Brazilian Blow-out or BKT - Formaldehyde vs Glutaraldehyde

by Alexandre Liberato

Escova Progressiva, Brazilian Blow-out or Brazilian Keratin Treatment (BKT) are all the same. ALL of them use one of those products as hair straightening.

Keratin does not make your hair straight. it is wildly used in Brazil to treat hair that has undergone chemical procedures with thioglycolic acid, hydroxide (such as guanidine, lithium, sodium), hair dying.

In Brazil, Formaldehyde and Glutaraldehyde are allowed to be used as preservatives, NOT AS HAIR STRAIGHTENING. The Brazilian Governmental branch that is responsible for allowing these products as preservatives is called ANVISA.

Here in Brazil it is allowed to use 0,2% of Formaldehyde OR 0,1% of Glutaraldehyde, but they use much more than this. How they get the product approved? The company send a sample to ANVISA with the allowed quantity of one of these preservatives and when it is approved for "consumption", they increase the quantity to as much as 5%.

Everyone here in Brazil knows that 0,2% of Formaldehyde or 0,1% of Glutaraldehyde DOES NOT straighten the hair. That is why most hairdressers used to buy Formaldehyde in supermarkets or drug store to add it in the "original" formula. Until ANVISA prohibit.

Now any hair salon that is caught with altered product is condemned to pay from US$1,000.00 to US$1,000,000.00, plus the hair salon owner goes to jail from 10 to 15 years.

Please understand that KERATIN is GOOD for your hair because it acts from INSIDE OUT reconstructing the hair fiber. FORMALDEHYDE or GLUTARALDEHYDE, on the other hand, are NOT good at all. They act ON the hair by sealing the cuticles, not allowing anything, like proteins, vitamins, etc, to get in the hair when you wash it with a good shampoo for example.

Plus, both of them are toxic and causes more long term problems than solutions:

- FORMALDEHYDE (carcinogenic):


The salt-free shampoo is a myth once EVERY shampoo has salt in it. Just look at the formula composition. It might contain Sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl, ether sulfate or any other salt since it is used as thickener. In fact, you have to look at the shampoo pH which should be between 4.5 to 5.2 (neutral), so the cuticles are maintained sealed.

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