Like most women, we are constantly chasing perfection. Be it in our work or social lives and almost certainly when it comes to our beauty routines. I’m sure that most of us have, by now, heard of or even experienced a Brazilian Blowdry. The promise of mirror straight, gleaming and manageable hair sounds too good to be true! And with experience, most things that sound that way usually are.
The Brazilian Blowdry has come under a lot of scrutiny in the EU as well as the US for being unsafe, reason being because of a key ingredient. Formaldehyde. Does that name ring a bell? It should. It’s a key ingredient in embalming fluid. I’m sure we all remember from our school history lessons what embalming fluid was used for and shouldn’t we be asking ourselves, why we would want to put that in our hair? The International Agency for Research on Cancer has declared it carcinogenic- or causing cancer.
I’ve been chatting to a few hair stylists lately about the Brazilian Blowdry and quite a few of them are adamant that they refuse to use it in their salons. Formaldehyde releases toxic vapour when heat is applied to it and has affected the one stylists asthma quite badly whereas other’s simply refuse to use such a toxic chemical to treat hair. The origins of this hair treatment are fairly obscure but a guess would be it has been derived from the textile industry whereby formaldehyde is used to treat and straighten wool.
Some formulations of the Brazilian Blowdry brands have labelled their product as formaldehyde free but one needs to show discretion as some formaldehyde free products can contain methylene glycol which is a water downed formaldehyde solution and can still release noxious gas in the air. 200 people in the US had challenged legal action against the US manufacturers of the Brazilian Blowout brand stating that it had damaged their health. Stylists have reported the following symptoms when working with the Brazilian Blowdry products: blisters, rashes, hair loss, vomiting, dizziness, mouth ulcers, blistered scalps, eye irritations and breathing problems.
Vasken Demirjian, a salon owner in New York saw one of his stylists wearing a mask while applying the treatment to a client and asked himself if that was a good look. The answer was no. While all of this information is coming to us from The States and Great Britain we have to ask ourselves, why has this in formation been withheld from us in S.A? We have had no independent or government authorities speaking up to warn or even inform us on the potential dangers of this style of treatment and for me, that is really worrying. Do they know or is it not that big of a deal to them?
I don’t want this post to cause panic but rather to raise awareness. There are other keratin only treatments available that will produce the same results, they may just take a bit longer to do. Is it really worth putting ourselves through dangerous procedures such as this for the sake of more manageable hair?
Have you had a Brazilian Blowdry before? Did you experience any strange side effects? DO share your thoughts!