Brazilian Blowout Causing Cancer?


I guess I’ll have to go back to my natural, frizzy hair for a while…

I should have seen this coming. Apparently, the “so-called” formaldehyde-free Brazilian Blowout is full of formaldehyde. And not just that, but it’s got dangerous levels of it.

Okay, I’ll back up. Three months ago I got this treatment done on my frizzy hair. The Brazilian Blowout promised to be a safe, harsh-chemical-free way to tame frizz and smooth hair. The treatment was said to last for three months. I even had a friend recommend it to me.

My experience was that it did exactly what it said it would do, but the process was painful. During the treatment, my eyes and throat burned. It got so bad that the woman doing the treatment ended up putting on a doctor’s mask herself, then handing me one to wear as well.

But after the treatment, I felt fine. And my hair felt more than fine. It felt better than it had ever felt. But I guess all good things come to an end…

I had another appointment scheduled to get my second blowout done this Thursday. (I promise I had every intention of blogging about it this time!) But I got a call today from the woman who was going to do it for me.

“Have you heard the news about the blowout?” She asked.
“No,” I responded.
“Well you should Google it. Apparently it’s full of formaldehyde!”

I actually felt bad for the hairdresser when she said this. It sounded like she’s lost a good friend to a horrible accident, or something.

“I love the Brazilian Blowout for myself, my customers. Really, for everyone. But until I find something that’s safe, I’m going to have to cancel your appointment.” I could tell that her telling me this hurt her more than it hurt me.

“I understand,” I said.

So, of course I hung up and Googled it immediately. I guess it all started when salon workers reported difficulty breathing, nosebleeds and eye irritation while using the products on customers. Yikes!

Apparently, it was our very own in Oregon who unveiled the sad truth about the miracle hair treatment. Researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University Center for Research on Occupational Environmental Toxicology (try saying that 10 times fast!) took samples of the brand’s Brazilian Blowout Solution and Acai Professional Smoothing Solution and found dangerously high levels of formaldehyde in their lap analysis.

Apparently, manufactures with products containing 0.1 percent formaldehyde are required to list it on a material safety data sheet. And products shouldn’t contain more than 0.2 percent formaldehyde. Guess how much OSHA found in the Brazilian Blowout solution?! Between 4.85 to over 10 percent! Great.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, exposure to formaldehyde can lead to quite a few immediate side effects: irritation of eyes, skin, nose, upper respiratory tract, cough, chest pain, shortness of breath and wheezing (I experienced some of these side effects).

And longer term side effects? Sensitization and asthma. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services has determined that formaldehyde may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen.

Now, here’s the interesting part (as if my subjecting myself to such dangers wasn’t interesting enough for you)… The Brazilian Blowout company is denying any allegations that the products have any formaldehyde in them.

The company made the following statement to ‘Good Morning America’ this morning: “With regards to OSHA’s claim, the actual source of the formulation tested has not been identified, and was not submitted by the Brazilian Blowout company itself. Because OSHA did not request a sample from the company directly, there is no reason to believe that the formulation tested and found positive for traces of formaldehyde was indeed Brazilian Blowout product. This represents a clear violation of proper testing protocol, and this gross negligence on the part of OSHA invalidates all findings that have been released as a result of OSHA’s testing.”

I guess we’ll have to wait a little while to find out the truth and see how this whole thing pans out. What are your thoughts? Do you think that the Brazilian Blowout company is full of s***? Or is the OSHA off its rocker? Leave me a comment and let me know!

My sources:
The hairdresser I was going to go to.

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