Mark Garrison, owner of the Mark Garrison salon in New York City, doesn’t take any chances in his salon. Garrison offered the Brazilian blowout treatment in his salon until the Oregon OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Division) issued an alert about the presence of formaldehyde in the treatment. Before then, Garrison designated the entire fourth floor of his townhouse sized salon to providing Brazilian keratin treatments. Garrison was ahead of the game, and in 2006 he built his very own keratin treatment room. Spending $7,000 on a ventilation system and masks, Garrison built the room because of the particular controversy that surrounds the Brazilian keratin treatments.
“I do everything by the book to make sure that my client and stylist are safe,” says Mark Garrison. The salon provides both the client and the technician with a mask equipped with special canisters rated for formaldehyde gas. For further protection, the client is placed under a hood that collects the vapor and ventilates the room. But building the room alone did not reassure Garrison. Taking matters into his own hands, Garrison conducted an independent study testing the amount of formaldehyde in Brazilian keratin treatments.
“I did a vapor test with Brazilian Blowout. We had a pump pumping the air and registering how much formaldehyde is in the air,” explains Garrison. “My test proved that it has formaldehyde.” After completing the study, Garrison brought it to the attention of the CEO of Brazilian Blowout, who insisted that their product was free of formaldehyde or any of its derivatives. “In the end, it was a lie,” says Garrison. “Very few companies have been straightforward with their consumers.” However, after testing the level of formaldehyde in several products, Garrison favors the Lasio and M&M Marcia Teixeira keratin treatments. Garrison still requires that every keratin treatment be given in his keratin treatment room. “Just to be safe, we take that extra step.”
However, most salon owners do not have the resources Mark Garrison has to take such precautions. Instead, many stylists are limiting the keratin treatments they offer to brands they know and trust. Anna Craig from Trashy Roots offers Pravana Keratin Fusion Texture Control, while Valerie Martin from Ritual Salon instead offers Dikson Keratin Treatment, both products being formaldehyde-free. Unfortunately, this is one of the only measures that stylists can take in order to protect their health, as FDA regulations make it very difficult to ban keratin treatments with formaldehyde in the U.S. However, consumers can take part in the movement to stop sale distribution of harmful hair treatments by educating themselves. “Do your homework and be aware of what is in your keratin treatment before you get it done,” says Martin. “At what cost do people want to look good?”
Read More: Brazilian Keratin Treatments Revealed
What is your take on Brazilian keratin treatments?