By Tamryn |
The makers of the Brazilian Blowout line of hair straightening treatments have settled a lawsuit with the state of California, agreeing to include warnings that two of their products can expose stylists and their clients to formaldehyde gas, a carcinogenic.
California-based company GIB had previously claimed that the Brazilian Blowout products were “formaldehyde free.”
The Federal Drug Administration disagreed. Following complaints about health issues arising from the use of Brazilian Blowout, the FDA found it had levels of formaldehyde in the 8 to 10 percent range. Meanwhile, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that anything with levels of just 0.1 percent of the cancer-causing substance have a warning.
In August 2011, the FDA, in a letter to the makers of the popular hair smoothing product, said: “Brazilian Blowout contains methylene glycol, the liquid form of formaldehyde, which, under the conditions of use prescribed in the labeling, releases formaldehyde when hair treated with the product is heated with a blow dryer and then with a hot flat iron.”
According to the FDA, health problems reported by users included eye irritation, blurred vision, headaches, dizziness, cough, nasal irritation, wheezing, throat irritation, chest pain, vomiting and rash, among others.
To smooth things out, as it were, GIB will also pay $600,000 in fines, according to the settlement.
The company first took some heat for their keratin hair treatment in 2010 after an Oregon hair stylist complained about health problems from using the Brazilian Blowout and tests revealed it contained a whopping 10.4 percent of formaldehyde, a known cancer causer. The state of California sued GIB, and last year more lawsuits followed.
GIB made changes to the labeling of their products in advance of the settlement.
But despite the health concerns over the Brazilian Blowout, many salons and stylists continue to offer it, for which their clients, who swear by the frizz-free results, are grateful and happily don gas masks to protect themselves if that’s what it takes to have silky, shiny, nearly care-free hair for three to four months.
There are many brands of keratin straighteners and not all contain formaldehyde. At least some say they don’t. But so did GIB. So if you want to get a Brazilian treatment done on your hair, it’s probably best to be safe than sorry and take precautions.
By Olivia |
For people dealing with hair loss the foremost thing on their minds has to be figuring out how to grow hair back. Throughout history one hair loss remedy after another has been imagined and devised to stop, or even reverse, the unhappy shedding of hair. For the most part, these so-called hair loss cures, which often involved bizarre ingredients from boiled scorpions to urine and worse, only added insult to injury. They didn’t work, and you ended up looking or smelling pretty bad.
Hair Loss – You Are Not Alone
These days about 65 percent of all men and 25 percent of all women are affected by hair loss. This can be devastating. For good or bad, society in general is hooked on physical appearance and hair is a person’s crowning glory. This is especially true for women, of course, but thinning hair is difficult for men too and can affect their self-confidence, and personal and professional lives.
There are many reasons why we start to lose our hair. But they can be grouped into two categories – genetics and everything else. Genetic hair loss is self-explanatory; everything else includes stress, illness, hormone imbalance, side effect of medication, infection and more.
The most important thing to do when faced with hair loss is to determine the cause. Only then can you make an educated choice about a hair loss remedy. Avoid self diagnosing – see your doctor because sometimes serious medical conditions can be the cause of the fall-out. You can also consult a trichologist, which is a hair and scalp specialist but not a medical doctor.
Finding the Best Hair Loss Remedy
The best hair loss remedy is going to be the one that addresses the exact cause of your problem. Often people will try something, find that it doesn’t work, and after being frustrated and disappointed, condemn it as a scam, when in fact it does work – on someone with a different type of hair loss. This is why getting a professional answer to the question “why am I losing my hair?” is key.
For men suffering from male pattern baldness Propecia is now considered the “first-line” treatment. That is to say, it is the therapy recommended to treat the initial appearance of a disease, in this case male pattern baldness. Propecia is one of only two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for its treatment. The other, Rogaine (minoxidil), may be used as an additional therapy alongside the Propecia (finasteride) after a year. Male pattern baldness has the best chance of being stopped or slowed down when treatment starts in its early stages, when hair begins to recede.
Hair loss in women is more difficult to treat as there can be so many different causes that it is difficult to pinpoint which one is the culprit. And often women are too embarrassed or ashamed of losing their hair to seek help. Women don’t as yet have a magic hair-growing drug – Propecia shouldn’t even be handled by a woman let alone taken by one; it’s exclusively for men. But there is Rogaine for women. As in Rogaine for men, it is a topical treatment that can be quite effective, but in order to maintain any hair regrowth, it must be used regularly. Hair implants can be an option for many balding men, but only a tiny percentage of women will be good candidates. Other possible hair loss remedies are hormone replacement therapy and steroids. Again, proper diagnosis is of the utmost important in treating hair loss in women.
By Mandi |
Here’s a secret shampoo makers don’t want you to know: you can have clean, lustrous and healthy hair without their products. That’s right, whether you’re spending a buck for a cheapy bottle at the drugstore or shelling out $20 or more on high-priced salon stuff, you can save your money thanks to one of your pantry’s hardest working ingredients — baking soda.
Why ditch your shampoo
OK, so it’s not glamorous and it doesn’t smell of bergamot or coconut or lavender or whatever scent is hot these days. But baking soda will leave your hair and scalp scrupulously clean for pennies. And you avoid subjecting yourself to harsh detergents and chemicals found in many, if not most, shampoos. Remember, the skin is the largest organ in our body and whatever you put on it, can easily be absorbed into the bloodstream. Plus, shampoo strips away your scalp’s natural oil, the same one that naturally protects and nourishes your hair.
How to clean your hair without shampoo
The basic formula is this: 1 tablespoon baking soda to 1 cup of water
It’s that simple.
You may find you need a bit more baking soda if your hair is very thick, or you may have to use less if your hair is thin. The most convenient way to use it is to make the mixture in a plastic squeeze bottle or an empty shampoo bottle and keep it in the bath.
First, soak your hair through with plain water from the shower. Then apply the baking soda and water “shampoo” to your scalp and massage in. Focus on the scalp, but you can apply some to your hair, as well. Baking soda and water is an excellent clarifier. After a minute or two of massaging the mixture into your scalp, rinse thoroughly.
If you typically need conditioner, use an apple cider vinegar rinse. If your hair is normally on the oilier side, try using 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of water. (Very oily hair may do well without any at all.) If your hair is dry, bump the amount up to 1/4 cup of acv. Pour the mixture on your hair, leave on for a minute or two, then rinse out. Any vinegar smell vanishes when your hair dries.
Living ‘poo free
Baking soda shampoo and apple cider vinegar conditioner might take some getting used to. There are no soft, comforting fragrant suds. And your hair may look oilier at first. But that’s because your poor, long-suffering scalp is so used to having its oil harshly stripped away that all this time it’s been overcompensating. It might take it a week or two to realize it doesn’t need to produce excess oil anymore.
Many ‘poo-free folks report that they no longer need to use styling products, or they’ve cut down their use dramatically. (More savings!) Hair washed this way becomes more manageable and less frizzy.
But you tell us!
Whether you’re a longtime eschewer of shampoo, or have just started, share your experience with us. Leave a comment below.