My best friend has thick, very wavy hair, but you'd never guess it from looking at her. That's because she goes in for Japanese thermal conditioning, a treatment that leaves hair straight for months. Now I have to tell her about a newer process from Brazil called escova progressiva. According to the New York Times, it can be used on most hair types, even color-treated hair. And now it has migrated from South America to the States.

"Right now, it’s blowing everything away," said Meryle Nemeth, the nuBest stylist who administered Ms. Epstein’s treatment, one of about 500 she’s done since February, when it became available at the salon [in Manhasset, NY]. "I've never seen anything take off like this as far as relaxing hair."

For details on this treatment,

Brazilian hair straightening takes up to four hours and costs between $150 and $600. The Times explains the process, which truthfully sounds a little... un-fun:

A stylist applies a solution made with active keratin, a protein akin to a component of human hair. Using a 450-degree iron, the hairdresser seals the formula onto the outer layer of the cuticle. The formula adheres to the cuticle’s inherently rough edges. Thus, it is said, it traps moisture, hydrating the hair, and adds a glossy veneer.

Buried deep in the article is this little nugget: "The formula often contains formaldehyde, a known carcinogen that can irritate the eyes and lungs if the fumes are inhaled." Yikes.

Are you interested in getting this treatment done, or are you happy with your curls and waves?