Are Hair Straighteners Toxic?

Curly Hair and Hair StraightenersMany people use hair straighteners. Are they toxic?

There are do-it-yourself hair straighteners and there are those done at the hair salon. Hair straighteners are increasingly popular.

Do hair straighteners contain formaldehydes?

A study of leading “Brazilian-style” hair straighteners that included 45 manufacturers has found that many brands claiming little or no formaldehyde actually contain significant levels.

The study, by the Environmental Working Group, included a review of 47 adverse event reports that have been filed with the United States Food and Drug Administration. The study found that “15 of 16 companies claim little to no formaldehyde but tests show their products contain substantial amounts.” Tests concluded that some hair straighteners have up to 11.8% formaldehyde.

In addition, salon air fume testing conducted during 2010 found that hair salons often maintain high levels of formaldehyde. The researchers noted that solutions containing over one percent formaldehyde will produce significant air vapor formaldehyde levels. U.S. federal law calls for salons to provide medical monitoring and emergency wash stations if they use formaldehyde solutions over 1%.

The EWG petitioned the U.S. FDA to take action on what they cite as hazardous products.

Meanwhile, many hair straightener fans are discovering natural black castor oil, which has been reputed (but not confirmed by research) to be a healthy hair straightener. Black castor oil has also been reputed to stimulate hair growth and yield a healthy scalp.

Click here for the Environmental Working Group formaldehyde in hair straightener report.  The report discusses the brands, the salons and consumer products.

We have also discussed formaldehyde in clothing and formaldehyde in flooring. In these, we discussed how formaldehyde is linked to cancer, skin conditions, allergies and other conditions.

Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn our health around. As I drove home that night, I realized this knowledge should be available to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.” Case connects with nature by surfing, hiking, running, biking and according to Dad, being a total beach bum.

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