This Is What You Need to Consider Before Getting a Brazilian Blowout
Experts spill all on price, maintenance, and potential risks.
If you're prone to frizz, you know how difficult it can be to get smooth-looking hair. It can often feel like it takes the perfect concoction of hair serums, oils, gels, and sprays to keep flyaways at bay and make your hair looking shiny. However, even with the right haircare cocktail, hot, humid air can make your once-smooth blowout starts to frizz.
If the short-lived results of your haircare routine have got you fed up, then you may want to consider getting a Brazilian blowout. It's a semi-solution to frizzy hair. However, as with any other hair treatment, there's a lot to consider: price, potential side effects, duration, and maintenance. Ahead, discover if a Brazilian blowout is the right solution for your hair woes as we tap two professional hairstylists to answer all of your questions.
What is a Brazilian blowout?
A Brazilian blowout is a professional, branded treatment that removes frizz and relaxes tighter curl textures. According to, Nubia Rezo, a professional hairstylist and founder of Rëzo Haircare, it takes an average of two to three hours to do.
While it is time-consuming, celebrity hairstylist and founder of Cooper WeHo salon Cory Aaron Scott says the process of getting a Brazilian blowout is pretty straightforward. He explains it starts with washing the hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove any dirt or oils. Then, the hair is blow-dried followed by the Brazilian blowout treatment, which is a liquid solution. Once the hair is soaked in the solution, your hairstylist will blow dry and flat iron the hair, resulting in a smooth, silky finish. You can get a Brazilian blowout at many different salons, and prices for the treatment will range anywhere from $200 to $500.
What's the difference between a Brazilian blowout and a keratin treatment?
The biggest difference between a Brazilian blowout and other keratin treatments is the formula. Rezo says some keratin treatments contain higher concentrations of formaldehyde—the chemical present in hair smoothing treatments.
Scott also says that Brazilian blowouts are more customizable and allow you to choose the style you want. "If you're looking to reduce frizz but keep your natural curl, you can let the product marinate for less time than if you wanted to go full pin-straight," he says. You can also get the treatment done on specific areas on the head, like the around the hairline and nape, which Scott says are stubborn areas where he hears the most complaints.
Is a Brazilian blowout safe?
The controversy surrounding Brazilian blowouts stems from the use of formaldehyde, which the FDA warns can be hazardous if too much of it gets into the eyes, on the skin, or breathed into the lungs. If exposed to high concentrations of formaldehyde for a long time, side effects can include (but are not limited to) eye irritations, dizziness, headaches, or nausea.
That said, the FDA says everyone can have different reactions to it. Some may be very sensitive to formaldehyde, whereas others do not react to the same level of exposure. Scott says he's used the system for years and has never encountered any dangers or negative effects. "As long as you take all the necessary safety precautions, like doing the treatment in a well-ventilated area and wearing masks, everyone will be safe from any harsh chemicals," he says.
If you're considering getting the treatment, the FDA recommends getting it done by a professional and asking your stylist for the safeguards to minimize exposure. Salons are required to follow regulations set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which requires them to keep formaldehyde concentrations below a certain level to reduce potential risks and irritation. If salons don't follow these regulations, then OSHA will issue a hazard alert. "They also make formaldehyde-free formulations that still achieve the same results, if that's a concern," says Scott.
How long does a Brazilian blowout last?
If maintained the right way, both experts say a Brazilian blowout can last up to three months. The best way to maintain your hair between appointments is to avoid over-washing the hair, chlorinated pools, and products that contain sulfates. Sulfates are cleansing agents found in hair products, but when used incorrectly or on color- or chemically-treated hair, they can weaken or dry the hair out. To preserve your hair, opt for sulfate-free formulas, such as the Odele Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner.
Who is a good candidate for a Brazilian blowout?
If you want to reduce frizz, enhance shine, or soften your curl pattern, then, you might want to consider getting a Brazilian blowout. If you decide to get it done, just make sure to consult with a professional before getting your hair treated to ensure your safety and that you get the results you want.