I ran across this picture and article in the New York Times Nov 4th titled (A SAFETY KINK IN HAIR RELAXING?)
The following are accounts taken from the article. Just like the permanent wave process that were once the height of fashion, the lucrative process of converting “frizzy kinky and wavy hair” into smooth straight locks produce a unpleasant odor that some say is a health hazard especially to the stylist who applies it repeatedly. Questions about the safety of popular Keratin Brazilian thermal hair relaxing treatment have been raised for years, most notably in a widely read 2007 article in Allure magazine.
But last month, the beauty world was rattled when the occupational health agency in Oregon(Formaldehyde) a common ingredient found in many Keratin "heat activated" hair straightening treatments. The agency said they conducted lab tests after receiving numerous complaints from stylist citing nose bleeds, breathing problems and eye irritation from the fumes while applying the products. The report came soon after a warning from the Canadian health board about the potential dangers from a popular process called the Brazilian Keratin Blowout treatment. Some manufactures of Keratin straightening process acknowledge that their products contain (Formalin), a substance made up in part of Formaldehyde, but say the amount is insignificant and poses no health dangers. found significant levels of
Many salon owners and stylists believe the health agencies may be overreacting. The warning has prompted various responses from salon owners. Some concerned with the health issue have installed costly ventilation systems to clean the air fumes or dedicated special rooms for the treatments and wear masks to filter the fumes. They say it’s worth the expense as the Keratin relaxing treatments are one of the most popular and profitable procedure salons have seen in recent years. The jury is still out and it should be interesting to see how law suits are handled in the coming years and what this may do to salon insurance costs.