Hey CurlyNikki Fam!
I came across these articles today and thought of the natural hair community. The company that makes Brazilian Blowouts (I think also called keratin treatments) are in legal trouble because of their claim that they are formaldehyde-free but the article says independent scientists here in CA have found the product to contain about 8% formaldehyde, which can cause cancer (among other things). If this is true, then I am curious as to:
1. how the FDA let this one get by and,
2. if relaxers are/were under the same kind of scrutiny (or lack thereof) when it comes to testing.
Apparently Canada pulled the Brazilian Blowout off the market several months ago.
The Environmental Working Group (second link below) has published a report which named brands that have allegedly misrepresented themselves to consumers as having no formaldehyde in the products. For those who have either tried or are considering trying the Brazilian Blowout or keratin treatments this is worth reading.
The really sad part is that both consumers and salon workers are at risk for cancer and other ailments.
-One Woman’s Experience with the Keratin Treatment
-A Dangerous Price to Pay for Beauty
**Articles from Other Sources**
-Keratin Hair Treatment
-Brazilian Hair Treatment
-Brazilian Blowout Found to Contain Formaldehyde
-A Safety Kink in Hair Relaxing
-Brazilian Blowout Disaster
-Experiences with the Brazilian Blowout
Brazilian Blowout is a bad representative for the keratin treatment. That particular company has been on notice for a long time about how bad their product is. Not all companies are as bad as them. The product doesn't actually have formaldehyde most of the time, it's actually formalin (sp?) which is used in lipstick and cosmetics. The problem is that it releases formaldehyde when it is heated in the blow-dry/flat iron step. The just say it is very important to have proper ventilation.
The thing that makes BKT or KT popular isn't the fact that they straighten the hair, it's that it kills frizz. You can wash your hair and let it air dry and the hair will still be wavy, but will not frizzy. Keratin Treatment are not recommended for AfAm hair anyway. It doesn't do anything to our hair, it might be mildly straighter, but not enough if that is what you are looking for. In order for it to work with us, we would have to relax our hair first. Supposedly the same day as a relaxer is best, it kind of rebuilds the hair after the thoroughly abusive "relax"er. My hair was happier after the KT when I was straightening it, but it did nothing to my hair while I was transitioning. My hair is happiest now so I don't even waste the energy thinking about doing it again.
This is disappointing but I wish there was the same level of outrage over what we put into our bodies.
I was watching the news yesterday and they were talking about this. Apparently if the formaldehyde is under a certain percent then it's supposedly ok. The FDA have to come in and check the levels of formaldehyde that's in the air of the salon. One salon owner stated that if the client is against the fumes he does have gas masks for use….I was like WHAT?!? I do not want to wear a gas mask over my face to get my hair done. It's bad enough when you go to the nail salon they put a face mask on THEIR face.
Uh oh! I see lawsuits, closed salons etc. And personally I won't trust anything out of Brazil related to hair. Anyone remember the Rio natural relaxer?
Did anyone see the nightly news with Katie Couric yesterday? They were talking about this.
The FDA rule is that if an ingredient is less then a certain percentage (in the case of this keratin treatment, 12%) companies are not required to list it in the ingredients list or worse, say the product is "free" of it. The relaxer industry has been getting away with this for decades, claiming that at home relaxers are "no-lye" when in fact they do contain lye just a small percentage that they can write off as being non-existent. It's not worth it to go straight.
Did I miss something? I just read the EWG article and I did see the list of companies claiming no formaldehyde Keratin/Brazilian treatments.
FDA is not the regulating company that it should be, regulation authorities in other countries are more involved than here, we have to educate ourselves. I agree with everyone else on here about the "regular" relaxers as well they do not get discussed enough with what ingredients are contained in them.
the fda is basically a rubber stamp process.. just stamp the 'ok' on stuff that comes in. why do u think we mostly hear about recalls rather than bans? thats why ewg is promoting the campaign for safe cosmetics , the skin deep database, and the the Kids Safe Chemical Act.
– formerly involved with ewg (fab NGO btw)
The mixed safety reports about BKTs made them out of the question for me, but this is still absolutely frightening to hear.
These comments are so true. I work in the pharma industry and let me just say that just because something is FDA approved does not mean its healthy or won't cause cancer/contain carcinogens. there are main things we eat breath touch every day that after exposure can cause cancers and other problems that seem to be so common nowadays. "They" know this but won't tell us anything. Going natural is one of the best things that has happened to me. Along with leaving the creamy crack alone, Im SO much more careful about what I eat and put in/on my body overall. So, FDA approved or not we just need to be smarter about what we are using really.
I have a friend who uses that BKT all the time and I really need to get her out of it if possible. Its just not worth it. Like April, I will rock my curls everyday, with an occasional straight style IF I get the courage to flatiron (safely) one day. But no BKT or the like for me.
You should check out the book "No more Dirty Looks". The FDA lets a lot of things go by and basically lets the cosmetic industry regulate itself. It is n't really until people pipe up and start lobbying on behalf of us and demonstrating that the product is harmful that they'll actually think about looking into it. Its definitely worth the read especially if you're concerned about what chemicals are in your make up, lotion, hair products, cleansers.
I agree with April. Straight hair is not THAT fantastic to put your health in danger. I honestly don't really feel that straightening results are worth the hassel of a regular blowout, let alone anything that requires a safety mask.
Honestly, I'm surprised that anyone even gave this a try. Especially stylists. If I learned that I had to wear protective gear, even a mask just to apply a treatment, then I definitely wouldn't have ever jeopardized my health by using this treatment. It's not worth the money. Relaxers are pretty dangerous too, but my stylist never needed a mask to apply one, nor did either of us suffer breathing difficulties or anything like that. This one was just too crazy for me. The lengths we go through to get straight hair. Is it really that serious? Yall can go on with all that right there. No thank you. I rocks my curls everyday, all day.