Salons seem to do a lot of double-talking or avoiding the whole straightening treatment discussion since it was revealed that Brazilian Blowout isn’t as natural as it was initially portrayed. I knew I’d get the straight scoop from Ouidad, the “Queen of Curl.” She warns that it’s not just the Brazilian Blowout brand, but many Keratin-based treatments that can contain formaldehyde, which can damage the hair – and your health. Less than 1 percent formaldehyde content is safe, she says, so don’t be shy about asking your salon if you can see the bottle. I was surprised by one of her suggested alternative: products containing sodium hydroxide. “It’s just salt,” Ouidad said. “It can soften the hair without dangerous chemicals.” The other option (and Ouidad’s preferred): Embrace your curl. “It just takes learning techniques to manage your hair.” You don’t have to go to New York to do it – Ouidad has trained stylists in her “rake and shake” method at Ovations Salon and Spa in Excelsior and Aafusion Salon Spa in Burnsville. Listen to my entire interview with Ouidad here.