When it comes to health and beauty products, you would be surprised about the amount of misleading packaging regarding whether a product is truly friendly to the environment or not. The box might say "naturals" or have a picture of a leaf and perhaps leave off an ingredient or two in order to claim its free of harsh chemicals. So it's nice to see a public official address this overlap as more and more companies hop on the green bandwagon.
Before Jerry Brown is sworn in his third non-consecutive term as California governor in January, Brown, as California's attorney general, went after what could be one of the state's most egregious offenders: the Brazilian Blowout.
The 12-page complaint filed Nov. 10 (viewable on Alexandra Spunt and Siobhan O'Connor's No More Dirty Looks blog) states the Brazilian Blowout's Acai Professional Smoothing Solution "contains high levels of formaldehyde" that could possibly harm both salon employees and clients, while claiming on its website that the process contains no harsh chemicals including formaldehyde.
I checked the Brazilian Blowout website and under "about us" is the claim that the product is the "only professional smoothing treatment" that "CONTAINS NO FORMALDEHYDE!!" (emphasis theirs).
The complaints also seeks to remedy the Brazilian Blowout's "deceptive identification, advertising and promotion" in addition to not carrying a warning label about containing formaldehyde, a chemical listed by the State of California to cause cancer.
What's green consumer to do when reading labels isn't enough? Says Spunt, who also co-authored a book with O'Connor "No More Dirty Looks" (Da Capo), "short of taking things to the lab, it's impossible to know what's being used in salon treatments and procedures. But you should never experience eye watering, burning or coughing at the salon. If you have a reaction, or suspect a treatment to be seriously toxic, like the Brazilian Blowout, speak up to the salon owner, contact your state's occupational safety department if you work at the salon, or reach out to your local Department of Public Health."