Brazilian Keratin Treatments

Reviewed by Lauren Gilmore, a Hair Stylist & Educator. Instagram: @laurengilmoresrh

Hair has always been a major source of attraction for women. Your hair is one of the first things that people will notice when they see you for the very first time. Frizzy hair can make it difficult to look and feel your best and can make getting ready in the morning a time-consuming and frustrating task. When you suffer a bad hair day it can either make or break your day, this is why you need to consider ways to make your hair more manageable.

  • You might want to scroll down to read the most common aftercare FAQs

What is a Brazilian Keratin Treatment?

A keratin treatment is a semi-permanent hair smoothing service that temporarily smooths naturally curly hair, eliminates frizz, and adds a gorgeous shine. Keratin treatments fill the porous parts of your hair with protein and form a coating over the hair fibers so that your hair feels smoother and shinier.

a young women holding her keratin straightened hair

What is the Difference between Brazilian Blowout and Brazilian Keratin Treatment?

Brazilian Blowout is a trademarked brand name within the Brazilian Keratin Treatment category. This is one of the most popular versions of keratin treatments offered in salons. There are other brands that do the same thing, but the smoothing process has unofficially become known as the Brazilian Blowout.

Who are the Best Candidates for Receiving Keratin Treatment?

The treatment is especially helpful for people with frizzy, dry, overly curly, and difficult to manage hair.

The treatment works on color-treated, highlighted, chemically straightened, and virgin hair. Chemically treated hair tends to respond better to a keratin treatment due to its high porosity. The gaps in the cuticle making it easier for a keratin treatment solution to penetrate the hair shaft. On unprocessed virgin hair, the results will be less dramatic, and won’t last as long as on chemically treated hair.

What are the Benefits of Keratin Hair Treatment?

A keratin treatment will give your hair a better appearance and will make it easier to take care of it. Below are some of the benefits that keratin treatment offers.

  • Strengthens the hair and tames unruly curls
  • Improves the condition of damaged hair
  • Eliminates frizz
  • Delivers a smooth and shiny finish
  • Protects the hair from further damage
  • Improves manageability
  • Reduces drying and styling time

What should the Procedure Look Like?

The process usually takes between 1.5 and 3 hours, depending on your hair length, type, and texture.

Your hair is cleansed, dried, and divided into four sections.  A stylist will apply the smoothing solution to your hair with a tint brush. The treatment remains in the hair for at least 20 minutes before drying. The hair is then carefully ironed to seal the keratin into the cuticle layer.

The proper flat iron temperature is based on individual hair type:

  • Up to 450 F (230°C) for normal, healthy hair
  • 430 F (221°C) for fine, color-treated, chemically processed, or highlighted hair
  • 350 – 400 F (177-205°C) for double-processed, fragile relaxed, or over-bleached hair

How Long will Keratin Treatment Last?

The Brazilian Keratin Treatment will last for approximately 12 weeks with correct maintenance. The longevity of the treatment depends on your hair type, type of smoothing product, and how often you wash your hair. The more your hair is washed, the quicker the treatment wears off. The treatment gradually washes out at an average of 2-4 months and your hair will slowly return to its previous state. To remove the effects faster, shampoo your hair more often using a clarifying shampoo with sodium chloride.

The Initial Post-Treatment Period

You should wait 2-3 days after the treatment before washing your hair as the smoothing solution takes time to work. Keep your hair away from the water during this waiting period, avoid all sorts of hair accessories and wear your hair straight and down for the first couple of days.

Can Keratin Treatment be Done at Home?

Keratin hair smoothing treatments that you can do at home can save you money, but you can accidentally damage your skin and hair by doing it yourself. The application process requires proper tools and precautions, so it is advised to get it done at the salon or have an experienced friend helping you do the treatment at home.

Is a Keratin Treatment Safe?

The keratin formula usually contains formaldehyde which is a toxic air contaminant associated with several harmful effects. FDA has recently identified formaldehyde as a human carcinogen. When the formaldehyde solution is applied to the hair, it slowly releases toxic fumes which can pose health risks for the person getting the treatment done, but also to those in the same room.

What Are the Unwanted Effects of Keratin Hair Treatments?

The side effects are mostly due to formaldehyde in hair smoothing products. Some of the most common undesirable effects of a keratin treatment include the following:

  • Throat, nose, and eye irritation due to formaldehyde exposure
  • Skin irritations, particularly in the scalp
  • Allergic reactions
  • Excessive hair breakage
  • The hair may appear too flat and look unnatural for a few weeks until the treatment settles down.

How to Reduce the Exposure to Formaldehyde?

  • Consider using products that do not list formaldehyde.
  • Use a mask, gloves, and other protective equipment during the treatment.
  • Make sure the treatment is done in a room with good ventilation.
  • Get the product from a recognized manufacturer.
smilling woman after receiving keratin treatment

Keratin Treatment Aftercare

Can I use coconut oil on keratin-straightened hair?

Yes, you can. Apply coconut oil as a pre-shampoo treatment. Virgin coconut oil binds to the hair and can reduce keratin loss during shampooing.

Can I use argan oil on keratin-treated hair?

Yes. Pure Argan oil is safe to use on keratin-treated hair. Be sure to use pure Argan oil with no added chemicals that can react with keratin in your hair. Olive oil is also completely safe to use on keratin-straightened hair, as it is naturally derived. Just be aware that using any hair oil tends to increase the frequency of hair washing.

How to sleep with keratin in the hair?

You need to keep your hair straight during the first few days until the keratin treatment sets. Sleeping on your back on a satin pillowcase will keep your hair from messing up during the night. If sleeping/sweating causes a crease, blow-dry the affected section of your hair and straighten it with a flat iron.

Can I sleep on a cotton pillowcase after keratin treatment?

Cotton pillowcases have a rough texture that can create friction between the pillow and your hair. Silk and satin create very little friction which helps to extend the life of keratin treatment.

Can I go swimming in a pool or at sea?

Swimming in the pool or sea water can strip the keratin from your hair quicker than fresh water. Before swimming in a pool or ocean apply a leave-in Conditioner as a protective barrier from the chlorine or salt water. Wearing a swimming cap also helps protect your hair from the chemicals and keep it dry.

If you don’t have a swimming cap or conditioner with you, thoroughly soak your hair in fresh water before swimming. Hair that is already saturated with clean water will be less prone to absorb chlorinated water from the pool or salt water from the ocean.

Rinse your hair immediately after any swim with warm, fresh water for 3 to 5 minutes.

Can I color my hair after the keratin straightening service?

You should have your hair colored first and then follow up with the keratin treatment. Wait at least two weeks to color your hair after you have received the treatment. If you don’t wait the color process will strip away some of the keratin. Using ammonia-free hair dyes would lessen the harm.

Does keratin fade hair color?

The keratin procedure will lock in the color, so it looks more natural and lasts longer. However, the treatment can slightly lighten the hair. To offset this, you might want to color your hair a half level darker than your desired results.

How long I will have to wear my hair straight?

Leave your hair down and straight during the 3-day period after the treatment has been done. After the three-day period, you can style your hair in any style you want.

Can I tie my hair in a ponytail?

Not during 3-4 days waiting time to avoid kinking of the hair. Tying your hair after that time can leave some visible marks, which will go away when you wash your hair and blow-dry it.

Will my hair hold curl after keratin treatment?

If you receive a traditional Brazilian keratin treatment, your hair will not be able to return to its curly state until your keratin treatment fades. However, it is possible to customize the treatment. Tell your stylist before receiving the treatment how would you like to wear your hair. Wait 3-4 days after you have done the treatment, and then curl the hair. Your curls would be loose, shiny, and frizz-free.

Can I use styling products on keratin-treated hair?

Do not apply any hair products during the three-day waiting period. After the first wash, you can use sodium, paraben, and sulfate-free styling products. Use styling products that are effective in small amounts to avoid frequent hair washing.

Do I need to perform deep conditioning after receiving the treatment?

Use a conditioning masque twice a month. Deep conditioning will improve your hair health and prolong the keratin treatment. Keratin post-treatment sets usually include a deep conditioning mask. Argan oil and keratin masks would be a good choice for chemically treated hair.

a skinny brunette with long  keratin straightened hair

Disclaimer: All content on this blog is created for informational purposes only. It would be best if you didn’t use it as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Related posts:

3 thoughts on “Brazilian Keratin Treatments”

  1. Question – with Brazilian Blowout treatment what is recommended for people who work out and sweat a lot to help treatment last – products or process with wetting or washing hair? I wash hair right after workouts to rinse out sweat but treatment has still been wearing off in 7 weeks.

  2. If you sweat a lot, you’ll probably have to wash your hair more often. Frequent washing can cause the Brazilian Blowout to fade faster. There are a few things you can try to extend your Brazilian Blowout.

    When you work out, put hair into a ponytail or clip.
    Try to wash hair less often.
    Use only sulfate-free shampoos when washing your hair.
    If you need to wash your hair more than once or twice a week, try to include co-washing in your hair care regimen. Use a cleansing conditioner (sulfate, silicone, and paraben-free) instead of shampoo. Try to rotate your regular shampoo (sulfate-free) with co-wash conditioner, or use only cleansing conditioner and clarify occasionally with a sulfate-free shampoo. You will find what works best for you.

    I hope this will help.

  3. I have virgin hair. I haven’t had any chemicals dies for the past 15 years. My hair is curly, fine texture all-natural, my hair for some reason just stop growing and has gotten thin, I need something to relax my curls, yet keeps my hair straight during high humidity days, I live in Florida so its often more hot than cold throughout the year, in addition, something that will grow my hair out. What is the best keratin treatment for my kind of hair?

Leave a Comment