"A Safety Kink in Hair Relaxing?"

"AS more women began clamoring for the latest sensation in hair care, the so-called Brazilian hair-relaxing treatments, the Neil George Salon in Beverly Hills, Calif., added a cabana with open sides and a fabric roof to isolate the process from the salon itself. 'I couldn’t stand the fumes,' said Neil Weisberg, an owner. ...

Last month, the beauty world was rattled when the occupational health agency in Oregon found significant levels of formaldehyde in the hair-smoothing solution sold under the name Brazilian Blowout. (A common ingredient found in many products, formaldehyde is a recognized carcinogen if it is present at high levels.) The agency said it had conducted lab tests after receiving numerous complaints from stylists citing nosebleeds, breathing problems and eye irritation after applying the product. Last Friday, Oregon authorities broadened their warning to include other hair-smoothing products, particularly those described as “keratin-based,” and said employers should take steps to protect their workers. "

Terry Pristin reports for the New York Times November 3, 2010.

Source: NYTimes, 11/05/2010