Star says…I have been using Zene Escova Progress for the last few years to straighten and smooth my hair. I get amazing results, shiny smooth easy to manage. I love it. It claims to be formaldehyde free and perfectly safe but having read other threads about formaldehyde free Brazilian Keratin treatments, I wonder if it really is safe or if I am risking my health. The list of ingredients is huge! Please could you clarify how it works, and if it is safe?
The Left Brain responds:
A quick review of the ingredient list (see below) shows that glyoxlic acid is the second ingredient.
How does this product work?
Glyoxlic acid is a close cousin of formaldehyde and will cross link with protein. (That’s what allows it to straighten hair.) It is used in leather tanning for just this reason. It’s not as volatile as formaldehyde so it won’t penetrate as deeply, but if heat is applied during product application this chemical could actually give off formaldehyde gas which the reason formaldehyde products are dangerous in the first place! I also find it strange that they use ethyl and butyl paraben which have some safety issues (methyl and propyl paraben are more common and have been given a clean bill of health.)
Zene Escova Progress Hair Straightening Ingredients
Cocodimonium Hydroxpropyl Hydrolyzed Keratin
Coffee Arabica Extract
Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate Ethylhexyl Triazone
Hydroxyethyl Ceteamidopropyldimonium Chloride Behenyl Alcohol
Dimethyl Methyl Siloxane
C11-C15 Ethoxlatedsecondary Alcohol Disodium Louriminodipropionate Tocopheryl Phosphates Dimethylpadamidopropyl Loudimonium Tosylate
Glycine N-Acetil Cystein
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Quaternium 91
Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol
(Courtesy of this site: http://brazilianfab.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/escova-ingredients.pdf)
Image credit: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4052/4213545699_71c134894d.jpg