Brazil Fabulous

hair & beauty – brazilian style

Formaldehyde Hiding Away…

Warning, Always Read the label

Seems like frizzy and curly girls all over the world have discovered the fabulous benefits of the Brazilian Blowout Keratin hair straightener, or Escova Progressiva as we say here in Brazil. And as the number of women discovering this wonderful way of smoothing out curls, kinks and frizz grows, I’m getting more and more questions about health worries.

My advice on Keratin straighteners... Always read the label

Many come from people who have had a keratin straightening treatment in professional salons, but a few come from girls using Brazilian straightening products at home, which is worrying. From what I’m hearing some people experience breathing problems and/or irritation of the scalp in the days after a treatment, which are both classic symptoms of exposure to a chemical called Formaldehyde.

So as a concious kind of a gal I decided to do a little research…

Now if you’re a regular reader you’ll know that my website – (shameless plug, sorry) sells Brazil’s leading Formaldehyde-Free Keratin hair straightener, Zene Progress, but I’m not just here to sell. I love my blogging too much for that most of the time and I’m just happy to rant about hair ‘n’ stuff.

Here’s what I discovered after an hour or two looking on the internet. Many products on the market use chemical cousins of Formaldehyde, which may have different names but are essentially the same thing and pose the same health risks.

They include them for two reasons, they’re cheap and very effective, (Companies selling hair straightening products containing these chemicals may claim results lasting 6 months or offer unbelievably low prices). Without turning this blog into science class, the most common names I found were:


Karsan Fannoform


Methyl Aldehyde


Methylene Oxide


Morbicid (this one sounds so grim it’s almost unbelievable)

Formic Aldehyde




Fyde Paraform



It’s not all carrots and honey, honey!

These chemicals are to be avoided at all costs I reckon, but then I would wouldn’t I? Seriously though, my advice is always check the ingredients first. Now that’s easy enough if you’re visiting a salon, but a little trickier if, like many of us, you buy online and use Keratin straightening Escova Progressiva products at home.

Without doubt, Keratin hair straightening treatments are the best thing ever if you have wavy, curly and even Afro hair, but don’t be fooled by products which claim stuff like chocolate, coffee and even strawberry are the magic ingredients. While many plants and fruits are great for your hair, it’s the combination of Keratin (itself a natural product by the way) and a skilful blend of chemicals that do the hard work. Most of these are completely harmless and pose no threat to your health, but you have to be careful.

It may seem bizarre but products from Brazil are leading the way, especially against those manufactured in the States, many of which stil contain Formaldehyde, or one of it’s dangerous relatives. Always read the label and don’t be afraid to ask…

See a complete list of ingredients in the product I use myself  here

Discover the smart girls answer to fabulously frizz free, straight hair here…


October 20, 2009 Posted by | brazilian blowout, formaldehyde, ingredients, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Understanding and Detangling Autumn Frizz

With autumn well underway in Europe and the States I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking me if the latest Brazilian Keratin hair straighteners can help girls who don’t necessarily want ultra straight hair, just to tame the annoying frizz that accompanies the season’s humid conditions.

Cauterização Capilar

Detangling autumn frizz needn't be that hard

Well while the answer is a resounding yes, and I’d love to be seeing more sales of our fabulously glam Keratin products, there are a number of cheaper, and somewhat simpler solutions to hand which could save you both time and money…

First, let me give you a brief overview of how and why our hair frizzes up in the first place. You see, all but the most naturally straight hair has numerous twists and kinks in it, and every hair follicle has countless small cracks running along its shaft. As the air becomes more moist water particles penetrate these cracks and kinks, as well as permeating through the ends of your hair, especially if they are damaged. Couple these elements with the fact that the more naturallycurly your hair is the drier it will be and you’ll find that no matter what you do, autumn causes your hair to become course, frizzy and less manageable.

Well the good news is, that with a little extra care and attention you may not need any new or expensive treatments to repel the misery of autumn hair frizz. Without further ado, here are a few things that work for me.

  • Get your hair trimmed once every 4 weeks or so. Even if it’s just a few centimetres off this will help stop split ends running up your hair and reduce the amount of moisture that penetrates in from the top
  • Try not to wash and blow dry your hair as often, it strips out the natural oils and moisture that protect your hair
  • Use moisturising shampoos. Even high street brands will help keep your hair silky
  • The same goes for conditioners and you could consider a monthly deep conditioning, or hydrating product such as the NovEx range of hair food
  • When you do blow dry, use a towel first to get rid of as much water as possible. I know there are new hair towels available that are designed just for this, but if you ask me they’re not worth the money. Anyway, towel first means less hot air and that’s a good thing, especially if you’re prone to frizz
  • Finally, after washing and when you’re blow drying, use a large rounded brush and be forceful. That’s right girls, go in hard and you’ll find your hair dries straighter and is less likely to go wild as soon as you step out the door

If you’re still struggling after all that, I’d suggest you opt for products like the QueraVit range from BioExtratus, which you can see on the site, or high end deep conditioning products containing ingredients like Keratin and Silicon, which have a proven track record of holding back the frizz.

Science class over. Any questions, feel free to fire away.

Until then… Love from the beach (which coincidently is a bitch for making my hair frizzy)

October 20, 2009 Posted by | anti frizz, Keratin care, straightening time savers | , , , , , | Leave a comment