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What Is a Brazilian Blowout & How Long Does It Last?

BY: Amanda Parker | Feb 1, 2017

Demystifying the Brazilian Blowout | Hero

If you’ve ever wondered what a Brazilian Blowout is, don’t worry because you’re not alone. Because this treatment resides in the nebulous world of texture-altering processes like Japanese hair straightening and relaxers, we readily admit to finding ourselves confused about the options—which is why we’re here to set the record straight.

What is a Brazilian Blowout?

Demystifying the Brazilian Blowout | Talk to Your Stylist

What’s the TL;DR rundown of a Brazilian Blowout?

Brazilian Blowout is a specific brand of keratin treatment, a semi-permanent way to smooth frizz, soften hair texture, and make hair more manageable and easy to style.

It’s also important to note what it is not: a hair-straightening treatment. As such, it won’t take the kink and curl out of hair. But it may have a slight straightening effect on wavy or otherwise lightly textured strands.

What makes Brazilian Blowout different from other keratin hair treatments?

The biggest difference is the downtime. Unlike other keratin hair treatments, this service doesn’t require you to shield your hair from water for days after your salon visit. So you can shower, swim, or go singin’ in the rain straight away, without worrying about ruining your new ’do.

How does it work?

Inside each hair shaft are protein filaments, bonded together in a way that determines the hair’s texture. Keratin treatments like a Brazilian Blowout effectively break those bonds and temporarily realign the protein structure, creating smoother, shinier hair.

I’ve also heard of hair relaxers and Dominican blowouts. How do these compare to Brazilian Blowout?

Relaxers are chemicals that permanently straighten hair, no heat required. A Dominican blowout, so named for its popularity in Dominican salons, is a salon blowout that straightens very curly hair for anywhere from two to four weeks. Relaxers and Dominican blowouts turn tight curls into straight strands, whereas a Brazilian Blowout would keep these curls intact, enhance their shine, and tame their volume.

Totally irrelevant, but does Brazilian Blowout actually come from Brazil?

Keratin hair treatments like the Brazilian Blowout did, in fact, originate in the salons of Rio de Janeiro. However, this trademarked brand is from a company based in North Hollywood, and its products are a significant departure from the more rudimentary formulas that were popular in Brazil a decade ago.

I understand what it is now, but is it for me?

Demystifying the Brazilian Blowout | Hair Types

What hair types respond well to this treatment?

According to the company's website, being a good candidate is less about specific hair type and more about the condition of your hair. Regardless of whether it’s fine, thick, relatively straight, or curly, a Brazilian Blowout can tame frizz and repair the look of damaged strands.

Does a Brazilian Blowout damage hair that's already dyed or chemically treated?

Hair dyes and chemicals can be the cause of damage that the Brazilian Blowout is made to correct. So having dyed, chemically treated hair might actually make you a better candidate.

That being said, some stylists won’t recommend it for extremely damaged hair, so as to avoid further harm. So you should consult with your stylist you trust to get an expert’s opinion on the health and strength of your hair before requesting any special treatment.

OK, I talked with my stylist, and I’m in. What can I expect?

Demystifying the Brazilian Blowout | Processing

How long does Brazilian Blowout take?

Expect to be at the salon for about 90 minutes—long enough to catch up with your hairdresser, but not so long that you need to prepare talking points beforehand.

What’s involved?

At the salon, you can expect your stylist to do the following:

  • Thoroughly shampoo and towel-dry your hair
  • Apply the keratin treatment to your hair with a color-applicator brush
  • Blow-dry your hair, then straighten it using a flat iron
  • Rinse and towel-dry your hair
  • Apply a smoothing serum
  • Blow-dry your hair one final time

How will it change my styling routine?

People often report that their hair is easier to manage and style afterward. It can cut down on blow-dry time, or even make blow-drying unnecessary, with air-dryed hair still offering flexibility, shine, and texture.

How long does a Brazilian Blowout last?

With proper care, you can expect results to last up to 12 weeks, after which your natural hair texture will come back.

What do you mean by “proper care”?

Several things. For one, your stylist might recommend a specific shampoo, conditioner, or styling product, like Brazilian Blowout’s Açai Daily Smoothing Serum. Whether you buy these products is up to you, but if you don’t, ask for the low-down on which haircare ingredients to avoid. Your stylist will likely tell you to steer clear of sulfates and sodium chloride, for starters.

Beyond vigilance about ingredients, it’s good to keep in mind that the less you wash you hair post-treatment, the longer its results will last.

Still have questions about keratin hair treatments? Check out this myth-busting article to clear up any confusion you still have.