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


If you make a decision that you want to make your hair considerably less frizzy or straighter, you may well choose to go to a specialist stylist at a hair salon for a hair straightening or smoothing services. Most hair smoothing or straightening products launch formaldehyde fuel, a regarded human carcinogen as labeled by the Global Agency for Research on Most cancers, into the air in the course of the hair straightening or smoothing approach. Formaldehyde exposure can result in both of those brief- and extensive-time period results that might effect your wellness.

This site provides details about: 

What Occurs In the course of the Hair Smoothing System? 

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

Why Exposure to Formaldehyde is Perilous

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

Formaldehyde Publicity: Likely Quick-and Long-Phrase Outcomes

The increased the publicity to goods that incorporate formaldehyde in terms of both of those size of time and concentration, the bigger the prospective well being threats. People who have skilled formaldehyde exposure have explained reactions these types of as eye challenges or discomfort, anxious system problems (for illustration, complications and dizziness), respiratory tract issues (sore or scratchy throat, cough, wheezing), nausea, chest pain, vomiting, and rashes. Long-term consequences associated with formaldehyde can include an increased prevalence of complications, bronchial asthma, make contact with dermatitis (a pink, itchy rash triggered by immediate get in touch with with a compound or an allergic reaction to it as a result of sensitization) and quite possibly most cancers.

It’s significant to notice that some folks are pretty sensitive to formaldehyde, whereas some others have no response to the identical degree of publicity. If you are sensitive to formaldehyde, you should really not use this form of product or service.

Measures to Consider If You’re Thinking of Utilizing Hair Smoothing Products 

  1. Never do it on your own. Never implement them by yourself at dwelling. Go to a certified hair specialist in a salon. Hair gurus must be experienced to take safety measures these types of as wearing gloves and basic safety glasses, as well as making guaranteed that there is right ventilation when applying hair smoothing solutions. For additional information and facts, please check out OSHA Hair Salons: Details about Formaldehyde in Hair Goods.
  2. Read through the listing of elements. Whilst the Fda discourages customers from obtaining these merchandise for residence use, if you are looking at buying a products from a keep or on line to utilize yourself, examine the expected checklist of components. If there is not a person, really don’t acquire the merchandise. If the hair smoothing item lists a single of these ingredient names on the packaging or firm site: formaldehyde, formalin, or methylene glycol, then it usually means the product or service includes formaldehyde or will launch formaldehyde. Of be aware, not all hair smoothing products consist of formaldehyde, which is why you need to have to browse the label to see what is in the solution. 
  3. You could also want to check with your salon qualified these thoughts: Does the product or service contain formaldehyde? Is there an ingredient record offered for this product or service that I could study? Would it be achievable for me to review the Basic safety Information Sheet for this product?  Have you been properly trained to implement this product or service, and do you know the important safeguards to limit publicity to formaldehyde? May perhaps I see your teaching certificate from the producer and the instructions for product use? Does the salon have good air flow? Do you periodically test the air for adherence to the Occupational Security and Well being Administration’s restrictions for formaldehyde? Do you have an choice hair smoothing solution that does not release formaldehyde when heated?
  4. Report poor reactions. If you expertise a negative reaction to a hair smoothing solution, prevent making use of the merchandise and report your indications to your health and fitness care provider. You can also report your symptom to the Fda by getting in touch with the Consumer Grievance Coordinator in your spot or by  reporting them online at MedWatch, the FDA’s protection information and adverse reporting method. You also may possibly connect with MedWatch at 1-800-332-1088 to ask for a reporting type by mail.

See a simple fact sheet and an infographic for a lot more facts about hair smoothing goods and formaldehyde.