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Victoria Aquino, SolicitorA couple of years ago there were warnings in the press about a new hair trend – The Brazilian Blow Dry.  This treatment promises to tame unruly frizz and curly hair in just three hours and claims to leave you with a ‘perfect blow-dry that lasts for months’. First of all hair cuticles are opened up with a special shampoo before a product is applied to hair and then straightened at high temperature to activate the chemicals which achieve the end result.

In 2011 it was reported that a class action had started in the USA from 200 people who claim the product has damaged their health. Stylist Kimberley Ryley who launched the action says that every one of her 225 clients reported some form of symptoms after having the treatment.  They ranged from headaches and eye irritation to dermatitis, allergic reactions, chest pain, asthma, insomnia and depression. On January 30, 2012, the California Attorney General announced a settlement with the manufacturer of Brazilian Blowout products that requires the company to warn consumers and hair stylists that two of their most popular hair-smoothing products emit formaldehyde gas. The terms of the settlement require accurate disclosure in material safety data sheets and labels, distribution of precautionary use measures, and cessation of false advertising. Penalties of $600,000 were also imposed on the manufacturer.

Last week I met with a client who was has had significant health problems as a result of having just one of these hair treatments.  It is still early days yet but over the next few weeks I will be uncovering more facts about these treatments.

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