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two photos of women of different hair-types, both having their hair straightened with flat irons

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If you determine that you want to make your hair less frizzy or straighter, you may perhaps opt for to go to a qualified stylist at a hair salon for a hair straightening or smoothing assistance. Most hair smoothing or straightening products and solutions launch formaldehyde gas, a regarded human carcinogen as categorised by the International Agency for Investigation on Cancer, into the air all through the hair straightening or smoothing course of action. Formaldehyde exposure can cause both equally short- and prolonged-term effects that may perhaps affect your well being.

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What Occurs Throughout the Hair Smoothing Procedure? 

Your stylist generally applies a hair straightening or smoothing alternative to your hair and follows it with a warmth processing step—typically performed with a flat iron gadget that seals the alternative into the strands of the hair. When the alternative is heated, the formaldehyde in the product is launched into the air as a gas. If the salon is not properly ventilated, you, your stylist, and other people in the salon are at threat of inhaling the launched formaldehyde.

Why Publicity to Formaldehyde is Unsafe

When formaldehyde is launched into the air and is present in the air at concentrations exceeding .one ppm, it can cause significant irritation of your eyes, nose, and lungs. It can also cause pores and skin sensitivity or allergic dermatitis.

Formaldehyde Publicity: Opportunity Limited-and Long-Expression Effects

The higher the publicity to products and solutions that comprise formaldehyde in terms of both equally size of time and focus, the increased the prospective well being risks. Folks who have knowledgeable formaldehyde publicity have described reactions this kind of as eye complications or irritation, nervous method complications (for case in point, complications and dizziness), respiratory tract complications (sore or scratchy throat, cough, wheezing), nausea, upper body discomfort, vomiting, and rashes. Continual effects associated with formaldehyde can involve an amplified prevalence of complications, asthma, call dermatitis (a purple, itchy rash prompted by direct call with a compound or an allergic reaction to it as a outcome of sensitization) and potentially cancer.

It is critical to observe that some people are really sensitive to formaldehyde, while other people have no reaction to the identical amount of publicity. If you are sensitive to formaldehyde, you must not use this sort of product.

Ways to Just take If You are Thinking of Using Hair Smoothing Products 

  1. Really don’t do it by yourself. Really don’t apply them by yourself at house. Go to a certified hair qualified in a salon. Hair pros must be properly trained to acquire precautions this kind of as putting on gloves and safety glasses, as well as producing absolutely sure that there is suitable ventilation when making use of hair smoothing products and solutions. For far more information, be sure to visit OSHA Hair Salons: Info about Formaldehyde in Hair Products.
  2. Study the listing of components. When the Fda discourages individuals from purchasing these products and solutions for house use, if you are thinking of obtaining a product from a shop or on line to apply by yourself, read through the demanded listing of components. If there is not just one, really don’t purchase the product. If the hair smoothing product lists just one of these ingredient names on the packaging or enterprise site: formaldehyde, formalin, or methylene glycol, then it means the product has formaldehyde or will launch formaldehyde. Of observe, not all hair smoothing products and solutions comprise formaldehyde, which is why you will need to read through the label to see what is in the product. 
  3. You may perhaps also want to request your salon qualified these issues: Does the product comprise formaldehyde? Is there an ingredient listing available for this product that I could read through? Would it be achievable for me to evaluate the Safety Facts Sheet for this product?  Have you been properly trained to apply this product, and do you know the essential safeguards to reduce publicity to formaldehyde? May possibly I see your instruction certificate from the company and the directions for product use? Does the salon have suitable ventilation? Do you periodically test the air for adherence to the Occupational Safety and Wellbeing Administration’s limits for formaldehyde? Do you have an choice hair smoothing product that does not launch formaldehyde when heated?
  4. Report terrible reactions. If you practical experience a terrible reaction to a hair smoothing product, stop making use of the product and report your indications to your well being care company. You can also report your symptom to the Fda by making contact with the Customer Complaint Coordinator in your space or by  reporting them on line at MedWatch, the FDA’s safety information and adverse reporting program. You also may perhaps contact MedWatch at one-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form by mail.

See a simple fact sheet and an infographic for far more information about hair smoothing products and solutions and formaldehyde.