Calls For Regulation Of Hair-Smoothing Products

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Women will pay hundreds of dollars to get straight hair, but some members of Congress say they may be putting their health at risk and want the FDA to regulate products containing formaldehyde.

Upper east sider Faye Lipwack has silky straight hair, even in the summer heat. But it wasn’t always that way. “My whole life changed once I started using the keratin treatment,” she said.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports: Some Customers Upset About Possible Keratin Ban

But the formaldehyde-based treatment can irritate the eyes, skin and lungs and cause breathing problems. “The smell was, I mean I had to cover my eyes,” said Lipwack.

It’s that reaction that has many New York stylists switching to formaldehyde-free hair straighteners. At the Simadi Salon on East 64th Street, owner Adia Lonnie uses a solution of lanolin and sodium sulfite, the same agent used to preserve dried fruit.

“This is the middle of the summer and whoever I gave this treatment to, not even one complaint,” said Lonnie.

The treatment costs about $225 and lasts three to four months.

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review, an independent group, plans to complete a study on products that use formaldehyde in September, but released a revised tentative conclusion in June that said “formaldehyde and methylene glycol are unsafe for use in hair smoothing products.”

The FDA is still evaluating the data on such hair straighteners.

What do you think? Sound off below in our comments section…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Marla Diamond
  • Wandy Morales

    I’ve been wanting to get my pubes straightened for some time now. Hopefully the salon I choose has good ventilation or an outdoor straightening facility.

  • ThisIsBill

    The fourth paragraph reveals a truth that many in Congress would rather ignore. Given any set of conditions, the market will change – on its own – to adapt to the prevailing wants of the consumers. People don’t like formaldehyde in their eyes, lungs and hair? The market comes up with something else. If every member of every state house in the country died tomorrow? We the people would be rich, healthy and beautiful.

  • Toby Waller

    Yeah my nappy-headed
    girl friend complains all the time about the fumes created while straightening her hair at the hair salon.

  • NYCChica

    Toxic hair treatment…$225
    Loving your beautiful self the way you were born…priceless!

    • NYC_f'real

      Never wear any make-up? Stepped on a scale? Asked if that dress makes your butt look big? Come on, you don’t love your beautiful self any more than the rest of us. Here, let me help you off your high horse.

      • f'real Hates herself

        Keepin it real? f’real, stop hating yourself…Nice post NYCChica..

  • Bob Fowler

    I’ve got an idea. Rather than create regulations regarding the straightening of hair, how about a regulation that requires all legislatures to do their jobs, without kick-backs, and do the will of the people they are supposed to represent, rather than the money machines that get them elected?

    Never mind, hair is much more important.

  • RaisedinAmerica

    It’s one more thing the government is going to dictate…The American People of The United States…didn’t see any of this coming? I mean all the dictatorship?

  • cygon

    Since ancient times, women have utilized toxic substances in pursuit of beauty. You’d think we’d now be a little smarter.

  • Peter

    Some salon owners don’t care about their health and the health of their employees. They just want to make money. Even some clients don’t care or understand. Those ingredients are turned into a gas when pressed in the iron, they collect and linger in the salon all day and night. The cancerous gas gets absorbed into the walls and ceiling. Is less than 1% formaldehyde ok? Is just a little cancer ok? No and No. That is why we do not do this procedure at the Peter Louis Salon in NYC. Only Japanese Straightening!

    • H. Uffin Stuff

      Whoa, whoa…WHOA! I’m shocked! Shocked! To learn that business owners are trying to make money…I mean…but…why would they do that? It doesn’t make any sense. Out to make money? That’s…I mean….capitalistic! It’s nearly as bad as someone advertising their services just below a screed attacking their own industry! It doesn’t make any sense! I’m so confused now…and I don’t even use hair straighteners. Japanese, or otherwise.
      “Out to make money? That’s no way to keep the lights on, pay your employees, heat and cool your business…you need to do good works, and good things will come back to you….”

    • petie

      Peter Louis Salon in NYC is good if you want your hair cut by ex dog groomers business must be slow if you advertising here wow whats next coupons lol . That sounds really upscale hahahahaha

      • Peter

        Come to Peter Louis Salon in NYC, and mention that you read CBS’s formaldehyde article and receive 30% off your next Japanese hair straightening procedure. As a bonus, you will receive 1% off cancer.

  • marina

    if someone prefers to put his/hers health at risk, only to have the hair looking somewhat they think is cute, why waste time on regulations for such things???
    please, we have much more important problems unresolved here.

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