Straight hair

The creators of the Brazilian Blowout fight back against legal attacks. Photo: Harry Vorsteher, Corbis

After months of public backlash and legal scrutiny, the makers of the popular Brazilian Blowout are fighting back against allegations that their hair-straightening serum contains formaldehyde.

The Hollywood-based company launched a lawsuit on Wednesday against the very people who started their legal woes -- Oregon's Health & Science University Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology.

Brazilian Blowout is reportedly seeking an injunction for the Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) to cease reporting the results from an October 29 report entitled "'Keratin-Based' Hair Smoothing Products and the Presence of Formaldehyde." The report, according to Brazilian Blowout, is "false" and "misleading." As a result, the company claims they have "lost sales, consumer goodwill and industry market share."

The lawsuit claims that OSHA's labs improperly combined the product's ingredients -- methylene glycol (a liquid) and formaldehyde (a gas).

And even though the results showed Brazilian Blowout had acceptable levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, the hair care company claimed on its website and marketing materials that it was "formaldehyde free."

That led to their other legal feud with California's general attorney's office.

In addition to fighting these lawsuits, Brazilian Blowout has created financial hardships for its primary customers -- salons.

Knowing that the salon industry could lose tens of millions of dollars if this popular hair-straightening solution is banned, salons are now put into a difficult situation.

"As an industry, they don't want to see it go away," Mary Rector-Gable, founder of the salon industry site,, told WWD. "There's no question that in very difficult economic times, keratin treatments have added a huge revenue stream."

In the midst of such controversy, this is something even Brazilian Blowout can agree on.

"No one wants [Brazilian Blowout] to go away," said Mike Brady, the company's co-founder and chief executive officer. "Not stylists. Not salons. And not consumers." Although, in time, he is confident the current allegations and lawsuits will "go away."

Want more information on this hair-straightening treatment? Check out this "I Tried It" report.

And be sure you know the pros and cons of Brazilian Blowout, too!