There is nothing more liberating than getting out of the shower and doing absolutely nothing to your hair. 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.

I’d been straightening my hair using the Japanese hair straightening method which is popular in Hong Kong, where I used to live. When we moved back to San Diego, I had a hard time finding it. Instead, I decided to try the Brazilian keratin treatment at a salon in La Jolla.

If you want to de-frizz your hair, these two are the most widely available options. I thought I’d write a post comparing the two methods as they are quite different.

Brazilian keratin treatment reviews are stellar for good reason. The post photo above was taken right after mine was done in the salon.

Why Choose Brazilian Keratin Hair Straightening?

Keratin is the primary protein of 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. 

The Brazilian Keratin Process

First, my stylist 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.

Brazilian keratin takes an average of about four hours but mine always takes longer.  

Japanese Hair Straightening

This is my “before” photo and I am over seven months out 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. I know, because it happened to me once when I went to a less expensive salon and am still in the process of growing the fried bits out from my nightmare straightening event. 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 a Brazilian keratin treatment.

How Long Does a Brazilian Keratin Treatment Last?

On average, Brazilian keratin should last between about 3–5 months. After that, your hair will return to its 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. This a major difference between Japanese straightening, where the straightening grows out with your hair and Brazilian keratin.  

Haircare After Straightening

With either treatment, you can’t wash your hair for about three full days. During this time you shouldn’t 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 sulfates or sodium chloride. These strip the moisture from your hair and are just bad for you in general.

Here is an entire post about caring for Brazilian Keratin.

My Brazilian Keratin Treatment Review

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. 

I would recommend that to get the best results with either treatment, you’ll want to have a hair cut prior to remove split ends. Split and dry ends will make either treatment look less fabulous. 

Brazilian Keratin Treatment Cost

My first Brazilian keratin treatment cost $250 (promotional price) for the first time and then $300 thereafter. 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 though 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.

Brazilian Keratin Treatment Review UPDATE

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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, even though it is more expensive. This is where to find Japanese hair straightening in San Diego.

Katie Dillon headshot

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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  1. Hi your hair looks great! The Global Keratin website says the treatment comes in 3 strengths, which one did you have and how much formaldehyde is in it? I didn’t see “all-natural” on the website like you said and I’ve heard you shouldn’t have this while pregnant either.

    1. That’s a great question, I’ll find out which strength.

      They say it straightens naturally in the first paragraph on this page.

      A scientist client of the salon looked into it and said the amount of formaldehyde is so minimal that you’d have to drink it to be affected.

    2. Hi! I’m thinking of getting a Brazilian, but I have split ends. Will my hair all out if I still get it? Please help!

  2. Pingback: My First Brazilian Keratin Hair Straightening Treatment | Beauty Tips Blog
  3. That looks amazing. I’ve got thick, wavy unruly hair. Will have to try this.
    .-= Nicole Feliciano´s last blog ..

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  5. Thanks for the comparison. I have supremely curly, dense, frizzy hair that I blow dry and flat iron. I have often wondered what the difference was with these two processes. If I am going to take the plunge – I am going to go Brazillian!
    .-= swirl girl´s last blog ..The One In Which She Says "Ho-Ho-Humbug"* =-.

  6. Pingback: Brazilian Keratin Hair Straigtening Treatment After Care
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  8. This is a great post on comparing different services. I’m glad you were able to experience the amazing results of the Brazilian Blowout ! This intense treatment truly does what it promises
    .-= lady art´s last blog ..Freelance Los Angeles Make up Artist =-.

  9. Pingback: Brazilian Keratin Hair Straightening Treatment | Moroccaon Oil
  10. Hi – thank you so much for this!! I’ve been trying to figure out if it would be worth it or not, and it sounds like it is!! I’m one of those people that will leave the house without makeup, but NO WAY would I leave the house without flat ironing my hair first!

    Stopping by from SITS to say hello and stumbled upon this post…thanks again!
    .-= Natalie´s last blog ..How Does Your Garden Grow? =-.

  11. I have any question .
    How much does the treatment cost usually?
    Will your hair dry nice or you have to blow dry it even with the treatment?

    THanks for sharing 🙂

    I waiting your answer ,
    .-= keratin treatment´s last blog ..Picture =-.

  12. Hi! This is a great review. i had my hair rebonded (the Japanese method) last wekend and hair is fried and frizzy, like the texture of a broom! I’ve read that the treatment helps with damaged hair. Was this your experience?

    1. It does help but I’m not sure if you’re supposed to wait a little bit or not. May want to ask your stylist. Yes, with Japanese you need a really good stylist to apply. Are you in Singapore? I’m sure you can find someone there. The problem as in Hong Kong, is that there’s so many on offer that it’s probably tough to find one that isn’t super costly. Good luck!

    2. It does help but I’m not sure if you’re supposed to wait a little bit or not. May want to ask your stylist. Yes, with Japanese you need a really good stylist to apply. Are you in Singapore? I’m sure you can find someone there. The problem as in Hong Kong, is that there’s so many on offer that it’s probably tough to find one that isn’t super costly. Good luck!

  13. I recently began using the Volume Conditioner, from Shielo, which is known for having alot of keratin in it. It works wonderfully, especially as a reconstructor. I can definitely tell a difference in my hair. Before my hair was brittle and damaged. Due to over-processing with chemical relaxers, my hair was breaking off. Since using the Shielo Conditioner, I’ve noticed that the breakage has stopped. My hair has become stronger and healthier. Currently I use the product weekly, but once my hair gets back to normal, I will probably use less often and start using leave-ins. Since my hair is very coarse, I leave it in for 10 minutes instead of the recommended 2 minutes. I can definitely attest to this product contributing to my hair growth.

      1. I had keratin hair treatment in the month of september was looking good even after 3 to 4 wash but didn’t remain thing was sure my hair texture has improved,i m still using morocco oil & i must admit it is amazing.Even after 6 months b’coz of morocco oil my hair are manageable. This is the first thing that got right for hair.

  14. I did the brazilian blowout at the salon and it worked great for me! I then purchased the shampoo and conditioner and it has prolonged the effects of the blowout from the salon.

    I didn’t have any side effects. However, it only lasted around 3 months for me. I run twice a week, so my hair do get sweaty often.

  15. Keratin hair straightening product is good as it makes hair straights and silky and prevents from being damage.

  16. Pingback: Japanese Hair Straightening | Thermal Reconditioning
  17. Ladies,
    Please do your research before you try any of these treatments i.e: Brazilian blowout, Keratin treatment etc…I’ve had it done myself once and although my hair was straight, nice and shiny for a while, after about a 2 months it started to look damaged and dry. A lot of my friends have done them also, and quite a few of them complained about their hair looking fried after 2-3 months of having it. The thing is, all of these treatments usually contain a chemical – formaldehyde or another form of it – a carcinogenic. These products are NOT all Natural!!! Don’t believe what the company or the salon tells you! It’s common sense that there need to be some serious chemicals in the product for it to keep your hair straight for 3 months. Although if used in small amounts and properly it shouldn’t cause any serious health problems, there are quite a few people who have had terrible allergic reactions, major hair loss being the most common one. Just Google keratin/Brazilian treatments and see what comes up….. It’s scary. I never went back for another one….it’s just not worth it.

  18. One day i go to my local salon, and my hairstylist recomended that i use the Brazilian keratin treatment because of my unruly ethnic hair. But, me not knowing anything about it i start doing research. After hours of research, I find on the net the Natura Organic Hair Care System (keratin). It being organic, that was my best choice, I ordered it on the website ( and went back to my salon and my hair stylist did the treatment on my hair. And, Woah. I have never been able to style my hair from start to finish that fast in my entire life! your hair dries super smooth, super fast. In fact, if you wait to long to blow dry it, your hair will have air dried on its own. My hair became absolutely lovely, I have had several personal friends do the Natura Keratin organic system and they can’t stop raving about it. If this process is something that would be perfect for your hair type and you live in south florida, most salons are offering this process for an average of about $200 dollars.

    1. Hi Marina, I had being doing the keratin treatmnet for the past 4 years in South Florida . I had being using the same brand all this years but lately is not working the same way, maybe they change the mix and now they are using less Formol but I have a few people not happy with the results as before. I did some research and I found the Natura Keratin and I order the 4oz. sample ( the strongest one) I will get it in a few days and I hope I get the resultas like the ones you are describing. Let me ask you , that this keratin works on all type of hair? even on the ones damage by hair color and highlights?
      I hope to hear from you soon.
      Thanks Sandra

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  20. I have had such trouble finding a product for my wavy/curly hair. I have tried everything, and

    while some products worked fine, Moroccan Oil is the best. It works in all climates, which is great for me since I travel a lot. I live mostly in a humid costal climate, and my hair doesn’t frizz ar fall

    flat since I started using this product. I love it!

  21. I’m looking forward to trying out one called Cocoa Keratin Smoothing treatment. From what I’ve read it has no silicone, sulfates or parabens… so it’s worth a try. It lasts from 2 to 5 months and is the most natural one I’ve found so far.

  22. Am So glad i found such a post nw! This is my time of need!!
    I rebonded my hair a year & 4 months ago, bt my hair is super long (end of my back)
    So i still didn’t get rid of it completly! My orignal hair started 2 grow & it’s super curly & frizzy, so the over all look is a disaster as top of my hair is curly & rest is smooth.on top of that ,my hair falls alotttt & very weak,super dry & damaged:( i regret hair rebonding so much and i don’t advise any1 2 do it unless u already hv very strong hair that can bare such treatment.Now am considering doing keratin treatment on january 2 gv my hair sm more time,meanwhile i want 2 treat it with oils & help it restore its health,any idea where 2 find moroccan oil & shielo products in malaysia? I noticed that u r saying good things abt these products & i want 2 try them out,also, if any1 can recommend me any other product 2 remove rebonding chemicals from my hair i’ll be grateful.i can’t cut my hair more than 5cm! As my mom will kill me,that’s why i need huge HELP before attending my best friend wedding in january:((

    1. Dont do a keratin treatment ! I am a stylist and witnessed a client(not mine) who’s hair was compromised already and then insisted on getting a keratin treatment…her hair broke off at the root after the treatment only being on her hair for about 3 minutes..she wore wigs for the next year….and this brand boasts ALL NATURAL…it seems like a good idea but the real truth is…
      It’s a chemical treatment.
      It’s designed to give your hair the APPEARANCE of being healthy..not actually BEING healthy.
      Your best bet is protein treatments once a month…weekly moisture masks…and a health trim at least every eight weeks.
      Stay away from bleach.
      it will be worth it in the long run.

  23. on the phot your hair looks really great! I was thinking about doing the same since …. I discovered information from scientics that keratin couldn’t be absorbed by itself into your hair without a help of formaldehyde – a stinky gas – which is a part of this cosmetic. Its aqueous solution is used in a building industry or for corpses embalming! Some producers say their product doesn’t have formaldehyde and is a totally natural. But as scientists are saying – even these products are dangerous because instead of formaldehyde they include a methanediol which is once again formaldehyde but dissolved in the water and during the straightening treatment it releases a poisonous gas. you can find more information about this on my post: I finally decided not to do it once I know how dangerous it is, but of course this is your hair and your decision.

  24. I recently had my first keratin treatment done and was informed that I would need to purchase a shampoo and conditioner that is both sulphate free and if possible sodium chloride free. My hairstylist watered the explanation down by telling me these ingredients found in every shampoo and conditioner unless otherwise specified would strip all the precious treatment I just paid for out of my hair. I went to online and did alot of research and spoke to my hairstylist (5th ave salon). I went with the Shielo Hydrate Shampoo and the Shielo Hydrate Conditioner and am pleasantly surprised. Not only is it keeping as much of the treatment in as possible, but it leaves my long, thick, newly straight hair SO SOFT! Especially in combination with the conditioner. It has a subtle, clean smell and feels slightly thick when applying. The $20 price tag is a little harsh in comparison to say a drugstore shampoo, but it definitely shows a difference than those products.

  25. First off I would like to say superb blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself and
    clear your head prior to writing. I’ve had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out. I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Cheers!

  26. I get keratin treatments in my hair every 6 weeks and the Shielo Smoothing Products (With the hair oil) are excellent in deep treating my hair to maintain my treatment. Leaves hair smelling wonderful even after hair has been rinsed and blow dried. Get the Shielo products – they will make the treatment last WEEKS longer, and you will save so much money in the long run.

  27. I just attended the Premiere Orlando International Beauty Event and discovered Peter Coppola’s new line of formaldehyde and aldehyde free products called Peter Coppola Keratin Concept, including the Keratin And Ceramide Formaldehyde-Free Treatment and styling products. You can learn more about his new product line on the official Peter Coppola website

  28. Ladies who use keratin, brazilian bullshit, japanese, WHATEVER- throw it out!!! last year i came across the most amazing product i’ve ever tried- i think it was sent to me by god. Magic Sleek is WAY better than any treatment i’ve ever tried ( and i’ve done a lot ) the results are better and last longer and theres NO FORMALDEHYDE! no harsh chemicals- nothing. There are no fumes and no offensive odor, it didn’t even irritate my skin. My hair was fried when i found magic sleek- years of treatments and flat-ironing and coloring and what not had ruined my hair- or so i thought. after magic sleek is started growing like crazy! and now it’s beautiful soft and healthy looking. my treatment lasted amazingly for SEVEN MONTHS and i could have gone even longer before getting it done again. i’m obsessed. if you haven’t heard of magic sleek definitely check it out!

  29. Hi, I just wanted to tell you that I have naturally curly hair and I’m looking forward to straightening my hair. So, in your opinion is the Japanese Hair Straightening better or the Brazilian Hair Straightening ? Thank you, ps I do love my curls!

  30. Magic sleek is the best product I have used on my hair. I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND YOU TRY IT!! My hair is soft, straight and manageable. No split ends!

  31. I love the best JUVEXIN treatment to play with my curly and frizzy hair. Harmless and pure natural. Formaldehyde free. Only one application keeps my hair straight, smooth and soft for upto 5 months. Derived from pristine sheep through a natural and friendly process. I get this treatment every six months. A little bit an expensive one but the price worth it because of its tremendous results. I will never ever go back to any other treatment.

    1. I really wasn’t impressed with Karmin Cocoa Keratin. And I have tried many different Brazilian hair treatment, the only one that has worked for me is Keratin Complex. And I didn’t need to get one type of smoothing therapy because they had many kinds. The keratin treatment fixed my damaged hair and gave me straight, non-frizzy, not damaged, and definitely not thinning hair like suggested in some of these comments. Sure, you shouldn’t get it done earlier that you should, much like you should dye your hair blonde every month. Because too much of anything is bad for you. Well, the same thing applies here. Just don’t overdo the use of smoothing therapies and you will have amazing hair. I also use their shampoos and conditioners. They make the smoothing treatment last longer.. Awesome stuff.

  32. I feel so identified with this article, I am an African American woman who is retiring the use of relaxers for hair so the Keratin Complex duo is the start of maintaining my keratin treated hair, and by experience can tell that contains a light, fresh, and clean scent that makes my hair smell AMAZING. I’ve noticed that my hair is strong and that there is no breakage despite me having the keratin on my hair. I have been made a lot of mistakes with my hair after my keratin treatments, I know importance of using the right products to make the results last as long as we can… It may be a little pricey but you only need a small amount to make the job. Amazon beats out my stylist and every other site I’ve checked to purchase these SERIOUSLY but you can have all the information here