Having read much of the buzz about Brazilian Blowouts and Brazilian Keratin treatments, I decided to try the procedure on my hair when Groupon offered a promotional discount for $140 for a Brazilian Blowout (normally $350) at Blackstones in New York City. What I didn’t understand is that there is a significant difference between the Brazilian Blowout and the Brazilian Keratin treatment, and even with the Keratin treatments there are different products that can be used. There is one Keratin treatment, which after you receive you cannot wash your hair, put it in a ponytail, or anything that might cause creases in the hair, for FOUR days. I, personally, had no interest in walking around with dirty, stringy hair for four days. There is a new Keratin treatment that you can wash immediately after and the Brazilian blowout does not require any “down time” either. Also, there is a misconception that this process “straightens” hair, but it does not. It is said to make the hair shiny and appear healthier and if you choose to straighten hair it should reduce blow drying time. So, if you want to keep your hair curly, you still can. As the stylist put it, “It’s your hair, just better”.
The actual process is quite simple and took far less time than the Japanese Hair straightening, which I have also tried when it first became popular in 2003. I was only in the salon for approximately two hours. First, the hairdresser washes your hair several times with the Brazilian Blowout shampooing product, and then a product is applied to your hair with a brush. After this, the hair is blow dried with the product in and then straightened with a flat iron. While the instructional video then states you should wash the hair with the Brazilian Blowout masque product after this, the salon I went to did not do this as the hairdresser explained it worked better to leave the chemicals in for awhile. Since I was nervous to leave the chemicals in my hair overnight, and I wanted to see the results I washed it before I went to bed later that night. After having the procedure done, you need to use sulfate-free shampoo to maintain the blowout. Sulfate in regular shampoo will break down the chemicals in the blowout. There are four products that you are supposed to use to maintain the blowout, the shampoo, conditioner, hair masque, and a serum. I was offered all four of these products at $118, but I decided to just buy the shampoo and the hair masque for $80. Plus, the procedure only last around 3 months, so you need to return to the salon to have the procedure done again. So, if you are really trying to maintain the blowout, the products are fairly significant in addition to the procedure itself. I am Caucasian with fairly thick wavy hair, although I prefer it straightened. I was told that the Brazilian Blowout significantly reduces the time it takes to blow dry your hair, but I did not find this to be true. While there is a slight improvement in how straight my hair gets (especially in the back and underneath, which is harder for me to get to) I do not think that it is significant enough to warrant paying $350 for. Additionally, while I think this is more of an issue for the hair stylists rather than the person getting the procedure, there has been some media attention about the product containing formaldehyde after an Oregon based hair stylist had the product tested and found high levels of the chemical. This can cause everything from irritation to the eyes and throat to coughing, wheezing, headache and nausea.