The Brazilian Blowout is blowing up the news – and this time, the results aren’t good.
Beauty mavens nationwide and celebs aplenty have swooned for their products.
Smooth, frizz-free, straight hair without any of the damage from the formaldehyde found in other relaxers and strengtheners? Yes please!
Some said it was too good to be true, and now stylists in Oregon are saying they’ve experienced difficulty breathing, eye irritation and nose bleeds when they apply the product. Is your beloved Brazilian Blowout doomed forever?
Well… yes. And no.
Here’s the deal. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen – it causes cancer, most often in your lungs. So when companies have even 0.1% formaldehyde in their products, they are required to alert hair stylists. To say the least, when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently found that Brazilian Blowout products consist of 8-10% formaldehyde, they weren’t happy.
But hold up. Before you go all mass media on me and freak yourself out, here’s the context. And it’s not even half as bad as you think.
Because not all Brazilian Blowout products are made by the Brazilian Blowout company.
“We didn’t offer the Brazilian Blowout for a long time,” says stylist Carrie Wabs of Beautique Beauty Bar in Belmont, CA. “It worked, of course, but we wanted to make sure we were really selective and did our homework.” Instead, the salon now offers the Simply Smooth treatment.
“There’s a difference between the industrial grade preservatives in the Brazilian Blowout products, and the food grade preservatives in the Simply Smooth treatment,” Carrie explains. “Industrial grade is used to preserve corpses. Food grade, called vanillin, can be found in Hershey’s bars. It’s chemical and animal free, so it doesn’t hair the stylist or the client.
Plus, Simply Smooth is composed of the keratin found in human hair, unlike the sheep’s hair in the Brazilian Blowout products, so the effectiveness of the Simply Smooth treatment accumulates each time you use it.”
“Simply Smooth was conceived in Brazil, and perfected in the U.S.,” Carrie reassures. “It’s also a Brazilian treatment, just not with the formaldehyde.”
In response to the international upset, the Brazilian Blowout company alleges that OSHA didn’t actually test their product, since OSHA didn’t directly request a product sample from the Brazilian Blowout company. The company has claimed that the OSHA testing standards is faulty. Now, Canada has completely banned the treatment.
But according to Sam Brocato of the Sam Brocato Salon in New York City, “that is nonsense.”
“Salon owners are busy,” Sam says. “We don’t sit around all day asking ourselves how we can, for no reason at all, ruin the reputation of the companies whose products we use. I personally had tested several keratin treatments that claim to be formaldehyde-free and guess what? I have results in my desk that prove otherwise.” The Sam Brocato Salon offers its own formaldehyde-free treatment, CurlInterrupted, across the country, and results last anywhere from one wash to 12 weeks, depending on which option chosen (temporary, semi-permanent and demi-permanent).
So breathe deep, Brazilian beauties. Your hair (and lungs) can still be stylin’ and completely safe. Yes, you’ll need to say goodbye to the Brazilian Blowout products, but not the treatment.
Just make sure you say the magic words upon salon arrival: Simply Smooth.
And check out another safe alterative called the Surface Smooth & Healthy Hair Salon Treatment -Formaldehyde Free
– Caitlin Garthoffner
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