We were curled up last night with the new issue of Glamour and a cup of tea when we came across a reader-submitted questions page. Should I, the reader asked, do an at-home Brazilian blowout? Or is this something best left to the pros?

We were so excited! Here was a great opportunity for a major women’s magazine that we read every month (though, really, we read them all) to say something meaningful and instructive about the dangers of this sometimes-formaldehyde-laced hair treatment.

Finally, we thought, the issue has gone mainstream, and now, even the majors have been compelled by the incontrovertible evidence that the Brazilian, even when it’s labeled formaldehyde-free, can contain dangerous amounts of a dangerous chemical.


That’s not what the article said. Instead, the expert said yes, in most cases, hair straightening treatments are best left to the pros (which is true, but there was no mention of maybe not doing it at all, despite the squawking headlines all over town about how potentially dangerous it is). They went on to say that if price or convenience was a concern to try some at-home blow-dry kits instead. Specifically one by Garnier.

Clearly, Glamour really, really likes this one in particular. They wrote about it in their September print issue, too.

Now, granted, this is not the same thing as a Brazilian blowout, and from the ingredients list we just read, it is formaldehyde-free. Yes, there may be a lesson to be learned from the recent events in Oregon, and we know that labels don’t always tell the truth. But let’s assume this label is telling the truth, because we have absolutely no reason to suppose it isn’t. There are still a half-dozen or more chemicals in this at-home treatment that we would never go near, and don’t think you—or Glamour‘s readers and editors—should either.

Now ethics and chemicals aside, there’s one more problem: We admit that neither of us has tried this product but we’ve read enough beauty-blog comment sections to know that a lot of women are very disappointed with the results. One of our own readers even sent us a note a while back to say it didn’t deliver—making it hard for us to believe that this is really the be-all end-all of smooth hair.

Here’s to doing a better job next time.

Note: We originally linked to some ad-editorial stuff on Glam.com accidentally mistaking it for Glamour.  Stupid us, seriously. We apologize. But we stand by everything else we said.