Posts Tagged ‘brazlian keratin treatment’

Brazilian Keratin Treatment: A Dangerous Price to Pay for Beauty

by Susonnah Gonzalez on Monday, January 10th, 2011

Burning eyes, nosebleeds and chest pain—these are just some of the symptoms that stylists experience when they perform certain Brazilian keratin treatments on clients. When Brazilian keratin treatments first appeared in salons, they took consumers by storm. Everyone wanted to try the revolutionary treatment from Brazil that worked miracles, transforming even the tightest curls into loose, silky strands.

Brazilian blowout results

Brazilian blowout results

The Brazilian Blowout, one of the biggest name brands for Brazilian Keratin Treatments, is a 90-minute long procedure aimed at smoothing the hair with a “Brazilian super nutrient complex.” Using keratin, the blowout is supposed to build a protein layer around the hair, leaving it frizz-free and in healthier condition than before the treatment. The effects of Brazilian keratin treatments are supposed to last about twelve weeks, but the glamour lasted only till 2007, when “Allure” magazine released an article exposing the presence of formaldehyde (a human carcinogen) in the Brazilian Blowout treatments. Ever since, more and more stylists and consumers have been skeptical of Brazilian keratin treatments, specifically the Brazilian Blowout products.

Valerie Martin, master stylist at Ritual Salon in Austin, Texas, is one of the stylists who is saying no to Brazilian blowout treatments. Martin and her fellow stylists grew weary of the product after experiencing shortness of breath and watery eyes while performing the treatment. But after watching a feature on “Good Morning America,” Martin put her foot down. The report showed that air samples of two separate salons using Brazilian Blowout contained 8-10% formaldehyde, an alarming result, considering any hair solution containing more than .1% of formaldehyde is considered potentially hazardous and must be reported to stylists by the manufacturer.

Prolonged exposure to formaldehyde can cause cancer, but more immediately, it causes eye and lung irritation.

“I could taste it in my mouth,” says Martin about the treatment. “All my clients had watery eyes, and I even had an air purifier next to them!” Martin no longer offers the Brazilian blowout, and is very skeptical about Brazilian keratin treatments in general. “There are a lot of keratin treatments that say they don’t have formaldehyde, but if you look at the ingredients it says aldehyde. They can call it something else because they changed the ingredient a little bit. But it’s pretty much formaldehyde,” says Martin.

Anna Craig

Anna Craig

Formaldehyde takes on many names, including methylene glycol and formalin, which is a liquid form of formaldehyde. Many companies are hiding the presence of formaldehyde by substituting it for other names, the most commonly used name being methylene glycol. It is released into the air as formaldehyde once it comes into contact with heat. It’s ironic, considering that the most important step in the Brazilian keratin treatment, the application of heat to seal in the keratin, is in fact the most dangerous one.

Anna Craig from Trashy Roots Salon in Round Rock, Texas, avoids the danger altogether. Craig used the Brazilian Blowout products until it created thick smog that lingered in her salon. When Craig and her employees tried to take a picture of the smog, a thin film veiled the lens. The smog was unbearable, and so were the side effects.

“Our stylists started talking about the smog, and how it was affecting us. One of the stylists got sick. It was bothering her eyes, and she wasn’t feeling well.”

Before banning the Brazilian Blowout in her salon, Craig and her stylists attended a class aimed at teaching stylists how to properly use the product. The instructors urged the use of ventilators and air purifiers, but Craig protested. “We don’t want clients seeing that we need air purifiers to provide a service.” After doing some research, Craig decided against using the product at all. Trashy Roots Salon strives to be environmentally friendly by providing all natural, organic products. “We decided that it is totally against everything that we stand for.”

Mark Garrison

Mark Garrison

Anna Craig isn’t the only one standing up to the Brazilian blowout and other Brazilian keratin treatments with formaldehyde. Most European countries have banned the sale of Brazilian Blowout products, and Australia has banned the use of the Keratin Complex Treatment by Coppola. Even closer to home, Health Canada has banned the Brazilian blowout and is stopping product distribution to Canadian salons. Efforts to ban the Brazilian blowout treatment in the U.S. are limited to movements within individual states. In November of 2010, the Attorney General of California filed a lawsuit against Brazilian Blowout, claiming that the company failed to warn consumers of the presence of formaldehyde in their product. Not only did they fail to warn consumers, but the president of Brazilian Blowout repeatedly told the press that their product is formaldehyde-free.

Mark Garrison, owner of the Mark Garrison salon in New York City, doesn’t take any chances in his salon. Garrison offered the Brazilian blowout treatment in his salon until the Oregon OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Division) issued an alert about the presence of formaldehyde in the treatment. Before then, Garrison designated the entire fourth floor of his townhouse sized salon to providing Brazilian keratin treatments. Garrison was ahead of the game, and in 2006 he built his very own keratin treatment room. Spending $7,000 on a ventilation system and masks, Garrison built the room because of the particular controversy that surrounds the Brazilian keratin treatments.

“I do everything by the book to make sure that my client and stylist are safe,” says Mark Garrison. The salon provides both the client and the technician with a mask equipped with special canisters rated for formaldehyde gas. For further protection, the client is placed under a hood that collects the vapor and ventilates the room. But building the room alone did not reassure Garrison. Taking matters into his own hands, Garrison conducted an independent study testing the amount of formaldehyde in Brazilian keratin treatments.

“I did a vapor test with Brazilian Blowout. We had a pump pumping the air and registering how much formaldehyde is in the air,” explains Garrison. “My test proved that it has formaldehyde.” After completing the study, Garrison brought it to the attention of the CEO of Brazilian Blowout, who insisted that their product was free of formaldehyde or any of its derivatives. “In the end, it was a lie,” says Garrison. “Very few companies have been straightforward with their consumers.” However, after testing the level of formaldehyde in several products, Garrison favors the Lasio and M&M Teixeira keratin treatments. Garrison still requires that every keratin treatment be given in his keratin treatment room. “Just to be safe, we take that extra step.”

However, most salon owners do not have the resources Mark Garrison has to take such precautions. Instead, many stylists are limiting the keratin treatments they offer to brands they know and trust. Anna Craig from Trashy Roots offers Pravana Keratin Fusion Texture Control, while Valerie Martin from Ritual Salon instead offers Dikson Keratin Treatment, both products being formaldehyde-free. Unfortunately, this is one of the only measures that stylists can take in order to protect their health, as FDA regulations make it very difficult to ban keratin treatments with formaldehyde in the U.S. However, consumers can take part in the movement to stop sale distribution of harmful hair treatments by educating themselves. “Do your homework and be aware of what is in your keratin treatment before you get it done,” says Martin. “At what cost do people want to look good?”

Statement Released About Brazilian Straightening

by CurlStylist on Monday, November 15th, 2010

Recently, Cosmetologists Chicago released a statement concerning the debates going on around Brazilian straightening systems.

In the past three years, a new salon service originating in Brazil has taken the industry by storm. Even in these economically difficult times, women (and many men) with curly, unmanageable and often frizzy hair have turned to their hairstylist for a service that straightens the hair and leaves it healthy-looking, silky and manageable for up to four months. Unlike other straightening systems, this Brazilian-born treatment infuses keratin between the cuticle and the cortex of the hair shaft that is then sealed in with the use of a high-heat flat iron.

A by-product of this service is the escape of the formaldehyde vapors into the air during the flat-iron process. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring substance detected in everything from fruits and vegetables to cosmetics and building materials.

Some available products claim to be free of formaldehyde; others maintain the formaldehyde levels in the products and in the vapors released during the service easily meet OSHA toughest safety standard, the “Action Limit” (<0.5 ppm for an 8-hour workday), yet salon exposures seem to be well within the zone where eye, nose and throat irritation become possible (~0.1 ppm for an 8 hour workday.) This is best addressed and prevented by using proper and adequate ventilation.

“We believe it is vital to disclose client protection practices being observed in the salon that are proven to be safe for salon use,” says Paul Dykstra, CEO of Cosmetologists Chicago and America’s Beauty Show. “We urge salon teams to incorporate safety procedures into their daily and weekly schedules, especially when it comes to chemical services.”

Keratin Education Event in Austin

by CurlStylist on Monday, June 7th, 2010

Braziliante by Cadiveu is to proud announce that they are teaming up with NaturallyCurly.com, CurlStylist.com and Avenue Five to host an education seminar on the Braziliante Treatment in Austin on Sunday, June 27, 2010! Head Educator, Zac Watson of Dolce & Co. in Arizona, will be educating on the Braziliante by Cadiveu Treatment from beginning to end, showing you tips and tricks along the way to ensure the perfect results. After the class you will be certified to perform this amazing treatment on your own clients. Your clients who once struggled to blow-dry and flat iron their hair for hours each morning will now be able to blow out their hair in a third of the time for a beautiful, shiny and smooth finish; they can go out on the most humid day of summer and their hair will not frizz!

The Braziliante by Cadiveu Treatment is a 90-minute salon treatment that offers results lasting up to 16 weeks! It leaves hair shiny smooth and frizz-free without formaldehyde or harsh chemicals.

The class is complimentary, but seats are filling up quickly. You may call or e-mail your salon’s reservation to guarantee your spot. We look forward to seeing you at the class and helping you launch this amazing service in your salon!

Space is limited; call to reserve your seat at this event today as it will fill up quickly: 323-512-3299

Ron King: The Green Salon

by The Style King/Ron King on Monday, April 19th, 2010

ron king

Ron King has worked as a hairstylist, transforming people’s appearances, for more than 20 years. With a growing celebrity clientele, King travels the world taking inspiration from different cultures and countries. Along the way, he has developed his own “easy wear” style philosophy which plays up a woman’s natural hair texture and pairs it with natural-looking makeup that’s easy to apply. This mantra led him to launch a signature line of cosmetics for women who want to look pulled together but who are are short on time. King has worked with some of the most respected names in the industry, including L’Oreal Professional, Ted Gibson, Eva Scrivo and Rick Wellman.

Though sustainable living has seemed to be the trendy buzzword among the style and beauty crowds for the past few years, it seems our industry has really taken to it and made some great strides in going green. Since it’s April, and Arbor Day is around the corner, I thought I’d share with you some of the most innovative and eco-friendly professional products I’ve been using lately.

Read more about INOA

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of L’Oreal Professionnel’s new breakthrough color line called INOA. Short for “innovation, no ammonia,” INOA has managed to make permanent hair color a little greener by taking ammonia, one of the harshest chemicals we work with on a daily basis, out. Instead, they developed a new technology called ODS (oil delivery system) that coats hair with a layer of oil while coloring it to maximize the effectiveness of the formula without ammonia. One added bonus for us as stylists and colorists is that INOA has also eliminated nasty odors. If you haven’t tried INOA yet, test it out—your clients will love it.

Another eco-friendly beauty breakthrough I’m starting to use in my salon is called Bio-Lights. Created by my friend and New York-based celeb stylist Rick Wellman, this system is a green alternative to traditional foil highlights. He recognized the negative effects aluminum has on the environment (aluminum is one of the top materials filling up landfills and can take up to 500 years to decompose. Foil also produces emissions of carbon dioxide contributing to the negative effect of global warming) and also wanted a softer approach to highlighting. Enter Bio-Lights, a highlighting system that trades in foils for 100% biodegradable cotton pads that mimic the shape of foil. And since the cotton pads react in a non-accelerated temperature, Bio-Lights also reduce the risk of baking any color brand into hair.

We all know that formaldehyde in beauty products has a bad rep. Some countries, like England, have even banned the use of the ingredient in treatments and have forced companies to be innovative and go a little greener. La Brasiliana, makers of fabulous keratin treatments infused with collagen, offers a new formaldehyde-free treatment called Spuzzi Zero. This treatment combines their original keratin and collagen formulation with lavender oil and aloe vera. It’s also a great money-making service because Spuzzi Zero is sprayed on to hair so the actual salon process takes much less time. Typical treatments last just over two months, comparable to traditional keratin treatments, but luckily the company makes shampoo, conditioner and styling products to help extend the life of a treatment.

Read more about keratin treatments

Now, this last beauty product isn’t reserved just for beauty professionals; clients can get in on the action also: mineral makeup. Typically in powder formation, it’s very often comprised of finely ground natural ingredients, without any chemicals, dyes, and preservatives, that are considered to be less irritating and healthier for skin than traditional makeup. They also contain a higher level of SPF and aid in achieving that light, sparkling glow that is usually not obtained with heavier skin makeup. This is exactly why I wanted to make my very own makeup collection—Ron King Cosmetics—a mineral line. I love that it’s a green choice in that the byproducts of chemicals used in making traditional makeup are simply not an issue since it is usually void of harmful man-made ingredients. The products are ethical choices that are as kind to your skin as they are to the earth. Most of them have SPF 20 and contain traces of vitamins A, C, and E along with Gingko Biloba and Ginseng for a naturally beautiful look, providing antioxidants and nutrients to your skin. They also have light-diffusing pigments that help fade facial lines (and what woman doesn’t want that?).

I hope this post inspires you to go a little greener at your salon. If you have any other green tips, leave them as comments here—I’d love to hear them!

Pravana Creates a Beach Wave Contest Craze

by CurlStylist on Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Wave bored? Hop onto the hottest trend and ride the wave with the newest in texture services, Pravana’s Beach Wave. To celebrate the launch, Pravana is holding the Beach Wave Contest, which began on January 12, 2010.

To enter, go to Pravana’s web site and post photos of your best Beach Wave with a brief description of how you achieved the look. Winners will be selected based on overall creativity and beauty of the finished style. The winner will receive a Pravana Glam Kit worth more than $1000 including a Hair Color Collection, Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner, a variety of Pravana Styling products and much more. Make sure to submit your wave by May 30, 2010. The winner will be revealed on June 11, 2010.

Read more about Pravana’s Beach Wave treatment.

Pravana Naturceuticals is a unique hybrid that combines the power of nature with the technological innovation to create a new professional hair care standard. It’s proprietary Naturceutical Complex utilizes nine Meso-American botanicals that nourish and promote hair’s health and wellness and three advanced hydrolyzed proteins to increase strength, elasticity and shine. Formulas contain silk proteins, human hair keratin, and wheat proteins. There are zero phthalates, and absolutely no animal by-product ingredients. Shampoos are sulfate free and sulfite free. All products are free of MEA and DEA and meet the strictest environmental regulations.

Pravana Launches Beach Wave — The Latest in Salon Texture Solutions

by CurlStylist on Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Enter Pravana’s Beach Wave contest.

There is a new trend splashing onto the scene and only Pravana has the newest salon service, product solution and tool to give clients the hottest in hair. The Beach Wave is the answer to the texture tressed looks your clients are spotting in the pages of fashion mags and red carpet. From the music scene to the fashion scene and all the way to Tinseltown, girls in the know like Lauren Conrad, Kate Hudson and Vanessa Hudgins are wearing waves.

Pravana’s Beach Wave is a semi-permanent texture solution that is thio-free, color-safe, and easier and faster to use. Formulated with Keratin Fusion Retructuring Serum, The Beach Wave infuses the hair with silk and human hair keratin to strengthen, protect and add shine to the new tousled do. Exclusive Beach Wave blocks allow for soft subtle waves that can be worn natural or styled with a curling iron for a more elegant, tighter curl.

Pravana Naturceuticals is a unique hybrid that combines the power of nature with the technological innovation to create a new professional hair care standard. It’s proprietary Naturceutical Complex utilizes nine Meso-American botanicals that nourish and promote hair’s health and wellness and three advanced hydrolyzed proteins to increase strength, elasticity and shine. Formulas contain silk proteins, human hair keratin, and wheat proteins. There are zero phthalates, and absolutely no animal by-product ingredients. Shampoos are sulfate free and sulfite free. All products are free of MEA and DEA and meet the strictest environmental regulations.

Straight Talk About Brazilian Keratin Treatment

by Michelle Breyer on Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

 brazilian treatment

Living in the heat and humidity of South Florida, Heather Frankel’s fine curls often turned to frizz. One day, she saw a curly Brazilian friend, and her hair was noticeably longer and straighter.

“She told me about the treatment,” Frankel says.

That would be the Brazilian Keratin Treatment — a curl relaxer that has taken the United States by storm in recent months. Known as Brazilian Keratin Treatment, Brazilian Hair Straightening, Brazilian Blowout or just BKT, it first came to the United States a few years ago. But over the past year, a growing number of hairdressers have embraced it.

Thermal reconditioning — also known as Japanese straightening — seems like yesterday’s news compared to this hot import from Brazil.

Frankel, who was considering doing thermal reconditioning, is thrilled with the results. She says hair has body and shine, and only takes five minutes to style. And frizz is a thing of the past.

“It opens the door to hairstyles I’ve always wanted but didn’t think I could have,” she says. “Now you can see the layers, you can see the highlights, you can see the flips. I am so happy — you have no idea.”

Stylist Tiffany Vance, owner of Hedda Hair and Body Bliss in Joliet, Ill., began doing the chemical service in June.

“I’ve had extremely good results,” Vance says. “It’s good for all curl types, especially those who color their hair.”

A big selling point of BKT is that it doesn’t have the strong chemicals — sodium hydroxide and ammonium thioglycolate — that are in most relaxers and straighteners. These harsh chemicals can cause damage and breakage.

Instead, the active ingredient is keratin, a protein similar to a component in human hair, which naturally straightens the hair. Unlike many chemical processes, Brazilian Keratin Treatment works best on hair that’s been color processed, highlighted or chemically treated.

Unlike other types of relaxers, the treatment can be used over any kind of straightening.

“The keratin fits right on the hair’s cortex,” says Nadine Ramos of Brazilian Hair Straightening Inc. in New York’s East Village. “It works as a treatment and a straightener at the same time. It actually strengthens the hair’s cuticle.”

Ramos first heard about the treatment when she got her hair straightened four years ago by a Brazilian importer. She liked it so much, she decided to get licensed so she could provide the service to other women. She has been importing it for three years. But it’s popularity has soared this year, she says.

“Stylists see that it works and that it’s time efficient,” Ramos says.

On average, the process takes around two hours, and starts at around $150. Thermal reconditioning, on the other hand, can take five to six hours and usually costs $500 and up.

With Brazilian Keratin Treatment, a stylist applies a solution made with keratin. Using a 450-degree iron, the hairdresser seals the formula onto the outer layer of the cuticle. It sticks to the cuticle’s rough edges, trapping moisture and hydrating the hair.

Initially, the hair may seem too straight for many curlies.

“My hair was stick straight,” Frankel says. “It was beyond Marcia Brady straight. I’ve never had my hair so straight in my entire life. Personally, I didn’t like how straight it was.”

Unlike thermal reconditioning, the process washes out so the hair gets wavier over time. Another advantage over thermal reconditioning is that the hair can be curled, giving people more styling options.

“The hair has body and natural movement,” Ramos says.

The process typically lasts from six weeks to a few months — longer for color treated hair — depending on how often the hair is washed. There is no demarcation line between the treated hair and new growth.

brazilian keratin

Before Brazilian Keratin

brazilianAfter Brazilian Keratin

While it is less damaging than traditional relaxers or straighteners, BKT is not without risks. The formula does contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogen that can irritate the eyes and lungs. Frankel said her eyes burned and she broke out in hives the first time she had it done in a poorly ventilated room.

In the October issue of Allure, they tested the chemicals used in Brazilian straightening and found they contain a much higher level of formaldehyde than is considered safe by OSHA. Safe levels are under 0.2 ppm, levels in the straightening solutions are upwards of 3 ppm. They notified the FDA of their results, and the FDA replied that they will investigate.

Kids should not be around when this service is being done. Pregnant or nursing women cannot get the treatment done.

It can cause color to fade. Frankel gets her hair colored several shades darker than she likes it before getting the treatment.

Find a stylist who is experienced with the treatment because there have been reports of damage. Go for a consultation beforehand to learn about the product and what you can expect from it.

“It’s a treatment that should be used carefully by professionals only,” says curl expert Christo. “You should see people who specialize in curly hair when you have a treatment like this.”

As with thermal reconditioning, going straight may be too drastic a change for some people with curly hair. People considering the treatment are encouraged to blow out their hair for two weeks so they can see what they’ll look like with straight locks.

“It totally straightens the hair,” says Vance. “It’s designed for people who flat iron or blowdry their hair.”

And Christo takes issue with the way the product is marketed as something to get rid of curls, as if texture is a bad thing.

“Curls are not a problem,” he says. “Curls are something people are blessed with.”

Some tips for BKT

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