The Brazilian Blowout Controversy: a Formaldehyde-free Alternative |

Update: The Brazilian Blowout Controversy: a Formaldehyde-free Alternative

Update: The Brazilian Blowout Controversy: a Formaldehyde-free Alternative

The Brazilian Blowout is blowing up the news – and this time, the results aren’t good.
Beauty mavens nationwide and celebs aplenty have swooned for their products.

Smooth, frizz-free, straight hair without any of the damage from the formaldehyde found in other relaxers and strengtheners? Yes please!

the brazilian blowout controversy a formaldehyde free alternative
Some said it was too good to be true, and now stylists in Oregon are saying they’ve experienced difficulty breathing, eye irritation and nose bleeds when they apply the product. Is your beloved Brazilian Blowout doomed forever?
Well… yes. And no.
Here’s the deal. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen – it causes cancer, most often in your lungs. So when companies have even 0.1% formaldehyde in their products, they are required to alert hair stylists. To say the least, when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently found that Brazilian Blowout products consist of 8-10% formaldehyde, they weren’t happy.
But hold up. Before you go all mass media on me and freak yourself out, here’s the context. And it’s not even half as bad as you think.

Because not all Brazilian Blowout products are made by the Brazilian Blowout company.
“We didn’t offer the Brazilian Blowout for a long time,” says stylist Carrie Wabs of Beautique Beauty Bar in Belmont, CA. “It worked, of course, but we wanted to make sure we were really selective and did our homework.” Instead, the salon now offers the Simply Smooth treatment.

the brazilian blowout controversy a formaldehyde free alternative
“There’s a difference between the industrial grade preservatives in the Brazilian Blowout products, and the food grade preservatives in the Simply Smooth treatment,” Carrie explains. “Industrial grade is used to preserve corpses. Food grade, called vanillin, can be found in Hershey’s bars. It’s chemical and animal free, so it doesn’t hair the stylist or the client.

Plus, Simply Smooth is composed of the keratin found in human hair, unlike the sheep’s hair in the Brazilian Blowout products, so the effectiveness of the Simply Smooth treatment accumulates each time you use it.”
“Simply Smooth was conceived in Brazil, and perfected in the U.S.,” Carrie reassures. “It’s also a Brazilian treatment, just not with the formaldehyde.”

the brazilian blowout controversy a formaldehyde free alternative
So breathe deep, Brazilian beauties. Your hair (and lungs) can still be stylin’ and completely safe. Yes, you’ll need to say goodbye to the Brazilian Blowout products, but not the treatment.


In response to the international upset, the Brazilian Blowout company alleges that OSHA didn’t actually test their product, since OSHA didn’t directly request a product sample from the Brazilian Blowout company. The company has claimed that the OSHA testing standards is faulty. Now, Canada has completely banned the treatment.

But according to Sam Brocato of the Sam Brocato Salon in New York City, “that is nonsense.”

“Salon owners are busy,” Sam says. “We don’t sit around all day asking ourselves how we can, for no reason at all, ruin the reputation of the companies whose products we use. I personally had tested several keratin treatments that claim to be formaldehyde-free and guess what? I have results in my desk that prove otherwise.” The Sam Brocato Salon offers its own formaldehyde-free treatment, CurlInterrupted, across the country, and results last anywhere from one wash to 12 weeks, depending on which option chosen (temporary, semi-permanent and demi-permanent).

So breathe deep, Brazilian beauties. Your hair (and lungs) can still be stylin’ and completely safe. Yes, you’ll need to say goodbye to the Brazilian Blowout products, but not the treatment.

Just make sure you say the magic words upon salon arrival: Simply Smooth.

And check out another safe alterative called the Surface Smooth & Healthy Hair Salon Treatment -Formaldehyde Free

Caitlin Garthoffner

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  • Ms. Skepical
    Posted at 04:08h, 25 February

    I don’t believe any company or brand that says it’s formaldehyde free. They are finding high percentages well over the 0.1% limit. Formaldehyde fumes are carcinogenic, no two ways about that! If I were a salon worker, I would be very concerned about that and I would make sure that client and workers wear thick masks, as the very least. All the best to all but unless there are stricter regulations on these products by OSHA then no one can ever be sure what they are being exposed to. OSHA needs to intervene. It’s that simple.

  • Janet P.
    Posted at 01:45h, 29 October

    Having had the Brazilian Blowout several times, I am very concerned about the formaldehyde. However, many children’s immunizations contain formaldehyde and this stuff is being injected right into our babies and young children! Go to and search for “Vaccine Excipient and Media Summary” to see which vaccines contain this toxin. Then do NOT act surprised when we all develop cancer from exposure to this carcinogen! Any of you know young children with cancer?

  • mary casamento
    Posted at 01:17h, 20 December

    Brazilian Blowout Kills. I am a 50 year old woman. Three years ago, I bought my new home, my fiancé and I were doing invitro, I was planning my wedding, and my life was incredibly amazing.

    I decided to get a Brazilian Blowout at a certified salon that GIB, the manufacturer of Brazilian Blowout, had recommended on their website. It just so happened that it was a salon I had been going to for 10 years.

    I had this amazing, beautiful, long, massive hair. I thought it would make my hair even shinier. All the literature stated that it had NO harsh chemicals and it would wash out.

    A week after getting the Brazilian Blowout treatment, I began getting horribly ill. My hair fell out, my teeth fell out, I got pancreatitis, intestinal damage, I became sterile overnight, and my DNA changed. I was in and out of emergency rooms and hospitals. I saw hundreds of doctors. Because of the false Material Data Sheets that GIB submitted to hospitals and FDA and other entities, I couldn’t get medical help because the doctors kept saying it couldn’t be the product. They told me that there was nothing harmful in the product to explain the severe illnesses I was going through.

    Last August, I settled a lawsuit with GIB, the manufacturer of Brazilian Blowout for damages. My medical bills have been in the millions. I now have to do blood exchanges (plasma phoresis) three times a week; a person can only this treatment if they are critical because it is an extremely risky procedure. I also do IVIG (immunology treatments via IV), blood transfusions, steroids, and many, many other drugs.

    My brain has now severely atrophied, I have parts of my brain that no longer have blood flow, my organs have shrunk, I have kidney, liver, intestinal, stomach, and pancreas failures, I have calcium deposits throughout my whole body that are causing severe blockage, my vascular (blood vessels) are collapsing, quickly losing my eyesight, my nose is collapsing, and my inner ears have shrunk and am losing my hearing. The pain in my head is excruciating. Sadly enough, I am dying, and will be the first person in the US to die from this treatment. (Someone already died several years ago in Brazil, and the product is prohibited in most countries.

    Since the Brazilian Blowout product came on the market hundreds of thousands of people got ill. (Just look at all of the FDA, workmen comp cases, medical facility reports, OSHA, and California State District Attorney case). The original product contained 5-7 times more formaldehyde than embalming solution. (When one drop of formaldehyde is released in a commercial or industrial setting, the business has to be shut down and authorities notified. The person in a commercial setting must wear a complete hazardous material suit to cover ever inch of their body.) Clients and salon workers are wearing no protective gear.

    The new round of Brazilian Blowout products have even more formaldehyde than the original products. (My attorney had the new products tested as well, and we forwarded them to the California State Deputy District Attorney, Claudia Polski.

    The product gets completely absorbed into the body via the head and via inhalation. I had my hair tested two months after the treatment, and I was still off-gassing levels of formaldehyde way above the legal limits. I had to shave off the rest of my hair. I looked like a GI Jane, but my father, Anthony Casamento, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, would have still thought I looked beautiful, and I was being a brave soldier.

    My fiance got a hole the size of a gunshot wound in his liver from sleeping with me and taking care of me. My little adopted doggie, Buddy, is also dying. He absorbed the chemicals from laying on my pillow.

    I can’t change the fact that I am dying from using the Brazilian Blowout, but maybe I could save lives. If just one person is saved from such a horrible fate, then at least what I am going through would not be in vane. I prayer that you will get this information out there to save the lives of others. God Bless.

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