It is the latest sensation to hit hair salons - the Brazilian Blowout. It promises straight, smooth, manageable hair that lasts longer than any other hair treatment on the market.
But is it safe?
Health officials are looking into reports that some stylists are getting sick from the fumes.
This is the first time that Ravit Brenner
is getting the Brazilian Blowout. She has heard all about this hair straightening process.
“All my friends that do it love it, it’s just easy, you don’t have to worry about anything, get out of the shower and you just go,” She said.
The promises smooth and manageable hair for up to 12 weeks. Stylists like Kathy Anthony at Batia and Aleeza salon apply a chemical solution to the hair, then use a flat iron to seal in the effect.
But the FDA
is investigating the product. The Oregon Occupational Health Agency
issued a warning recently about Brazilian smoothing products after receiving complaints from stylists who complained of nose bleeds, and difficulty breathing.
The agency conducted lab tests on hair solutions, and found that even though some bottle labels say the solutions were formaldehyde free tests showed they contained on average 8 percent formaldehyde.
Osha says the stylists may inhale the formaldehyde especially in the vapor when heat is applied. And if they have multiple clients in one day they are getting exposed to a lot of it over time.
Brazilian Blowout, also the name of the company that makes the most widely used solution, said in a statement that they “stand by the integrity of our product, and affirm that our professional solution is indeed formaldehyde free.” And they say that they are conducting their own investigation.
Kathy says she has been using the product for three years and never had any symptoms. But she prefers to be on the safe side: “So the client and myself, we both wear protective masks. I wear a mask, and I put a mask on my client."
And Ravit says, this news is not going to stop her from getting the treatment.
“Nothing has really been proven, so I’m just hoping that it’s all safe,” she said.
“The treatment costs around 250 dollars. as I said many salons do take precautions and there's no proof that it causes long term problems but the smell is irritating; and we clearly need more study on it. If you get the Brazilian Blowout please make sure it’s done in a well ventilated space and that you and the beautician use masks until we know more,” Dr. Hensel said.
Published at 5:54 AM PDT on Nov 5, 2010 | Updated at 8:03 AM PST on Nov 10, 2010