Salons Still Offering Brazilian Blowout Despite Formaldehyde Danger

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Never mind repeated warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the state of California, nor the fact that it’s banned in Australia, Canada, Ireland, France, and Germany for health risks as dire as cancer. Salons are still offering Brazilian Blowout, according to Good Morning America, which conducted a hidden-camera investigation of 16 businesses, all of which maintained they had zero safety concerns. Twelve salons said the hair-straightening treatment involved very little formaldehyde, while another four didn’t even know it contained or released the chemical, which is more commonly associated with industrial-strength fungicides and pickling corpses than shiny Jennifer Aniston tresses.

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For salons which will not be swayed for the sake of their stylists, here are some choice tales from the National Healthy Nail and Beauty Alliance:

“I went to the doctor because I had a severe cough that was causing me to vomit…I had lung scarring from the pneumonia…developed scabs in my nose that will not go away…I would like to get out of this toxic work environment, but right now I have no place to go. I love my career and coworkers and this is all I know how to do.”

“Within 10 minutes of the application process my eyes were burning, my throat was getting sore, and I was having a hard time taking a deep breath…By the end of just the application process, I could not open my eyes because they hurt so bad, my throat was on fire, my lungs were burning, and I was having a hard time even breathing at all…I ended up going to the doctor…she attributed my symptoms to ‘possible chemical poisoning.’ She prescribed an Albuterol inhaler for my ongoing breathing difficulties, and 800mg of ibuprofen for my ongoing headaches. I have never in my life needed an inhaler before this.”

“I have had repeated problems with my lungs and become extremely prone to colds with extremely long recovery periods. It has affected my life and business…I have an extremely hard time being around the product when someone has applied it in our shop. Due to the fumes, I quickly become nauseated with an upset stomach and have to stop working (or feel like I should).”

But although Brazilian Blowout is making all the headlines, it’s not the only hair-smoothing treatment linked with formaldehyde. Here’s a list of products that OSHA says contain or can expose you to formaldehyde during use:

1. Brazilian Blowout

Acai Professional Smoothing Solution
Professional Brazilian Blowout Solution

2. Cadiveu

Brasil Cacau
Acai Therapy

3. Copomon/Coppola

Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy
Natural Keratin Smoothing Treatment
Natural Keratin Smoothing Treatment Blonde
Express Blow Out

4. Marcia Teixeira

Brazilian Keratin Treatment
Advanced Brazilian Keratin Treatment
Chocolate Extreme De-Frizzing Treatment
Soft Gentle Smoothing Treatment
Soft Chocolate Gentle Smoothing Treatment

Other names for formaldehyde or ingredients that OSHA treats like formaldehyde include methylene glycol, formalin, methylene oxide, paraform, formic aldehyde, methanal, oxomethane, oxymethylene, timonacic acid, and thiazolidinecarboxylic acid.

+ Good Morning America

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One Response to “Salons Still Offering Brazilian Blowout Despite Formaldehyde Danger”

  1. Olivia1717 says:

    Most of the information/MSDS regarding safe practices for hair smoothing products includes proper/adequate salon ventilation or local exhaust ventilation but never explains what that means. Opening windows/doors or using fans will only help to circulate the vapors and dusts to the entire salon. Proper/adequate ventilation for salons performing keratin hair smoothing treatments (regardless of the brand) can be obtained using “salon source capture ventilation” (or sometimes referred to as “chemical source capture ventilation”) to lower the exposure of vapors & dust to the breathing zones of the stylist and client to a safe level. They are portable so it is easy for stylists to split the cost and share one of these systems.
    The federal OSHA office continues to investigate the safety of hair smoothing products and is a good source for information. In addition, the Professional Keratin Hair Smoothing Council recently released updated information for stylists doing these treatments at

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