Consumer Alert: Know Your Brazilian Blowout
After many stylists and customers complained of breathing problems and even hair loss, government agencies in the US and Canada obtained samples of the product and ran tests to determine what ingredients could be causing these illnesses. What they discovered was that the Brazilian Blowout solution – which manufacturers claim to be “formaldehyde free” – actually does release formaldehyde into the air. And yes, that is the same formaldehyde used by funeral homes to preserve dead bodies.
Both Health Canada and OSHA (America’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration) found that dangerously high levels of the substance can be found in Brazilian Blowout products. One study discovered that the hair straightening solution contains up to 12 percent formaldehyde, which is over 60 times the legal limit in most countries.
Health Canada also revealed last week that even Brazilian Blowout treatments that do not contain formaldehyde do contain a chemical called methylene glycol that releases formaldehyde into the air when heated. Since blow drying and flat ironing are crucial steps in the process, this means that every Brazilian Blowout session places dangerous fumes in the air.
Contact your doctor immediately if you have recently gotten one of these treatments and suffered any illness afterward. Common side effects reported include sore throat, eye irritation, runny nose, shortness of breath, chest pain, and other upper respiratory troubles.
The Brazilian Blowout company is currently disputing the claims, but it may be better to be safe than sorry, for now. Talk to your stylist about any side effects they or other customers may have experienced when giving the treatment, and ask to check out the ingredients list to be extra sure.
More responsible salons are returning their bottles of solution in favor of safer brands or versions of the product, and others are opting to perform the service only in well-ventilated areas, with fans blowing and doors open. Either way, make sure you safeguard your health! Oh, and maybe we should add “methylene glycol + heat” to our list of ingredients to avoid…
Take care of yourselves,