Which is Better for Curly Hair? Brazilian Blowout vs. Keratin Treatment

Are you looking to tame your frizzy hair? If you're wondering what's different between a Brazilian blowout vs. keratin treatment, we can help!
Brazilian blowout vs karatin - woman with long curly hair, rear view

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 with 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? 

Girl with half frizzy half smooth hair for brazilian blowout kearatin

What is a Keratin Treatment?

Keratin treatment was originally a Brazilian invention. It was first introduced by a mortician who discovered that aside from embalming bodies, formaldehyde also made the deceased person’s hair straight.

Keratin is a hair-smoothing treatment that eliminates frizz and flyaways. The process involves injecting keratin protein into the follicles to make the hair relaxed, smooth, and shiny.

Keratin treatments make hair easy to control and manageable for up to five months—an impressively long time without dealing with frizzy hair.

What is a Brazilian Blowout?

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 managed 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.

A Brazilian blowout lasts up to 12 weeks. However, depending on your hair type and routine, it can last shorter or longer.

A Brazilian blowout is ideal for all hair types, including color-treated hair. It wears out uniformly throughout the entire period, and you can hardly tell where the boundary is between the treated hair and the regrowth.

What do both treatments have in common?

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.

  • Both treatments aim at achieving one common goal: eliminating frizz and smoothing hair strands.
  • However, they do not make your hair bone straight like relaxers or the Japanese straightening treatments do.
  • They enhance shine and significantly cut down the blow-drying and styling time.
  • Both treatments also take a reasonably short time from prep to completion. You should be out of the salon in under two hours.
  • In addition, they are safe and suitable for all hair types, including color-treated hair.

Despite 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 using formaldehyde or other harmful chemicals like aldehydes, the majority will have some quantity. Your hair professional should guide you on which treatment would be better for you.

Brazilian Blowout vs. Keratin: What are the differences?

When comparing keratin treatments and Brazilian treatments for curly hair, it’s essential to look at their differences.


Even though both treatments coat the outer layer of the hair with proteins to smooth out the cuticles, the method of application and downtime differ. 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 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 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 vary quite a bit. 

Keratin Treatment

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 blow-dried again, and then your hairstylist will use a flat iron at 450°F before you’re allowed to go home. You’ll also be instructed not to wash your hair for three days.

Stylist using a flat iron

Brazilian Blowout

Similar to the keratin treatment, preparing for a Brazilian blowout involves washing your hair with clarifying shampoo. However, for this procedure, your hair is left slightly damp. The product is applied in sections and immediately blow-dried and flat-ironed at 450°F.

Once again, your stylist washes your hair to remove the product, deep-conditions it to add moisture, and then blow-dries it to achieve 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. For example, some brands avoid 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 treatments 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. 

With keratin, you may have to wait up to 72 hours to know whether 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.

Brazilian Blowout vs. Keratin: Which is best for your curly hair?

Young African American woman with straight hair

After reviewing 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 care for your treated hair by diligently maintaining your shampooing, conditioning, and masking routines for healthy, beautiful hair! 

Read Next:

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