‘Formaldehyde-free’ hair smoothing treatment launched

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Occupational safety and health

Zerran International, a hair care manufacturer, claims to have produced the world’s first vegan semi-permanent hair smoothing system.

Following the media attention on formaldehyde issues last year, the company has produced its latest product claiming it is formulated without keratin or other animal products and does not contain substances that produce formaldehyde gas upon heating with a flat iron.

“With the formaldehyde issues arising from the EU ban of certain keratin straightening products in the summer of 2010 and the investigations last fall, it was essential that we support the stylist community with a healthy alternative product for hair smoothing,”​ said Zerran marketing director Cindy Van Steelandt.

Free of toxic formaldehyde

According to Zerran, its Reallisse system is free of toxic formaldehyde and is exclusively for use as an in-salon service.

“Since 1986 we have held patents to the critical components of this product,”​ Van Steelandt said. “So we were able to react quickly and devote our resources to bringing this product to market.”

Van Steelandt explained that the Reallisse technique is similar to the keratin smoothing process, meaning that once training is complete, stylists will be able to carry out the treatments straight away.

“The Reallisse process itself takes about 90 minutes to complete for the average head of hair. Follow-up services will depend on how quickly hair grows out and degree of natural curl and frizziness present, so clients will likely return to the salon every two to four months for touch ups, just as they do now for Brazilian keratin-type treatments,”​ she explained.

Stylist safety

The negative attention attracted by some of these keratin-based treatments is mainly due to the safety of stylists who are exposed to the gases omitted from numerous treatments in a confined space, such as a salon.

Last year Brazilian Blowout was called to question over dangerous levels of formaldehyde omitted during its treatments.

However GIB, the company which operates as Brazilian Blowout, filed a lawsuit against Oregan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), accusing the agency of reporting false and misleading test results about its hair smoothing treatment, at the tail end of last year. 

GIB has called for action to stop the agency reporting on its products as it claims Oregon OSHA manipulated testing that wrongly asserts that the Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing solution is unsafe.

The complaint stated that Oregon OSHA has done irreparable harm to the company and the professional beauty industry, by distributing inaccurate product testing results and using improper testing protocol.

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