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Health & Nutrition

Beauty Is Pain: L.A.'s Popular 'Brazilian Blowout' Bashed For Toxic Fumage

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Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 10:11 AM

click to enlarge We'd rather be doing Brazilian Blow - BOBBY COOPER SALON
  • Bobby Cooper Salon
  • We'd rather be doing Brazilian Blow
Nicole Richie swears by it. The Olsen twins bathe in it. (Their hair, you perves.) Lindsay Lohan would go back to jail for it. Studio Noi -- a shmancy little salon in Venice -- blasts it on the daily.

From across the country, the ball-busting New York Times has its eye on Brazilian Blowout, an L.A.-based wonder product that does miracles for your frizz -- and perhaps a number on your tumors, too.

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:

click to enlarge BRAZILIAN BLOWOUT
  • Brazilian Blowout

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."

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