The United States Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to Brazilian Blowout that its product contains a “poisonous or deleterious substance.” Brazilian Blowout is a popular hair straightening product that can cost up to $500. The hair straightening product, when used as instructed, is applied to one’s hair and then heated with a blow dryer and then a flat iron.
The F.D.A. reports that up to ten percent of the straightening formula is a liquid form of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde has been linked to myeloid leukemia and rare cancers of the nose and upper mouth. Specifically, Brazilian Blowout contains methylene glycol that when heated by blow dryers and flat irons release formaldehyde into the air. Accordingly, inhalation is the primary route of exposure.
The F.D.A. initiated an investigation following complaints from salon workers who had administered the product to their clients. Salon workers experienced breathing problems, eye irritation, and nosebleeds while using Brazilian Blowout.
Unfortunately, the F.D.A. has historically been reluctant to regulate the cosmetic industry, and it appears that precedent will stand for now, as there has been no recall.