two photos of women of different hair-types, both having their hair straightened with flat irons

If you make your mind up that you want to make your hair less frizzy or straighter, you might pick out to go to a skilled stylist at a hair salon for a hair straightening or smoothing company. Most hair smoothing or straightening merchandise launch formaldehyde fuel, a acknowledged human carcinogen as categorised by the Intercontinental Company for Analysis on Cancer, into the air for the duration of the hair straightening or smoothing approach. Formaldehyde exposure can result in each short- and lengthy-phrase results that might impact your health.

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What Transpires All through the Hair Smoothing Approach? 

Your stylist ordinarily applies a hair straightening or smoothing resolution to your hair and follows it with a warmth processing step—typically executed with a flat iron device that seals the resolution into the strands of the hair. When the resolution is heated, the formaldehyde in the solution is unveiled into the air as a fuel. If the salon is not adequately ventilated, you, your stylist, and others in the salon are at chance of inhaling the unveiled formaldehyde.

Why Publicity to Formaldehyde is Dangerous

When formaldehyde is unveiled into the air and is current in the air at levels exceeding .one ppm, it can result in major discomfort of your eyes, nose, and lungs. It can also result in pores and skin sensitivity or allergic dermatitis.

Formaldehyde Publicity: Potential Quick-and Lengthy-Phrase Outcomes

The larger the exposure to merchandise that consist of formaldehyde in terms of each duration of time and focus, the better the likely health pitfalls. Men and women who have expert formaldehyde exposure have explained reactions this sort of as eye complications or discomfort, nervous method complications (for example, complications and dizziness), respiratory tract complications (sore or scratchy throat, cough, wheezing), nausea, chest suffering, vomiting, and rashes. Persistent results linked with formaldehyde can include things like an improved prevalence of complications, bronchial asthma, make contact with dermatitis (a purple, itchy rash caused by direct make contact with with a substance or an allergic response to it as a result of sensitization) and maybe most cancers.

It’s significant to be aware that some folks are pretty delicate to formaldehyde, whilst others have no response to the same degree of exposure. If you are delicate to formaldehyde, you must not use this type of solution.

Steps to Choose If You’re Imagining of Applying Hair Smoothing Products 

  1. Don’t do it you. Don’t use them you at house. Go to a licensed hair skilled in a salon. Hair gurus must be qualified to get safety measures this sort of as donning gloves and basic safety glasses, as effectively as building certain that there is appropriate air flow when applying hair smoothing merchandise. For a lot more information, make sure you stop by OSHA Hair Salons: Facts about Formaldehyde in Hair Products and solutions.
  2. Browse the list of components. Although the Fda discourages consumers from buying these merchandise for house use, if you are taking into consideration acquiring a solution from a retail store or on-line to use you, examine the necessary list of components. If there isn’t a person, do not acquire the solution. If the hair smoothing solution lists a person of these component names on the packaging or company site: formaldehyde, formalin, or methylene glycol, then it indicates the solution has formaldehyde or will launch formaldehyde. Of be aware, not all hair smoothing merchandise consist of formaldehyde, which is why you will need to examine the label to see what is in the solution. 
  3. You might also want to ask your salon skilled these questions: Does the solution consist of formaldehyde? Is there an component list readily available for this solution that I could examine? Would it be probable for me to evaluate the Protection Facts Sheet for this solution?  Have you been qualified to use this solution, and do you know the essential safeguards to decrease exposure to formaldehyde? Could I see your education certification from the producer and the instructions for solution use? Does the salon have appropriate air flow? Do you periodically examination the air for adherence to the Occupational Protection and Health Administration’s limits for formaldehyde? Do you have an substitute hair smoothing solution that does not launch formaldehyde when heated?
  4. Report negative reactions. If you practical experience a negative response to a hair smoothing solution, cease employing the solution and report your symptoms to your health treatment service provider. You can also report your symptom to the Fda by contacting the Client Criticism Coordinator in your space or by  reporting them on-line at MedWatch, the FDA’s basic safety information and adverse reporting software. You also might connect with MedWatch at one-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form by mail.

See a truth sheet and an infographic for a lot more information about hair smoothing merchandise and formaldehyde.