Women will be sharing hair-raising experiences with Congress this week when they tell lawmakers a popular hair-straightener is a health hazard.
The Brazilian Blowout and other keratin-based hair treatments have been banned by some salons - and some advocates want the feds to make them illegal.
"I call it an STD - straightened to death," said Lorraine Massey, a New York curl expert who doesn't offer the treatments but takes care of clients who have been burned by them.
The best-known of the group is the Brazilian Blowout, a formaldehyde-laced product that some stylists say causes nosebleeds, severe coughing and red eyes.
There have been reports of singed scalps - but many salons continue to tout it as a safe cure for unruly curls.
"If there really is something in these products that is dangerous, we need to know because women will go to any lengths to look good," said Michelle Bender, 42, a SoHo writer who "had little scabs on my scalp" after several hair-straightening treatments.
Women's advocates and California salon workers will brief the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus about their concerns tomorrow.
They are pushing lawmakers to pass the Safe Cosmetics Act, which would ban the use of ingredients that are known carcinogens and give the Food and Drug Administration more authority to recall personal-care products.
California sued the maker of the Brazilian Blowout for false advertising, saying the feds found formaldehyde in the substance, but it claims to be free of the carcinogen.
Federal workplace safety agents have deemed it dangerous, and it's banned in France and Canada.
In New York, many salons use it, though a growing number are avoiding it.
"I find it extremely dangerous to the customer and surrounding clients. I'm not allowing it," said the owner of the midtown salon Ouidad, who also goes by that name.
"It's dangerous to the public, and we need to make a ruling on whether this is acceptable or not."
The maker of the Brazilian Blowout had no immediate comment.
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