MIAMI (CBS4) — Straight, sleek, shiny. That’s the promise of a Brazilian Blowout. The trouble is, however, some straightening treatments contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, and come with a safety warning.
Shawnee Braufman knows how bad a Brazilian blowout can be. Her hair fell out after having one.
“It was a really bad experience,” said Braufman.
A lot of women long for straight locks but don’t want to end up like Shawnee. Now there are some newer, safer ways to get that straight, sleek, shiny hair without the risk.
Angela Benson has wavy hair and straightens her hair almost every day.
“I have five kids running around my house, so an hour in the morning is what I spend on my hair, and that’s crazy. If I can get that hour back, it’s worth so much money to me,” she said, with a laugh.
Benson tried the Keraspa Keratin smoothing treatment. It’s a six-step process; washing, applying the product, blow drying, flat ironing, rinsing and drying again.
Stylist Kathy Larrabe said she remembers how the old treatments hurt her eyes and nose.
“If I have to wear a mask, and my client has to wear a mask, then I’m pretty sure it’s not a good thing for you,” she said. She styles Benson’s hair, without any protection.
The cost for Benson’s hair is $200, it’s $250-plus for longer hair. The Keraspa Keratin smoothing treatment lasts around 12 weeks.
This is like different hair. It’s not my hair, in a good way,” Benson said, after her new treatment.
Jackie Woller tried another hair straightening option, an organic treatment called the Simply Smooth. It contains a food grade preservative called beneldaline.
“And they use it to, like for example, in like semi-sweet chocolate to harden the chocolate, they use beneldaline to set it up,” Deavalon said. “This is perfect for people who want to still have the option to wear their hair curly.”
This treatment costs $350 and lasts for 36 washes.
“It almost even makes my face look longer, maybe even thinner,” Woller said, with a laugh, “which is kind of amazing, I love it.”
Woller’s twin sister Jen Jimenez went the traditional route and received a Brazilian Blowout with formaldehyde.
“Within our organization, we had the product tested,” said Kimberly Erickson, a stylist. “In this particular lab, they performed three services in a row wearing a patch that would monitor and it read as still within safe levels.”
Erickson said a lot of her clients swear by the Brazilian Blowout.
“It really makes it so much easier for them to get ready and look finished,” she said. “I think there are a lot of women who are really nervous that this won’t be on the market anymore.”
The process is a lot like the others, with a notable exception.
“It can get a little bit irritating, so I can kind of stand back away from it, you don’t have that,” Erickson told Jimenez.
The bill this time? $300 for a treatment that should last 12 weeks.
“I’m super excited,” Jimenez said. “It’s just, it’s amazing.”
All three stylists said after the treatment, it’s best to use sulfate-free shampoos. If you do that and shampoo less often, the smooth look will last a lot longer, they said.
A couple of weeks after the treatments, Benson still flat irons her hair in the morning, just a little around her face. Jimenez loves her new hair and her twin sister Jackie, who had the organic treatment, said she wishes she would’ve had a different process, something that would make her hair even straighter.