Is Hot Hair Hazardous to Your Health?

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The Brazilian Blowout drama continues.

Using a seven-step procedure, the product promises to turn unruly, frizzy hair into silky, sleek locks in just 90 minutes. It also claims to be “formaldehyde free.”

I’ve tried it. It works…sorta. As in your hair looks sleek for roughly two months and then you have to do the whole thing again.

Last month, there was an uproar when Oregon’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration tested the Brazilian Blowout solution. That’s where OSHA found nearly 9% formaldehyde, the chemical known to cause cancer in humans.

Oh, and it’s also used to EMBALM people. Sexy!

“Formaldehyde is a hazardous chemical, it is dangerous,” stated OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. “There are specific steps employers need to take when they’re using it at their workplace.”

OSHA’s report says stylists complained of difficulty breathing, nose bleeds, and eye irritation.

Would you take chances in your salon with your clients, and with your own health? For now, many salons are choosing to stop providing Brazilian Blowout services altogether. For many, it’s a matter of a brand not telling the truth, as much as the dangerous aspect, I’d imagine.

But is even the most luxe of hair treatments worth potential risks to your health? I’d think not. What’s your input?

Back to Beauty School

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“Back to school, back to school, to prove to Dad that I am not a fool!” So said Adam Sandler in Billy Madison. It’s the attitude around this time every year – the summer is winding down and the anxiety of an impending year is beginning to hit some. And to think that you could actually be in this situation as well is even more exciting.

It’s still early enough that you can begin your quest for knowledge at beauty school or spa school and get started right away. Most beauty school programs have classes that begin every few weeks – all you need is an interest and passion in the material. And, nowadays, it’s even easier to enroll when the very possibility of enrollment is right at your fingertips.

A recent article on KansasCity.com highlighted a local hair salon that has been in operation for 47 years – ever since owner Judy Gaume began her hair styling career. A weekly patron, Patricia Gaunce, put the very essence of a hair stylist perfectly in the article: “It’s like finding a doctor you can trust,” she says. “Once you find a hairdresser you like, you stay with her. Before I met Judy, I had never really gone to the salon. But that changed. I’m not a smoker. I’ve never been a drinker. But I go to the beauty shop.”

I, personally, am always so nervous to find a new hair stylist. And I know I’m not the only nervous nelly. In fact, most of my experiences with hair stylists have come via recommendations of people I trust. It’s a scary thought to imagine that anyone can mess up your daily appearance. And sure, hair grows back, but we want to look our best all the time.

An interest in styling hair would certainly be a must to begin a beauty school program. But, as I mentioned, this is the time to really follow your desires (no matter what your age) and form relationships just as Judy has.

Do your research and apply to beauty school today!

-Amanda Fornecker

Caught with Tweezers at an LA NICU

The staff at a Los Angeles County hospital has been investigated following allegations that they set up a beauty salon in a neonatal intensive care unit at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center. Anonymous phone calls were placed that accused nurses and doctors of having their nails done and eyebrows waxed in a NICU, placing beauty tools on hospital equipment such as ventilators. Hospital officials addressed these allegations yesterday, saying that 16 workers did receive these beauty services in the hospital, but they were done outside of the NICU or in a unit that was not being used. The hospital said that these beauty services were performed during breaks or off duty shifts.

This is completely crazy. There is no way I would whip out my tweezers or nail polish during my lunch break and proceed to work on my own personal beauty treatments – and I don’t work in a hospital. If a staffer were to go out to a nail salon during their break to get their eyebrows waxed or their nails done, that’s a completely different story. But we’re talking on hospital grounds here. Whether or not they used an unoccupied space does not give them a pass. They have to own up to their actions. Thankfully, they say no infants were harmed, but the outcome could have been different. Newborn babies are always susceptible to catching anything that’s in the air, let alone newborns in a NICU. I love spa and beauty services, but not on the job and certainly not in a NICU. I hope this is a lesson learned for all.

To read more on this story, check out FoxNews.com.

-Amanda Fornecker

From Beauty Friends to Beauty Partners

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Sometimes it’s those around you that can truly influence and inspire you. And you may find these individuals in beauty school. Take Melanie Zagar and Liz Hofrichter, for instance. These two present-day beauty salon owners met in beauty school and now they have turned what once was a dream into a reality.

When you participate in a specialized program, whether it be beauty school, grad school, or some other career school program, you are surrounded with people who are passionate. This is why I believe that beauty school — or any school you are interested in — is completely worth it.

This is especially true if you are passionate about the material. Having just enrolled in grad school myself, I understand the joy, motivation, and hard work that can come out of studying something you’re passionate about. I see this surround me with my fellow students, professors, and department heads.

And it’s not only in grad school. Career-focused programs are filled with individuals who truly want to be there. While you may have the required slow course or two, you’re still working toward something you really want to take to the next level. And it is here that you will be working with individuals who have been successful in their very field and wish to pass on their knowledge from over the years to you, the aspiring beauty professionals.

I know I’ve said it countless times, but there are so many advantages to pursuing your beauty passion. Not only does beauty school give you the flexibility, shorter programs, and real-world experience, but you’ll also find dedicated faculty and lifelong friends. And in the case of Zagar and Hofrichter (you can read more about their friendship-turned-partnership here), a business partner that can help you achieve your success. You just need to want it badly enough.

-Amanda Fornecker