Close
Management Practices

PBA Industry Alert about Brazilian Keratin

Web Editor | July 10, 2011 | 1:37 PM

Earlier this year, the Professional Beauty Association issued the following alert regarding Brazilian keratin treatments:

Recent media stories continue to raise questions in our industry about the safety of some Brazilian hair straighteners—also known as Brazilian keratin treatments (BKT) and/or “escova progressiva.” The media has highlighted the use of formaldehyde as an ingredient in these treatments, raising particular questions about the levels of formaldehyde used in some products.

Related articles:
Additionally, the media has drawn attention to the mislabeling and/or lack of labeling on the part of some product manufacturers. Specifically, it has been reported that some Brazilian hair straightening products are marketed as “formaldehyde free”, when in fact they contain formaldehyde.

The use of Brazilian hair straighteners has become increasingly popular over the last several years. Although there have been no comprehensive studies on these products and treatments, some experts are concerned about the possible inhalation of formaldehyde in unsafe quantities—both on the part of salon industry professionals and consumers.

Commonly used as a preservative, formaldehyde is found in everyday household goods such as glue and particle board. However, acute exposure can be highly irritating and may cause severe allergic reactions of the skin, eyes and respiratory tract. It is also a suspected human carcinogen. Individual reactions to different levels of formaldehyde (as with most environmental stimuli) can vary greatly based on hereditary and lifestyle factors.

The independent Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel completed an extensive review of formaldehyde in 1984, and listed it as “safe as used” in cosmetics within certain specifications. CIR listed formaldehyde as safe for use in cosmetics in quantities of point two percent (0.2%) or less. CIR also advises that “formaldehyde should not be used in products intended to be aerosolized.”

The OSHA limit is 0.75 parts per million (ppm) over an eight-hour exposure period. When a product like the Brazilian straightener is applied to the hair and is heated with a flatiron, formaldehyde vaporizes and is released into the air. In this situation, both stylist and client can be exposed to levels of formaldehyde greater than 0.75 ppm by inhaling these vapors.

Some products currently on the market have been found to contain formaldehyde in excess of the CIR standard. The health and safety of beauty professionals and consumers is a top priority for our industry. As such, PBA strongly encourages the industry to ask pertinent questions regarding product ingredients, appropriate handling, application techniques and any safety or allergy warnings that should be shared with consumers.

The market is full of various hair straightening products that have been established to be safe by a strict selection process of ingredients that are safe and suitable for straightening and relaxing hair. Product safety can be established through firm adherence to quality assurance principles and good manufacturing practices. It is especially important to follow the directions on the product label to ensure that the product performs as intended and to prevent irritation to the skin.

Finally, the safety of products is monitored in the marketplace through reports of consumer comments and complaints. Companies should include a phone number on their products where comments or complaints may be reported.

For more information about this PBA Industry Alert, please contact Sam Leyvas at 800-468-2274 or 480-281-0424 x3437. Also, visit probeauty.org.






More from Management Practices

Management Practices
Management Practices

Dos and Don’ts When Communicating with Upset Guests

July 31, 2018

They say the key to every great relationship is communication – and handling a guest complaint is no different. It’s not ideal to have to communicate with an upset guest, yet we’ve all been there and it’s likely we’ll be there again someday. Here are the dos and don’ts to keep in mind to help you successfully communicate with upset guests.

Management Practices @vanessapalstylist cutting a precision bob hairstyle. 
Management Practices

SALON TODAY RECOMMENDS: Strategies for In-Salon Education & Minimizing Stylist Turnover

Lauren Salapatek | May 4, 2018

What kind of continuing education do you have at your salon? Are you inspiring your employees to reach their full potential? This month Aveda Means Business covers topics from in-salon education to minimizing stylist turnover. Learn some ways on how to attract stylists who are passionate about the business and who will fit in with your salon’s culture.

Management Practices Sponsored by L'Oréal Professionnel

OWNER TO OWNER: The David Rios Salons’ Secrets to Providing 5-Star European Service for the Country’s Most Demanding Clients

May 2, 2018

Many of the country’s most brilliant, talented and powerful people live and work in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. They’re politicians, diplomats, attorneys. Also professors and students at the nation’s top universities. So, if you’re servicing these people in your salon, you had better be at the very top of your game.

Load More