Brazilian Blowout Contains Shocking Amounts of Formaldehyde


Photo: Ralf Nau/Thinkstock

Is your 'do' getting a pretty douse of formaldehyde? If your favorite hair treatment is the Brazilian Blowout--favored by celebs like Jennifer Aniston and others willing to drop up to $500 for shiny, frizz-free hair--then this may be the scary fact. Last week, the Oregon Health & Science University's Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology released lab results that reveal "formulations of Brazilian Blowout contained between 4.85 percent and 10.6 percent formaldehyde," according to WWD.

Considering the product website states the formula contains no harsh chemicals and no formaldehyde, this may come as a surprise to many.

There's more than just 7 Common Cosmetics Ingredients You Need to Avoid: Until recently, formaldehyde was a common ingredient in nail polish.

The Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Cosmetic Database states that formaldehyde is classified by the International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC) as 'carcinogenic to humans,' and yet in the U.S., there are no restrictions on the levels of formaldehyde allowed in body care products.

With no requirement to test products made with formaldehyde-releasing preservatives for levels of formaldehyde, is it really that shocking that a beauty product can be found containing such high levels?

After reading the opening pages of No More Dirty Looks--which reveal the magic ingredient behind the Brazilian Blowout--I'm not shocked.

Since the test results have surfaced, Health Canada has warned Canadians about the service and salons across the U.S. have also been fast to react: In the past week, according to WWD, some businesses--including Frédéric Fekkai--have nixed the service altogether while others are reducing the number of treatments they offer and "adding carbon filters and fans, and suggesting stylists wear masks to protect them from fumes." Let's hope they offer the clients masks, too.

The Brazilian Blowout formula is under investigation by the California Bureau of Labor and the Department of Public Health in California, to make sure no violation of the California Safe Cosmetics Act has been made.

For more on the Brazilian Blowout controversy and formaldehyde-laden products, visit the Oregon Health & Science University's Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology and WWD.

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Tags: Beauty Treatments | Cosmetics | Feminine Hygiene