Thursday, September 8, 2011

Getting It Straight The Brazillian Way: Formaldahyde Confirmed in Brazillian Blowout

The popular treatment to straighten curly & knotty hair has been confirmed by the FDA of having the dangerous chemical formaldehyde as an ingredient. Formaldehyde is mostly known as embalming fluid when preserving bodies for burial. I looked up the MSDS or Material Safety Data Sheet for this chemical and I wasn’t surprised at the effects it can have on humans. So, many have the desire for long beautiful straight hair, but how much are you willing to pay for straight hair? Your health? I found the original story here on MSNBC

So, if you don’t know what formaldehyde is he is a brief intro to this chemical.
Formaldehyde MSDS:
Formaldehyde is a flammable, colorless and pungent smelling substance that is used in a variety of ways from preserving dead bodies, making cigarettes, making many materials used to build homes & buildings. This substance is also a known cancer causing agent called a carcinogen and has been linked to several different types of cancer. Cancers like leukemia and lung cancer are common diseases that are associated with exposure to formaldehyde. (Formaldehyde and cancer)

Long term and short term exposure to this chemical can cause a lifetime of ailments. Chronic or extreme effects of this chemical on people include:
  • Birth defects
  • Reproductive issues
  • Skin burns & discoloration
  • Irritation to the respiratory tract
  • Bronchitis
  • Convulsions
  • Headaches
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Kidney issues
And the list can go on. So why would someone put this chemical in our hair products or any other products we may handle on a day to day basis? (Formaldehyde material safety)
The reason why cosmetic manufacturers are allowed to use such harsh chemicals is because the cosmetic industry is not regulated by the FDA. Other chemicals just as dangerous as formaldehyde are used in product we use every day, but because it works for us we never bother to question why this chemical are in my products.

We can’t demand safe products until we the people hold the companies accountable for using the dangerous substances that they use. In the black community our hair and skin products are laced with chemicals galore and no one says a thing. When a person does question the integrity of the ingredients in a product amongst peers, the person becomes the adversary and common responses from the sleepers are we’ll all die from something or we’ve been using it all this time and nothing has happen. Yet, the truth is lots of things have happen, but we don’t ever think it’s the products we use.

Formaldehyde used in a hair treatment is very scary to me because the product is placed on your head which comes in contact with your scalp and is then absorbed through your skin that covers blood vessels and veins attached to your brain! When will the black community take responsibility for accepting whatever is handed to us? This is more than a corporate integrity problem this is a communal knowledge problem.

People in the black hair world get all up tight when you mention ingredients you shouldn’t use on your hair and body, but shouldn’t they be rejoicing that someone is warning them about the effects of products they use every day.

How may wake up calls will it take before we take a stand against the use of anything in cosmetics….Today I’m taking a stand, what about you?

Formaldehyde material saftey data sheet. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Formaldehyde and cancer risk. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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