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Q&A

Keratin biosynthesis and human hair straightness/smoothness

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Some people straighten their head-hair with what's named:

  • Keratin straightening
  • Keratin smoothening
  • Keratin rebonding
  • Keratin treatment

It is an external hair straightening procedure in which an allegedly Keratin containing thick solution is smeared on the hair, then heated with an iron bar to change the texture of the hair; it is often considered a risky procedure both to a customer and a provider, in between other reason, due to breathing formaldehyde gas which is typically produced through the heating.


If, indeed, Keratin alone, can make human hair straighter, is it biologically sensical to assume that at least in some rare cases of Keratin insufficiency (?), Keratin supplements and/or Biotin supplements (I understood that Biotin plays a role in biosynthesis of Keratin) could make a person's hair straighter?

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Formaldehyde is an ingredient in some nail treatments, it makes the nails harder by creating cross-links between strands of keratin. Since these "keratin treatments" also involve formaldehyde I suspect they do the same thing to the keratin in hair - the hot bar straightens the hair and the formaldehyde bonds it in that shape. Naming the procedure "keratin whatever" is probably just a marketing ploy, since keratin is a natural protein and formaldehyde is a well-known poison. Pastychomper‭ 24 days ago

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If ... Keratin ... can make human hair straighter, is it biologically sensical ... that ... Keratin supplements ... could make ... hair straighter?

No. Hair is already made of keratin. People with curly hair don't have a keratin deficiency. How straight or curled hair is depends on how exactly that keratin is produced and the fibers arranged relative to each other. This is done by the hair follicles, which can have considerable genetic variation between people.

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