This hair product is dangerous for your kidneys!

This hair product is dangerous for your kidneys!

By studying the damage of a smoothing product on the kidneys of a 26-year-old young woman, a French team identified the culprit: glyoxylic acid. Presented as a “safer” alternative to formaldehyde, this compound could promote the occurrence of chronic kidney failure.

This clinical case revealed by a French team and published in the medical journal The New England Journal of Medicine highlights the renal toxicity of a supposedly “safer” compound in straightening products.

The culprit was presented as a “safer” alternative

With no prior health problems, a 26-year-old woman was struck by three episodes of acute kidney failure following Brazilian straightening procedures. She did not have any after-effects since her kidney function quickly improved but each episode resulted in nausea, vomiting, intense fatigue, fever, back pain and ulcers of the scalp and elevated plasma creatinine levels, indicating renal damage.

Hair straightening always took place in the same salon which used a cream with 10% glyoxylic acid. Relatively new, this compound was developed as a “safer” alternative to formaldehyde, a compound that has been widely criticized and classified as a “proven human carcinogen,” according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

A possible progression towards chronic renal failure

After making the link with straightening, Dr Thomas Robert of the Conception Hospital in Marseille collects the product and sends it to Professor Emmanuel Letavernier at Tenon Hospital. The results from animal studies are clear. Applied to the back of mice (and compared to a control cream in this case Vaseline), the smoothing product resulted in the presence of elongated crystals of calcium oxalate monohydrate, like those observed after ethylene poisoning. glycol. Plasma creatinine level increased significantly 28 hours after exposure to the straightening cream. Severe nephropathy was induced within 24 hours!

The patient is doing well but will no longer do straightening because these recurrent episodes of acute kidney failure can ultimately leave scars on her kidneys, and potentially progress to chronic kidney failure (and in extreme cases dialysis or transplant). ).

Products that should no longer be used

The authors note that discussions with hairdressers showed that while the recommendation for use of this straightening product is not to use it closer than 0.5 cm from the scalp, most clients request a “smoothing effect total smoothing”, that is to say an application up to the roots. This could explain the intoxication.

In view of their potential toxicity, cosmetic products containing glyoxylic acid should no longer be used“, estimate the authors.

This new study comes just a few months before other work which linked straightening products with an increased risk of endometrial cancer.