Published: April 2011

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About the brand: QOD

QOD is among the most forthright about the use of formaldehyde in hair smoothing products. The have a section on their website about the myth of "Formaldehyde Free" stating that "If a product is truly without formaldehyde or any derivatives, its effects will likely last only until the next washing." QOD states that they do not use "industrially manufactured raw formaldehyde," nevertheless testing has detected 2% and 3.52% formaldehyde in QOD products.

Products by QOD

  Product Formaldehyde testing results Injuries: Number of consumers that filed reports with the federal government Product recalls
Gold Solution 2 %0
MAX3.52 %0
Rednot tested0

Formaldehyde test results

Product Formaldehyde Detected Number of samples Tested by Date Reference
Gold Solution 2 %1Oregon OSHA2010-10-29Oregon OSHA 2010B
MAX3.52 %1Professional Beauty Association2007-11-19Professional Beauty Association FDA FOIA 2010


statment on November 30, 1999

"Unlike formaldehyde-based keratin treatments, QOD’s Brazilian Keratin products do not contain industrially manufactured raw formaldehyde. Instead, we have invested ten years of research in a patented process that mimics the effects of formaldehyde, and is readily accepted by the FDA. Still, we choose not to market our products as "formaldehyde free.” This is usually a disingenuous marketing gimmick, and potentially even harmful. "


Since 2009, health and consumer product agencies in 6 countries have announced recalls of hair straighteners with high amounts of formaldehyde.

Product Australia Canada Cyprus France Germany Ireland
Gold Solution - - - - - -
MAX - - - - - -
Red - - - - - -


Keratin, the primary protein of hair, nails and skin, can be remarkably effective as the key component of a conditioning and straightening treatment, transforming hair to an incredibly healthy, shiny, smooth state. Unlike other straightening techniques, most keratin treatments actually replenish the condition of the hair without changing or damaging its molecular structure. They penetrate and coat the hair, but do no damage to the cuticle. The result is "naturally" straight, silky hair that can be styled with ease. The effects of a keratin treatment are "semi-permanent." The hair's volume slowly returns over a given period, depending on the formula and technique used. The healing effects can last much longer. [link]


A loophole in federal labeling law allows companies to sell "professional use" products without the ingredient label required on all other personal care products, so the use of formaldehyde can be hidden. Nearly all of the hair straightening products surveyed by EWG are marketed for professional use only. Despite these claims, EWG found that consumers can easily purchase "professional use" products through online retailers. Retailers identified for QOD products are listed below:

Product Retailers
Gold Solution qodusa
Keratin4u via
Keratin4u via
Keratin4u via

QOD - Gold Solution

"GOLD Cleaner is an anti-residues shampoo with moisturizing action and soft cleaning. It has ingredients of low weight, providing a delicate action and easy combing power. GOLD Alquimist Mask is a reconstruct hair mask with keratin and nano-particles of gold 22K cationizado with termoactivated action that has high penetration in the cuticle, lining up the capillary fiber and leaving the hair with instantaneous shine. GOLD Neutraliz is a neutralizing with Panthenol and Poliquaternium 7. It returns moist and regulates the PH of hair. It provides a silky touch and an intense shine. "
- from link

Retailers: 289 from qodusa, 265 from Keratin4u via, 250 from eBay


"QOD MAX is a product elaborated with the best ingredients of the world cosmetology. With base of cocoa extract and excellent CHOCOLATE fragrance, QOD MAX provides volume reduction and increase the shine of the capillary fiber. Product with filmogena action that provides protection against mechanical actions as flat iron and hair dryers. It contains hydrolyzed keratin, vitamins, cocoa extract, collagen, poliquaternio and mix of silicones. Content: PROGRESSIVE MAX QOD BRUSHING - 1000 ml Enough for: 40 applications; Composition: Cetyl Alcohol, Lanolin, Cetrimonium Chloride, Dimethicone, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Poliquaternium 7, Metylparaben, Propylparaben, Cl 77400, Fragrance, Theobroma Cacao(Cocoa) Extrat, Cyclopentasiloxane and Dimethiconol, Aqua."
- from link

Retailers: 229 from qodusa, 189 from Keratin4u via, 169.99 from eBay

QOD - Red

"Reconstruct Hair Mask with vitamins, extracts of strawberry and hydrolyzed keratin. It has high easy combing power and protects the hair against mechanical actions as flat iron and hair dryers. It reduces volume, increases the shine and it returns softness to the hair. Content: - 1000ml QOD RED; Enough for: - 40 applications; Composition: Cetyl Alcohol, Lanolin, Cetrimonium Chloride, Dimethicone, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Poliquaternium 7, Metylparaben, Propylparaben, Cl 15510, Cl 16255, Fragrance, Hydrolyzed Strawberry Fruit, Cyclopentasiloxane and Dimethiconol, Aqua."
- from link

Retailers: 229 from qodusa, 179.99 from Keratin4u via, 176 from eBay

Legal Disclaimer:

The conclusions and findings that appear on this page reflect EWG's research at the time of publication stated above. In light of evolving market conditions, subsequent product reformulations, and other factors, they may no longer be current. EWG makes no representations or warranties about any of the products that appear on this page. EWG hereby disclaims all warranties with regard to any of the products that appear on this page, including express, statutory, implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular use.


QOD. 2011. About Brazilian Keratin. Available: Accessed: 2/25/2011.

QOD. 2011B. Notes on Formaldehyde. Available: Accessed: 2/25/2011.

ACCC 2010. Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. Product Safety Recalls. Available at: Accessed: 1/6/2011.

AFSSAPS 2010. French Agency for the Safety of Health Products. Notice of the French Agency for Safety of Health Products concerning the health risks of exposure to formaldehyde in some smoothing hair cosmetics.” Available: Accessed: 1/6/2011.

Anonymous 2010. Analytical report. Columbia Analytical Services. 3/25/2010-10/1/2010. Available: Accessed: 1/7/2010.

Fisher M 2007. Scared Strait Warning: A hot new hair-straightening treatment from Brazil could be a health hazard. But that hasn’t stopped people from performing it. Allure. Available: Accessed: 1/6/2011.

Health Canada 2010A. Brazilian Blowout Solution Contains Formaldehyde. 10/7/2010. Available: Accessed: 1/6/2011.

Health Canada 2010B. Brazilian Blowout Solution Contains Formaldehyde: Update. 10/26/2010. Available: Accessed: 1/6/2011.

Health Canada 2010C. Several Professional Hair Smoothing Solutions Contain Formaldehyde. 12/10/2010. Available: Accessed: 1/6/2011.

IMB 2010A. Concerns Relating to use of Certain Hair Straightening Products – Update. 11/29/2010. Available: Accessed: 1/6/2011.

IMB 2010B. Irish Medicines Board, Concerns relating to the use of certain Hair Straigtening Products. 12/23/2010. Available:

Irish NCA 2010. ‘Marcia Teixeira’ hair products withdrawn. 6/14/2010. Available: Accessed: 1/7/2011.

OREGON OSHA 2010A. OHSU Toxicology Center Issues Public Alerts About the Ingredients of a Popular Hair Salon Treatment. 9/30/2010. Available: http://www.Oregon Accessed: Accessed: 1/7/2011.

Oregon OSHA 2010B “Keratin-Based” Hair Smoothing Products And the Presence of Formladehyde. October 29,2010. Available: Accessed: 1/7/2011.

PBA 2007. Professional Beauty Association testing results. FDA Freedom of Information Act request F10-8327. Received 12/3/2010.

RAPEX 2010. European Union Rapid Alert System for non-food consumer products. Available at: Accessed: 1/6/2011.

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