California Attorney General files lawsuit against Brazilian Blowout for “deceptive identification, advertising and promotion”

Big thanks to our friends Alexandra Spunt and Siobhan O’Connor at No More Dirty Looks for sharing this news with us: California Attorney General Edmund Brown has filed a lawsuit against Brazilian Blowout.

In the lawsuit, which you can read in its entirety at No More Dirty Looks, the State of California:

– “seeks to remedy defendant’s failure to warn consumers and cosmetic workers, and to inform the state Department of Public Health, that the popular ‘Brazilian Blowout’ brand salon hair treatment product ‘Acai Professional Smoothing Solution’ contains high levels of formaldehyde”

– They state: “Laboratory tests belie the company’s safety claims, however, and specifically contradict its web site and other marketing claims that Acai Professional Smoothing Solution has ‘NO FORMALDEHYDE!!'”

– “This complaint additionally seeks to remedy defendant’s deceptive identification, advertising and promotion of Acai Professional Smoothing Solution as ‘formaldehyde free,’ ‘hyde free,’ ‘salon safe,’ or ‘safe.’ California deceptive advertising law prohibits any person from making or disseminating any statement that is untrue or misleading with respect to property or services offered for sale.”

Kudos to the State of California for defending consumer rights and combating unsafe deceptive advertising.

It’s not really about the formaldehyde (although, of course, in such high quantities, it’s a known human carcinogen and I personally don’t know why anybody would currently agree to perform or undergo a formaldehyde straightening treatment). Rather, the outrage is about companies willfully misleading consumers and withholding crucial health information that we need to be aware of when deciding whether or not to have a treatment.

For me, the parallels to Big Tobacco are clear. You want to smoke? At least now we all know it’s bad for us – we’re big boys and girls, and it’s your health, your right and your funeral.

To actively claim and aggressively promote the message of zero health risks…when it appears that the opposite may be true? Hell, no.

And if Brazilian Blowout did knowingly lie about their formaldehyde levels, as it appears and has been alleged: shame on them.

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  1. Sarah

    Would love your shared thoughts on what women who have had the Brazilian Blowout should now do to minimize risk. Cut their hair? Over-shampoo in the hopes of removing the product? Myself and several friends are not panicked at the thought of leaving a trail of formaldehyde all over our children and homes! Any chance you can address this with tips for us???

  2. allyson witt

    First and foremost, you cannot believe EVERYTHING that the news/media tells you, and must take everything with a grain of salt on both ends. Think about it, if there is ever false information on the news, does the media ever go back on their word and apologize for their false statements or accusations?? Never. The purpose of stating that the Brazilian Blowout solution is “formaldehyde free” is because if it OSHA tested with safe levels, you can say that it is “Hyde free”. Nonalcoholic beverages are not 100% alcohol free, but can be called “alcohol free”. If you keep following the facts of the tests done and shown, you will see that this company has fully undergone all measures necessary to back up their name. Go directly to there website and read their posts. They have tests results in 7 different studies. You have to remember everyone is out there to make a $$$ on any hiccup that comes our way. I am a stylist myself and have been performing this procedure, cautiously, on many of my clients. The way chemicals work on your head/hair is that hair is dead. Once you have applied the solution to your hair it is already penetrating into the hair shaft. Now, that will NOT penetrate into your system and will not affect you long term (as with ANY CHEMICAL APPLIED TO YOUR HEAD/HAIR). Your hair is again, dead, and will grow out. Where it counts is at the scalp, and formaldehyde wouldn’t even exist until any heat is applied to the solution, which in the case studies shown, it is considered OSHA safe. But what IS safe for you anymore? Their nitrates, hormones, pesticides, sulfates in so many of the things we eat and drink. And, if you’ve done your research, you will find formaldehyde exists in everything…the water you may drink, the food you eat, the people smoking cigarettes around you, sitting in exhaust fumes in traffic, and worse the air you breathe EVERY DAY in smog. One hour sitting in traffic, breathing in exhaust fumes, is worse than smoking one pack of cigarettes a day. Secondly, it takes a combustion of heat and the proper elements- Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Carbon- in order for it to exist. It just isn’t formaldehyde all by itself. Look up “formaldehyde” and really learn what it is. So to answer your questions, no you don’t have to cut your hair- what’s done is already done. Shampooing your hair isn’t going to change anything either except weaken the integrity of the process already done and shorten it’s life span on your hair shaft. But having done the procedure on myself 3 times already, I have seen the results as amazing and it is a solution that does not 100% go away (like permanent dye) and improves the integrity of your hair better than before you had the treatment done. And as far as being formaldehyde free, you can never escape that in this world, it is all around you.

  3. Magicliss

    Traduction (français > anglais)

    Hello everyone

    I am a hairdresser in France, I used the first version of BBO was a good product with very good results, given the controversy I stopped,

    I then ordered the BBO ZERO since they announced the same results as the BBO 1,
    This is completely FALSE,

    the product is unpleasant to use, it leaves hair greasy and sticky, for the result it does not there, no .. more hair is dull and as if they were dry … the product feels straightening due to sodium hydroxide in it …

    I’ll get all the forums to alert States of this scam because I am disgusted by this company, in fact I sent several emails for explanations and that I shall, 1 Litre of BBO ZERO cost me $ 530 (postage and VAT included) so when I think this product and unusable and that the more they do not respond to my emails I am extremely angry …..

    When it is to collect money they respond very quickly, but my anger does not diminish the fact that BBO is a scam with ZERO false advertising !!!!!!!

    Sorry for the mistakes I use a translator …

  4. cameron

    Everyone should do a Credit card chargeback on brazilian blowout. If enough people do one they’re terminal to run cards will be shut off!

  5. allyson witt

    No Sarah, I do not work for BB. I just use their products as according to the MSDS chart. When used effectively, it is an amazing procedure. On a scale from 0-4 (4 being extremely unsafe) the BB is rated a 1, only slightly hazardous…..but so is pumping your own gas and third hand smoke- AGAIN do your formaldehyde research and anything thats unhealthy for you for that matter. Do you smoke???? Or do any of your friends, family, or blog followers smoke???? They have more trouble coming to them than a BB.
    And as for Magicliss, I cant say anything as for the BB Zero…never used it. Sorry it was such a shitty product tor you.