Stylist Patricia Lynn Laas from Beverly Hills Hair Couture tackles the myths surrounding formaldehyde-free smoothing treatments.
By Patricia Lynn Laas for Cezanne
I was introduced to Cezanne five years ago at an educator training event, where I learned everything I know now. Without Cezanne, I wonder if I would’ve been as cautious about toxic chemicals and formaldehyde found in traditional smoothing treatments. The truth is very hard to find, so I’m here to clear up a few misconceptions and myths about formaldehyde-free smoothing treatments.
Myth #1: All Formaldehyde-Free Treatments Contain 0% Formaldehyde
Several brands claim to be formaldehyde-free when they are not 100% formaldehyde-free. There are, in fact, derivatives of formaldehyde. You may have been told by the manufacturer that there is no formaldehyde when there actually is formaldehyde present in the treatment, just in a different form.
For every smoothing treatment, I ask for the safety records and formulation—an ingredient list from the FDA will reveal if formaldehyde or its derivatives are present. Cezanne is 100% formaldehyde-free
. One of the top testing labs in the U.S. performed the High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) test on Cezanne Perfect Finish and found no detectable formaldehyde. The HPLC is the test that federal and state governmental agencies reference in reporting related to formaldehyde. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published methods for testing for formaldehyde, including Method 8315A. These were the tests performed on the Cezanne treatment products by an accredited independent laboratory. The tested samples were taken in salons while stylists were using Cezanne Perfect Finish. There was no detectable formaldehyde in the samples.
Myth #2: Your Hair Will Be Completely Straight and Lose Body
The myth that I make very clear to my clients is #SmoothNotStraight. Without formaldehyde you will not get a pin-straight look, but this is not a bad thing. Cezanne is the perfect treatment for a client transitioning away from formaldehyde because it keeps manageability, retains volume and smoothes the hair, similar to what you’d see with traditional smoothing treatments, but without the loss of overall body and endangerment to your health.
Myth #3: The Fumes Are Noxious
If you’ve received a formaldehyde smoothing treatment, you’ll know it—and everyone in a quarter mile radius will know it—by the fumes. It definitely creates a strong and noxious vapor that stings the eyes and requires the stylist to wear gloves, a mask and use a ventilation system (hopefully).
I will not use a treatment until I'm satisfied that I'm being told the honest truth. I have passion for Cezanne because it’s safe for the environment and for my clients. It produces absolutely no noxious fumes and you don’t have to wear gloves masks or use any special ventilation systems when applying the treatment.
Myth #4: It Damages Your Hair
Cezanne doesn't just smooth frizz, it actually heals the hair. With repeated use, it makes hair stronger, healthier and improves texture. One of my clients used to have amazingly thick and very textured hair but she flat ironed it so much that it broke off. I came up with a six-month plan for her, using Cezanne, and saw amazing growth in those damaged strands that needed healing.
If you have super porous and damaged hair, I recommend a treatment every eight weeks. Once the hair is back to a healthy state, I lengthen the time between treatments. For my Cezanne clients, I recommend only washing and blow-drying once a week, with a deep conditioning treatment once a week before the blow-dry.
Myth #5: You Can’t Wear Your Hair Curly and It Won’t Hold Curl
Some think that once you smooth your hair, you won’t be able to wear your hair curly. This is false. I've been smoothing my hair for years now and I wear my hair curly most days. It has relaxed my curl somewhat but has toned down the frizz tremendously. My curl has become more of a beachy wave.
On days when I want to smooth my hair, I rake through my hair with my fingers until it’s almost dry, then I grab the round brush and finish the blowout. I’ll flat iron the hair but only once every blowout–I don't continue to flat iron it every day. I generally get three days out of my blowout.
Myth #6: It Washes Out Quickly
The amount of time Cezanne lasts varies by client hair type, texture and maintenance routine. My clients that wash only once a week seem to be able to go three months. The ones like myself that wash more frequently need a treatment more often. Most of my Cezanne clients schedule every two to three months.
Myth #7: You Can’t Color the Same Day
Color can be done before or after the treatment. If color is done after the treatment, you eliminate the issues of lifting color. However, if there is excess residue in the hair after the flat iron, you should wash the hair again before applying color.
Myth #8: You Can’t Wash Hair After the Treatment
Unlike most smoothing treatments, clients can wash their hair, work out, wear ponytails or clips and use styling products immediately after getting a Cezanne treatment.
If you’re interested in finding out what treatments contain formaldehyde and what treatments are 100% formaldehyde-free, reach out. I've been testing and researching these treatments for the last three years and am proud to use Cezanne to protect myself and my clients.
Patricia Lynn Laas
has been making women shine with healthy, perfectly cut, styled and exquisitely colored hair since 1994. After years of building loyal clientele in and around Simi Valley, including the high-end Wood Ranch Studio, Patricia opened Beverly Hills Hair Couture in 2012 inside the Salon Republic in Beverly Hills. Patricia Lynn resides in Simi Valley with her family: husband Brian, sons Skylar and Taylor and daughter Shyane.