I’ve never understood the desire to chemically straighten one’s hair, perhaps because my wavy locks can go either way, and natural tricks for my hair type work just fine. Even so, many curly-haired friends have paid a bundle for this service, which promises to leave your tresses looking lovely for months. As the popularity of the treatment has grown, so too have the concerns. Some of the chemicals found in the products are linked to not so eco-sexy health risks including birth defects and spontaneous abortions.
A growing body of scientific evidence indicates there is reason to worry about chemicals found in salon products. According to Women’s Voices for the Earth, an activist organization in the US, there is an ‘ugly side to this kind of beauty’.
“One recent study has shown that nail salon workers have higher levels of dibutyl phthalate (DBP), a reproductive and developmental toxicant, than the general population. Another study found that beauticians and hairdressers are likely to have significant exposure to solvents that are linked to birth defects. Other studies have found cosmetologists are at a higher risk for having spontaneous abortions and low birth weight babies.”
Part of the problem is that many of the products like the Brazilian Blowout are unregulated in the United States and other countries. It is banned in Canada, France, Germany, Australia and Ireland.
The Brazilian Blowout company settled with the California Attorney General in 2011, and it is now required to state on package labels that the product contains formaldehyde. However, the products remain on the shelves and a class action lawsuit by salon workers has been filed both in the U.S. and Canada.
We were unable to find any references to similar concerns in the Middle East.
Image of beautiful hair by Shutterstock
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The author is a regular contributor to Greenprophet.com and blogs at www.tinamariebernard.com.