M.I.S.S. Beauty Tip of the Week: The Brazilian Blowout – A Gift or a Curse?


For many women, myself included, hair is a very important component of everyday life. Whether you have straight, wavy or curly hair the odds are you’ve experienced some kind of hair drama at one point or another. It’s no wonder then that women the world over seek out countless ways to improve the look and feel of their hair (sometimes at any cost). You might have heard of a recent treatment in haircare known as the Brazilian Blowout which has been described as life changing by some women with hard-to-manage hair. The treatment aims to semi-permanently straighten hair so women with frizz can have silky tresses for several months at a time. At $200 to $500 a treatment, stars like Nicole Kidman, Nicole Richie and Halle Barry were among the first to jump on the bandwagon.

Alas, with every quick fix there’s a price to pay. Recently the FDA has found that the popular Brazilian Blowout contains formaldehyde (you know, that stuff that coroners put in dead bodies), a chemical that has been deemed carcinogenic. The negative effects of the treatment were brought forward by concerned stylists in a salon in Oregon when they reported that they were experiencing respiratory issues and spontaneous nosebleeds among other things. When the state investigated, they found that the products the Brazilian Blowout company had stated were “formaldehyde free” did in fact contain formaldehyde!

After a lengthy legal battle, the Brazilian Blowout has legally been deemed carcinogenic. But here’s the kicker: salons are still carrying the products. Unfortunately, the FDA was concerned more with the regulations that need to be placed on clearly labeling beauty products rather than eliminating them from public consumption. Herein lies the struggle going on in some legislators’ minds right now. Does our government take the route of ultimate consumer protection by flat out banning carcinogenic products from being sold, or do they take the route of cigarette sales?

It’s an interesting issue that will definitely impact Americans in the coming years. Is preserving a free market more important than protecting lives? And moreover, is having straight hair more important than your health? Alas, the treatment’s fan base continues to grow.

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