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


If you decide that you want to make your hair less frizzy or straighter, you may well decide on to go to a skilled stylist at a hair salon for a hair straightening or smoothing assistance. Most hair smoothing or straightening merchandise release formaldehyde fuel, a recognised human carcinogen as classified by the International Agency for Exploration on Most cancers, into the air all through the hair straightening or smoothing approach. Formaldehyde exposure can lead to both short- and very long-phrase effects that may well impression your overall health.

This web page gives details about: 

What Comes about All through the Hair Smoothing Method? 

Your stylist usually applies a hair straightening or smoothing alternative to your hair and follows it with a warmth processing step—typically done with a flat iron system that seals the alternative into the strands of the hair. When the alternative is heated, the formaldehyde in the item is unveiled into the air as a fuel. If the salon is not appropriately ventilated, you, your stylist, and other people in the salon are at threat of inhaling the unveiled formaldehyde.

Why Publicity to Formaldehyde is Perilous

When formaldehyde is unveiled into the air and is existing in the air at stages exceeding .1 ppm, it can lead to serious discomfort of your eyes, nose, and lungs. It can also lead to skin sensitivity or allergic dermatitis.

Formaldehyde Publicity: Likely Small-and Prolonged-Expression Effects

The larger the publicity to merchandise that have formaldehyde in phrases of both length of time and focus, the higher the opportunity overall health pitfalls. People today who have knowledgeable formaldehyde publicity have described reactions this kind of as eye problems or discomfort, nervous procedure problems (for illustration, headaches and dizziness), respiratory tract problems (sore or scratchy throat, cough, wheezing), nausea, upper body discomfort, vomiting, and rashes. Serious effects related with formaldehyde can include an amplified prevalence of headaches, bronchial asthma, get in touch with dermatitis (a purple, itchy rash induced by immediate get in touch with with a material or an allergic reaction to it as a result of sensitization) and maybe cancer.

It is essential to be aware that some men and women are incredibly sensitive to formaldehyde, whilst other people have no reaction to the very same level of publicity. If you are sensitive to formaldehyde, you really should not use this variety of item.

Ways to Get If You’re Wondering of Utilizing Hair Smoothing Products 

  1. Do not do it you. Do not utilize them you at home. Go to a certified hair skilled in a salon. Hair specialists really should be skilled to consider precautions this kind of as carrying gloves and protection eyeglasses, as properly as making guaranteed that there is suitable air flow when applying hair smoothing merchandise. For more details, remember to go to OSHA Hair Salons: Points about Formaldehyde in Hair Items.
  2. Read through the list of components. Whilst the Food and drug administration discourages buyers from buying these merchandise for home use, if you are taking into consideration obtaining a item from a retailer or on line to utilize you, study the expected list of components. If there is not one, do not get the item. If the hair smoothing item lists one of these ingredient names on the packaging or enterprise web site: formaldehyde, formalin, or methylene glycol, then it indicates the item contains formaldehyde or will release formaldehyde. Of be aware, not all hair smoothing merchandise have formaldehyde, which is why you need to have to study the label to see what is in the item. 
  3. You may well also want to request your salon skilled these queries: Does the item have formaldehyde? Is there an ingredient list obtainable for this item that I could study? Would it be achievable for me to evaluate the Security Facts Sheet for this item?  Have you been skilled to utilize this item, and do you know the important safeguards to limit publicity to formaldehyde? May I see your education certificate from the producer and the instructions for item use? Does the salon have suitable air flow? Do you periodically take a look at the air for adherence to the Occupational Security and Health Administration’s limitations for formaldehyde? Do you have an alternative hair smoothing item that does not release formaldehyde when heated?
  4. Report terrible reactions. If you expertise a terrible reaction to a hair smoothing item, cease working with the item and report your signs or symptoms to your overall health treatment provider. You can also report your symptom to the Food and drug administration by getting in contact with the Customer Complaint Coordinator in your space or by  reporting them on line at MedWatch, the FDA’s protection details and adverse reporting method. You also may well simply call MedWatch at 1-800-332-1088 to ask for a reporting kind by mail.

See a simple fact sheet and an infographic for more details about hair smoothing merchandise and formaldehyde.