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A Hairy Dilemna

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By now, everyone has heard of the Brazilian Blowout—the de-frizzing treatment that leaves hair silky and straight for up to 12 weeks. But recent tests suggest that even the so-called formaldehyde-free formulation does in fact, contain formaldehyde— a known carcinogen used in embalming fluid. Oregon Health & Science University found up to 10.6 percent formaldehyde in the product (.2 percent is considered safe by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel) and Canada’s health department found up to 12 percent.

Vasken Demirjian, owner of the Vasken Demirjian Salon in White Plains, took the studies to heart. “I pulled Brazilian Blowout off the menu the second I found out about the test in Oregon,” he says. “I’ll probably lose some clients but I could care less at this stage. The whole thing is alarming. One of my stylists said it made her eyes water when she was using it so she started wearing a mask,” he says. “When I saw her wearing that mask, I asked myself, ‘Does that look good? No.’”

What price beauty, indeed.

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