumers have regarding this issue. PBA is committed to providing relevant information to our members and the industry at large. As such, the association will continue to actively monitor and report on this issue. For the FAQs and more information and about this issue, please visit:

“While the Professional Beauty Association does not regulate products, it is imperative for the safety of beauty professionals and consumers that we help to provide accurate information and facts regarding various beauty products and services, such as professional keratin hair smoothing treatments,” states Steve Sleeper, Executive Director of PBA. “It is part of our organization’s mission to educate, advocate and provide resources on critical issues that affect our members and the industry.”

The PBA would like to reiterate the need for manufacturers and distributors of these products to provide stylists and other industry professionals with up-to-date information, training, and education about how to safely apply and handle keratin products.
Some of the FAQs addressed in the report include:

  • The presence of formaldehyde in professional-use keratin smoothing systems.
  • Government agencies responsible for regulating salon safety.
  • What authority the FDA has over personal care products.
  • How OSHA regulates formaldehyde in the workplace. Review of the State of Oregon’s OSHA examination of formaldehyde levels in salons they tested.

Advice on how to report adverse experiences related to cosmetic and beauty products.

To review the full FAQ, Professional Keratin Hair Smoothing Products, please visit:

This document is intended only to provide interested parties with helpful information on professional smoothing services only. It is not a substitute for comprehensive training requirements, or to prescribe rules or standards, or to define or create legal rights or obligations. PBA advises confirming with product manufacturers and distributors regarding individual products.