I must vent! Hairstyles and hair care products are receiving more and more attention today than ever before. With many women “rewriting the rules on hairstyles,” there is one rule that I will not adhere to and that is the Brazilian Blowout.
Although you may have recently heard about the Brazilian Blowout, it has been around for years and recently gained popularity in 2007. And because I love to exercise my brain and become acquainted with all things hair related, a friend of mine shared an article with me from the NY Times,“A Safety Kink in Hair Relaxing.” This article raises a lot of concerns and I’m wondering what you have to say about it as well. Here are my thoughts.....
The Brazilian Blowout claims to straighten hair and reduce frizz for months at a time. This raises a lot of concerns, even more than kitchen beautician perms (but I’ll save that for another blog ::wink::). When the product first appeared on scene, it was scrutinized for its levels of formaldehyde (Click Here For Information on Formaldehyde). Then, other companies came up with a formaldehyde free Brazilian Blowout. I began to receive emails and calls about my opinion on the treatment. This prompted me to do some research and talk to other experts about the product.
From my general understanding and the physiological aspects of hair, there are chemical bonds in the hair that determine the curl pattern of a hair strand. So, in my mind, there was no logical thought to suggest you can use a product that will temporarily straighten your hair for an extended amount of time without breaking the chemical bonds naturally found in your hair strand.
If you know me, you can only imagine my thought process. I kept arguing… there is something chemically happening in this process.
This NY article says that a lot of companies are now claiming low levels of formaldehyde in the product (as if that is supposed to relieve the anxiety of those concerned).Why should I not be concerned about a product that causes stylist and clients to suffer from nose bleeds; a product where an extreme amount of ventilation (beyond your normal hair salon) is required; a product where masks are being given to stylist and clients. We’re doing hair here, people! We’re not in science class formulating our next concoction for the science fair. The article referred to the "solution" as a chemical...hmmm chemical huh? Doesn't sound natural to me. There is nothing natural about having to wear a gas mask for protection from the fumes of a product while getting your hair styled.
There are some salons that receive 2 thumbs up from me in maintaining their integrity to no longer offer this treatment. However, there are others who will not stop. Regardless of the concerns, these salons and/or stylists are refusing to stop because it is the most profitable source of income.
This leads me to my next issue. What price are we willing to pay for gorgeous hair and beauty? Are we willing to risk our health for beauty? I question the integrity of stylists who perform this treatment. Is the money that they receive more important than the health and safety of their client? Is not that the reason why we are licensed stylists? Because we have been trained and tested to look out for the health and safety of clients. We need to address this and hold some salons accountable for their work, health and safety measures!
If you couldn’t tell by now, I do not support Brazilian blowouts.
Is this panic mode? I'm not saying panic but there should be full disclosure and regulation for the products in the hair industry. In addition, we have conflicting ideologies of beauty circulating in our culture right now. On one hand we are telling our little girls to love their hair and whip it back and forth and then we have the adults, the women who these young girls are looking at chasing this super straight silky hair. What is it going to be, beauty at any cost or learning to love your hair without your health being jeopardized?
I would love to hear your thoughts!