The Brazilian Blowout a product that has been around on the market a considerable while now yet still keeps cropping up in conversations I have with my clients. Questions such as Does it work? Is it safe? Why don’t you use it in the salon? All pop up now and again.
In answer to the first part of the question yes it does work in straightening and smoothing the frizzes but at what cost. By cost I am not necessarily talking about dollars and cents here. Although I must say it did come to that for the company manufacturing the Brazilian Blowout. In fact in 2012 they had to settle a class-action lawsuit for exposing customers and stylists to toxic levels of formaldehyde gas.
Hum I went on a bit there so let’s get back to my version of cost. What I am talking here is about the cost to your hair over the long term. Also the health of yourself and the staff who are administrating the product.
At Cinq Studio where I work it was decided from the beginning that we didn’t want to expose ourselves. Or other clients who maybe in the salon at the same time as the process was being carried out. To the toxic fumes and terrible smells.
Any product that gives instructions to use next to an open window with a fan blowing. Or in a well ventilated area can only tell you one thing.
So we made our decision. Regardless as to of how popular the product became or how much income would be lost by our decision.
Sometimes you have to stick by what you think is right.
Brazilian Blowout What’s The Problem.
Brazilian Blowout was the first out the box and yes it hit the media and salons with a bang especially when it became very popular in Hollywood.
Soon many other similar products with different names started to appear on the market and why not. A product that can tame your hair and any frizz you have can only be fantastic.
The number one problem was that the product Brazilian Blowout and many that followed in its footsteps were in fact developed in Brazil. Where there is no real strict control over product manufacture.
These products contained ingredients such as methylene glycol or formalin. That when exposed to air or even more rapidly when heated actually release formaldehyde which happens to be a toxic gas.
Although hair treatments along with a lot of other beauty products are unregulated in most countries. It has been recommended that they should contain no more than 0.2 percent formaldehyde.
So it was no surprise when the Brazilian Blowout controversy came about when it was discovered that the product contained 8 to 10 percent formaldehyde. Whilst this was the highest.
Many other straightening products also registered very high and are now on the banned list in many countries.
Brazilian Blowout Or Keratin Treatment? They Are All The Same.
After all the bad press a re-marketing of these straightening products was needed. Someone then cleverly came up with the much more marketable name that of Keratin Treatment and this now tends to be a very popular choice with the producers of many hair straightening products.
Aromas were also added to try and mask the terrible smell. That’s when the whole formaldehyde free hype started to appear on the packaging, advertising and the selling of these products.
Now if you really want to be really picky yes you could say that they are formaldehyde free. As in the aspect that formaldehyde will not be listed in the ingredients.
Because in fact formaldehyde is a gas that is given off by some of the ingredients used only when they come into contact with water, air or heat.
Such ingredients may be listed as Formalin, Methylene Glycol, Methanal or Methanediol.
Anyone inhaling formaldehyde can suffer eye irritations a runny nose and even find their throat to burn a little.
So don’t believe the hype with the use of the words Keratin Treatment.
As keratin on its own is not going to do anything at all to straighten and smooth your hair unless its locked in.
How These Products Work.
Unlike the Japanese straightening system which is permanent. The Brazilian Blowout and Keratin Treatment are the same and are in fact semi-permanent hair smoothing systems.
That create a protective layer around each strand of your hair. using a liquid keratin formula.
Keratin is a type of protein that is naturally found in your hair, skin and finger nails.
The processes of adding more keratin can help to strengthen your hair as well as smooth out your hair strands. Which will temporarily make your hair appear fuller and glossier.
The keratin used in these products usually comes from animals or birds as wool, hoofs and claws also contain the same protein.
Now these are all fine
It is the other ingredients that are needed to help bond the keratin to your hair that happen to be the problem. Because these are a form of chemical preservative.
The sort of chemical preservative which is in fact predominantly used in the manufacture of glues and resins.
And it is this preservative that when blow dried and flat ironed during the process seals your hair into a smooth and straight position.
Depending on the strength of the product by that I mean how high the formaldehyde presence is depends on how long your straight and smooth hair will stay.
Because the higher and more toxic the formaldehyde presence is the longer the product will last on your hair.
On average this can range from four to six months before the natural texture of you hair will gradually return.
How You May React To These Products.
When having a Brazilian Blowout or a Keratin Treatment you may happen to find you get a reaction to the product. If not straight away maybe a few days afterwards.
This can be in the form of.
Nose and Throat irritation.
Whilst in the long run you can find that these products are not good for your hair because.
You have hair breakage.
Your hair becomes dry and brittle.
You suffer from hair loss.
Yes There Is A Healthy Alternative.
The good news – Marketed at 100% formaldehyde free
The bad news – They are not as powerful and don’t last as long.
Whilst the Brazilian Blowout and Keratin Treatment are still on the market.
There are now a new generation of hair smoothing systems that give you a healthier alternative. These systems instead of formaldehyde use glyoxcylic acid or a derivative. Which by the way can also be found in some shampoo’s and conditioners that have straightening benefits.
Products such as Goldwell Kerasilk and Cezanne Perfect Finish use glyoxcylic acid to create new keratin bonds. Does this mean they are 100% formaldehyde free? read my post on hair smoothing treatments to find out.
These bonds will help to stabilise your hairs shape whilst also forming straighter bonds on your hair shaft.
It is important to remember that these new generation products are intended to smooth and not straighten your hair.
Therefore they will not drastically soften your natural curl pattern. So don’t expect them to your turn wavy or curly hair straight. Although they will make your hair smooth and silky for a couple of months.
It is unfortunate but if you do want significant smoothing and straightening on your hair you do need formaldehyde in the product.
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