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Brazilian Blowout Label Must Warn of Formaldehyde

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. | Last updated on

Is there formaldehyde in your Brazilian Blowout? Apparently there is -- which may come as a surprise to some consumers. The product has been marketed as "formaldehyde free" in the past.

Those days are no longer. GIB, the company that makes the popular Brazilian Blowout products has agreed to label their products as potentially carcinogenic. They have also agreed to pay $600,000 in fines. The settlement comes after it was sued by California for violating state laws including statutes against deceptive advertising.

The company will send products to a state-approved lab for further testing. It is also required to send pamphlets to salons to instruct workers about proper safety procedures.

Brazilian Blowout products are used in salons across the nation. It's a keratin smoothing treatment. Women with unruly hair wishing for smooth tresses flock to beauty parlors for the pricy service. One visit can cost upwards of hundreds of dollars. The products have been a salon staple for the past few years.

It also has some unpleasant side effects. The products can emit the potentially dangerous gas. Individuals exposed to formaldehyde gas can end up suffering symptoms that include irritated eyes, throat, and vomiting. It can even lead to cancer.

Both federal and state laws regulate advertising. Typically, ads deemed deceptive can be subject to penalties including fines. In GIB's case, the suit was likely spurred partially by the company's claims that their products were formaldehyde free when they actually aren't.

The company still plans to market and sell its Brazilian Blowout products -- albeit with the new warnings.

So should you dare to get a Brazilian Blowout, formaldehyde warnings be darned? It's ultimately your decision. Salon workers are likely more at risk. They can be exposed to the product on a daily basis. On the other hand, customers likely only go to beauty parlors once every few months for a treatment.

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