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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Brazilian Blow Out: Beauty at a Hairy Price?

Soft, silky tresses — for many, that’s a tempting promise.

You’ve probably heard of the Brazilian Blow Out, Brazilian Keratin Treatment and the many other names it goes by. You may have even tried it yourself. But does this beauty come with a beastly price? And why should we pay $250 on up to have formaldehyde put on our heads?

Proponents of the Brazilian hair treatment note that it can last for more than two months, reduces morning ‘prep’ time, and looks amazing. It’s also easy to color or highlight after the treatment if you choose. The process takes about 90 minutes, but that — like the price — can vary, depending upon where you have it done and how long your hair is.

How does it work? According to a WebMD article, “Keratin is a protein found naturally in your hair. It can fill in gaps in the hair cuticle that are cracked, dry, or damaged.” So far, that sounds pretty good. However, to bind the keratin molecules together and straighten your hair, formaldehyde is needed.

The state of Oregon has “issued an alert to Oregon hair salons about the presence of formaldehyde in products used to smooth or straighten hair.” Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. You may say, ‘But my salon uses formaldehyde-free products for its Brazilian Blowouts.’ Perhaps not.

When Oregon’s OSHA tested 37 bottles of a product labeled ‘formaldehyde free,’ it turned out they weren’t formaldehyde free at all. In fact, “the formaldehyde content in that product averaged 8.68 percent.” Now some groups are calling for tougher Federal Regulations of salon products to protect salon employees.

So, if you’re considering a keratin hair treatment, do your homework before hitting the salon.

Tell Us What You Think
Have you tried the Brazilian Blow Out, or do you work at a salon where it’s offered? Do you have any health concerns? Share your opinion below or on our Skin and Beauty Community.

Posted by: Mare Stern at 8:47 pm

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