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Jennifer Aniston famously chopped her hair into a bob because of a Brazilian Blowout disaster a couple years ago, but still the keratin hair-straightening treatment is still quite prevalent in salons. If the Environmental Working Group has a say, however, it won’t be for long.
The nonprofit released a new report that found the treatments still contain up to seven percent formaldehyde, a toxic chemical that can cause cancer, hives, blisters and asthma. And although that percentage is decreased from the original 11.8 percent, it’s still no bueno.
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Sure, the results are silky, soft, straightened hair. But according to a few celebrity hairdressers, there are other means to that end that don’t threaten your health.
Sheridan Ward, who has worked with Toni Collette and Chanel Iman, suggests Frizz Ease 3 Day Straight ($10) instead of the more permanent Brazilian. “It lasts up to three days, which is great for someone looking for a semi-permanent alternative, and can be blow-dried in and followed with a flat iron to seal in that straightness.” He also likes Bumble and Bumble’s Straight Blow Dry cream ($14), “which is brilliant for smoothing hair and fighting frizz. Accompanied by a professional blow dry it should last all week—and don’t forget your dry shampoo!”
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According to Anna Lyles, a global educator for Macadamia Professional and runway hair stylist, “the alternatives are also very damaging to the hair strand over time, causing breakage and frizz for most hair types. For curly to coiled textures looking to go straight, I recommend the classic blowout once a week using a heat protection product like Macadamia Professional Blow Dry Lotion ($24).” A flat iron at the end can add smoothness, too, she says.
The key, to Kylee Heath — who works with January Jones and Sofia Vergara, among others — is to “invest in a great blow dryer. Rather than sitting in the salon for hours for a Brazilian take the time to master doing a blowout on yourself,” she says. Her other piece of advice, and perhaps the easiest to master? “Learn to love what you were born with! And find the right products meant for you.”
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