Sickening Straighteners

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In recent years, pin straight hair trends have led to the creation of extreme chemical hair straighteners and dangerously hot blow outs. These straighteners don’t just cause your hair to be straighter, they also have been linked to severe allergic reactions, massive hair loss, rashes, blistered scalps, and many health problems. So what causes these dangerous effects? Formaldehyde. 

Formaldehyde is a dangerous known carcinogen that disrupts our hormone systems causing many illnesses. It is a colorless odorless gas that can cause cancer in large amounts. However it is used in many products including chemical hair straighteners. However, even though it is known to be dangerous, brands claim to have low formaldehyde levels as a positive. And these were tested by EWG and 15/16 were found to have high amounts. Some even omitted the ingredient from its labels, further keeping buyers in the dark because of formaldehyde’s known dangers, often recognized for being in cigarette smoke. 

Formaldehyde is also dangerous for hairdressers because as these hair products are heated, the formaldehyde becomes airborne and more dangerous. Many hair salons were warned but there is still very little action on this problem. This is because there are no set levels on the amount of the dangerous chemical, formaldehyde, allowed in so many of our products. 

Luckily you can search your personal care products on EWGs Skin Deep Database to make staying informed easy. Additionally, the EPA is continuing their research and bills have been in effect to try and set limits on formaldehyde in products.

By Sara Frawley

melanie gabrell