If you’ve been battling frizzy, excessively voluminous, unruly curly hair that is almost impossible to control, then you need to know about two of the most popular hair smoothing treatments: Brazilian blowout vs. keratin treatment.
Many women, and some men, swear by these professional hair procedures because each is a popular treatment that has a good reputation for giving you shiny hair with a smoother look.
So what’s the difference between the two treatments, and which is the best for your curly hair?
Keratin treatment is originally a Brazilian invention. It was first introduced by a mortician who discovered that aside from embalming bodies, formaldehyde made the deceased hair straight as well.
Keratin treatment is a hair smoothing treatment that works to eliminate frizz and flyaways. The process involves injecting keratin protein into the follicles to make the hair relaxed, smooth, and shiny.
Keratin treatments make hair super easy to control and manageable for up to five months—an impressively long time not to be dealing with frizzy hair.
Brazilian blowout is a registered brand name and not a style, as most people assume.
It, too, is a hair smoothing treatment used to achieve frizz-free, easy-to-style, and manage hair.
The best thing about the Brazilian blowout is that it’s customizable. This means you can choose to what extent you want your hair treated for different looks. For instance, if you’re going to retain your natural curls, you will have your hair treated for a shorter duration than if you wanted your hair almost pin-straight.
Brazilian blowout lasts up to 12 weeks. However, it can last for a shorter or longer time, depending on your hair type and routine.
A Brazilian blowout is ideal for all hair types, including color-treated hair. It wears out uniformly all through the entire lasting period. You can hardly tell where the boundary is between the treated hair and the regrowth.
These two treatments have more similarities than differences. Perhaps the significant difference is the ingredients, and of course, the name. All the other differences are slight, although worth mentioning.
Despite all of the pros of getting either of these treatments, there is one major drawback. Unfortunately, you are exposed to hazardous chemicals to some degree during heat application in both treatments, so you need to be cautious if you’re considering either. While you can find different products that avoid the use of formaldehyde or other harmful chemicals like aldehydes, the majority will have some quantity. Your hair professional should offer you guidance on which treatment would be better for you.
When comparing keratin treatments and Brazilian treatments for curly hair, it’s essential to look at the differences between the two.
Even though both treatments coat the outer layer of the hair with proteins to smooth out the cuticles, the method of application and downtime differs. The Brazilian blowout treatment process only takes two hours max, and the results are instant. You leave the salon with perfectly smooth hair. In fact, you can style or even wash your hair immediately. This is a good candidate if you don’t like waiting for a sleek look that is ready for the red carpet.
With keratin, on the other hand, you will leave the salon three hours later but with your hair partly done. You’d have to give your hair up to 72 hours to allow for the keratin to crystallize. The threat with a keratin treatment is that you can easily over-keratinize your hair since your stylist is not supervising. You only have to follow instructions and believe that you are “waiting” the right way for those three days before you can wash your hair.
Not only is the amount of time needed for each procedure different, but the actual procedures themselves vary quite a bit.
With a keratin treatment, your hair is washed with a clarifying shampoo like the Ouidad Water Works Clarifying Shampoo and then dried. Once completely dry, the treatment is applied in sections so that the product is evenly distributed. A cap is placed over your head for at least 30 minutes to allow the treatment to penetrate deep into the hair shaft. And then, finally, your hair is blowdried again, and then your hairstylist will use a flat iron at 450 F before you’re allowed to go home. You’ll also be given strict instructions not to wash your hair for three days.
Similar to the keratin treatment, the preparation for a Brazilian blowout involves washing your hair with clarifying shampoo. However, for this procedure, your hair is left slightly damp. The product is then applied in sections and then immediately blowdried and flat ironed at 450F.
Once again, your stylist washes your hair to remove the product, deep conditions to add moisture, and then finally blowdries to get the final result.
Another major difference between the two treatments is the intensity of the product. The Brazilian blowout is lighter and will leave your hair with a more natural texture than you’ll experience with keratin.
Keratin also tends to be heavier. While this helps calm the frizz more, it takes away additional volume from your hair and weighs it down.
Keratin treatments contain more moisturizing and conditioning ingredients than Brazilian blowouts. They also have fewer hazardous chemicals (like silicones), which can clog your scalp and weigh down your hair. Keep in mind that this may be different for different brands of each treatment out there. For example, some brands stay clear from formaldehyde while others include it in their list of ingredients.
When considering both options, it’s best to seek your stylist’s opinion regarding the safety of available brands. You may also notice that different brands yield different results. Again, seek your stylist’s opinion on which brand is right for you.
Both the Brazilian and the keratin treatment cost an average of $250 per treatment session. However, because the results of a keratin treatment last longer, you might consider this to be a more cost-effective option. Regardless, when you decide which is the appropriate treatment for you, we recommend you put more weight on your hair needs and type over the cost of the procedure because the results really are what matters.
Both treatments will yield the desired results. However, the Brazilian blowout has the upper hand because the treatment is customizable, and the results are instant.
As for keratin, you will have to wait up to 72 hours to know whether or not the treatment is successful. Despite having to play the waiting game, you can achieve the results you desire regardless of your hair type with both treatments by adjusting the product and heat application.
After going over all the differences and commonalities, can you guess which treatment is best for curly hair? Yes, a keratin treatment is the best for curly hair if you aim to achieve a straighter, shinier appearance for longer (up to five months). Keratin helps straighten overly curly hair, so it’s less frizzy and is easy to style and manage.
However, if you’d prefer to achieve all that while maintaining your hair’s volume and curly texture, a Brazilian blowout is the better option for you.
Now that you know what keratin and Brazilian treatments are and how they work, and you also know that keratin is the best treatment for curly hair, it’s up to you to reach out to your hairstylist to determine what brand is best for you. You’ll find it’s a worthwhile investment, especially if you have hard-to-manage, unruly hair.
Remember, you’ll see better results if you take care of your treated hair by diligently maintaining your shampooing, conditioning, and masking routines for healthy, beautiful hair!
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