The Highs and Lows of the “Brazilian Blowdry” written by Candice Donadel

Ever struggled with Frizzy hair?

Even if you blowdry, it still stays frizzy?? Then you have to iron it, and we all know by now that over ironing one’s hair is detrimental to your hair’s health.


The solution arrived few years ago in the form of the “Brazilian” or “Keratin Treatment”

These amazing hair treatment systems have literally exploded onto the worldwide market.

They offer clients with frizzy, unmanageable and even very damaged hair what  they have always longed for- smoother, tamer, even straighter locks that are silky, shiny, soft and manageable, with blowdrying times cut in more than half!

Nevermind the fact that you hardly have to ever use a heated styling tool, unless you want to iron out a kink here and there.

Oh! and if you want tonged curls, they last even longer if you’ve already had the Brazilian!

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Did I mention it is not permanent, so it does not change the internal structure of the hair and cause damage like a Permanent Straightener could? It can also be used on Hilighted hair where a Permanent Straightener will be sure to cause damage!

REMEMBER THOUGH! It is NOT a Permanent Straightener. If you have very curly hair, it will soften the curl and make it easier to blowdry straight, BUT it is NOT a “Hair Straightener”

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In Hairdresser World, it is absolutely revolutionary! There is a product that can take hair from looking damaged, dull and lifeless, to being as smooth silky, shiny and MANAGEABLE as ever!

Have an  Olaplex Bond Strengthening Treatment before, and your hair will be as close to perfect as I have ever seen in all 20 years of doing hair!

Not all Brazilians were created equal and it also depends on who is behind the application of the product and whether they have been properly trained.

Most Brazilians need to be applied on your hair’s midlengths and ends first, and then worked up the hairshaft. The product should be left OFF the scalp completely. The application is the opposite to applying a Root Colour. If Keratin comes into contact with the scalp, it hardens, and can cause flaking and irritation.

Brazilians need to be dried first on a MEDIUM temperature on your Stylist’s hairdryer. This is important because if dried on a higher heat, this will cause unnecessary fumes to be blown out into the atmosphere, and there will be a loss of the product within the hair too.

This treatment also requires each section of hair to be ironed between 6-10 times at temperatures that are higher than your average iron. Hot ironing is necessary because at very high temperatures, Keratin becomes activated, breaking down into small particles which are capable of penetrating into the hairshaft. The result is this incredible shiny smoothness

If product application wasn’t done perfectly, and product was skimped on, there is a risk of severely damaging that hair with the hot flat iron.

This procedure must be carried out by a Salon Trained Professional, and they spend about 1 to 2 hours one on one with you.  This is what adds to it’s expensive price tag, apart from some of the finest ingredients contained within.


Brazilians have got a bad reputation through the years because of the subject of Formaldehyde.

Now, I am no scientist, and I can only speak from the experience of working with many different products in my own salon, and having done these treatments on my own hair.

The Brazilians that actually last longer than 3 months, ARE the ones with a small percentage of Formaldehyde in them.

We are completely transparent with our clients about this fact, and most of them with really curly hair, PREFER the ones with Formaldehyde in them, and do not have an issue with it.

This is more of a risk to your Stylist, than it is to you! We are the ones standing above your head amongst all the fumes. You are safe, and so are we, if this procedure is done according to the rules I explained above.

I have used a few different ones in my salon and have also had my issues. Some made the hair feel too hard as there was too much Keratin in them, others had the issue of too much Formaldehyde and weren’t safe for us to use. They also created huge clouds of smoke that hung in the salon, even with good ventilation.

We have 4 different types at MIRRORS because our clients have different needs or sensitivities:

  1. Hair Go Straight Coco Coco Brazilian Keratin Treatment.
  • under a percent of Formaldehyde
  • Keratin derived from Silk Amino Acids
  • Omega 3 oils derived from Caviar
  • Cocoa, Collagen and Silicones
  • This product is left in the hair for just 24 hours before it needs to be rinsed out.


  1. HairGoStraight Platinum has all of the above incredible ingredients in it too
  • Formaldehyde Free
  • Washed after 48 to 72 hours due to no Formaldehyde, however, not as long lasting in the hair.


  1. The German Brush (GHair)
  • Powerful Volume Reduction
  • Contains formaldehyde
  • Colour or Chemically Damaged Hair
  • Strongest product – reduces volume up to 90%
  • Tames rebellious hair
  • Transforming damaged and rough hair into silky straight and very shiny hair
  • Eliminates the porous aspect
  • Washed out straight away, followed by an in salon treatment and blowdried again


  1. Brasil Cacau Treatment
  • Heat-activated restructuring process that can be used on all hair types to make the hair radiantly smooth and frizz-free for 3 months.
  • Keratin, Cocoa and Acetic Acid (responsible for making the formula acid, with a pH of 2.8)
  • The acid H(2.8) of Brasil Cacau Keratin and the heat of the straightening iron are responsible for fixing the formula’s active ingredients into the hair.
  • It realigns the cuticles, making the hair surface even and smooth to reflect the light, and imparts brilliant shine.
  • The treatment result is attributed to the acid pH action on the hair cuticle
  • The treatment doesn’t modify the internal strand structure.
  • Washed out straight away, followed by an in salon treatment and blowdried again



         So,How do they work?

  • Your hair is cleansed twice with a deep cleansing shampoo that removes product build up and opens up the hair’s cuticle scales.
  • Hair is then 80% dried and the product is applied, and massaged, section by section from root to tip.
  • It is then left to process for half an hour, blowdried and lastly ironed section by section 8 times. Hot ironing is necessary because at very high temperatures, keratin becomes activated, breaking down into small particles which are capable of penetrating the hairshaft.
  • The result is this incredible shiny smoothness. Hair has to be worn as straight as possible for 48-72 hours and a Sodium and Sulfate free regime must be followed at home.

If a salon is doing any type of Brazilian Treatments, it is important that it is well ventilated. At MIRRORS, we have great ventilation. Windows and sliding doors that can open, as well as an industrial fan. We can also even perform the treatments in our outside area, if need be, but we have never needed to.

There was a lot of bad press about hairdressers getting sick from Brazilians, but this was because they were doing high volumes in a tiny room with no air ventilation at all.

I am an educated hairdresser that has researched the long term affects of using these products in my salon.  I have invested in having industrial fans and proper ventilation installed to be safe.

I have seen these product do wonders for myself, my clients, family and friends! It’s great on curly, wavy, frizzy, wiry, damaged, overprocessed hair. It is even great on people with fine hair that knots so badly!

The Brazilian is definitely a HIGH on my list and it is here to stay.

It makes my job easier and my clients happier. What more could a girl OR guy need…

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