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.
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.
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 make 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 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.