Beauty definitely comes with a high price tag to pay. A 32-year-old woman went to a Los Angeles salon in 2009 to get a keratin hair treatment hoping to have silky straight hair that can turn heads. What she got instead were two hours of burning eyes along with a very painful sore throat. As it turns out, the hair treatment contained formaldehyde, a possible human carcinogen as indicated by the Environmental Protection Agency. But that's not all. Here are some of the things you need to know to keep yourself safe from the dangers inside the salon.
Formaldehyde is a key active ingredient in so many hair-straightening treatments, which is why many stylists often wear masks. Oregon's Occupational Health and Safety Administration tested nine different products and found formaldehyde in all of them, including in one which even had the label, "formaldehyde free". Exposure to this substance over several months can lead to certain forms of cancer like leukemia. It can also cause less serious problems like scalp rashes, burning eyes, irritated nose, sore throat, and asthma attacks. You can get a safe keratin treatment if there is sufficient ventilation in the salon. But it would be best to steer clear of this product completely. This toxic chemical doesn't only harm health but also the environment.
Manicures and Pedicures
According to a study done by the University of Texas published in the Archives of Dermatology in 2009, there were two women who developed skin cancers on the back of their hands possibly from nail dryers that made use of UV light. It's not yet clear how these dryers can increase the risk of cancer but it's believed that it's the same way how constant exposure to UV rays from the sun increases skin cancer risk. Before you get a mani or a pedi, be sure to apply sunscreen on your hands first. Better yet, never use UV light again. Fan dryers are the safe way to go.
The thing about chemical peels is that they lighten and brighten the skin by reducing fine lines, age spots, and wrinkles. But did you know that the chemicals used for these treatments can cause burns and scarring if not handled correctly? If you're going to get one at the salon, go for the light chemical peel like the glycolic peels, which only has alpha-hydroxy acid content of only 10 percent and pH level of 3.5. If you want to get a deep peel, make sure that you get it from an experienced dermatologist.
The salon doesn't have to be off-limits for you. You just have to be careful about the treatments that you choose and practice safety measures to minimize exposure to these dangers. See to it that you choose a reputable salon and experienced stylist, as well as study the salon treatment before undergoing any.