Brazilian (Chemical) Hair Straightening: Risk vs. Reward

If you have naturally frizzy, curly, or even just wavy hair, you may have considered chemical hair straightening. From Brazilian straightening to keratin straightening, there are a couple of chemical straightening treatments to choose from.

Treating your locks with hair straightening chemical is usually seen as a time-saving solution. So, rather than manually using a hair straightener every day, your mane will be sleek and smooth while you’re on the move.

However, there are some consequences of chemical hair straightening that should be considered before booking an appointment.

What Is Brazilian Hair Straightening?

Also known as a “Brazilian blowout,” Brazilian hair straightening is a semi-permanent treatment that uses a flat iron to seal keratin and a preservative solution onto your hair. The chemicals are pressed onto the outer layer of the hair to give your locks a silky look.

A Brazilian treatment aims to preserve the natural volume and movement so that it won’t give your mane a stick-straight appearance.

The process usually takes about 1 to 2 hours and begins with washing the hair with clarifying shampoo. Once the treatment is done, you won’t be able to wash your hair for at least 12 hours so that the product can set.

While Brazilian hair straightening will give you silky locks, it does not promise to eliminate frizz entirely. The high temperature and chemicals applied during the treatment can actually damage your hair causing breakage and split ends.

What Is Keratin Hair Straightening?

Similar to Brazilian hair straightening, a straightening keratin treatment is semi-permanent and aims to smooth your hair. However, keratin for hair straightening does try to achieve a much more straightened look rather than preserving natural movement.

Keratin treatments rely largely on formaldehyde; a chemical released when the treatment solution reacts with high heat. This is the main straightening agent, but it can scorch the scalp if your stylist isn’t careful. It’s essential that the area is well ventilated during the process.

Often, keratin is recommended as a restorative treatment in place of using harmful hair straighteners. But, procedures are costly and require commitment - once your hair is treated, there’s no way to reverse it.

Keratin Straightening vs. Brazilian Blowout

While both treatments do use keratin, the processes results are slightly different.

Compared to the Brazilian treatment, the difference between keratin straightening before and after is much more drastic. Basically, all of the natural qualities of your hair such as volume, texture, and movement will be replaced with totally straightened locks. This is why a keratin treatment can last up to 2 hours longer than a Brazilian one.

When comparing the results of keratin straightening vs. Brazilian blowout, also consider your hair’s versatility post-process. Usually, Brazilian blowouts are easier to style because they do retain movement.

Hair treated with keratin tends to be less responsive to products and tools. This is one of the least desirable keratin hair straightening side effects.

How Long Does Brazilian Chemical Straightening Last?

Probably the most common question asked is, how long does chemical straightening last?

Although often called Brazilian permanent hair straightening, a Brazilian blowout usually lasts from 3 to 5 months. However, this is also up to how quickly your roots grow out - your hair will grow back with its natural texture, so you may have to deal with curly or frizzy roots.

In general, chemical straightening may sound ideal, but it often isn’t. Treatments subject your hair to harsh chemicals, and your hair may not be as easy to style after.

The best way to straighten and style your hair is with a hair dryer straightener. The AirIron, a nozzle that attaches to almost any hair dryer and straightens your hair in a single step. This air straightener maintains volume and movement while achieving salon-grade styling.

You also won’t have to subject your hair to harsh chemicals, and the nozzle reduces the amount of heat from the blow dryer. With a healthy hair care routine and an AirIron, it’s easy to get sleek, smooth locks on a daily basis.