Reviewed by Rebecca Byrne, a licensed master cosmetologist.
A Brazilian Blowout is a semi-permanent hair straightening treatment that makes the hair softer, and frizz-free and cuts down on the drying and styling time. The Brazilian Blowout treatment is the brand name of one of the first and most well-known smoothing treatments performed in a salon by a certified stylist. The term “Brazilian Blowout” is often used to refer to any professional permanent smoothing treatment.
Brazilian Blowout is advertised to give you “Wash and Wear Hair”. The treatment adds a protein coating to the outermost layer of your hair known as the cuticle. Even though it doesn’t completely straighten the hair, it will soften your curls and keep your hair humidity-proof, silky, and luxurious.
The Brazilian blowout service is the ideal solution for people with frizzy, damaged, and unmanageable hair. The effects of the treatment usually last up to 3 months depending on your hair type and the maintenance. The original texture of your hair will be regained over time with no obvious demarcation between old and newly grown hair. Brazilian Blowout treatments can be re-applied once the effects have worn off.
Brazilian Blowout Benefits
- More manageable hair: If you are looking for an easier way to style your hair, a Brazilian Blowout treatment is a great choice. This treatment will improve the texture and appearance of your hair, making it much easier to style as desired. Brazilian blowouts can make blow-drying and straightening easier and less time-consuming for up to 12 weeks after getting it done. This is perfect for busy individuals who have no time to style and fix their hair on a regular basis and wish to be able to straighten their hair more easily than they would be able to do on their natural hair.
- Reduced appearance of frizz: It can be quite difficult to manage dry and frizzy hair in the summer, especially in hot and humid weather. The Brazilian Blowout treatment makes your hair more resistant to the effects of humidity, rain, or sweat to keep your locks soft and frizz-free.
- Shiny, healthy-looking hair: This treatment can be beneficial for coarse, dry, porous, and frizzy hair. The amino-acid-enriched solution used in a Brazilian Blowout seals the hair cuticle and smooths out split ends, leaving the hair looking healthy, sleek, and shiny.
Brazilian Blowout is performed by a professional stylist who is properly trained to go through all of the steps. The solution containing amino acids is activated by heat to fill the little pores along the hair shaft and form a protective protein coating. This protective protein coating prevents humidity from entering the strands and adds a glossy shine to the hair. Unlike relaxers, perms, or thermal reconditioning treatments, the Brazilian Blowout treatment does not permanently change the internal structure of the hair.
The process usually takes between 90 to 150 minutes from start to finish. The Brazilian Blowout steps are: clarifying, application, blow-drying, flat ironing, and styling.
The hair is washed with a clarifying shampoo to get rid of oil, dirt, and product residue. Conditioner is not applied because your hair needs to be squeaky clean for maximum product absorption. The hair is then patted dry with a towel until it is damp but not excessively wet.
After dividing the hair into sections, your stylist will apply the solution from the root to the tip using a tint brush. The process is repeated on each section until the hair is completely covered with the solution.
Your stylist will blow-dry your hair for about 10 to 15 minutes using a flat or round brush. The heat from the blow-dryer helps to open up the cuticle to increase the effectiveness of the product.
When the hair is completely dry, each section is flat ironed at approximately 450 Fahrenheit to seal the solution into hair strands. The heat from the flat iron seals the protein into hair cuticles, creating a glossy finish. At this stage, the changes in the hair texture become visible.
Conditioning and Styling
A conditioning mask is applied and left in the hair for 20 minutes providing nourishment, smoothness, and shine.
After rinsing the product and drying your hair will be bouncy with a radiant shine. You may ask your hairdresser to help you style your hair the way you like.
After the Brazilian Blowout treatment, the hair retains its original fullness but it appears straighter, and smoother, and can be styled effortlessly. The treatment works with all hair types including straight, curly, thin, thick, dry, frizzy, and damaged hair. It also works with colored and highlighted hair that has previously been chemically or thermally straightened.
If your hair is straight, the treatment will remove frizz and give your strands a glossy finish. It will also improve the look of curly hair giving it a smoother, frizz-free look. The result can be customized, depending on what you want and on the technique your stylist uses.
The effects of a Brazilian Blowout will last up to 12 weeks depending on your hair type and washing regimen.
Brazilian blowout treatment will last longer with the proper care. To prolong the life of your treatment, there are some things you should keep in mind:
Don’t wash your hair more than 2-3 times per week. Frequent washing reduces the effects of any hair-smoothing treatment.
Frequent swimming in the ocean or pool may compromise the longevity of your treatment.
Avoid using shampoos that contain sulfates and sodium chloride as both chemicals will erode the protective protein coating from the hair. There are many shampoos on the market that are salt-free and sulfate-free.
Consult your stylist about the products you will use to maintain your treatment. Most salons offer a range of post-treatment products that are specifically designed to increase the life span of the treatment you have received.
Is Brazilian Blowout Safe?
Brazilian blowouts have received criticism due to the chemicals that are used and the reactions they can cause. The biggest concern for customers is the high levels of formaldehyde in the Brazilian Blowout solution. Formaldehyde is added to hair straightening solutions to hold the keratin molecules together. When a solution is heated, it releases formaldehyde fumes, which can cause adverse health effects. Breathing formaldehyde fumes can result in eye, nose, and throat irritation that may lead to sensitivity to formaldehyde which creates ongoing allergies.
Researches suggest that hairstylists and other salon employees can be exposed to formaldehyde over a long period of time because they are inhaling the gas that is released into the air during the heat application process. According to the United Nations International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), formaldehyde is currently classified as being “carcinogenic to humans.”
Some salons offer formaldehyde-free formulas that don’t release harmful fumes during the application process. While they are better in the long term, they’re not quite as powerful as the formaldehyde-based formulas that can adhere better to hair and give longer-lasting results.
Before you receive a Brazilian Blowout, it is important to discuss your concerns with a hair professional. Look for a salon that specializes in Brazilian Blowouts as they will be more likely to follow the proper precautions. Make sure that your salon has a certified stylist and a proper ventilation system. Ask your stylist about all the chemicals in the straightening product, so you can weigh all possible risks against possible benefits.