Chemical Treatments: What Are The Worst Offenders?


Many women use chemical treatments to make their hair straighter, curlier, healthier, or more colorful. But did you know that some of these may cause severe damage to your hair?

Here are the facts about chemical hair processes and what to know before you get one.

Chemical perms

A “chemical perm” is the process of curling or straightening your hair with the use of chemicals. Both processes have similar risks and can damage your hair because they use high levels of heat to activate the chemicals that change the hair’s shape.

This intense heat can break and damage your hair shaft, the same way heated styling tools can damage hair. Additionally, the chemicals used in perm treatments work by breaking the bonds of the hair to reform it.

If you decide to get a chemical perm, make sure you visit a salon and have a professional apply it. The chemicals used in perms can damage your hair and scalp if applied improperly. In addition, you can keep your hair healthy by waiting at least 6 weeks in between chemical perms.

Chemical relaxers

Many people use chemical relaxers to change the shape of their hair. Relaxers work by using strong chemicals to penetrate the hair shaft and break the natural bonds in the hair, forcing them into a new shape.

Relaxers can be harmful because the chemicals they contain may cause irritations or other problems on your skin, scalp and hair if not applied correctly. That’s why you should always visit a salon for a professional treatment to avoid damaging your hair. In addition, using heated styling tools or frequent color applications will cause further damage to relaxed hair.

Keratin straightening

Many people get keratin treatments to make their hair healthy and straight, but these processes can potentially damage your hair too. Keratin treatment processes work by mixing keratin protein with varying levels of formaldehyde (which is a known carcinogen), then applying it to the hair. The stylist uses a heated iron to seal in the protein, which fills in cracks in the hair to repair damage.

Although keratin treatments can help condition and repair cuticle damage, the severe heat used in the process can cause thermal damage. It’s important to follow up treatment with hydrating conditioner to compensate for the damage. In addition, always be cautious with the fumes resulting from the formaldehyde mixture.


Using bleach to lighten your hair can be very harsh on the hair cuticle. Bleach works by stripping open the cuticle’s pores to remove the natural color. But because the chemical is so strong, it enlarges the pores and leaves the cuticle full of holes. This means that your hair is much weaker than before and will break easily. Plus, when you have enlarged pores, any color you apply will fade out very fast. The best option is to use a non-bleaching dye that doesn’t leave the cuticle susceptible to damage like bleach does.

Hair color

Some hair coloring dyes can be harsh on your hair, causing damage and irritating your scalp. This is especially true of low-end boxed dyes – they can over-enlarge your pores (like bleach does) and leave the cuticle susceptible to damage.

The best bet for coloring your hair is using a high-quality dye that will prevent damage instead of causing it. One good option for coloring hair at home is eSalon uses a salon-grade dye formula blended with conditioning elements, such as vitamins E, B5, and Aloe vera. These extracts condition your hair during the coloring process to make it silky soft and healthy in the end.

If you want to add a fresh new color to your hair without leaving it dry and damaged, try out a customized eSalon hair color application. They even have a free offer for new clients who aren’t sure about trying a new product. You can get a personalized hair profile and complete eSalon coloring kit (the dye is tailor-made to your hair so it turns out perfect every time) for free (you just pay $4.95 for s&h)!

Click here to take advantage of this exclusive free offer from eSalon!