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Brazilian Hair Straightening review

Bella's BFF on Brazilian Hair Straightening

Longtime readers will remember a post about Brazilian hair straightening. The technique relaxes hair by using a protein-filled solution on hair, then applying a hot iron to it. It's a little controversial, though, because the solution includes formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Since I'm a hypochondriac, I run when I see the word "carcinogen," but that hasn't stopped the procedure from becoming popular.

As it turns out, my BFF Jen went in for Brazilian straightening this weekend. Naturally, I bombarded her with questions over instant messaging to get the scoop. Overall, she's still deciding whether it was a success. If you're thinking of having this treatment and want to get some unbiased opinions from someone who's just had it done,


Rather than bore you with the details of our IM conversation, I've created a guide that I like to call Jen and the Art of Brazilian Hair Straightening Maintenance. Here are her thoughts.

On the smell:
I stink.

On the scariest part of the procedure:
The "baking into my hair" part where there was actually poofs of smoke coming from the straightening iron she used? uhhhhh. . . I was freaked.

On her hair now:
My hair is in very good condition . . . odd. It's more shiny than before I had it done, which is kind of blowing my mind considering that my head was *smoking*. And my hair is about 2 inches longer. Genius.

On maintenance:
You can't wash your hair for four days, and you have to use a shampoo without sodium chloride. The stylist gave me samples for some shampoo called Aqualage, I believe. I doesn't contain the sodium chloride. Also, no ponytails, barrettes, anything for four days; that will cause a wave.

Would Jen recommend it?
I think it's a good alternative to the thermal, price-wise. [Jen paid $200.] Do I prefer it over Japanese straightening? We'll see once I'm able to wash it. It's not as fried, which is good.

Alena15255367 Alena15255367 3 years
Best treatments we ever did were with BOMBSHELL KERATIN It is genie brilliant in Brazilian keratin treatment!
Elizabeth-R Elizabeth-R 5 years
Brazilian keratin was THE BEST THING I'VE EVER DONE to my hair.  I have kinky, wavy, bushy, and frizzy (in the summer) hair and all my life I've been embarrassed about it.  When I'd get it professionally blow dried it looked FANTASTIC, so I knew the potential was there, but on a daily basis it would look like crap.  Even if I spent a ton of time and got it to look pretty decent w/ blow drying/ironing, 15 minutes later the humidity--even just a little--made turned it into a puffy, frizzy bozo look.     I had keratin done and IT WAS LIFE-CHANGING.  I still blow dry, but MUCH, MUCH less, and I flat iron, but only for one to two minutes.   AND THEN IT STAYS.   I'm not bragging, but my hair looks great pretty much all the time.  I look and feel like a different person; a vastly improved version of myself.      My only problem was the cost.  I thought it was outrageous.  I'm in the DC area and paid $425 because I have a lot of hair.  But I'm an engineer by training, and a problem solver by nature, so I learned how to do it in a seminar for professional hairstylists, got licensed to be able to buy the professional strength product, and have been  doing my own and my friends' for 3 years.   For those of us (even those with straight hair) whose hair frizzes in humidity, NOTHING COMES CLOSE to the frizz control it provides.   After a while I started a website to show people how to do this and make the needed items available at slightly over wholesale cost BECAUSE IT OUGHT TO BE INEXPENSIVE, in my opinion, for those willing to do it themselves.  I even found an appropriate the flat iron, which needs to be the professional type reaching 450F degrees for keratin to properly bond to the hair (consumer irons max out around 310-320).   I sell enough to do 3-8 treatments (depending on hair length and volume)  for $69.99.     My website,, has a lot of good info about the technique including a look at the formaldehyde controversy referenced in the above article (see my last FAQ on    I'd be happy to discuss any of this further with anyone who's interested.  Best regards,   Elizabeth               
Laura2795214 Laura2795214 5 years
The Cocoa Keratin System is the best I've used so far and it doesn't damage hair at all, it even comes with its own pre and post shampoo + conditioner. Very complete and it lasts for 5 months :)
annesummers annesummers 5 years
I love pin straight hair but I don't like chemicals, it's too much damage for hair. I use the Karmin Professional Titanium flat iron I bought at my hair styling tools, it works pretty good, removes static and leaves my hair silky and shiny, and it's less damaging than chemical treatments.
annieboi annieboi 6 years
Oh and another thing. After getting this done I had nose problems and found polyps in my nose. Whatever I had was an allergic response and something else.
annieboi annieboi 6 years
*I forgot to mention, after 2 weeks it got progressively curlier so that by 3 months my hair was flipping curly again. I still got frizzy hair after 2 weeks and the salon made us sign all this paper work about not suing them if something happens.
annieboi annieboi 6 years
EVERYBODY PLEASE READ!!! I got this treatment done last year in October. I'm female with bushy curly italian hair. The chemical steam irritated the hairdressers' and my eyes. It was actually pretty bad and since going to the hairdressers that day, two months later I found out I needed glasses. I don't know if thats linked but I have no history or family history or eye problems as far as I know. Not only did the stuff burn and irritate our eyes but was also exceptionally greasy after a day. I'm talking about the type of thick grease you can feel on your crown. I went from having no pimples to being covered in pimples within a week of using the treatment. The results did not last! After I washed my hair for the first time I noticed that it dried noticably straighter BUT it was very wavy. Everything went downhill from here and within 2 weeks it was exceptionally wavy - the type of wavy I could get if I braided my wet hair at night when curly and undid the braids in the morning. I followed the rules religiously and bought the special keratin shampoo that was designed specifically for keratin treated hair. About 3 months after the treatment my hair was curly again but the curls were looser than normal but not a pretty sight. My hair still frizzed. I also noticed my hair was a lot lighter - which I wasn't happy about. All in all, for the money and the health risks, I would not recomend the treatment. There is no regulation in the hair industry - BEWARE. I've actually had japanese straightening and it didn't turn out crunchy and it really lasted. I used a keratin shampoo. Don't risk your health. You might be young like me and think oh well, my image is more important and everything has cancer these days. That is such a bad attitude. Something you do now might not cause any problems in the short term but maybe ten years later after you have kids, you might end up with cancer. Your future is at stake. Do not trust these keratin companies.
monica4568 monica4568 6 years
ALSO !!! ZELO has formaldehyde free, and will not cause harm like brazilian hair straightening or other remedies that leave your hair feeling harsh! trust me I am sooo picky!!!!
monica4568 monica4568 6 years
You guys should really try this product called Zelo, i got it off HSN and it really worked!!! I was so happy with the results it says it has no harsh chemicals and I can tell my hair is very smooth now, and I have afro type hair! I suggest you check it out!! i hated spending so much money, and now i can save some!
Ruffles0087 Ruffles0087 6 years
I have naturally curly hair which I cut recently to a pixie cut which I loved but now it's growing back out and looks very big and unflattering. I have been thinking about both the Japanese hair straightening and the Brazilian blow out as a temporary means of controlling my hair during this growing out phase...I don't think I want to keep my hair straight forever cause I have learned to love my curls. All the info and comments are really helpful and have given me a lot to think about
black-baby black-baby 6 years
i am a black 29 woman and allways had my hair permed and i recently went to a natural look and found a product called kerastrait a spray on keratin treatment WOW ! i could not belive how it made my hair sliky and manageble i did have to use a flat iron but it was well worth it as it lasted a good month with only one treatment it comes in a 4 oz spray bottle and i only used maybe 1/2 oz i paid $49.99 with free shipping a good deal ! as i was told at a salon just one treatment on my hair would be $150.00 and i need to conserve $ so it wasa great deal i recommend this
Jackie220 Jackie220 6 years
I had the keratin treatment done last year. That's the straightener that you can't wash your hair for 4 days & no clips, ponytails, no sweating, etc. This year, last week I had the actual Brazilian straightener done. My head was washed, dried thoroughly & then the product was applied to my head. Then dried thoroughly & then straightened with the flat iron & then rewashed & dried with a brush. I love this treatment so much better. Was able to pull my hair into a pony tail right away & was able to wash my hair the next day. My hair is so smooth & silky. Plus, I color my hair blonde. I'm a bleach blonde. I do however, purchase a sodium free shampoo & conditioner in the regular store. Loreal make one & smells soooo good. I absolutely love this brazilian. When it's so muggy & humid out my hair does not frizz at all. LOVE IT. Its a it pricy in most places, I happen to be lucky and a neighbor is a stylist and does the brazilian in her home for half the price...well worth it.
aquae aquae 7 years
Has anyone tried the Bracato Smoothing Keratin system? I am interested to hear how this compares with the Brazilian Blowout. Both products are formaldehyde free. Please let me know if you have had the Bracato one and how it compares. Maybe some stylist out there can provide some input.
cath71 cath71 7 years
I had my hair done a week ago. I just washed it for the first time since I left the salon. My hair is as curly now as it was before I shelled out $350 to have this treatment. I would not recommend it to anyone, it is a complete waste of your time and money and does not deliver on any of it's promises.
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