Brazilian Blowout, the beleaguered hair straightening company, is under attack yet again, this time by the US Congress. Ten members of Congress sent a letter to the FDA asking the agency to issue a voluntary recall for Brazilian Blowout products and “other brands that have high levels of formaldehyde based on testing information already available.”
In the letter, the US Congressional members point out that formaldehyde-based straightening treatments have already been banned in six countries. The letter states:
It is clear that the FDA needs to take decisive action. An investigation by the Environmental Working Group revealed that FDA has received 47 complaints from salon workers and clients who experience adverse reactions and injuries (including hair loss, blisters, burning eyes, noses and throats headaches and vomiting) as the result of giving or receiving hair straightening treatments.
An FDA spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal, “We’re still evaluating the data on these straighteners.”
Testing by OSHA found that the brand contains more than 8% formaldehyde. (A company should disclose formaldehyde content if a product contains more than 0.1%.) Brazilian Blowout has always maintained that its products are safe and formaldehyde-free, despite the test results. Mike Brady, the CEO of Brazilian Blowout, told the WSJ that “[Brazilian Blowout is] a perfectly safe product that gives people the hair of a lifetime and generates money for the economy.”
A Congressional staff briefing is scheduled for today, and several salon workers will speak and describe their experience with the straighteners and symptoms presumably caused by exposure to them.
Obviously this is going to cause a lot of turmoil for salons who count on Brazilians to bring in a lot of revenue, not to mention the rabid advocates of the straightening treatments, which truly can be life-altering.
Is it time to give up and embrace our frizz?