The Brazilian Blowout “formaldehyde-free” controversy continues

I realize that I’m putting myself out there by continuing to focus on this Brazilian Blowout formaldehyde-lie story. Why? If I were a betting woman, I would put down money that, within a few days, Brazilian Blowout will figure out a way to protect their multi-million dollar cash cow and make it seem as if Oregon OSHA’s story about high levels of formaldehyde in bottles labeled “formaldehyde-free” is mistaken, not credible or flat-out wrong.

Worth repeating for the apologists: these bottles–repeatedly tested from various salonswere labeled “formaldehyde-free.”

Why am I so pissed off about this? Because countless women are having this treatment done instead of others, erroneously believing it’s perfectly safe.  Countless stylists are performing this treatment instead of others, erroneously believing it’s perfectly safe.  We’re big boys and girls and we deserve to make adult choices for ourselves, but particularly when it comes to our health, we have a right to crucial information–and to be denied that crucial information and unknowingly exposing ourselves to high levels of carcinogens for a company’s financial bottom line is despicable.

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  1. Rachel

    Thanks Nadine. This is exactly spot on. I was told this was a “super conditioner” that was “all natural” and free of harsh chemicals. The issue is not whether there’s formaldehyde in nature, or harsh chemicals in other products, which is how some are trying to frame the situation. The issue is, I did not get to make an informed choice about my chemical exposure, the way I do with nail polish or hair dye.

    Thank you so much for continuing to cover this.

  2. This is a very complicated subject. Your concerns about the integrity of the company of your focus has good merit. Please see the website of Cadiveu USA to get the truth behind this issue. Please feel free to contact me as I am an independent professional in the industry that has study the subject and can give you some additional in sights. If you would like to talk to an expert in the industry about the safety for consumers and professionals, I can put you in contact with Doug Schoon who has been study this issue for over 7 years. As a scientist he is currently conducting a seris of test on the products in the category. Contact me if you would like additional information.

  3. Rachel

    The jig is up, Cadivue.

    Formaldehyde in popular hair smoothing solution

    A hair smoothing solution known as Brazilian Blowout contains unacceptable levels of formaldehyde and should be avoided, says Health Canada.

    Testing by the public health agency found that the product contains 12 per cent formaldehyde. When used in cosmetics as a preservative no more than 0.2 per cent is allowed.

    Formaldehyde is a known irritant, sensitizer and can cause cancer if inhaled over a long period of time.

    Health Canada has received complaints about burning eyes, nose and throat along with breathing difficulties associated with the product.

    There has also been one report of a person losing their hair.

    Brazilian Blowout is used by hair stylists in salons across Canada.

    The agency advises any consumers who have reactions to the treatment to seek medical attention. It warns stylists to stop using it immediately.

    Read more:

  4. Rachel

    I don’t think there’s a “controversy” anymore – just, cold, hard, facts. And at some point,I hope, criminal liability.

  5. jill

    do you know of anyone who has done any research on the Caribbean Dream Relaxer. Is it free of all and everything it says.

  6. Henry Arias

    The first truth in the matter is Keratin DOES NOT straighten hair. The second truth is that EVERY Keratin/Brazilian company has something else in the bottle that straightens hair. None of the companies will tell you what that something else is and show you legit proof (msds). lists all 14 names for formaldehyde type ingredients.

  7. Anonymous

    Though I am not at liberty to say, Nadine, you are on the right track and they were VERY aware of the formaldehyde ingredient but forged on with the contract with Cadiveu.


  8. chris

    nice blog. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, it is called free speach. So sad that in a time where the truth is available, so many terrorists offer their opinion as fact. Keep seeking the truth asd you will find happiness.

  9. chris

    Do not forget to scritinize the other adverse ingredients in haircolor, bleach and hairspray. OMG, but then we would not have an industry. And women would look real???

  10. jane prospero

    I recently had the Brazilian Blowout done. I was repeatedly told by the stylist that it was formaldehyde free and safe. My eyes started to burn as soon as the product was applied. The stylist told me that this was normal. She allowed me even to touch my hair with the product in it!!! I am disgusted at Brazilian Blowout and their consumer lies. They need to pay for this. If I had known then what I know now, I would of never even contemplated doing the treatment and enriching a lying, deceiving company like Brazilian Blowout. They are playing with people’s health and lives!!! Shame on you!!!

  11. Costa Conn

    Just thought Id add a little science to this arguement. The manufacturers of BB stated that their product contained “methylene glycol”, not formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a gas; when dissolved in water (38%) its called formalin. In aqueous solution, formaldehyde forms “methylene glycol”. Methylene glycol cannot be isolated, it doesn’t exist except in solution. If you heat formalin, in releases formaldehyde. In other words if you heat methylene glycol it forms formaldehyde. Any (worthwhile) chemist will tell you this.

    I also notice they have a new product called BB Zero, which they say does not release formaldehyde. Theyve produced analytical report to support this. The result are meaningless unless they indicate what method they used. Most HPLC methods (as used in the report) cannot distinguish between methylene glycol and formaldehyde. In other words, given their track record, treat this data as possibly dodgey.

  12. Lawrence Meyers