Photo of a girl straightning her hair.
The Brazilian blowout contains toxic chemicals. CC by Idhren/Flickr

In the quest for ultra-straight hair, the Brazilian Blowout has marketed itself as a safe option. Brazilian Blowout claims to sit on the surface of the hair. This is supposedly “safer” than relaxers that penetrate the hair. Reports issued recently, though, say that Brazilian Blowout could actually be one of the most dangerous products in a salon. The Oregon Health and Science University issued a public health alert, warning that Brazilian Blowout contains formaldehyde at levels up to 1060 percent above safe levels.

What a Brazilian Blowout offers

The name of a salon procedure, Brazilian Blowout is also a line of products. If you get a “Brazilian Blowout” at a salon, you are getting your hair straightened. The process is non-permanent, though it does damage your hair. Depending on the salon, a full Brazilian Blowout treatment can cost up to $600. A Brazilian Blowout will last just a few weeks.

Brazilian Blowout with formaldehyde

If a product contains .1 percent or more of formaldehyde, warnings are required. Workplace safety sheets and warnings must be posted in a workplace. The Oregon Health and Science University tested samples of Brazilian Blowout. They chose to test these samples after salon workers complained. Up to 10.5 percent of the Brazilian Blowout formula is made up of formaldehyde.

Blowout too dangerous for beauty

According to the Oregon Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology, anything with more than .1 percent formaldehyde must be treated with care. Even low exposure levels cause irritation and burning of the skin, eyes, nose and throat. The strong chemical can also cause heart palpitations and carcinomas in the nose. The official statement from Brazilian Blowout is that the product is safe. The claim is that because they did not provide the sample for testing, the tests are not valid. The bill that would regulate the amount of formaldehyde in beauty products is stuck in Congress. If H.R. 5786 passes congress, products like Brazilian Blowout would be regulated in ways similar to Europe.

Articles cited

Max Health:

Green LA Girl:

Library of Congress:

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