Brazilian blowout case raises safety concerns

The Brazilian blowout is one of the most popular hair styling trends seen in years. The hair treatment promises straight hair for months after just one salon visit.

But now, the treatment comes with a warning: the products involved may be dangerous.

In November, the State of California sued the makers of Brazilian Blowout products, an industry leader, for failing to warn their products contain a known carcinogen: formaldehyde, the chemical that actually straightens the hair.

Brazilian Blowout claimed to be formaldehyde-free. Monday the company settled, agreeing to stop false advertising and pay $600,000 in fees and penalties.

Stacy Malkan, with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, told CBS News, "It's a huge step forward, because they've been able to at least get this company to stop lying. But it's not enough. We need new laws in place that really require companies to make safer products."

In a statement, Brazilian Blowout said, "The labeling and marketing and advertising changes agreed to in the settlement have already been in place for months. We are pleased to have this matter behind us."

For more on the Brazilian Blowout settlement, and to see what one Los Angeles salon has done to protect its stylists and clients while performing hair straightening treatments, click on the video in the player above for Bill Whitaker's full report.

  • Bill Whitaker

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