Hair Treatment Warning

Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 8:39am

High-level warning is issued for a popular type of hair treatment.

Bad news for great hair! A high-level warning has been issued about a popular type of hair treatment, after serious symptoms were connected to it.

The product that started the controversy: a hair straightening treatment called "Brazilian Blowout," which promises to keep hair smooth and frizz free without harsh chemicals.

A professional applies it, blows it dry, and flat irons it.

Stephanie Addesso, Brazilian Blowout Customer, says "it looked good. My hair did look good."

But the popular product fell out of favor when hair stylists and consumers started complaining of hair loss, rashes, and breathing problems.

Stephanie says "this is a lot of hair for five days."

A Chicago woman is among many who claimed the keratin-based product caused her hair to fall out in bundles.

Salon owner Adriana Mendoza says "I felt like I was having a screwdriver, you know, like an ear infection."

A Glenview salon owner reported that she and her staff felt sick after being exposed to Brazilian Blowout.

The kind of anecdotes that led an expert panel of independent scientists to take a look at this type of treatment.

The cosmetic ingredient review panel confirmed that even though a product may not list formaldehyde in its ingredient list, it can be formed when a keratin-based product is heated up, exposing stylists and consumers to potentially hazardous levels of the toxic gas and suspected carcinogen.

This after health officials in Oregon tested Brazilian Blowout last year and found trace levels of formaldehyde in the air at several salons, and significant amounts in the product itself.

Findings that until now have raised more questions than answers.

This panel of experts called into question whether any product can be considered safe if it is intended to be used in a way that produces formaldehyde vapor.

Products can contain formaldehyde or other controversial chemicals but only at very low levels.

Brazilian Blowout did not respond to a call for comment.

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