January 23, 2021   4:31pm

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Mario Talks: Straighten your hair? Know this first! …

The other day I complimented a friend on how great her hair looked and she said slyly, “Oh, it’s the new straightener my salon’s using from Brazil.” Of course as a “curly,” I had to ask our “Hair” man Mario about it. His incredibly negative reaction went something like this…

Don’t even think about using that mix! I won’t have that in my salon. Not only is it bad for my clients, it’s a major health hazard for the people who work here!

Here’s Mario’s post about it:

This treatment has been referred to as The Brazilian Hair Straightener, Escova Progressiva, or Brazilian Keratin Treatment. If you’re even contemplating straightening your hair, you NEED to be AWARE that while you may hear that this is gentler to your hair, it is actually quite dangerous. That’s because it’s:

  • made of keratin protein and formaldehyde – the same chemicals used for embalming bodies.
  • been named a “probable human carcinogen” by the EPA.
  • content formaldehyde can cause eye and respiratory tract irritation that can last quite awhile.
  • fumes are dangerous, and heat and moderate humidity levels accelerate the noxious chemical effect.

You should also know that the higher the percentage of formaldehyde the more effective the treatment is for straightening, and that stylists are cautioned to wear gas masks and latex gloves even when using in an area with ventilation.

Don’t use this stuff!


SNOETY NOTE: If you want to learn more about this straightening process, read these stories in the press:

Health Alarm Over New Hair Straightener, CBS News

Brazilian Hair Straightener, Elle

Brazilian Keratin Hair Treatment, Short Hair Style

Chemical Brazilian Hair Straightener May Be Deadly, AOL

Brazilian Hair Straightening – Fabulous or Fatal?, Associated Content

Shear Madness, New York Magazine

Snoety symbol
dirty blond in paris says: August 12th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

Help! Before I left NY for Paris, Mario, you gave me the name of a friend here who could be my local stylist. I have lost his name/number! And now I want to make an appointment for my wedding day. I will be back in NY soon though for my highlights refill and a cut though, so look forward to seeing you so you can “clean me up!” Thanks a mil!!!

mario diab says: August 12th, 2008 at 7:04 pm

His name is Roy 0033623460301. Let me know if you need anything further and I will see you soon!


michelle says: August 12th, 2008 at 10:36 pm

I understand that there are Keratin hair straightening treatments that are great for your hair. Just ask at your hair salon which ones do not have formaldehyde. If they don’t know go somewhere else that does.

dirty blond in paris says: August 13th, 2008 at 1:40 am

Thanks so much Mario, you are a life saver!!!! See you soon. – Anna

Stephanie says: September 16th, 2008 at 3:57 pm

I have been doing some research on the keratin straighting system and they have come out with formaldehyde free formulas. Some sites have posted that formaldehyde is what makes the product work combined with the heat of the flat iron and the formaldehyde free products then will contain ether. Is this true? Is the formaldehyde free product safe and effective as well?

Michelle says: September 17th, 2008 at 1:09 pm

The formaldehyde free product is supposed to be safe and effective, it is common that hair salons offer the treatment. Possibly Mario, the person who wrote the article could respond to your question regarding ether.

Harriett says: September 17th, 2008 at 2:16 pm

Mario asked me to pass this on to you as a response ABOUT KERATIN products …

“The keratin products are too new to determine yet how good they are. Suggest you wait and see. For example, some input I received is that they can dry the scalp so you can’t do highlights. See what others who’ve actually used it say, and don’t believe everything you read — particularly online where someone may be promoting the product.

Mimi says: June 18th, 2009 at 11:52 am

Mario – what about the Japanese thermal reconditioning? Is it safe?

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