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33 Toxic Hair Straighteners Under International Recall Still Sold in U.S.

Health + Wellness
33 Toxic Hair Straighteners Under International Recall Still Sold in U.S.

Thirty-three hair-straightening products have been recalled over the last three years in several countries due to high levels of formaldehyde, however, the U.S. has yet to pull the toxic products, according to new research from the national nonprofit Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE).

Read on to find out which toxic hair straighteners remain on the market, which have been banned or recalled and which are formaldehyde- free. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

The issue has alarmed many consumers given that formaldehyde (also called methylene glycol) can cause severe eye, nose and throat irritation and increase cancer risks.

The increased risks to salon workers alone, who offer hair-straightening treatments, merits further investigation, said Alex Scranton, director of science and research at WVE.

“Based on sound science, other countries are taking strong measures to protect the health of salon workers and their customers from formaldehyde-containing products,” said Scranton. “While U.S. government regulations continue to fall short, consumers deserve to know what’s in their products in order to make safer decisions about their hair care.”

Formaldehyde Effects

Natalija Josimov used to swear by hair-straightening treatments for her own coarse, frizzy hair. When she became a hair stylist in 2009, she said she was eager to offer the service to her clients. But just nine months after launching her career, she experienced chronic sinus and respiratory infections, painful blisters in her nose and heart palpitations—all caused by formaldehyde gas released during treatments.

“I think many stylists performing these treatments are under the mistaken impression that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would not allow these products on the market if they were dangerous,” Josimov said. “It took me doing at least 100 treatments before I realized it was making me so ill, and I still have side effects from it."

Josimov is part of a growing number of stylists and consumers concerned about toxic chemicals in hair-straightening products and the double standard that allows formaldehyde-containing products to be sold in the U.S., despite being banned by the European Union Commission.

Stories like Josimov’s led WVE to release a new fact sheet alerting stylists and customers to the international recalls of hair-straightening products.

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), an industry-funded and operated panel that assesses the safety of cosmetic ingredients in the U.S., declared that formaldehyde was unsafe to be used in hair straightening products in March 2011.

The FDA lacks the authority to issue a mandatory recall of cosmetic products that have been found to cause health problems to consumers. In fact, the agency has yet to issue a voluntary recall of Brazilian Blowout, the first hair straightener found to contain high levels of formaldehyde. The original formula of Brazilian Blowout was ordered off the market in California by the California Attorney General in 2012 for violating California air pollution regulations.

See below which toxic hair straighteners remain on the market, which have been banned or recalled, and which are formaldehyde- free: 

International Recalls of Hair Straighteners

Products that have been recalled in other countries, but which are still for sale in the U. S.

This list is not exhaustive. There may also be other hair straightening products containing formaldehyde.

Brand/
Manufacturer

Product Name

Level/Range of Formaldehyde

Countries Where Recalled

BioNaza Cosmetics

KeraHair – Premiere Brazilian Keratin System

.7-2.5%

European Union

BioNaza Cosmetics

Choco Hair – Brazilian Keratin Chocolate

1.2-1.8%

European Union

BioNaza Cosmetics

Diamond – Premiere Brazilian Keratin System

0.8-1.7%

European Union

BioNaza Cosmetics

KeraVino Premiere Brazilian Keratin System

0.9-1.6%

European Union

Brazillian Blowout

Brazillian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution Brazillian Blowout Solution

6.4- 8.8%

Canada,Australia,IrelandFrance

Cadiveu

Brazillian Thermal Reconstruction

7%

Canada

Cocochoco Professional

Complex Brazilian Keratin Straightening Treatment

3%

European Union

Coppola/Copomon Enterprises LLC

Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy

2%

Ireland,Australia,Canada,European UnionFrance

Coppola/Copomon Enterprises LLC

Keratin Complex Express Blowout

>.2-1.7%

Canada,Australia

Coppola/Copomon Enterprises LLC

Keratin Complex Intense RX, Smoothing Therapy

0.5-0.8%

Australia,European Union

Global Keratin

Global Keratin Taming System with Juvexin Strawberry Resistant

4.40%

Canada

Global Keratin

Global Keratin Taming System Strawberry

3.00%

FranceCanada

Global Keratin

Functional Keratin Hair Taming System Blond/Light Wave Colored “Chocolate”

1.7%

European UnionIreland

Global Keratin

Global Keratin Taming System with Juvexin Strawberry Light Wave

.2-1.4%

CanadaIreland

Global Keratin

Global Keratin Hair Taming System with Juvexin Light Wave/Curly

>.2%

Australia

Goleshlee

Goleshlee Keratin Hair Therapy

>0.6%

France

Hair Go Straight

Keratin Treatment

2.60%

European Union

I.B.S Beauty Inc.

Istraight Keratin Advanced Keratin Treatment

2.30%

Canada

Inoar

Moroccan Hair Treatment

2.84%-7%

European UnionCanada

KeraStraight

Treatment Original Formula

2%

European UnionIreland

La Brasiliana

Zero (apple)

0.76%

Canada

La Brasiliana

Veloce

0.35%

Canada

La Brasiliana

Spruzzi

> .2%

Canada

La Brasiliana

Domani

> .2%

Canada

La Brasiliana

Original

> .2%

Canada

Lazaros general trading LLC

TCQ Plus Phase 2 – Nano Hydra Keratin

2.30%

European Union

Marcia Teixeira – M & M International

Chocolate, extreme de-frizzing treatment

2%

FranceCanada

Marcia Teixeira – M & M International

Advanced Brazilian Keratin Treatment

1.70%

Canada

Marcia Teixeira – M & M International

Brazilian Keratin Treatment, Marcia Teixeira

1.60%

IrelandCanada

R & L Trading Corp

Soft-Liss Intelligent Brush Morango Step 2

>0.2%

Ireland

Rio Keratin

Brazilian Keratin Treatment Step 2 Grape Extract

3.50%

European Union

Royal Keratin Professional Line by Keratin Connection

Brazilian Keratin Treatment in Mint, Chocolate, Strawberry

1.54%

Canada

Tahe

Thermo Keratin No. 2 Active Treatment

>0.2%

Ireland

 

Hair Straighteners High in Formaldehyde, Not Yet Recalled

Products that have been tested and found to contain formaldehyde higher than acceptable levels in other countries, but have not yet been subject to recall.

Brand/

Manufacturer

Product Name

Level/Range of Formaldehyde

Brazillian Gloss

Keratin Smoothing Gloss

7.30%

Kera Green

Keratin and Protein Hair Treatment

1.50%

Keratin Express

Keratin Express Brazilian Smoothing Treatment

1.2%

QOD

Max

3.52%

QODGold Solution

2%

Simply Smooth / American Culture HairBrazilian Keratin Treatment

0.93%

Simply Smooth / American Culture HairXtend Keratin Replenishing After Color Lock

0.55%

 

Formaldehyde-Free Hair Straighteners

The following products have been tested and found not to contain measurable levels of formaldehyde.

This list is not exhaustive. There may also be other hair straightening products which do not contain formaldehyde.

Brand/

Manufacturer

Product Name

Level/Range of Formaldehyde

JKS International

JKS Smoothing Treament

0%

Bio Ionic

Bio Ionic Kera Smooth Anti Frizz Treatment for Virgin Resistent Hair

0.01%

Pravana Naturceuticals

Pravana Naturceuticals Keratin Fusion

0.01%

 

Visit EcoWatch’s HEALTH pages for more related news on this topic.

 

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Tara Lohan is deputy editor of The Revelator and has worked for more than a decade as a digital editor and environmental journalist focused on the intersections of energy, water and climate. Her work has been published by The Nation, American Prospect, High Country News, Grist, Pacific Standard and others. She is the editor of two books on the global water crisis. http://twitter.com/TaraLohan

Reposted with permission from The Revelator.