The Brazilian Blow Out Controversy.

Last Friday, WWD published an article about the controversial harmful effects of the professional hair-smoothing treatment called the Brazilian Blowout. Have you heard about this? In case you have not, I feel it very important to bring it to your attention, as I know many people who have either received a Brazilian Blowout or are considering one.


What is the Brazlian Blowout?

The Brazilian Blowout is an in-salon treatment that used to get super shiny, super smooth and frizz free hair. It is a relaxer of sorts, and is said to be much more gentle than other treatments on the market. The makers of the Brazilian Blowout say:

"The hair will be left totally frizz-free, shiny, effortlessly manageable and with plenty of body and bounce.  There will still be the option to wear hair curly/wavy (depending on the hair type) and the freedom to blow dry hair smooth and straight in a fraction of the time invested prior to receiving the treatment." -

What is the controversy?

It appears, that the Brazilian Blowout uses formaldehyde in the treatment. The makers of the Brazilian Blowout state that their products are formaldehyde free.

What is Formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is an organic compound that is actually toxic to our health, especially the gases that this compound gives off.  It has been classified as a known human carcinogen (a cancer-causing substance) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

I remember learning about formaldehyde in chemistry and how it is used to preserve dead bodies, and that is the last I want to know about it. It is certainly something I do not want in a large amount on my hair, where it is breathed in and absorbed into my scalp and skin. 

More on the controversary

The controversy comes in to play as the makers of the Brazilian Blowout say that they do not use formaldehyde in their treatments as it was stated in the report by the Oregon Health & Science University. They even published a report on their site disputing the case, saying that the reports of them using 4.85% and 10.6% formaldehyde in their treatment is false. 

I tend to believe the reports that the University first published and as other labs have now repeated. All of the reports published have discovered a percentage of formaldehyde in the treatment. The fact that in order to maintain the smoothness one gets from the treatment, women need to repeat this process every few months is very concerning.

My thoughts

Simply stated, I would not use the Brazilian Blowout treatment, and am happy that these reports have come to light as I was considering it.  Initially, I thought it would be great for my daughter with very long, thick wavy hair. She struggles in managing it and is always searching for easy ways to "tame her tresses".  After hearing the initial praises and how it would actually be okay for my fine hair, I wanted to do it too.  Thank goodness we did not rush in for the treatment. 

What do you think? Who do you believe? I would love to hear if you have had a Brazilian Blowout treatment and if you regret it or if you will continue to do so?