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I went Brazilian

Last week I told Hubby #1, “I’m getting a Brazilian Blowout.”
He looked at me with a goofy grin and giggled.
“Northern Brazil, not Southern,” I corrected. “It’s a hair straightening thing.”
The goofy grin went away, the giggling stopped, and he rolled his eyes.

That he didn’t care much that my hair would be transformed from its natural, wavy-frizzy state into a sleek, smooth, perfect coif didn’t deter me. I was quite excited. I knew lots of people who’d had it done, and everyone (everyone) loved the results.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t deterred, but I was definitely apprehensive. As we all know, decisions make me nervous and even though the style only lasts a few months, the semi-permanence of it was definitely freaking me out. I mean, what if I didn’t like it? What if the next day I decided that huge, curly hair was the look for me? After countless days of wonky bangs after having been in the pool though, I decided to be brave and go for it.

So, I scheduled the appointment with a highly recommended man named Gui who actually came from Brazil. To him, this was just a regular old blowout I told myself. It was going to be fantastic. Then, Sunday morning, moments before Gui arrived at my house to perform the transformation, Hubby #1 asked me the fateful question:

“Have you done any research on this?”
“What do you mean?” I asked. “I know lots of people who’ve had it done.”
“But have you done any research? A woman in Brazil died.”

What was this? Opposite day?? It was ME who was supposed to be afraid of everything and Hubby #1 who was supposed to be the voice of reason. It was ME who refused to let us brush our teeth with Crest because I once read online that it caused cancer and HE was supposed to be the one who told me not to worry. Panic grabbed my heart at the exact moment the doorbell rang. Gui was here, it was too late…I was about to have beautiful hair even if it killed me.

I texted my BFF (and Brazilian Blowout survivor) the entire time and she reassured me I would be fine, but I couldn’t calm down. I think I was probably having a mild panic attack for the entire procedure which was exacerbated by the panic that it was the formaldehyde fumes killing me and not plain old fear that were responsible for my sweating palms, racing heart and spinning head. I managed to get through the process without anything tragic happening, and when Gui left me with instructions not to wet my hair for two full days, it really did look extraordinarily glamorous. I, however, was unable to enjoy the glamour because I felt quite certain I could feel the formaldehyde soaking into my head, through my skull, and embalming my brain.

That night, I was afraid to go to bed for fear that my Brazilian Blowout would kill me in my sleep. Instead I stayed up ridiculously late reading every Brazilian Blowout horror story the internet had to offer. In reality, there weren’t that many.

Monday morning, I woke up feeling slightly more relaxed, but I’d made a decision. The Brazilian Blowout had to go. So, a full 24 hours before Gui had instructed me to, I washed my hair. I washed my hair in lukewarm water with all doors open since the woman who died in Brazil was supposedly killed by formaldehyde fumes in her hot, steamy bathroom days after her blowout was done.

The result is that my hair is slightly sleeker and smoother than before, but a bit of the wave has returned a bit limper than it was before. Although I am well aware that I literally washed hundreds of dollars done the drain, I’m feeling more relaxed about the chemicals seeping into my brain. My Brazilian Blowout was beautiful while it lasted – about 22 hours. Yes, that’s a bit shy of the 2-4 month estimate, but in reality, I think one day of terror-inducing glamour is probably all I can take.

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