Brazilian Blowout

FRESNO, Calif.

It's called, "Brazilian Blowout" ... but lately ... there's been a blow up over claims, it releases a harmful chemical.

Fresno stylist, Debra Stankevich can hardly keep up with her clients demands for the Brazilian Blowout. The hair-straightening craze has clients like Ashley Ladd of Madera, willing to sit for hours in a salon chair to get the hair she's always wanted. "It takes me about an hour or an hour and 15 minutes to straighten it and it's not so good when I'm in a hurry or on the go."

The process coats the hair with a protein solution and heat seals it in. Stylists pay for a course from the "Brazilian Blowout" company on how to perform the service. Then they're tested and certified by the company. The treatment can last for three months or more. Giving clients, shiny, healthy feeling hair that can be worn straight, or can be curled. For clients like Ashley, the $250.00 and up price tag is worth the results.

Stankevich said, "Well I love it, it feels super smooth already. I can feel the difference in my hair texture so I'm happy."

Another client at Spectrum Salon in north Fresno showed us her before and after pictures and says she'll never go back to frizzy, uncontrollable hair. Debra had the process done on her own hair so she would be even more familiar with the product and says she's never seen anything like it. "It has definitely changed my life. It's the best thing out there for your hair."

But the state of California doesn't agree. Earlier this month, Attorney General, Jerry Brown filed a lawsuit against Brazilian Blowout, saying the company did not disclose its product contains formaldehyde, which the EPA calls a probable human carcinogen.

ABC News obtained this video of government agency OSHA testing samples last month of Brazilian Blowout solution from some Oregon salons and found potentially harmful levels of formaldehyde. But further tests showed levels below federal standards.

Through a spokesperson, Brazilian Blowout released this statement to Action News regarding the California attorney general's suit saying quote: "We firmly believe that its investigation will validate the results of Oregon OSHA's air monitoring studies, once again confirming the safety of this product. We look forward to working with the attorney general to dispel the innuendo and rumor currently surrounding Brazilian Blowout." End quote.

Fresno Environmental Medicine Doctor Shahzad Jahromi at Kaiser Permanente Fresno, says people who are sensitive to formaldehyde, might have a cough and watery eyes after exposure, but most people may not notice any symptoms. "For day to day in cosmetics, you're probably not going to notice something unless you are allergic to it. Then they would notice on their skin, they would have that reaction."

Salons like Spectrum stand by the bb process as safe. "It's no different than getting a color service no different than getting a perm," said Robert Pasillas.

Stylists recommend asking about the salon itself before you get the Brazilian Blowout or any other hair process. There should be a constant flow of air conditioning throughout the salon and the air filters should be changed, often.

Some salons also offer other alternatives to Brazilian Blowout, which promise the same results.

The Brazilian Keratin treatment is about half the price of Brazilian Blowout, but clients have to leave the keratin solution in their hair without shampooing for at least 3 days. While the controversy over chemicals continues ... some salons in New York profiled on Good Morning America are giving their stylists and clients gas masks to wear during the Brazilian Blowout to protect them from any fumes.

But Spectrum general manager, Robert Pasillas says that's not necessary and is confident Brazilian Blowout will straighten out any concerns about the process. "It's very safe. It's gentle on the hair. We love the product."

The state attorney general is pushing for warning labels about the chemicals in the "Brazilian Blowout" solution so clients can take "appropriate precautions" and decide whether to use the product.

"Brazilian Blowout" says it's pleased the attorney general is taking action in the potential need for warning labels.

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