Mar 18, 2010

My Brazilian Blowout Experience on Natural, African-American hair

** 5/3/11 - - I just wanted to write an update that OSHA released reports stating that although the Brazilian Blowout line was marketed as being "formaldehyde free" they did find trace amounts of formaldehyde being released in the air at salons they tested. The amount of formaldehyde was below their "action level" and therefore didn't require salons to stop administering the treatment. I did want to update my blog with this information to make sure everyone had all the information when deciding if this treatment was for them. I standby my postings from last year that I had a great experience with the Brazilian Blowout and did not experience any damage with my hair, nor did I have issues with fumes, smells, or the air quality. Again, please make sure that you do your research and arm yourself with as much information as possible when deciding if this treatment is right for  you **

I started transitioning in May 09 and did my big chop last month. I had straightened my hair occasionally during my transition and it was always fairly easy. Boy oh boy was it a completely different story after the big chop!!! It was such a task to blow dry and flat iron my hair, just to have it only last a day or 2 at the most... I had no other option but to wear it curly. After much research I decided to get the Brazilian Blowout! Last week I went to the Apricot Lounge Salon in Scottsdale, AZ and was helped by salon co-owner Kimberly Allison. Kim (as she's referred to by her clients) actually has been styling a friend of mine's hair for a while now and came highly recommended. I had a consultation a few weeks before my appt and then I was set to get it done. The process took about 90 mins and was rather easy. During this time I was able to pick Kim's brain while she worked on my hair and am eager to share the results and information I learned with all of my blog readers.

Here are the basics:

The Brazilian Blowout is not a straightening system, but a smoothing system. The hair is coated with a protective layer that seals the cuticle. This results in smoother, softer, easier to manage frizz-free hair. I like to stress that this product (unlike some other Keratin treatments out there) does not contain Formaldehyde or any other harsh chemicals that break the bonds of the hair nor is there a wait time. So, once you get the treatment done you can literally go swimming, workout, put your hair into a ponytail, whatever you'd like to do. Also, since the bonds of the hair are not broken, there is no line of demarcation as your hair grows out. In fact, the treatment wears away at about the same rate as your hair growth.

For black hair the results last anywhere from 4-5 months. On Caucasian hair results last about 12 weeks. The reason for this is because the treatment coats your hair, the more you wash it, the quicker it wears away... but minimum results are 12 weeks. For Black hair the results are better and more dramatic on natural hair. On relaxed hair, since the hair has already been compromised the results are not as dramatic... but the treatment does still provide protection to relaxed hair (more so as a conditioning treatment). Sometimes relaxers can leave your hair feeling dry and rough, this treatment helps to fight that. I'd also like to stress that you can color and relax your hair while using the Brazilian Blowout treatment... However, it is recommended that you get your relaxer or color 2 weeks before the treatment for best results.

The Process:
The process only takes 90 minutes and includes the following - -

1. Clarifying Shampoo to prep hair for the application of the Brazilian Blowout treatment

2. The Brazilian Blowout treatment is applied

3. Hair is blown out

4. Hair is flat ironed to seal in treatment (heat used is like 400 degrees. It didn't bother me and I didn't find it to be that extreme... but I did used to have an unhealthy obsession with my flat iron lol)

5. Ends are trimmed

6. 7 min rinse is done to remove any buildup of the BBO treatment

7. 8 min under the dryer - Masque is applied to hair and a heat cap is used to penetrate the hair

8. Anti-Frizz Serum is applied

9. Round brush is used to blow dry hair

10. Styling is finished

After Care:
Caring for your Brazilian Blowout is not difficult but you must use a sulfate free shampoo (I'm using the Moroccan Oil line) and it's recommended to use the Brazilian Blowout Anti-Frizz serum, which can be used daily. There is no wait period with this product so immediately after you leave the salon you can really do whatever you'd like.

My Experience:

I absolutely LOVED my Brazilian Blowout and plan on getting this done again in the future. I was shocked at how amazingly soft my hair was afterwards. It felt softer, lighter and the shine was out of this world. There was no annoying/strong product smell and the process was pretty easy. I was in and out in 90 mins. I definitely did my research before getting it done and would highly recommend this treatment to other women, both natural and relaxed. Please keep in mind that while this will not permanently change your curl pattern, it will temporarily be loosened!! If you do not want to see a change in your curl pattern then this is not the treatment for you!!! I would actually recommend this treatment as a great option for those that like the option of styling their hair both curly and straight. I have many friends that have been natural for years but never wear their hair in its curly state. This is made for you!! It will give you the freedom to not be intimidated by your curl pattern while making it easier for you to style your own hair. From what I've experienced this past week styling is much easier... but still required. Yes, a wash and go is now a realistic option for me, but this treatment isn't like a free pass into the world of not caring for your hair. You'll still have to DO your hair, it's just easier. I wouldn't recommend this to people that are transitioning because you'll still have to deal with the 2 different textures. I think you should go thru your transition process and then this would be a great option.

Where to get it done:
The best way to guarantee that you're getting the official Brazilian Blowout treatment is to click here and visit their site. You can do a search of salons that have undergone training and been certified to do the treatment. For all my Chicago friends click here for Chicago locations. Like I said before, I visited Kimberly Allison at the Apricot Lounge Salon in Scottsdale, AZ. If you're in the AZ area or will be anytime soon, I'd highly recommend her. She's not only an amazing stylist, but she's personable and full of information. You can also contact her to schedule a consultation (which I did) and she can discuss with you in person what options you have.

I'd like to add that this treatment isn't cheap. It ranges in cost from $250 - $500. I paid $325 for my treatment, which is what Allison charges (includes trim). I can't count how much $ I've blown on hair products/treatments/relaxers/weaves... all that stuff over the years and honestly, nothing compares to this!!! It sounds corny, but this treatment allows you to have the freedom to easily manage your hair while still maintaining its health. This treatment doesn't equal straight hair, nor does it mean you're going to be using tons of heat everyday. You can continue to style your hair however you'd like. I know some have been put off by the cost, but I look at this as an investment in yourself... and with the summer quickly approaching this is the perfect styling option. You can feel free to hop in the pool, head to the beach.. just live life and not be ruled by whatever your hair is doing that day.

Morning of my blowout...

Washed and ready for the treatment

After the treatment...

Soft, shiny, smooth and frizz free!!

Inside of my Dr.'s office. The lighting was bad but my shine was ridiculous

My hair was so soft and light. It's hard to describe how light my hair felt.
3 days later after a crazy workout I washed my hair. Fresh out the shower my curls were popping!! No product was on my hair...

I decided to try a perm rod set. My curls were much easier to manage while doing the set.

and I used my soft bonnet that I bought from sally's!! I love this thing. It only took 15 mins to dry my perm rods.
The results of my set... my hair was still super soft and easy to manage.


Catherine said...

Great post. I sure naturals who straighten will be flocking to this.

Do you have to let it completely wear off before you get it done again?

South Loop Social Light said...

Great question. No, you don't have to wait for it to wear it. It gradually fades away but since your hair bonds aren't being compromised this isn't damaging... you're able to get this dones as often as you'd like.

alishawritinglife said...

All of those styles are gorgeous!! I'm only 15 wks into transitioning and I plan to do long-term transitioning. I've got a long way to go, but I'm up for the challenge.

South Loop Social Light said...

@ Alishawritinglife - Good luck with the transition! I actually enjoyed it. I wanted to transition for a year but I got to the point where I felt ready to chop.

n_vizion said...

Wow South Loop, your results were fabulous! How different is this from the Keratin treatment. Is it similar?

South Loop Social Light said...

@ n_vizion - This differs from other Keratin treatments out there in the sense that it does not use formaldehyde, or other harsh chemicals. I actually pulled this from the company website:

Q. What is the active chemical in the Brazilian Blowout solution that makes it work so well?

A. The Brazilian Blowout smooths the hair through the use of a proprietary polymer system that bonds amino acids to the surface of the hair. This treatment is 100% salon safe. What makes the Brazilian Blowout treatment effective is our use of the Super Nutrient Complex in conjunction with a proprietary polymer system. This combination is what rounds the follicle, smooths the cuticle and repairs any preexisting damage.

Skeeta said...

Man I don't want straight hair but your blowout is the BIZNISS! PS- I just found ur blog, do u have that perm rod set as a tutorial anywhere? ;o)

South Loop Social Light said...

@ Skeeta - My last relaxer was 5/20/09.... I may have a tutorial somewhere on how I did my perm rod set... I've done a few. You can search on my home page of my blog. It's on the right.

BXFictionWriter said...

i Got a BKT a few weeks ago and my hair is JUST as shiny, but the curls are a little too loose. my next go round i WILL Def do a BB. It will be hard to find a salon that can do it on ethnic hair, though...but I will try. I have 6 months to plan I'm in no rush! lol..anyway...can we have an UPDATE please?? you got this done in march. How is your hair looking now?

Money Talks said...

I am a stylist for the brazilian blowout in Va. Yesterday I had a client with ethnic hair, it was fine but curly. During our consultaion last week I explained to her this wouldn't straighten her hair but smooth the hair and add shine. So she arrived to the salon ready to have it done. Before starting I explained again this will smooth the hair and add shine. I did the process and she doesn't understand why her hair isn't straight. Please help I could use your advise! How else can I explain this to her.

Lindsay said...

I'm a stylist and I perform the brazilian blowout. My salon had a ventilation system installed in order to rid the air of the toxic chemicals from the process.

This is the blog I found while researching the treatment. I experienced allergy-like side effects when I first started doing them. Other stylists did as well, so our owner put in these systems. Check the site out. I encourage stylists and clients interested in the treatment to encourage the use of these products.

South Loop Social Light said...

@ Money Talks - I think the best way to explain this to someone with ethnic hair is that it isn't a relaxer and won't give any permanent results. You can let her know (and future clients) that their hair cuticle will be coated and that coating provides a smoother appearance, as well as making hair easier to manage.

@ Lindsay - I didn't have any issues with fumes, but I know some people have complained of this - - though they were using treatments other than the official Brazilian Blowout that I used.

amysokol said...

Can I have it done for my 7year old? Her hair gets so fuzzy after just a day or two.

South Loop Social Light said...

@ Amy Sokoll - Of course this is a decision that needs to be determined by you, but I think 7 can be a bit young to have any chemical (no matter how mild) treatment done. It may be worth taking the time to learn various hair styles you can try out on your daughter that last a week or at least 4-5 days. If you visit they have various hairstyles you can try out on your daughter.

Madame Dragonfly said...

Thank you so much!
I am scheduled for a BB next week and was a lil concerned about hte effect on black hair. I am now excited again!!

South Loop Social Light said...

@ Madame Dragonfly - As long as you're visiting a salon and stylist that are already familiar with black hair you should be fine. The process is great, but you definitely want to deal with a stylist that can handle textured hair.

Tynetta said...

Have you had the Brazilian Blowout done again? or was it just one time? and do you find that your curls are still loose after the Brazilian Blowout, or do they revert after 12 weeks??


South Loop Social Light said...

@ Tynetta - Yes, I've had it done twice. If you go to the "search" feature on the home page of my blog and type in "brazilian blowout" all of my blog postings will pop up.

Niecey said...

Your blog concerning your Brazilian Blowout experience was EXTREMELY HELPFUL!!! I have been researching the BBO and the effects it has on African American hair, and you addressed many of may questions and concerns within your blog. I also found your before and after pictures very comforting. Up until this point all of the before and after pictures I've seen were of women with longer hair (past their shoulders). My hair is a little shorter than the length of your hair in the photos you posted, so they were a good reference for me. I am trying to refrain from applying constant heat to my hair when styling, and I feel that this is going to make going natural much more tolerable as the treatment seems to be a safer and much healthier alternative to relaxers. Soooooo after reading your testimonial and viewing your mind is made up! Thanks again for sharing your experience.

Victoria said...

I'm in the process of growing my relaxer out and I have a long way to go. I was kind of nervous about doing this because I didn't know how I would look natural. I found out about the brazilian blowout just last week and started the research and it looks alright because I know I will still want to straighten it, but your blog was helpful. This will definitely be an option once this process is over.

tonitrower said...

I'm so thankful that I stumbled across your blog some weeks ago. The Brazilian Blowout is definitely something that I'm looking into trying. I really appreciate this.

P.S. When was the last time that you got it done to your hair? Any times recently? And if not, what do you do now instead? If you don't mind sharing.

Thanks again,

South Loop Social Light said...

@ Niecey / Victoria - I'm glad you found the post helpful.

@ ToniTrower - If you go to the "search" feature on my blog you can type in "brazilian blowout" and find all related posts.

I haven't had a blow out since the summer of last year (2010). My hair has grown out a lot and I just wash/style it. I'm still open to Brazilian Blowouts, but the treatment isn't necessary for me to manage my hair texture. I think the blowouts are great for those that style their hair straight a lot or for those that are newly natural and want to lengthen their curls. The treatment is great, but I'm not wearing my hair straight much anymore and my curls have grown long enough to give me the full look I like.

Ebony Looney said...

I liked your before and after pics of your Brazilian blowout style. It's interesting that there is controversy with this new treatment going on now. Do you think similar action will be take regarding using relaxers on the hair as well. It too, is a strong chemical. However, isn't part of a lucrative hair industry?

South Loop Social Light said...

The hair care industry, especially the black hair care industry, has a microscope to it right now. Like anything, it's about educating yourself and understanding the proper way to use the product. Although scientists found a negligible amount of formaldehyde in the air after using the blowout, like most things, I think people have issues due to operator error.

I loved the Brazilian Blowout and think it's safe as long as you're going to a stylist that has been PROPERLY TRAINED on how to apply the product.

Much like how people can burn their hair off using a hot comb or relaxer, you need to know what you're doing.

Shaun said...

What are the benefits of getting a brazillian blowout when you have a relaxer? I have just been introduced to this product and I currently have a relaxer. I wanted to know if it is worth the investment if I'm not transitioning to natural hair at this time.

South Loop Social Light said...

@ Shaun - A Brazilian Blowout is a healthier alternative to relaxing, however, it will not permanently change the texture of your hair. If you want your hair to be permanently straight you should stick with relaxers. Blowouts are more of a smoothing treatment... it makes it easier to style your hair, reduces frizz, conditions the hair and adds a ton of shine... but if your hair gets wet you'll retain your natural curl pattern.

jazziP said...

Hi i just read your post was very informational. So I went to the brazilian blowout website. I saw that they brought out another product called ZERO as in 0 formaldehyde before during or after. Now does this mean their original formula had a derivative of formaldehyde or maybe converted into it during the process. Also under their ingredient list for zero I saw Sodium hydroxide, now isn't this the active ingredient in lye relaxers?

Misty Blue Princess said...

Hi! I am loving your blog! I was wondering about the Brazillian blowout & I think I will do this for Christmas or the New Year's.

Ashley said...

did you find that this blow out grew your hair? i've heard that because it's a "moisture sealer" that it helps to grow you hair because the hair preserves moisture

South Loop Social Light said...

@ Ashley - I would be careful to use products that claim to grow hair out. This treatment din't grow my hair out longer because let's be honest... we could do nothing and our hair would still grow. What I did notice is that my hair was overall healthier because the treatment acted like a conditioning protection on each strand, and since it was smoother, it tangled on itself a lot less and I had a great deal of length retention.

So, to answer your question - - no, the treatment didn't make my hair grow longer than normal, but yes... I did experience healthier hair and more retention... thus longer hair, if that makes sense.

South Loop Social Light said...

@ JazziP - Yes, it turned out that there was a small amount of formaldehyde that was released in the air, but under the amount that would cause the product to be required to list it. I did see that they released the new product, but I'm no chemist so I can't tell you what each product does. Remember, different ingredients work together differently, so just because you see something like sodium hydroxide, that may work in conjunction with another ingredient to help the product work.

Personally, I never had any issues with the original treatment the two times I got it. I actually LOVED it and can't wait to go back to get another one done.

Sierra said...

Hi South Loop

I loved your article and I now want to do the BB. I am a black female and I have had my hair relaxed before. However I have had my hair in braids for the past 7 months (hasnt been permed since) and now I want it back out again. I was wondering if I can just get the BB done or should should I get my hair relaxed first before the BB. Also I was wondering how the washing works (do I have to blowdry and the straighten it or can I just let it air dry- I have straight hair but it is a little wavy, but no where near curly). Also how long does the BB last for black females? Does lenght have anything to do with it.


jean said...

i want to add color & a soft curl perm to my hair but i have had the brazilian blowout do you think it will ruin the blowout?

military wife said...

I know I'm new to the world of blogging, and your blog site, but I have found the information you have posted to be very helpful. I have gotten my first blowout treatment a few weeks ago. I'm looking forward to seeing great results in the future.

Skeets Fish said...

Hi! I got a brazilian blowout at the Dominicans and it is amazing! My hair is all natural (NO Relaxer) and it came out like this
So far so good, and thanks for your blog post!

Dawn Kelly said...

This was very INFORMATIVE and HELPFUL for me. I'm currently transitioning and was contemplating doing this process but, i'll wait until my big chop to get it done. I prefer my hair straight so, I look forward to this being my routine when i'm completely natural.

Thank you for this post.

Akeia Everett said...

Hi, I got a Brazilian Blowout Smoothing Treatment (applied by a professional) on my natural 4b/4c hair about 5 months ago. I use sulfate free Dermorganic shampoo and conditioner weekly. I'm noticing that the treatment is not washing out. There's a visible line of demarcation from my new growth and treated hair.I want to know if this will ever wash out! Help!

hoboken said...

Very excellent post. Very good snaps. Thanks for sharing. !!! beauty salon hoboken

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