A few years ago, the latest hair craze swept the nation — the Brazilian Blowout. The company claimed they could do away with damaged hair by applying a specially formulated solution. People all over flocked to their hair salons asking where they could sign up, including me. Was it worth it in the end?
Brazilian Blowout began promoting its product to salons claiming it could turn the most damaged, unruly, and unmanageable hair into glamorous, shiny, straight hair. Celebrities began popping up in the news with their beautiful smooth tresses claiming this hair treatment had unbelievable results and was a must-have for any woman wanting locks as lovely and theirs. Hey! My hair was split, broken, and over-processed! I would be the perfect candidate!
The treatment works like this: You walk into the salon, the hair dresser “clarifies” your hair with a special shampoo, applies the magical solution on your hair one layer at a time with an applicator brush, blow dries, straightens, washes again, blow dries again and walla — you’re done!
My hair dresser explained the science behind the solution. The Brazilian Blowout application is supposed to form a strong keratin bond around each hair shaft, sealing in any fraying or fragile hair leaving your hair shiny, strong, and smooth. The heat from the blowdryer and flat iron is supposed to “activate” the keratin which will remain in your hair for the next 10 to 12 weeks.
Then the Brazilian Blowout made big headlines yet again, but not because of their customer’s amazing results. This time it was in the news because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found extremely dangerous high levels of formaldehyde in the treatment solution. While the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires companies to list their products as a hazard with a formaldehyde content of 0.1 percent, the FDA found levels as high as 10.4 percent with no warnings whatsoever!
The Brazilian Blowout came back saying they use a different substance than formaldehyde and their products are completely safe. While the FDA still disagrees, the product and service still remains available at salons today.
I had a Brazilian Blowout done about two years ago and wish I had known the warnings beforehand otherwise I would have stayed as far away as possible. I remember the treatment smelling strongly of something chemical-like and it burned my scalp, ears, and eyes when the salon stylist began applying it to my hair. We both almost needed a gas mask! The results weren’t stunning; my hair was softer, but looked completely the same.
In the end was it worth the $300? In short, I can’t believe I paid someone to put formaldehyde on my head.