There is nothing more liberating than getting out of the shower and doing absolutely nothing to your hair. That’s been my life for the last 4 years. I used to have frizzy, coarse hair that would take a good hour to blow dry and I don’t have time for that with a toddler.
Until this week, I’d been straightening my hair using the Japanese hair straightening method. It was available in Hong Kong and is in San Diego at limited salons. Instead, I decided to try the Brazilian Keratin hair treatment compliments of Nicole at Stacey’z Salon in La Jolla. I thought I’d write a post comparing the two methods as they are quite different, because if you want to de-frizz your hair, these two are the most widely available options.
The Brazilian Keratin treatment reviews are stellar for good reason. The post photo above was taken right after mine was done in the salon.
Why Brazilian Keratin Hair Straightening?
Keratin is the primary protein of the skin, hair and nails. Adding it to your hair helps it return to a conditioned state (assuming you’re not adding it every day). The Global Keratin system was used on my hair and straightens naturally, according to their website. I once had a Japanese hair straightening treatment done when I was pregnant. I remember sitting in the chair wondering if that was such a hot idea because the chemicals were so strong smelling.
The Brazilian Keratin Proces
First, Nicole washed my hair with shampoo only. She carefully applied the Keratin on small layers of my hair. I have A LOT of hair so this took some time. Next, I sat under a dryer for about 15 minutes. She blow dried my hair and then began flat ironing it in very small sections. The flat iron traps the moisture and creates a glossy finish. Voila. It takes an average of about 4 hours but mine always takes longer. I wasn’t at all bored as Stacey’z Salon is a nice place to be.
Japanese Hair Straightening
This is my “before” photo and I am 7+ months from my last Japanese hair straightening. That’s way too long, but my hair is naturally much wavier than this. It was also pretty dry.
I imagine the Japanese method takes quite a bit of training and practice, because if the chemicals are left in for even the slightest bit longer than necessary, your hair will be fried. Sometimes fried beyond repair. I know, because it happened to me once when I went to a less expensive salon. I’m still in the process of growing the fried bits out from my nightmare straightening event. I should mention, despite my complaint of fried hair from one salon, that I had the rest (three years worth) of my Japanese Hair Straightening done at the salon in the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong so it was top of the line hair care. My hair would never go totally pin straight, but that’s the nature of it. The Japanese process is similar to Brazilian Keratin, except that there’s a little more hair washing and sitting under the dryer. In my case, it takes the same amount of time give or take as Brazilian Keratin.
How Long Does Brazilian Keratin Last?
On average, Brazilian Keratin should last between about 3-5 months. After that, your hair will return to it’s normal state, except it should be healthier and softer due to the conditioning impact of the keratin. You’ll reapply the treatment to all of your hair when the treatment wears out. My experience with Japanese hair straightening is that it lasts between about 4-6 months. As your hair grows, the straightening will grow out. So, the ends will stay straight whereas the new growth will be natural. The chemicals will usually be applied again only to the new growth as not to damage the ends. However, because of the way my hair behaves, they would pull the chemicals lightly to the ends since the ends would start to frizz. That can’t be good for my hair, but I admit it sure looked good.
Caring for Your Hair after Hair Straightening
With either treatment, you can’t wash your hair for 3 full days or put any kind of hair clip or rubber band in it. You shouldn’t even put it behind your ear. Any of these will wreck the straightening. That means no exercise, in my case. With the Brazilian Keratin treatment you can’t use any shampoo or conditioner with sulphates or sodium chloride. They strip the moisture from your hair and are just bad for you in general. Here is an entire post about caring for Brazilian Keratin.
This photo is straight out of the shower and it occurred to me when I uploaded it, that I didn’t even brush my hair. In fact, with straightening, I rarely do! The ends of my hair are layered (and fried) so they were never going to go pin-straight. Japanese hair straightening makes my hair a little bit straighter but at a greater cost to my wallet and with harsher chemicals. So far, it’s not so much straighter that I’d go back to it.
I would recommend that to get the best results with either treatment, you’ll want to have a hair cut prior to make sure as many split ends as possible are off. Split and dry ends will make either treatment look less fabulous, but I promise you’ll love the end results either way. My next Brazilian Keratin treatment is going to rock because all of my fried ends will be cut off by then. Can’t wait.
Brazilian Keratin Treatment Cost
At Stacey’z Salon in La Jolla the Brazilian Keratin treatment costs $250 (promotional price) for the first time and then $300 thereafter. I priced Japanese hair straightening at some of the salons around town and for my hair it would run somewhere around $600 per treatment. I have a lot of hair, as I mentioned previously, and I pay top dollar because of it. My hair never looks as thick as it really is, because it’s salon straightened.
I would also highly recommend that you not go by price alone when you’re considering any hair straightening treatment. The quality of the stylist is far more important. Trust me, growing out fried hair takes forever and is so unpleasant.
Brazilian Keratin Treatment Review UPDATE
In the end, my Brazilian Keratin treatment lasted about 4 months. I experimented with several shampoos though and now that I’ve found what works for my hair, I think I can extend it another month or so.
I tried Kevin Murphy and Moroccanoil shampoos and conditioners, both I would recommend in combination with The Original Moroccanoil Hair Treatment. You can now get formaldehyde-free Brazilian keratin treatments. Ask your stylist.
I also will admit that I’ve gone back to Japanese hair straightening (though it is not for everyone) because I crave the straighter look though it is more expensive. This is where to find Japanese hair straightening in San Diego.
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