Brazilian Keratin Treatment - Does It Work?

If your hair is unruly and unmanageable, you have probably considered getting a Brazilian keratin treatment done. But it isn't exactly cheap, so you have hesitated, wondering if it will be worth it. I have the answer for you in three little words - yes. Yes! YES!

The Brazilian keratin treatment - also known as Brazilian straightener or Brazilian blowout - is a semi-permanent procedure good for all hair types that promises to leave hair silky, sleek and supple. And does it deliver!

My hair is long, fine and curly - the kind of hair that left to its own devices looks very much like a mass of steel wool. I could always straighten it easily enough, but it took forever, or, roughly, 45 minutes. Let there be a drop of humidity in the air and I could literally feel my hair start to pouf up. My smooth, straight hair lasted, oh, 5 minutes before the top layer turned fluffy. Fluffy is great on puppies and kittens; on me, not so much.

And I'm fairly certain, not so much on you, either.

Getting the Brazilian Keratin Treatment

Enter the Brazilian keratin treatment. A stylist friend of a friend of a friend needed models and I ended up being one. My hair is long and it took over three hours. Here's what he did: First my hair was washed twice with a special clarifying shampoo to prepare it to accept the product. Then it was blow dried until it was almost completely dry. When it was about 90 percent dry, he applied the keratin straightener sparingly from roots to ends. Then with his flat iron set to 450 degrees, he straightened my hair, taking tiny sections and going over them a minimum of five times with the flat iron, sealing the product onto the hair shaft.

There are different brands of Brazilian keratin straightening products so the procedure might vary a bit. The particular brand used on me needed four days to cure. This was the worst part, I have to admit, because in those four days you cannot wash your hair, tie it up, pin it back or stick it behind your ears even. Why? Ever get dents and dings in your manicure even though the polish felt dry to the touch? Same thing. Your polish felt dry but because it wasn't completely cured, it could be marred if you weren't careful.

Finally, the day arrived when I went back to get it washed off. (Some salons include the follow up in the treatment, others will want you to buy the special shampoo so you can do it at home.) I could tell immediately my hair was different. Usually, my long hair in a salon sink bowl becomes a mound of tangles around a stylist's hands. I could feel his fingers slipping through my strands like silk.

Back in his chair, I saw my wet hair had a slight wave to it still, which I thought was great. More options. He dried it without using a round brush to pull it straight. It looked shiny and smooth without a drop of product in it. He quickly ran a flat iron through it and it looked like fluid glass. Everybody was oohing and aahing over how gorgeous my hair looked. I had to practically be pried away from the mirror. I swung my hair around and felt like a those shampoo models in TV commercials with the sickeningly beautiful hair that none of the products they're hawking will give you.

From then on, I had wash and wear hair. If I couldn't be bothered to style it, I could step out of the shower, not put any product in it - which I could never do before! - and let it do its thing. It would dry with gentle waves. No frizz. No fluff. And when I did want to style it, it took 10 minutes, maybe. And that's probably because I find it tricky to wield a flatiron in the back of my head with hair that more than halfway down my back. And it didn't matter if it was humid out. It stayed beautiful. . .

While it lasted.

All good things come to an end, and the Brazilian straightening is no different. It is a semi-permanent fix that lasts roughly 2 to 4 months. For me, it was about 4. But I was careful not to use products that contain sodium chloride, which will wash the Brazilian right out of your hair. I avoided the ocean for the same reason, but that was easy since I never went in the water anyway. And I was never one of those people who wash their hair every day. You just can't when your hair is fine and curly like mine - it's too drying.

Brazilian Keratin Treatment Cost

Unlike the Japanese straightener or traditional hair relaxers, the Brazilian treatment doesn't break down your hair, which is damaging and weakens the integrity of the hair. Instead, it coats the strands with keratin - the building blocks of hair and nails - protecting and strengthening hair from the inside out. Your hair's structure is in no way compromised.

The process is a bit pricey, depending on how long your hair is, how thick it is, your geographical location and whatnot, but it can run from $150 to $350 and up. And even with the milder formulas it can make your eyes sting or irritate your throat when the product is being sealed onto your hair with the flat iron.

Small price to pay, in my humble opinion, for the benefits. If you struggle with your hair like I do, the Brazilian keratin treatment will change your life. Seriously.

Comments 13 comments

infoguider profile image

infoguider 6 years ago

My friend just did this treatment and her hair looks amazing ever since - I would highly recommend it!

6 years ago

I think im going to get it done its the big talk now and evveryone is getting it and all my hair does it frizz up

rejuvamom 6 years ago

I just did it an I am thoroughly amazed.. My poof ball of hair, now lays beautifully on top of my head.

michelle 6 years ago

I am having this done in a week - but I have read some reviews where people report their hair falling out. Has anyone experienced this?

melissa 6 years ago

yes, I had clumps of hair fall out

vanessa 5 years ago

how long does it last?

ernie brauchli 5 years ago

I am a Educator and trainer for la-Brailiana. I must say for all the classes and models completed. I have never seen hair breakage due to La-Brailiana Keratin treatment with Collagen. Collagen makes hair more supple as it smooth, shines, softens and elimainates frizz. Most other treatments only containes Keratin. When others have told me about hair breakage, it is the cause of poor quality or defective flat irons with the heat not regulated.And or technician error. For highly proccesses hair it is recommend to turn down the temperature of the iron to not burn, break or discolor hair.

scottmitchellfl profile image

scottmitchellfl 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

I love KeraGreen which is sold by Organic Salon Systems ( because they add L-Cystine in their formula which prevents hair loss. I am also a big fan of organic hair care and love the fact that the formula does not contain any formaldehyde or ammonia.

jenlew 5 years ago

I'm having it done tomorrow cant wait, had to save for it but ill see if its worth it ive never seen a bad review

Brandy 5 years ago

I had it done and it took 4 hrs. When I was able to wash it I did and after just washing it once my hair was back to curly. I have to go again this Friday to redo it again. Another 4 hrs again. I am really Hoping it works. Cost me $300.

Lauren 5 years ago

I also had it done a week ago. I finally got to wash it and it was frizzy and curly. Although the mass was a bit smaller than before, it still cost me $400 dollars and the lady said that was a discount. The woman who did it said i could come out of the ocean or shower and it would be frizz free and straight. I wouldnt even mind if it was a bit wavy but it's completely frizzy. Make sure you research the person doing it before you drop $400 plus dollars.

PumaWolfire profile image

PumaWolfire 4 years ago from Florida Author

Lauren - I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. You're absolutely right: do your research!

The woman who did your hair sounds as if she didn't know what she was talking about, and so she probably didn't know what she was doing, either.

For starters, your hair is perfectly straight after a Brazilian treatment -- until you wash it. Most people still have a wave to their hair, or even curls. But their hair should not be frizzy. It should be soft and manageable and styling time should be minimal compared to before the treatment.

Also, you're supposed to avoid hair products with sodium chloride because it breaks down the keratin and your Brazilian won't last as long. A waste of time and money. Sodium chloride is, of course, salt. What is the ocean full of? Salt! Any responsible stylist would have alerted you to avoid the ocean unless you were willing to dramatically reduce how long your treatment would last.

For me, the Brazilian was a life changer because it strengthened my hair, I spent less time straightening it, and I didn't have to worry about humid weather undoing my work. My hair straightened fast, looked glossy and wasn't affected by lousy weather. And if I didn't feel like straightening it, I could air dry my hair and not look like a giant frizzball anymore. It had a wave and looked decent letting it dry naturally; a little bit of curl cream and it looked even better.

Lauren, I can understand if you're reluctant to get another one, but maybe you can give an at-home Brazilian a try. I've done this myself and would recommend you enlist a friend to help flat iron your hair, especially if you have tons of hair or it's long. Also, the at-home treatment I used did not give me salon results. My hair is quite curly still (while the salon treatment relaxed my curls more), and it takes about as long to straighten as it did before the treatment. But it doesn't frizz up in humid weather, and this alone makes it worth it to me.

Destiny 4 years ago

My hair is oh so damaged i thought about this but now i dont know if i want to spend 300 dollars to come home to the same hair -_-

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