The International Salon and Spa Expo came to Long Beach, CA the weekend of January 28-30 (we hairdressers call Monday part of our weekend, since we almost always work Saturdays!)  The floor was booming with educational shows, products for sale, and networking galore.  What’s the first booth I went to visit?  Have you met me?  Or at least read my posts?  Brazilian Blowout, of course!  I was pleased to see the booth as busy as ever; huge overhead display, stage show going strong, lots of sales staff to help everyone and some of the head honchos themselves were there to meet, greet and assist stylists!  You would never guess the company had been plagued by false rumors, questionable science and even a lawsuit from their own home state.

Tammy, Before and After her first Brazilian Blowout

And maybe that positive attitude was a self-fulfilling prophecy, a la The Secret!  That Monday, January 30, California reached a settlement with Brazilian Blowout.   The company sent a letter to its stylists, which we found informative, reassuring and supportive.  An excerpt follows:

“…The Superior Court of California approved our settlement agreement with the California Attorney General. We are very pleased with the settlement because it allows us to finally put this issue behind us. Most importantly, we can and will continue to sell the same products as we always have. The settlement agreement will have no impact on our ability to run our business or support you.

Going forward, it will be business as usual for all of us here at Brazilian Blowout. The majority of the labeling as well as marketing and advertising changes agreed to in the settlement have already been in place for months…”

It’s true.  Astute, experienced stylists had already noticed the changes to the bottles and the website. There was also a fine involved, which of course the company wouldn’t want to talk about, but I’d like to, since readers here are concerned and well-informed enough that many of you may know already!  I received several emails, messages and advertisements from competing companies, announcing this and trying to spin it for their own benefit.

It is important to note that this fine was NOT for the use of any illegal ingredients, or even any ingredients that aren’t included in most other smoothing treatments!  That’s right, even the smoothing treatment company that was ballsy enough to send an email to its whole list (which I have no idea how I got on!) slamming Brazilian Blowout as being “toxic” and “dangerous,” uses an ingredient which also produces formaldehyde when heated.  While Brazilian Blowout contains methylene glycol, this other company’s product contains methyl aldehyde, which is also considered by some to be a “synonym” for formaldehyde.  Whether either ingredient is actually the same as formaldehyde, is still a much-debated topic, but the fact remains that this other company’s product contains one yet they still attack Brazilian Blowout for containing another, in an attempt to snake some of BB’s customers (stylists and salons, who they hope will switch to using their product on their clients…you, sometimes without even telling you they’ve switched to a lesser-known brand.)

What was my point?  You may be wondering that, and I was starting to as well.  My point was that these ingredients are in almost every smoothing treatment (for reviews on some which do not use it, click here.)  My other point was that the fine imposed on Brazilian Blowout was due to their labeling and advertising as “formaldehyde-free,” and not for actually containing it.  When used properly, the product actually does create a small amount of formaldehyde.  That amount is well below the OSHA regulations (as is the anonymous other company’s,) but it was determined that Brazilian Blowout’s labeling was misleading.  I am all for truth in labeling, and informed purchasing, so this makes sense to me.  I was really upset, for example, when I picked a bottle of  “energizing tea” (Synergy Kombucha) and got a distinct, recognizable headache from it (a mild alcohol allergy causes me this reaction, even when taking NyQuil.)  It turned out that the .5% fermentation in the bottle can continue, up to 3%, which is as much as some beers, yet this product was sold without a label indicating this possibility, or an age restriction.  When I took it back to Whole Foods, the clerk looked at me like I was nuts.  More than two years later, this became a news story and the products were removed from shelves because kids were drinking it to get a buzz.  Now, it has been re-launched as two different lines; classic, for ages 21+ and “enlightened” for me all ages.

The fact that Brazilian Blowout not only came out with Zero, but also changed their website and labeling months ago, shows that they understand, and want to help stylists and clients make informed decisions. This includes making sure their stylists are properly trained, and that the salon environments are well-suited to the treatments being offered.  For more information about filtration improvements that are easy for any salon to make, check out options from Aerovex Systems and see their equipment in my studio at Safer Brazilian.

Are you still with me?  The most important part of this news for most clients (I got a lot of feedback when I emailed them all this news) and stylists, is that the same Brazilian Blowout Smoothing Solution that we all know and love will continue to be made and shipped to its adoring fans!

Contributed by:
Jordana Lorraine

Los Angeles, CA (Marina Del Rey)
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  1. mom2jazz

    YAY!!!! SO excited! I’ve had two BB & absolutely LOVE them!

  2. Mr. Teatime

    Wow. It’s almost as if the people at Oregon OSHA, federal OSHA, Cal/OSHA, CROET, OSHA, FDA, NIH, CIR, ACC, and the various health authorities around the world knew what they were talking about! Oddly, there are those who are attempting to spin the news that the company having to pay $300,000 is fines and another $300,000 in court fees “won.” It’s too bad that the settlement didn’t include the company to apologize to all of the people they impugned with their distortions and spins.

    I wonder where all of the hair stylists who claimed knowledge in chemistry beyond the ken of actual Ph.D organic chemists went?