It’s no secret that women are willing to go to just about any lengths to achieve that perfect hairstyle. From extensions to heat styling to chemical perms, we sacrifice time and money to get the look we want. But would you be willing to put your health and safety at a risk?
That is the question in mind when it comes to Brazilian hair straightening, the latest craze to hit salons. This treatment, which is sold under brands like Brazilian Blowout and Brazilian Keratin Treatment, seals the hair cuticle with a liquid keratin and preservative solution to temporarily straighten the hair for 10 to 12 weeks.
What’s scary about these treatments is that manufacturing companies and salons claim that they are 100% safe and free of harsh chemicals. Yet tests conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as well as independent FDA-registered labs have found treatment solutions to contain dangerous concentrations of the chemical formaldehyde, a carcinogen. Solutions made by the popular brand Brazilian Blowout contained as much as 12%–even though the bottles are clearly labeled “formaldehyde-free.”
Is the Brazilian Blowout Safe?
Formaldehyde is a commonly used chemical, found in carpets, household cleaners, and tobacco smoke. But at higher concentrations, it can cause hives, burns, blindness, respiratory problems, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems. The health risks of formaldehyde contact are exacerbated when it is used in Brazilian hair straightening treatments. Hot flat irons are used to seal the solution into the hair, releasing fumes into the air. Inhaling these vapors is far more dangerous than physical contact with the solution – repeated inhalation has been shown to cause nasal and brain cancer, birth defects, and even death. According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel (CIR), formaldehyde is safe under 0.2% in cosmetic products and treatments. But the concentration found in Brazilian Blowout is sixty times that amount.
Consumers often fail to identify formaldehyde in treatment solutions because companies don’t list it directly in the ingredients. While most know formaldehyde as a dangerous toxin, they don’t have the same reservations about methylene glycol, methylene oxide, methanol, formalin, paraform, formic aldehyde, oxomethane, oxymethylene, or CAS Number 50-00-0. These complicated chemical names are all basically variants of formaldehyde, yet few people can identify them as such when making a purchase.
In response to these escalating concerns about safety, Brazilian Blowout has come out with a new line – Brazilian Blowout ZERO, a formaldehyde-free option to straighten your hair…
Click here to read about Brazilian Blowout Zero
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