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.

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