New legislation out of California today forces Brazilian blowout products to list their potentially hazardous materials on the label. It's great news if you're into staying away from hair products that contain possible carcinogens, bad news if you just want your hair silky and straight and prefer to be kept in the dark about what nasty things it could be doing to your health.
The new labels will inform users that formaldehyde gas is emitted during use, which has been proven in some cases to cause cancer. It's not only unhealthy for women who use it on their own hair, but also for hairstylists who inhale the product when they use it on clients. Part of the settlement requires companies to hand out pamphlets to salons on how to stay safe while using the stuff.
OK. Can we just accept our curly hair already and stop using this junk?
And I'm talking to myself here, too. When I lived in Rio de Janeiro for a couple of months, I got my hair blown out literally three times a week. In the humidity down there, and here in NYC, for that matter, we curly-haired ladies know all about the poof-ball that sprouts from our follicles once there's an ounce of moisture in the air. And in Brazil, where the blowouts contained silicone and formaldehyde, cost about $3, and turned your hair into gorgeous, fine silk that was irresistible to the touch, a young woman might look the other way when it comes to the content's scary health hazards.
Fact of the matter is, I had no idea until later what the "secret" ingredient was that transformed me from looking like Monica Geller in the Bahamas (you know that Friends episode where her hair's out to here) to a lovely lady on the town, but now that I know, I'm sort of just waiting for my third eye to emerge. I mean, yikes. Three times a week, people.
It's great that the new labels will better inform users what they're getting in to, but the best way to stay safe is to just, simply, embrace your curls. Curls aren't dangerous, they're not going to give you cancer, and you know what, they're pretty cute, too. Most of the time.
Have you used a Brazilian blowout product that contains formaldehyde? Does it alarm you, or not so much?
Photo via kooklanekookla/Flickr