I would rather Flat-iron My hair now!

Yes, Indeed. My latest hair treatment made me sick.

Why only now I have the nerve to come and talk about it?

Because I was scared. I was scared to make a big fuss about what happen to me after my treatment knowing there are probably 1,000 women out there who went and have their hair treated.

Second, I did not have enough proof  to support my theory.

Thanks for the noises the Brazilian blow out is  making right now. I think, it is getting the public spanking it deserves.

A simple girly want of having a Gwyneth Paltrow or Jennifer Aniston straight locks sent me sick for the entire month of August.

It all started with a trip and an inquiry to a popular salon in town. I was promised that it was a healthy “keratin” treatment that would strengthen my hair, coating it in powerful protein.

Giddy with girly excitement, I was clueless to what I was actually doing, let alone how it would affect me in the next few months.

And so willing mouse that I was , I made my appointment in middle of July.

I have struggled with to tame my unruly curls since my move to Canada. The weather and dry air made it unmanageable specially in the winter days.

The Salon professional as I may say, claim that the treatment can be used on any hair type, no matter how brittle, bleached, or over-processed your hair, it can make it look temporarily healthier, leaving hair looking shinier and smoother for up to 12 weeks.

During the treatment my hair first were shampooed , so as the keratin solution can bond with my hair shaft effectively, then the keratin is applied, waited for an hour reading magazine.

If the choking  fumes didn’t turn me off, certainly the eye and ear shield I was given  should have.

But right there back then, sting  and stench aside I knew I am going to love my new super-manageable hair.

Then I was rinsed and  the hair is blown dry, a stylist  uses a flat-iron after to activate the effect .

It cost me 200 bucks excluding the after treatment shampoos and conditioner that the stylist sold me on the virtue of the product.

And my new hair  – I love it. At first I did but over the next couple of weeks…something started to happen to me.

At first, I didn’t know why I was having all those weird feelings…I could not explain why nor the doctor I went to see me could not explain why.

I develop watery eyes, earache like someone pinching my ear canals, chest pain , nausea and headache.

These signs  are normally associated with a cold symptom but I did not believe it because It was in the middle of a hot Manitoba summer.

I was told by my doctor my ears look fine but there is some kind of a dried stuff in there but it is not inflamed  and that I’ve got eye strain, and this Doctor was not even mine because I went to a walk-in clinic.

I was sent home and was told to rest my eyes and take decongestants.

The whole month of August, I was dizzy and have headache and  my entire scalp feels so sensitive even a touch of a comb is unbearable.

I manage to survive that entire month, still clueless of what is happening .I documented each day what I feel in my diary, I went to chiropractor appointments if in case it has something to do with my neck and back ….the treatments were good but it never improve my watery , burning eyes on that month.

I never knew what was the culprit of  me being sick for a month  until I heard and read on the paper the Brazilian blow out treatment being scrutinized publicly.

I always knew in my heart, there’s got to be something. But it was all suspicion.

I tried to browse and read about the treatment I have and if it causes people to be sick.

I was astounded by the volume of articles and blogs about hair treatment.

Right now Canada have  banned  the Brazilian Blowout after finding unacceptable levels of formaldehyde in the product. In fact, the Canadian Government has gone further. Our health agency has pulled the Brazilian Blowout from the shelves and is warning stylists and consumers not to use it.

Fast forward, it is october now, my eyes feels a bit better but the watery and burning sensation still bothers me from time to time and I have a scheduled eye exam already on November.

You want to know something? I noticed some other changes too.

My normally thick and healthy black hair turn brownish, with split ends and fly aways.

Granted as a consumer, I should have been more cautious going to salon and allowing  a stylist  I never really knew gave me a treatment.

 But the thing is, I can not entirely blame the stylist, I myself have some part on it, because I gave my consent.

I guess,  hair treatment companies that lure people into believing that there products is 100% safe  should be more responsible enough to make people aware of the contents and ingredients, what is on the label should be what is on the bottle.

I found out that the Hair treatment I have , its promise of  slinky hair involved both keratin ( it’s a protein) and a secret active ingredient: formaldehyde.

The stuff I remember in Biology Class dissecting a frog. Yikes.

Our world really became ” an anything for beauty ” mentality. And I guess I was one of the catch because I jump in the bandwagon to join millions of women out there who craves a frizz-free hair.

I am grateful for my experiences allowing me to be a better informed consumer.

Next time someone ask me what about a  ” safe ” and formaldehyde-free  hair treatment ?

I will be quick to answer, NO, THANKS.

Perhaps for the meantime ,  I will definitely go back to using a hair dryer and a flat-iron to tame my curls .

before the treatment, notice the wavy and curly locks

after the treatment, notice it's sleek and straight

first few weeks after treatment

after several months-damaged hair after the treatment


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