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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Brazilian Blowout? 2 thumbs down!

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! 


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  2. Maybe you should read and investigate what in our world has formaldehyde... This is an inescapable element that surrounds us everywhere... you boil a bowl a broccoli and the steam that is created emits about .5% formaldehyde. Please tell me what Brand of Brazilian Blowout claims to be "all natural," of course its a chemical, hair color, perm solution, or relaxers, aren't they all chemicals? I love reading uneducated blogs such as this because it a great example of people who blog just because they want to bitch about something. Real extensive research is not googling "effects of Brazilian Blowout" and then blogging about it pretending to know what we are talking about, but this was expected considering you weren't the focus or the center of attention for the year of 2007 and Brazilian Blowout was.. Oh by the way I read on the internet the other day Kanye West and Taylor Swift were at The Ivy having lunch together.... Its gotta be true right???

  3. Wow...Tylertrue. I honestly don't see a reason for you to bash Kari the way you did here. I can respect the opinions of others, but not to the point of disrespect. This is Kari's blog and if you didn't like what she had to say, there's a little "x" in the corner.

    Beyond that, Kari is a Trichologist. I'll leave you to checking out the definition. With that said, her main concern is the scalp, and healthy hair as much as possible.

    It sounds like you are well versed on formaldehyde so you should consider a post on the subject instead of coming over here with unnecessary volumes of venom. Wow.

    In addition, I personally would love to hear your thoughts on the Brazilian Blowout. Any?

  4. Kari,

    I'm glad for the post because I have been weighing the odds on this procedure. The person that is currently "taking care" of my hair, suggested it a few months ago and I read through a few articles and declined until I completed my own research. I even suggested to her that she add a disclaimer for her clients opting for the process just in the event they have pre-existing respiratory problems (one of the risks I heard was that it could cause this). She said she would. Astonishing were the numbers of people that hit her FB page when she announced that she would be offering this service up. She had 99 clients on the same day requesting appointments.

    Speaking of "Is the money that they receive more important than the health and safety...". We are at risk of this EACH and EVERY day of our lives with the foods that we eat. It's just bad all around. I posed this same question recently on my FB page when I came upon an article regarding the chemicals McDonald's is putting in their food. At the end of the day, we live in a capitalistic society and it's pretty much a "enter at your own risk" type situation with all things health and it's sad.

    Again, I appreciate the post.

  5. Well, well, well seems like I ruffled some feathers. Thank you Traci for so gracefully coming to my defense but I dont feel bashed at all.

    In comment to Mr. Tyler's post:

    Yes formaldehyde is an element that is found in our environment in minute amounts, like many other elements. The problem is, when they are found in excessive amounts they become toxic, like our friend Mr. Formaldehyde, that has been found in the Brazilian Blow Out treatments. When the day comes that I have to wear a gas mask while steaming my broccli...I will be concerned, express that concern and no longer steam the broccli, but find an alternative.

    And yes, the Brazilian Blow Out did claim to be Formaldehyde free. Dont believe me? check their website at www.brazilianblowout.com under About Us. They state "FORMALDEHYDE FREE" (their emphasis). The reason why this product dominated the news for 2 days is because of the claim above and their failure to warn consumers about the formaldehyde and carcinogens that could be found in the product. This is why the FDA (thats the Food and Drug Administration) has gotten involved with investigating the product. In addition, I do not fully support the use and abuse of relaxers, perms and permanent color when trying to achieve healthy hair. So don't worry- I share no bias.

    Trust me, I am far from uneducated and certainly not "bitching" about the use of Brazilian Blow outs, but simply offering my educated opinion on its use. Now, I understand clients and stylists alike, will do as they wish when trying to achieve the look they desire. But I stand firm on my opinion of the product until noses stop bleeding and gas masks no longer have to be used during application, and you can find me a healthier alternative.

    Lastly, no one is just googling information. Please feel free to read the New York Times article I cited within my blog to support some of my opinions. And be sure to pay attention to the news. Our new Govenor and current Attorney General, Jerry Brown, is filing a complaint against the Brazilian blow out for its misleading claims.

    So, please Mr. Tyler, do your full research before attempting to attack the opinions of others.

    I welcome more of your thoughts.

  6. I definitely will express my concerns to the FDA when I have to wear a mask to cook broccoli. LOL

  7. That's Dr. Kari....bitches. As in doctor....as in PhD.....as in went to an accredited university for 4 years (Berkley) then to the Tricology Institute for another 4 years and got a masters and a doctorate all by 24.......sorry if that's not educated enuf for you but my girl knows her hair science......thank you very much!