Brazilian Blowout is Flat-Out RISKY!

I have been telling clients, friends and colleagues for months that the infamous “Brazilian Blowout” is just that a blow out! This process that chemically smooths and straightens your hair is doing way more than that! This product contains extremely high levels of formaldehyde and is extremely dangerous for you the client and even more dangerous for me the Hair Stylist!  You are paying upwards of $500 for a cancer causing carcinogen! Sound good to you? Is your idea of perfect hair really worth it to you? Are you willing to put yourself and your Stylist at risk for that? I know I am not and never have been! I have been leary of this from the beginning and now reports have been released that the FDA is aware of this problem and are calling for these companies to lower the levels of formeldehyde and make their consumers aware. OSHA has issued a hazard alert to consumers and professionals which will outline the problems and hazards that this product is producing and the FDA has issued the company a warning letter with a deadline of September 12th to lower the levels or face enforcement action!

I first heard of the problems that this product was causing while I was in Oregon for training. A hairdresser who had been using this product a lot, now cannot do hair at all becuase of the damage it has done to her lungs and who knows what else. She actually started bleeding from her ears and nose! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and that we, the consumer had not been protected or warned by someone! In fact, the company itself still denies that it does contain formeldehyde and the educators and other professionals fall for and back up this bogus LIE! What is most likely happening is that these companies are using some sort of derivative of formeldehyde that the FDA doesn’t regulate as of yet. Lots of companies do this kind of thing in all sorts of industries. For example; if anyone says that their permanent hair color is “Ammonia FREE” they are lying! There is NO such thing. Permanent hair color has to have ammonia in it to work and actually color your hair! If they claim that their product doesn’t, then their company is using a derivative of ammonia and most likely this derivative is stronger and more damaging than any other color that does contain regulated amounts of ammonia!

The moral of this story? Stay informed and educated on any and all products or processes that you may consume. You can always request a Material Safety Data Sheet from your stylist. The old saying of “it is too good to be true” applies here! I know many people who used the product or had this product used on their hair and while they complained of burning eyes and throats, they loved what it did to their hair. That always just seemed strange to me and led me to do some research. I refused to participate and endanger myself and my clients. I hope that this added information helps you to do the same!

Gina Leonard is a licensed Cosmetologist and Salon owner with 10+ years experience. She welcomes all questions and comments, please send them to


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2 Responses to Brazilian Blowout is Flat-Out RISKY!

  1. Clare Thornton says:

    I work with formalin, which contains 3-4% formaldehyde, at my job in a pathology lab. We use formalin to “fix” tissue. In other words, when tissue is removed from the body, it begins to decay or break down almost immediately. A pathologist needs to be able to look at the tissue in its closest to natural state, in order to make an accurate diagnosis. Formalin cross links proteins and prevents decay. It is heavily regulated in my lab, and is listed as a carcinogen. We need to monitor how much the employees are exposed to formalin and report to OSHA on a regular basis. Yes, I do work with it every day, but I certainly would never apply it to my hair! The smell of it is very distinct and will burn your eyes and throat almost immediately if you get too close. As Gina knows, I have quite curly hair that if I want to straighten it, takes a bit of work. But I would never get one of these Brazillian blow-outs. Morticians use formaldehyde to embalm bodies and they have one of the highest rates of leukemia of any occupation! Good for you Gina for speaking out about this and caring so much for the health of your clients and co-workers!

  2. Hermes Kelly says:

    Good information. Fine webpage, TWO thumbs right up!!

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