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
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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 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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