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Call for regulation of hair-smoothing products

Associated Press | 7/12/2011, 4:30 p.m.

Brazilian Blowout said in a statement it was “pleased, confident and relieved” that the FDA was looking into keratin treatments, “as we are certain their investigation will be based on scientific data and fact.” Keratin is a protein found in hair and nails.

The statement said Brazilian Blowout, marketed by GIB LLC, never exceeded several of OSHA’s levels and limits on formaldehyde and passed multiple air quality tests by numerous reputable independent agencies.

Ann Amott, stylist and co-owner of Salon A in Bethesda, Md., has used Brazilian Blowout for a year and a half after learning about the product from her daughter who works in a California salon. She said the treatment has become more popular in the summertime; she’s gone from applying one to about four treatments a week.

“That’s what people have been liking about it - they can still have their volume, but they get rid of the frizz,” she said.

Yelena Levanda, a skin therapist at Salon A and Organic SPA Room, both in Bethesda, received her second Brazilian Blowout treatment in June. There is an odor sometimes and her hair appears dry over time after the treatment, but she said she has no evidence that she should not trust the product.

“It looks really good, shiny,” she said of her hair. “I cannot say it’s healthy. I just can’t, but I like it. I like the results.”

Alexandra Spunt, a Los Angeles writer and co-author of the book “No More Dirty Looks,” said when she got a Brazilian Blowout three years ago, her eyes were burning and watery during the application process.

“They gave us protective goggles because our eyes were burning, which is not exactly what you expect when you go to a fancy West Hollywood salon,” she said.

Spunt said that initially she had “perfectly straight hair” and after a few washes, it became wavy manageable hair. But the weird, toxic smell persisted, and two months later, she said, her hair appeared dry, with some areas thin and others thick.

Associated Press