Adriana Guedes gets her hair straightened by hair dresser Tania Machado at a salon in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Brazilian Blowout surfaced around 2005 in Brazil, where a combination of high humidity and a largely mixed-race, curly haired population made for a nation of eager customers. It soon spread throughout North America and Europe.
Adriana Guedes, left, gets her hair straightened by hairdresser Tania Machado at a salon in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Federal safety regulators are investigating the safety of the Brazilian Blowout because it can release unsafe levels of the chemical formaldehyde, posing a risk to hair salon workers and their customers.
Formaldehyde, which has been classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a probable carcinogen, can irritate the eyes, skin and lungs and cause breathing problems and skin rashes. Many hair products contain the ingredient, but government regulations specify the amount, labeling and appropriate use.
Brazilian blowouts have become a popular hair trend among Latinos.