Anorak | Scare Story: The Brazilian Blow-Dry Embalms Your Dead Body

Scare Story: The Brazilian Blow-Dry Embalms Your Dead Body

by | 7th, March 2011

SCARE Story of the Day: The Daily’ Mail’s killer “Brazilian blow-dry”:

“The ‘Brazilian blow-dry’ is the trendy new way to straighten unruly hair. But it uses a cocktail of chemicals with deeply disturbing side effects – Could your blow dry POISON you?

We meet Karen Dandy, owner of Spires in East Grinstead, West Sussex. She had the treatment showcased in her salon. It’s the treatment “loved by celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie”.

The product was released from the bottle and the people began…

“…inhaling a noxious chemical mist that rose to the salon ceiling and hung there in a cloud.”

Little wonder Lohan loves it, allegedly. Anyhow, it was alarming stuff. So. When the rep called with a new improved formula, Karen showed her the door? Or:

Once again, a model was found; this time, Karen’s 23-year-old daughter Charlotte, one of the stylists.

Expectations were high but, again, the room filled with the familiar, pungent odour as headaches and nausea claimed the watching team. “It obviously wasn’t safe — and the irony is that it didn’t even achieve a good result,” says Karen. “Charlotte’s hair looked brittle and burned at the ends.”

Scary stuff. But can it be made scarier? Yep:

There are even fears that prolonged exposure could trigger cancer.

Even fears, eh? You will find out who is afraid later. But for now let’s learn about the active ingredients in the blow-dry?

Better known as a key ingredient in embalming fluid, formaldehyde is also one of the main ingredients in many of these hair straightening treatments.

This stuff kills, allegedly, and then preserves the corpse.

Nothing has been proven that the treatments are a risk to health, yet the Mail’s Nick Craven and Vic Parry offer readers:

So why are so many women putting their health at risk for a hair style?

Hey, who needs research or facts when writing a scare story?

The Brazilian blow-dry began, as the name implies, in Brazil about six years ago. Exactly how the straightening properties of formaldehyde were discovered are unclear, although its use in the textile industry to straighten wool may have sparked the idea.

Yeah, maybe…

And you might be a victim. Well, you might be if you are treated with a banned version of the product:

No one was available to comment from the Trading Standards Institute. However, the Cosmetics, Toiletries and Perfumery Association, representing the British industry, is aware of the issue. Its director, Dr Chris Flower, admits some of the prohibited bottles — all marketed with promises of banishing frizz — are still available here.

He says:

“…you should check these chemicals are not being used at more than the safe levels defined in European legislation.”

So. Brazilian blow-drys are not a danger to health, just the ones that use prohibited levels of chemicals.

The aforesaid Karen Dandy adds:

“These are mostly young people who should have long, healthy lives ahead of them. I don’t want to sound alarmist, but I’m worried stylists who’ve taken products on trust are going to find themselves battling cancer in the future — simply because they did the job they were asked to do.”

Hope her daughter’s ok…

In other news, Liz Thomas told Mail readers:

The treatment is popular with WAGs and stars because it is a conditioner in itself, which means it nourishes hair rather than stripping it.

Liz Jones told us:


My new super-straightened hair, courtesy of the Brazilian blow dry.

Kate Meluish told Mail readers:

Unlike chemical hair relaxers, this revolutionary new treatment intensely conditions hair with natural products including cocoa and clay whilst adding definition if your hair has a natural wave or curl to it.

She also said that Brazilian blow-dried hair can make you look younger:

Brazilian Blow Dry expert Rose Burch, from Neville Hair & Beauty, (020 7235 3654, gave Sarah ‘Botox for Locks’, injecting keratin into the hair shaft to smooth it, before colourist Paul Stubbs ran a vegetable colour through her hair to give it a more golden colour to cool and soften her natural red.

Scary stuff…

Posted: 7th, March 2011 | In: Reviews Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink