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Brazilian Keratin Treatment – Why it Will Change Your Life

By Olivia |

WOMEN throughout time have gone to great lengths to tame wild hair. And oddly, the more modern we’ve become as a society, the more barbaric the things we put our mane’s through have become – from toxic chemicals to torture devices that reach ever-intensifying heat.

straight hairOften the smooth, shiny results seem to be worth it. But the excessive chemicals and heat can destroy your tresses over time – if not in one fell swoop. The fallout from over-processing may just be your hair!

But I understand this. I have fine, long curly hair that has always more resembled a tangle of steel wool than a glorious crown. And I have fought with it every day of my life.

Until now.

Going Brazilian 

I was asked to model for a Brazilian keratin treatment. And after learning about it, I enthusiastically agreed.

Here’s why. Unlike other straightening processes, this treatment does not restructure (read: damage) your hair, instead it sheaths it in a protective coat of keratin. (Keratin is a strong protein that is the main structural component of hair and nails, in humans and animals.) Hair becomes impervious to humidity even though it will make waves and even curl if you want it to. Hair becomes manageable and your styling time shrinks dramatically.

What is a Brazilian keratin treatment?

Your stylist will wash your hair two or more times with a special clarifying shampoo. Then she’ll blow dry it. When it’s about 90 percent dry, she’ll apply the product, getting every strand from root to ends. Lastly, she’ll straighten it, using a flat iron set at 450 degrees, taking tiny sections and going over them a minimum of five times each. (If your hair is super-kinky and/or you want it super-straight, she may go over it 10 times.)

It takes several days – four for the brand used on me – for the keratin to cure. In that time, you cannot wet your hair. You cannot tie it up, pin it back or even wedge it behind your ears. Think of getting a manicure – the polish may feel perfectly dry to the touch, but if it hasn’t completely cured, it can easily get dented if you’re not careful. For me, those days were the worst part.

The ugly side of beauty

In my foolish youth, I had subjected my hair to scorching blow-dry sessions, daily if not more often, and lye-containing chemical relaxers. Even after one hairdresser forgot about me and left me with burn marks along my hairline, I went back for more because, wow, I could swing my hair just like those mane models on TV. Often I’d buy a box kit and do it myself and sometimes leave it on so long that it got too straight, hanging lifelessly in limp defeat.

Eventually I wised up and began embracing my curls. That worked to an extent; we made friends and sometimes my hair would even work with me and look pretty good.

But that friendship went out the window with the promise of trouble-free — frizz-free! — hair.

And it delivered.

Wash-and-wear hair – really!

My hair looked silky and healthy and stayed that way even in soupy, summer air. If I didn’t have the time or the desire to straighten it, I could let it dry naturally and it looked fine, with a smooth gentle wave to it. (That’s without slopping any product on it – something I could never do before.) And if I did opt for a sleek look, my styling time went from 40 minutes or so to about 10. Another great thing is, it gradually wears off, so you don’t have to suffer through a growing out stage.

There are a few down sides. I’ve already mentioned one: your hair returns to its normal, misbehavin’ self in 2-4 months. Two, the process is time-consuming and expensive. If you have long hair or thick hair, the treatment can take 3-4 hours and cost $250-$350. Also, you have to avoid sodium chloride in all your hair products because it will strip the treatment out of your hair, and didn’t you just pay a small fortune for it. And, even with the almost-no-formaldehyde formulas that are available, the product being sealed onto your hair with the flat iron can make your eyes sting and irritate your throat.

But we here at How to Grow Hair say, what the hell. You and your hair have been through worse!

Want longer hair? Check out how to grow hair faster home remedies and my three tips on how to make your hair grow faster and longer.

Did you go Brazilian? Tell us about it — good or bad, we’d love to hear from you! : )

Topics: Hair Treatments | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Brazilian Keratin Treatment – Why it Will Change Your Life”

  1. Medo Says:
    May 2nd, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Thanks for taking time to write this post

  2. Long, Curly Hair Care | How To Grow Hair Says:
    August 28th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    […] damage. Period. But there is one great option for those who want to go straight – read about Brazilian keratin hair straightening treatment […]

  3. Ben Bowling Says:
    September 13th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Great article! It is so important to be good to our hair if we want it to be healthy and grow, whether or not we choose to have the Brazilian keratin treatment. We have many women at our salon who wish for healthier, longer hair. Glad I found your site. Feel free to visit mine as well.

  4. Kerri W Says:
    October 5th, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    I recently began using the Volume Conditioner, from Shielo, which is known for having alot of keratin in it. It works wonderfully, especially as a reconstructor. I can definitely tell a difference in my hair. Before my hair was brittle and damaged. Due to over-processing with chemical relaxers, my hair was breaking off. Since using the Shielo Conditioner, I’ve noticed that the breakage has stopped. My hair has become stronger and healthier. Currently I use the product weekly, but once my hair gets back to normal, I will probably use less often and start using leave-ins. Since my hair is very coarse, I leave it in for 10 minutes instead of the recommended 2 minutes. I can definitely attest to this product contributing to my hair growth.

  5. geovana Says:
    July 7th, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    eu passei alisamento no meu cabelo e ele caiu como eu fasso para o meu cabelo cresce ?
    antes de eu passar o alisamento o meu cabelo tava fraco por favor me ajude..

  6. Olivia Says:
    August 15th, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Hi Geovana,
    I think this is what you wrote:
    “I started straightening my hair and it fell. How do I grow my hair?
    Before straightening, my hair was thinning. Please help me ..”

    Hair straightening, either chemical or with a flat iron, can be damaging — especially on weak hair. I would avoid this process for now and work on strengthening your hair and trying to stop the thinning. People have had success with apple cider vinegar and also with neem oil for hair.

    Whatever you choose, give it several months. Good luck and let us know how it’s going.

    – Olivia

  7. Allison Says:
    September 5th, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    I am straightening my hair regularly, but it just doesn’t stay after I straighten it!! It is so frustrating to me, that I quit doing it after about 4 times of doing it.

  8. Olivia Says:
    September 21st, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Hi Allison,

    I can understand your frustration – believe me! But when you say “I am straightening my hair regularly…”, do you mean doing it yourself with a flat iron or do you mean keratin treatments?

    I used to straighten my hair daily using just a blow dryer, which was really damaging and I was lucky if it lasted a couple of hours before fluffing up. My results improved dramatically after I finally got a flat iron a few years ago. But in humid-as-all-get-out Florida, I still faced frizz.

    That’s why the Brazilian straightener was such a life changer. My hair took a fraction of the time to do and stayed smooth and pretty in humid weather.

    But — and I say this in my post — you still have to straighten your hair. For the most part, your hair will still retain a wave; some people will still have curls. However, a quality Brazilian done in salon should cut your style time in at least half if not more. (I went from taking about 45 minutes to straighten my hair to 10-15 minutes after the keratin treatment.)

    A do-it-yourself keratin straightener typically will not work as well as a salon job, but I’m pleased with the hair straightener I used on myself a few months ago.

    So if you problem is after using a flat iron on untreated curly hair, then you can try applying a hair-straightening thermal protectant before you iron and finish with a mist of anti-humidity hair spray. These will make your effort last longer. You may also have to upgrade your flat iron. There are so many options — ceramic, tourmaline, nano, ionic, infrared, titanium — and maybe the one you are using isn’t optimal for your hair.

    Hope that helps!

  9. angie Says:
    March 14th, 2012 at 2:57 am

    I got the b.blowout about 2 weeks ago and I’m noticing my hair thinning & I can see my scalp now. Can you please tell me how to stop it & grow my hair back. I’m so scared

  10. Katrin Says:
    March 29th, 2012 at 3:58 am

    I live in Miami, land of humidity. I’ve had the Brazilian twice. Not only does this extend the life of this expensive treatment, but my family has found we really don’t need the treatments anymore. Our hair is small and perfect and we are out the door in no time with no more bad hair days! Best of all no heavy, greasy feel.