Formaldehyde is often used as a preservative in household products such as glue and nail polish. Intense exposure can be irritating and cause severe reactions in the mucus membranes and respiratory system.
Contrary to popular belief, all Brazilian Keratin Treatments (also known as Brazilian Blowouts) contain formaldehyde or other “hydes” that are just as dangerous. Manufacturers and distributors have also started using formaldehyde substitutes, like Urea, that are just as toxic, but don’t have the stigma that is associated with formaldehyde.
In order for the straightening process to work, formaldehyde or a similar substitute is a requirement. This is the active ingredient which binds keratin to the hair, making it feel thicker and healthier. According to chemist Doug Schoon, of Schoon Scientific in Dana Point, CA, a chemical process is required to achieve the shiny, straight hair offered in these treatments.
Attempting to research the ingredients in Brazilian Keratin Treatments will yield poor results, as manufacturers use the excuse of protecting their “Secret Formula” as a way to deny you the right to know what is being applied to your hair. As long as a hair product is labeled “For Professional Use,” manufacturers are not required by the FDA to list the ingredients.
Taking proper precautions creates safer air quality in salons using Brazilian Keratin Hair Treatments. Installing a Three Zone Ventilation System ensures the safety of the hairstylists performing these treatments, as well as their clientele.