Though the brand has long declared itself free of carcinogens, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a warning last month that the Blowout may contain toxic levels of the cancer-causer formaldehyde.
Embarrassingly, teen mags and gossip rags have long vetted its lack of formaldehyde as its strongest selling point. (That and its traffic-stopping "boost to your lackluster coif," of course.)
Now, after more OSHA testing, Brazilian Blowout boasts on its website:
On October 29, 2010, Oregon OSHA released results of a comprehensive air monitoring study conducted across seven salons. Each case yielded formaldehyde exposure levels well beneath OSHA's Action Level, Permissible Exposure Level (PEL), and Short-Term Exposure Level.
OK, so they just admitted that Brazilian Blowout contains formaldehyde. Then how do they explain their "About Us" section, which still reads:
Owner and stylist Mar Fujimoto of Venice's own Studio Noi said she recently sold 500 Brazilian Blowout discount coupons through LivingSocial -- normally a treatment goes for a malignant $300 -- and now performs a handful a day.
"It doesn't bother me," Fujimoto told the Weekly. "There's just a bit of a thing that comes off -- I'm not sure what it is -- that gets in my eyes a little."
She said she trusts the company's claims that Brazilian Blowout is formaldehyde-free.
Beverly Hills salon owner Neil Weisberg (of the Neil George Salon) brushed off the commotion, lending the Times more wisdom than all the studies combined: "I say, you put Botox in your face, lead in your lipstick, and you smoke. Pick your poison."