Japanese Hair Straightening or Brazilian Blowout?
The Brazilian Blowout, also known as Brazilian Keratin (the treatment’s primary ingredient) only lasts two to 4 months. Unlike the Japanese Hair Straightening process, which sticks to a lock-straight hair, its main purpose is to de-frizz the hair while still allowing it to curl, wave or become stick-straight. Your hair soon ends up taking its natural form on the entire length and not only at the roots.
Brazilian Blowout also differs from the thermal reconditioning in the sense that the Japanese system actually changes the bond (cuticle) of the hair, while the Brazilian Blowout only smoothes it out – the hair damages are repaired, hair becomes stronger but not physically restructured like in the Japanese Hair Straightening.
Finally, the Brazilian method uses Keratin, a complex containing Formaldehyde, considered carcinogen and that has raised some doubts about the safety of the treatment, and also because some pain and burning sensation in the throat and the eyes can be experienced. Such effects are unknown in the Japanese system, which uses ammonium thioglycolate (Thio) as main active ingredient. The safe percentage of formaldehyde (approved by FDA) is considered 0.2% but many salons use a 2% concentration solution (ten times higher).
Thio is used in the Japanese Hair Strengthening in a solution of less than 10%, making it safe for hair use since the approved concentration by the Cosmetics Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel is of up to 15.2%.
The Brazilian Keratin treatment is, however, cheaper. The whole treatment costs between $250 to $500, depending on the salon and on the length and thickness of your hair. Maintenance is also cheaper but needed more often.
When you decide it’s time to change your hair look, research and questions are your two best friends. Browsing the Internet for options and talking openly to your stylist can avoid many unnecessary headaches and health risks.