Press How a Brazilian blow dry saved me sanity – and my hair

Simply the best thing to happen to hair since the invention of the hair-drier it gives astounding – and long lasting – frizz taming – conditioning results. Newby Hands

Beauty Director, of Harper's Bazaar

I like my hair to feel soft and smooth and look shiny, but I’ve never been a particular expert when it comes to styling my own hair so coaxing my locks into a presentable fashion was taking me over an hour some mornings – and when your day job (an editor for a magazine that’s an expert on beauty products, ironically) means you start at 8am you just don’t have the time. I was starting to dread every morning and, even worse, every time I visited the hairdressers they had to cut out more and more split ends – from having the hair dryer pointed at them for so long every morning. When I heard about the Brazilian blow dry I wondered if this miracle was just too good to be true.

 

I enquired with four different salons in the West End, one of them (I won’t name and shame) wanted to book me in without a consultation, I hung up politely and vowed never to step foot in there. The other three offered me consultations and I went to all three. All these salons gave me a consultation and a patch test but the salon that seemed an expert in the field was Zoltan Vargyai. Even the lady on reception seemed something of an expert and gave me her expertise advice on washing my hair, recommending sulphate-free shampoos, before I’d even booked in for the final Brazilian blow dry treatment.

I washed my hair and let it dry naturally and was amazed to see my hair looked as if I’d just left the salon. Sometimes I still use my blow dryer and straighteners to achieve an extra sleek look, but what used to take me at least 45 minutes in the morning now takes a mere 10.

By using the sulphate-free shampoos recommended I got the full three months of wear from my Brazilian blow dry and I have since returned to the Covent Garden salon to have it done again – with equally impressive results. The money I have saved in products, time and stress on my hair has been worth every single penny I spent on the blow dry. And the best side effect was the amazing health that has returned to my hair. My many split ends are a thing of the past and my locks feel thicker and look shiner.

If like me, your hair has a wave, or even curls, that are inconvenient to tame and take you far too long to style, which leaves hair in need of repair, then I can’t recommend the Brazilian blow dry enough. And if you’re lucky enough to live within a travelling distance of Covent Garden then I’d also recommend you go to no other than the Brazilian blow dry expert Zoltan.

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Is it possible to hide formaldehyde in a product

Brands that hide formaldehyde

THE CHEMICAL NAME GAME

EWG has investigated 16 companies that make hair-straightening products with high formaldehyde content. All exceed safety limits set by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, an industry safety panel. Which hair straighteners come clean about their formaldehyde content?  None, in EWG’s review.

15 of 16 brands admit to little to no formaldehyde. Tests show their products contain substantial amounts.

Companies whose claims and tests do not match include Brazilian Blowout, Keratin Express, KeraGreen, Tahe and R&L. The 16th company, Goleshlee, admits on its website that its product contains formaldehyde but omits the toxic chemical from its online ingredient list.

Can hair straighteners get away with the claim “formaldehyde free?”

Name games

Leading hair straighteners, including Brazilian Blowout, claim that formaldehyde mixed with water creates a new chemical, methylene glycol.  That is like saying that sweet tea does not contain sugar. In fact, when you purchase straight formaldehyde from a chemical company, you are actually buying a formaldehyde-water mixture. Over time, if exposed to air, the formaldehyde will off-gas, in other words, reverting to a gas, its natural state at room temperature.

When its scientists conduct risk assessments, the Environmental Protection Agency calls this formaldehyde/water mixture a “pool of free formaldehyde” (EPA 2010B). The American Chemistry Council says the scientific community widely considers methylene glycol to be “formaldehyde in solution” for the purpose of determining a product’s formaldehyde content (ACC 2010). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s formaldehyde regulations cover formaldehyde gas and “its solutions, and materials that release formaldehdye” (OSHA 1992).

Some makers of hair straighteners  – Brazilian Blowout, Cadiveu, Global Keratin and Marcia Teixeira – make the misleading claim that methylene glycol is not formaldehyde.  Altogether, four companies list “methylene glycol” on their websites or worker safety materials.

 

Misleading tests

Cadiveu and Brazilian Blowout bolster their low-formaldehyde claims by analyzing only the tiny amounts of formaldehyde gas in their products.  They ignore the products’ formaldehyde-water solution, even though some of it is transformed to gas when hair coated with the product is heated by a straightening iron.  That explains why Cadiveu reports formaldehyde levels of 0.0002 percent, when Heath Canada found it to contain 7 percent formaldehyde (Cadiveu 2011, Health Canada 2010C).

 

Other names

At least two companies disguise formaldehyde with obscure names known only to chemists – and not many of them.  For example, Keratin Express  says its hair straighteners “contain an aldehyde” (Keratin Expres 2011).  Tests show up to 1.2 percent formaldehyde in its products. Bravo Biocare’s product, Organic Thermo Fusion – Brazilian Keratin Treatment, describes formaldehyde as “morbicid acid” (Bravo Biocare 2011).

 

Formaldehyde releasers

Some companies use chemicals that are not, strictly speaking, formaldehyde but that break down to formaldehyde and release the chemical into the air when they are heated. Coppola says its hair straightener contains a “bonded aldehyde” that, when heated, decomposes and binds to the hair (Copolla 2010).   Hot vapors steaming off  heated hair as the chemical coating breaks apart would test positive for formaldehyde.  Trichovedic, an Australian company that markets HydroSpa products, sidestepped regulations and reformulated to a formaldehyde-free product that now uses formaldehyde-releasing chemicals after product testing found formaldehyde.

 

Silence

IBS Beauty and Spazzola are mum about their use of formaldehyde. EWG researchers found no formaldehyde claims one way or the other, on either company’s website or media reports.

The vast majority of products surveyed by EWG – 64 of 95 – have not been tested for formaldehyde.  Most companies that manufacture keratin hair straighteners – 43 of 46 – do not disclose they have used this hazardous chemical.

Government and indepedent laboratories have detected formaldehyde above industry-recommended safe limits in 28 of 31 products tested. So if you are wondering about a brand that has not been tested, odds are formaldehyde is in that bottle.

It is not just customers who are being hoodwinked. Misleading claims help manufacturers and salons avoid OSHA regulations that require employers to list formaldehyde on worker safety materials (technically called material safety data sheets or MSDS) when their employees handle solutions containing more than 0.1 percent formaldehyde.

 

TABLE: 15 of 16 companies claim little to no formaldehyde when tests show their products contain substantial amounts

 

 

CompanyClaimTestingReference

Brazilian BlowoutPrior to [2/13/2011]: “CONTAINS NO FORMALDEHYDE!” As of [3/1/2011]: There is no mention of the word formaldehyde on the website or the material safety data sheet that continues to list Methylene Glycol.Formaldehyde levelsup to 11.8%Oregon OSHA 2010A, Oregon OSHA 2010B, IMB 2010A, IMB 2010B, Fisher 2007, Health Canada 2010B

CoppolaIn addition to the Keratin, our formula includes Timonacic acid, a benign antioxidant patented in France which is part of an aldehyde group that is used in hair products and acts as an organic preservative… The difference between Brazilian straightening companies that add free formaldehyde as an ingredient and Keratin Complex’s bonded aldehydes is that the latter is not harmful.Formaldehyde levels up to 2.3%ACCC 2010, AFSSAPS 2010, Columbia Analytical Services 2010, FDA FOIA 2010, Health Canada 2010C, IMB 2010A, IMB 2010B, Oregon OSHA 2010B, RAPEX 2010

Marcia TeixeiraMethylene glycol, which does not appear on the FDA’s official list of prohibited cosmetic ingredients, is the ingredient in our treatments that will produce a trace level of formaldehyde vapor when high heat is applied. For that reason, we can state that formaldehyde is not an ingredient in our treatments, but, we cannot, and have never claimed that they are formaldehyde free.Formaldehyde levels up to 3.4% (potentially up to 5.87%)ACCC 2010, AFSSAPS 2010, Columbia Analytical Services 2010, FDA FOIA 2010, Health Canada 2010C, Irish NCA 2010, Oregon OSHA 2010B, Fisher 2007

Global KeratinSince the inception of Global Keratin the company has been in full compliance with all regulations worldwide and never made any false claims. In our old formulas Global Keratin used Methylene Glycol (CAS: 463-57-0) in our products.Formaldehyde levels up to 4.4%Columbia Analytical Services 2010, Health Canada 2010C, IMB 2010A, IMB 2010B

Silkening TechnologiesNo formaldehyde, no unpleasant fumes or odours. Just frizz-free, beautiful hair that stays smooth and manageable for months.  (Canadian website)Formaldehyde level of 2.8%Health Canada 2010C

IBS Beautyi-Straight (Also known as Love-Straight), is the safest and most effective system for straightening the different types, conditions, and textures of light curls to the most stubborn kinky hair type.Formaldehyde level of 2.3%Health Canada 2010C

CadiveuBefore Cadiveu USA entered into its Distribution Agreement with Cadiveu Brazil, we were assured that Cadiveu’s chemists were not relying on formaldehyde in their formulas. To confirm this, we hired an independent lab to test the products thoroughly. The results of this test confirmed that the formula does not contain formaldehyde as a functional ingredient in the hair smoothing process. As a result we felt confident that we were offering a safe product, which is our primary concern.

 

Cadiveu’s panel of experts explains, “Formaldehyde is a gas and therefore cannot be added to a cosmetic as an ingredient. In fact, Formaldehyde has never been a cosmetic ingredient. Most test methods commonly used, are not suitable for measuring Formaldehyde in water-based cosmetic products. Formaldehyde is extremely unlikely in a water-based cosmetic product to exist beyond 0.005%.”

Formaldehyde level of 7%Health Canada 2010C

R & L“None of our products contain any fomaldehyde. They are all fomaldehyde FREE.”Formaldehyde level > 0.2%IMB 2010A, IMB 2010B

TaheFormol FreeFormaldehyde level > 0.2%IMB 2010A, IMB 2010B

Brazilan GlossKeratin treatment does not make use of any harsh chemicals.  … At-home kits for keratin treatments are also available. The price for at-home kits starts from $250.

 

For getting this treatment done, always consult a professional stylist. Knowledge about this treatment in advance can also help you in making a smarter choice. If the treatment is done properly, it will leave even the most rough hair look smooth and very easy to style.

Precautions:

Whether you get this treatment done at a salon or use an at-home kit, make sure that that keratin product you use contains less than 2% formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde level up to 7.3%Columbia Analytical Services 2010, Oregon OSHA 2010B

Keratin expressThe current Keratin Express formula contains no known formaldehyde or formaldehyde donors. To confirm this, we had an independent lab conduct tests to measure any detectable formaldehyde both at room temperature and when heated to 450 degrees for five minutes. The testing confirmed no formaldehyde with the exception of a trace amount (.00017%), attributable to possible residual from other product filling or cleaning on our production line.Formaldehyde level of 1.2%Oregon OSHA 2010B

QODUnlike formaldehyde-based keratin treatments, QOD’s Brazilian Keratin products do not contain industrially manufactured raw formaldehyde. Instead, we have invested ten years of research in a patented process that mimics the effects of formaldehyde, and is readily accepted by the FDA. Still, we choose not to market our products as “formaldehyde free.” This is usually a disingenuous marketing gimmick, and potentially even harmful.Formaldehyde level up to 3.5%Oregon OSHA 2010B, FDA FOIA 2010

KeraGreenOur exclusive formulation – non toxic, formaldehyde free, rich with organic and natural ingredients – sets us apart from all other keratin hair treatments in the market and makes us relevant in a time when Green is in!Formaldehyde level of 1.6%Oregon OSHA 2010B

Simply Smooth American Culture Hair“No! This is formaldehyde free.”Formaldehyde level up to 0.93%Columbia Analytical Services 2010

GoleshleeIn the FAQ section of the Goleshlee website it is stated that the products contain 2% formaldehyde.  No information on the keratin product pages and no mention of formaldehyde is given in the product ingredient lists.Formaldehyde level> 0.6%AFSSAPS 2010

Spazzola ProgressivaNo information about the use of formaldehyde is providied.Formaldehyde level> 0.6%AFSSAPS 2010

WHO SAYS FORMALDEHYDE IS IN THE BOTTLE

Many experts debunk hair straightener makers’ claims that the formaldehyde-water solution “methylene glycol”  is not formaldehyde:

American Chemistry Council

The chemical industry trade group’s formaldehyde panel, which represents the “producers, users, and suppliers of formaldehyde and formaldehyde products,” takes the position that “the scientific community widely considers methylene glycol as ‘formaldehyde in solution.’ Thus, both formaldehyde gas and formaldehyde reacted in water determine the formaldehyde content of a product” (ACC 2010).

Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration

This Oregon state agency asserts that “a hyper-technical argument over appropriate chemical nomenclature does not alter the applicable workplace health and safety requirements, nor should it be allowed to disguise the risks” (Oregon OSHA, 2010B).

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

OSHA’s workplace safety standards for formaldehyde cover “all occupational exposures to formaldehyde, i.e. from formaldehyde gas, its solutions, and materials that release formaldehyde” (OSHA 1992).

Environmental Protection Agency

In the EPA draft risk assessment for formaldehyde, the agency describes the mechanism by which formaldehyde solutions result in free formaldehyde exposures. It says that in a living organism, free formaldehyde leaves the water solution and binds with serum proteins and cellular components” (EPA 2010B).

EPA uses the term “formaldehyde” to cover both free formaldehyde gas and methylene glycol, or formaldehyde solution, on its inventory of chemicals manufactured or imported into the U.S. (EPA 2010A).

Academia

Dr. Alan Schusterman, a chemistry professor at Reed College, writes, “if I am exposed to methylene glycol, will I be exposed to formaldehyde? The answer to this is unequivocally YES. [The] equilibrium, Formaldehyde + Water = Methylene Glycol, is completely reversible at room temperature and methylene glycol spontaneously decomposes to make formaldehyde + water.  I can think of no simpler way to expose a person to formaldehyde than to expose [him] to a methylene glycol solution” (Shusterman 2010).

Health agencies

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, Health Canada, Irish Medicines Board, French Agency for the Safety of Health Products, and agencies in Germany and Cyprus have collectively recalled 22 products (ACCC 2010, AFSSAPS 2010, Health Canada 2010B, Health Canada 2010C, IMB 2010A, IMB 2010B, Irish NCA 2010, RAPEX 2010).

Cosmetics industry

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), an industry-funded and self-policing body, originally assessed the safety of formaldehyde in 1984 and re-reviewed its safety in 2003. Its current recommendation is that use should be “limited to 0.2% as free formaldehyde but [kept] to a minimum; and should not be used in products intended to be aerosolized” (CIR 2010A). In 2010 the international nomenclature committee of the Personal Care Products Council added methylene glycol to a list of cosmetic ingredients separate from formaldehyde (PCPC et al. 2010).

The panel reached tentative conclusions in its March 2011 meeting. The chemical name “formaldehyde” was replaced with “formaldehyde/methylene glycol.” The CIR also determined that formaldehyde should not be used in products intended to be aerosolized to include products that would produce formaldehyde/methylene glycol vapor or gas under conditions of use. This conclusion would effectively prohibit the use of these ingredients in hair-straightening products at any level (CIR 2011B).

 

NAME GAMES: WHAT IS METHYLENE GLYCOL? UNDERSTANDING THE CHEMISTRY

A little background on the chemistry of formaldehyde goes a long way in understanding the fallacy of hair-straighteners’ “formaldehyde-free” boasts.

Formaldehyde is a gas at room temperature (NIST, 2008).  To make handling easier it is usually mixed with water and sold as a liquid labeled “formalin” or “formaldehyde solution.”  A molecule of water reacts with a molecule of formaldehyde to form methylene glycol (also referred to as methanediol, formaldehyde monohydrate, or formaldehyde in water). Very little free formaldehyde remains as a gas in solution, but the reaction is fast and completely reversible.  For every molecule of free formaldehyde that remains in the solution, there will be 1,820 molecules of methylene glycol (Dasgupta 1986).  If an analyst measures only the gaseous formaldehyde in solution the result will be 1,820 lower than the actual amount of available formaldehyde, because methylene glycol reverts to free formaldehyde almost immediately upon contact with air or skin.

When free formaldehyde evaporates from solution or reacts with skin,  the remaining methylene glycol solution will release more free formaldehyde gas nearly instantaneously.  This process will repeat until the methylene glycol is completely gone.  Heat from hair driers and flat irons speeds the reaction.  A hair-straightening session will release significant amounts of formaldehyde gas.

– See more at: http://www.ewg.org/hair-straighteners/our-report/hair-straighteners-that-hide-formaldehyde/#sthash.MDQiR0fA.dpuf

Formaldehyde testing in salons

Formaldehyde testing in salons

Formaldehyde is a gas and it can be easily measured in the salon air with a simple test for 20minutes during the treatment process.

I highly recommend to test the formaldehyde level before and during the treatment regularly to every stylist, and hair salon when they offering Keratin services, even if they think they do not use formaldehyde-based Keratin treatment, as there are manufacturers don’t say the truth about the level of formaldehyde in the products.

As of today I haven’t seen anyone testing for formaldehyde, so if you a professional please look up my blog for info how to do the procedure, and where to order your kit and pricing etc

Porter magazine’s Newby Hands on Zoltan’s services 03 2017

In the below article Newby Hands Beauty Director of Edit and Porter magazines mentions about Zoltan’s services in her recent article, see the last (highlighted) paragraph

 

beautifully SIMPLE

 

If you ’re drowning under information overload about the products, the methods, the treatments relax Newby Hands unpacks all you need to know to stay beautiful and sane..

When did it all get so complicated?

From being something that was a fun and often practical part of our lives, beauty regimes seem to have become increasingly baffling. Do we really need to know the intricacies of shaping, contouring and draping (it’s the new contouring by the way) when the reality is that most of us are still looking for a foundation that stays put and a mascara that doesn’t smudge As for skincare, between cocktailing our serums (fiddly, I know, but it works), layering and stepmasking (the peel, the serum, the moisturizer), it’s amazing we have time to run families, homes and businesses. What we all need are beauty routines that make life easier, ones that slot into the reality of your everyday and help streamline your life with solutions rather than overcomplicating it with confusing regimes. When life gets busy, beauty seems to be the one area that many women factor out, not in, which, believe me, is a mistake, as something that initially seems unimportant, compared to, say, preparing a presentation or organizing an event, can later take on disproportionate importance. Recently, a high-flying but despondent friend of mine called; she had just returned from an economic summit where she was the keynote speaker, but any sense of success was >

 

This is not about vanity, but rather instilling confidence by being prepared so you never get caught out again. As one colleague puts it, ‘It’s exhausting living in a last-minute panic’”

>overshadowed by the fact that as she walked towards the podium all she could think about was the spotlights picking out her root re-growth. “I’d prepared in every other way but this totally swept away my confidence. It hadn’t seemed important before, but at that moment it was all that mattered.” Other women I’ve spoken to report losing their thread mid-presentation when they notice how unkempt their nails look and how much they want to hide them. Why, they ask themselves in anguish, didn’t I book in for a manicure? This is not about vanity, but rather instilling confidence by being prepared so you never get caught out again. As one colleague whose evenings are taken up with events puts it, “It’s exhausting living in a last-minute panic.” Prioritize what matters and, if you are not already doing so, start to block-book rolling appointments for hair color, manicures, blow outs and waxing. One friend who travels extensively advises booking two appointments, a few days apart: “That way if I have to cancel one I always have a back-up. It’s one less thing to think about. ” Over the years, I too have developed my own ‘back-up’ – a list of the treatments to book and the products to never run out of because they provide the best solutions to those beauty problems that would otherwise be one more thing to worry about. These are what I constantly share with others who also seek to streamline their lives. While some may not be relevant to your specific needs, others can be game changers. For those of you who rely on regular three- to six-weekly color appointments, you need to know about Color Wow Root Cover Up, a genius mineral powder that covers roots or can even add natural-looking highlights to tide you over after a missed appointment – and it lasts between shampoos.

Although it may have received some bad press over the years, I cannot recommend highly enough a good (and there are many bad) Brazilian Blow Dry treatment. When done by a professional (my best advice is going to someone who only does this treatment and has done so for several years – most good salons now have a specialist on staff), it can transform frizzy, fluffy and bleach-puffy hair into a new sleek and manageable state. It can also dramatically improve the condition of your hair, as I have found after seeing Zoltan Vargyai (zoltan-hair.com) for the last six years. Plus, it frees up both your time – as blow outs are much faster – and your mind from the constant worry of being caught out by rain or humidity.

What is Keraplex hair treatment?

What is a Keraplex hair treatment, and how does it work?

In the UK more and more people talking about Keraplex hair and wondering is it work, and what’re the differences to a usual keratin treatment?

Keraplex is a hybrid treatment a combination of two amazing stand-alone services:

  1. Olaplex bond building treatment
  2. keraSWIFT keratin repair and smoothing treatment

 

Using two unique treatments, which improves the hair condition so much we left with long lasting beautiful hair for months.

What are the two treatments in Keraplex?

Olaplex is a bond building treatment, it strengthens your hair internally it’s only a few years old technology which allows it te repair and reconnects broken sulphate bonds in the hair. It works amazingly as an added to technical services e.g. bleaching and colour or perms and straightening.

KeraSWIFT

other keratin treatments

 

To read and find out a little more about Olaplex Bond Building technology click here.

The treatment combination works and can improve hair condition. I personally find that doing the treatments first an Olaplex Bond Building then any type of Keratin treatment will give you better results as your hair will be stronger, and in better condition. My costumers saying that in some ways it extends the results of the keratin treatment.

Nowadays I tend to separate the treatments and only offer Keraplex or Zolaplex when my costumers do not have time to visit the salon regurlalry. If they are able to make two separate visits first for a Keratin treatment and then a stand alone Olaplex treatment I find that results are slightly better. It is important that there are some Keratin treatments if Olaplex applied after the Keratin treatment it does need a few weeks wait for Oleplex to be able to penetrate to the hair properly.

It is important that we apply Olplex first and Keratin treatment second,  there are some Keratin treatments if Olaplex applied after the Keratin treatment it does need a few weeks wait for Oleplex to be able to penetrate to the hair properly.

 

To perform the Keraplex treatment it usually takes around 3/4 hour longer than your usual Keratin treatment. My Zolaplex adds around 1 hour and 15 minutes to the Keratin treatment time. The treatment lasts as long as the Keratin treatments do.  Depending on the hair it is recommended in some cases to repeat an Olaplex treatment before the next Keraplex treatment.

Note to US readers:

There is also a US company called Keraplex Inc producing a Keratin treatment called Keraplex which does not contain bond building or Olaplex. I have never tested or tried the product so I am unable to comment on the quality and the results achieved by this treatment.

keraplex hair smoothing treatment packaging

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