Friday, December 3, 2010

What is the Deal with the Formaldehyde Controversy?

I feel that I need to address the current controversy with Brazilian Blowout. To make a LONG story short...There was a salon in Oregon that tested the Brazilian Blowout solution and claimed that it had formaldehyde. OSHA got involved, tested it and then supported the claim. However, not long after they recanted their statement and tried to take it back, but at that time the damage had been done....It created fear and doubt in the minds of the consumers and has made all of us hair stylists crazy. There is a law suit now against OSHA. (Click this link for an official statement )

I decided I really needed to do more research myself. This is what I have found so far..

Brazilian Blowout has and still claims that the solution has "no harsh chemicals". Due to their pending patent they never listed their ingredients, until now... The chemical that makes the magic happen is called Methylene Glycol. There have been claims that Methylene Glycol is a form of Formaldehyde.

I am not a scientist but I did find a few and here is what one of them had to say...

"In reality, Methylene Glycol and Formaldehyde are very different, both chemically and physically! Methylene Glycol is a liquid; Formaldehyde is a gas. Even so, Oregon OSHA has recently declared that these are "synonyms", yet these two substances have very different chemical compositions and belong to very different chemical families, the Aldehydes vs. Alcohols*." -Doug Schoon click here for more info

The fear people are having is that it is believed that Formaldehyde can cause cancer. But did you know that Formaldehyde is used as a preservative and stabilizer in cosmetics, vaccines, nail polishes, shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, bubble bath, liquid hand soap, and baby shampoo! (for more on Formaldehyde click here

Like I said before, I'm not a scientist (or a doctor), but I am realistic. And this is what I have to say about it. Lets get real here, everything causes cancer these days (and by saying that I'm not claiming the BB has Formaldehyde or causes cancer). However, Plastic water bottles, cell phones, being over weight, high-fat diets, excess use of anti-biotics, pesticides, leading a sedentary lifestyle, excess alcohol, etc, have all been known to contribute to cancer. So pick your poison. I know that sounds kind of strange to say but as far as I'm concerned I will pass on the plastic water bottles and get a Blowout instead. Now let me be clear about something. Do I think I am offering a service to my clients that could potentially be harmful to them or me? No, I don't, I wouldn't do it if I thought it was going to make people sick. In my mind this product falls in the same category with any other chemical you come in contact with in the salon. Am I willing to bet my life on the safety of the Brazilian Blowout solution? No, but I wouldn't bet my life on the safely of a can of hairspray either. I encourage all of you to click on that first link I listed above and read the official statement from Brazilian Blowout.

To put your minds a little more at ease I want to say this. When applied properly the Brazilian Blowout solution doesn't touch your scalp and there are no fumes. I have taken the official hands on class from Brazilian Blowout and I am confident in my application skills. Also, I have never felt sick, tired, had a cough, or anything else like that after giving or receiving a Brazilian Blowout and there have been days when I have done 8 in a row!

That is all I am going to say about it right now, but I will post more information as I get it. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


  1. "However, not long after they [OSHA] recanted their statement and tried to take it back."

    When did OSHA (Oregon OSHA, actually) recant their statement and try to take it back? Do you have a source for that statement? I ask because their paper is still on their website and they recently said that there position has never changed.

  2. On 08/22/2011 @ 6:10 MDT, Federal OSHA still has a link to the "formaldehyde exposure in salons" news release and hazard alert on the OSHA home page. Businesses that follow your anecdotal dismissal of the risks might still be cited and fined, even in Utah. Please advise your readers to visit and check out the applicable laws & requirements just in case.