Considering the Brazillian Blowout as a “safe” alternative to straightening those unruly strands?
Considering the Brazillian Blowout as a “safe” alternative to straightening those unruly strands? You might be surprised at the information we’ve found out!
Back in May, we ran a story about hair straightening titled “Techniques for Taming the Texture of Your Hair.” In the article, we featured the Brazilian Blowout as one of the great ways to get frizz-free locks. Another benefit of this super-trendy treatment is that, unlike other Brazilian keratin treatments, this is formulated without formaldehyde—or so we thought.
Studies are coming out about the Brazilian Blowout, stating that not only does it contain formaldehyde, but large, unsafe amounts of it!
Health Canada, a government-based health agency, tested the product after it received multiple complaints and found that it contained 12 percent formaldehyde. Here in the U.S., the Oregon Health and Science University’s Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology tested the formula after Oregon salon workers complained of eye irritation, nose burning and difficulty breathing while doing the treatment. The results indicated that the solution contained between 4.85 and 10.6 percent formaldehyde.
The company did not take kindly to these researchers talking bad about their wonder product. Makers of the Brazilian Blowout responded by saying the test samples they used may have been tainted, and on October 15, Brazilian Blowout issued a statement about their own independent air-monitoring test, which was conducted by Health Science Associates in California. The results were that the cosmetologists who performed Brazilian Blowout treatments throughout a period of eight hours were in “the safest and most stringent [levels] of exposure set by Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).”
The FDA became aware of the issue and earlier this month they addressed it their website with a statement (the statement was updated on October 18). It said that the “FDA is working with state and local organizations, as well as OSHA, to determine whether the products or ingredients would be likely to cause health problems under the intended conditions of use.”
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and also causes a variety of respiratory and skin problems at high levels. In recent years there was a big push, specifically by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, for formaldehyde to be taken out of nail polish. A lot of companies, including O.P.I., are now formaldehyde-free.
These keratins treatments have been godsends for many women and we would hate to find out that the makers of the Brazilian Blowout were fudging the truth about their formulations. Hopefully the FDA will come to a concrete, unbiased conclusion on the issue soon enough.
Until then, think twice before keeping that appointment with your hairstylist for a straightened style.
– Jan F. Lee