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Are the new hair relaxers bad for your health?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Some hair relaxers or straighteners, such as certain Brazilian blowout treatments, may pose a health hazard if they contain formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas that can damage eyes, lungs and skin and may even raise your risk for cancer.

To avoid this chemical, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends that you avoid any product that lists any of the following substances among the ingredients: methylene glycol, formalin, methylene oxide, paraform, formic aldehyde, methanal, oxomethane, oxymethylene, or CAS Number 50-00-0.

If your scalp is irritated, using any type of hair relaxer may worsen the irritation. Avoid using relaxers until your scalp heals.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.