The 'Brazilian Blowout' Causes Controversy

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If you like to rock smooth, swingy strands, then you're probably familiar with the latest craze in hair-straightening: The Brazilian Blowout. This hot new treatment smooths kinks and frizz with a solution containing protein-rich keratin. However, according to an intriguing piece in The New York Times, an occupational health agency in Oregon found significant levels of formaldehyde in the Brazilian Blowout solution last month--an ingredient that's extremely dangerous if present in high levels. The agency conducted tests when several stylists issued complaints about "nosebleeds, breathing problems and eye irritation" after applying the Brazilian Blowout treatment. In response to the recent findings, salons like Sally Hershberger in L.A. and New York and Manhattan's John Barrett Salon have banned the Brazilian Blowout. Other salons can't afford to lose such a profit-making treatment, so they adjust, offering industrial-strength respirators to stylists and clients, or administering the treatment oudoors on patios and terraces. Many other salons believe the formaldehyde scare is an overreaction. "I say, you put Botox in your face, lead in your lipstick, and you smoke," said Neil Weisberg, co-owner of the Neil George salon, in an interview with The New York Times. "Pick your poison." How do you feel about the presence of formaldehyde in the Brazilian Blowout? Would it stop you from getting the treatment? Let us know in the comments section!