We dream of gleaming glossy, smooth hair and many over-the-counter products entice us with promises of delivering. But now the Suave company is involved in a lawsuit first filed last year by women who said their hair was singed and broke off in clumps from using Suaves keratin 30-day smoothing kit and, there are may be more serious health implications.
Hair stylist Kit Carlson says her friend tried to do it at home. "She bought an over the counter straightener." This was at the urging of a friend, not a cosmetologist.
"She applied it at home," Said Carlson, "And her hair completely turned to glue and she had to shave her head. You can literally melt hair to your head this is what happened to her."
"We've seen severe neck, ears, head burn, scalp burn hair loss things that what look like Alopecia." Said Richard Weintraub, owner of Yellow Strawberry Global Salon in Sarasota.
But he explained. The bald spots are not Alopecea. They are actually chemical burns on the scalp and can be devastating.
Hair products can contain a tremendous number of chemicals in them.
Sarasota dermatologist, J Morgan O'Donoghue, M.D. said chemicals in these products can cause a number of health risks. "An airborne or an irritant reaction which can cause wheezing, dry eyes, irritated eyes, even headaches."
Be cautious of certain products says Fred Romano of Doctors Hospital of Sarasota because they may contain ingredients hazardous to your health causing these symptoms and others."Sometimes pain, shortness of breath, just wheezing, difficulty catching your breath." He explained why some of us have such reactions to these hair products. "Anything that's artificial doesn't exactly work well with the body especially with some of these, I think they do use formaldehyde."
Yes, formaldehyde is in some hair straightening and smoothing treatments, and there may be other reactions to direct contact with some products.
"A red, itchy, scaly rash usually in the areas where the product is being used or close to those areas" Said Dr. O'Donoghue may be symptoms of dermatitis. And, you can also develop an irritating, red, scaly rash from sensitivity to overuse. "If the dermatitis is severe enough or chronic enough, that can lead to a deeper process and ultimately lead to a burn like rash or a scar." he concluded.
But there are ways to protect yourself, said Weintraub, who has been in business many years as both a stylist and salon owner. "With Keratin in particular, it should not touch the scalp." He Added, "if you have an abrasion, if you have a scratch if you have a bite on the scalp, you want to stay off of it, you cant go near it because you will have raw skin exposed to a chemical"
If you have a reaction to one of the ingredients in your hair products. Go see your primary care physician, and take the labeling along with you so that they can see if there is something that may have triggered your reaction.