What is Formaldehyde when it pertains to any Brazilian Keratin Treatments? Formaldehyde is a carcinogen, the same exact chemical used in embalming. This chemical has been reported to irritate the eyes and lungs, sometimes leading to nose bleeds. According to studies, when it comes to cosmetic products such as Brazilian Keratin Treatments or Brazilian Blowouts, only .02 percent formaldehyde is considered safe. It has also been shown that there are products out there with up to 10% formaldehyde. Keratin Hair Products are NOT approved by the FDA. What this means is that there is no standard to what goes in to these products, nor are they tested and regulated for safety. Besides the obvious, there are also hidden dangers the average person would not consider. Being that formaldehyde is carcinogenic, you risk cancer. The process of applying AND maintaining these Brazilian Straightening Treatments is where the danger truly lies. After several shampoos and a thorough drying of the hair, the Keratin is applied and the product is combed through. The next step is locking the product into the hair follicle, and this is done with a blow dryer and then a flat iron with heat of up to 450 degrees. While the Keratin is being heated, it also heats the formaldehyde. This allows the chemical to vaporize and be released into the surrounding air, thus affecting not only the client and the hair stylist, but also everyone in the surrounding area. So far, according to my article, the application process of any Brazilian Keratin Treatment puts you at the most risk. This does not mean that is where it ends. The Keratin (including the formaldehyde) leaves the hair slowly over a period of time, allowing a longer effect of the product. Meaning, every time you do happen to use your straight iron, or introduce heat to your hair, you will be exposing yourself to the same risks just the same as when you first had the process done. Due to the dangers of these products containing formaldehyde, companies have been altering their formulas to lessen or rid completely of this damaging chemical. A lot of advertisements claim to be 100% formaldehyde free but, being that the FDA does not regulate this product, there is no way of telling if that truly is the case. We only have independent studies to rely on. So if ‘formaldehyde free’ is a big concern for you, be sure to research thoroughly. A lot of marketing ploys aim to convince you that something is 100% natural when they really have no guidelines or regulations that the FDA ‘would’ have instilled. I can openly appreciate companies that choose to honestly inform their clients of their products ingredients. For example, Jean De Perle’s line of Keratin Treatments states on their website, they do not market as ‘formaldehyde free’ because it proves to be “…potentially even harmful. Any formulation that produces a significant volume-reduction in the hair lasting several weeks is a potent salon product. It should be treated with healthy respect, and handled in compliance with sensible safety protocols by licensed hair professionals only.” (http://www.argiltherapy.com/faq.html ) Just as Argil Therapy suggests, even with a seasoned hairdresser, certain safety precautions should be taken regardless of the amount of formaldehyde contained in the specific product. Please visit http://www.argiltherapy.com for more questions or concerns, and to also view all of their amazing Keratin Treatment products.