The country that first planted the going natural seed in my head and the place where an afro is widely referred to as “a black power” is also the namesake of the both famous and [depending on who you talk to] infamous Brazilian Blowout. I am often asked about my opinion about this hotshot on the straight hair scene, mainly if it in fact does work and would I ever do it.
After poring through countless forums, websites, comment threads and blogs, yes, I’m convinced that the Brazilian Blowout DOES work. Applied in a similar fashion to a relaxer by separating the hair into small sections the BB formula is applied from root to tip, rinsed, and then flat ironed to style. The proof is in the pudding: zillions of before and after pictures out there show highly textured hair turned bone straight after the process. So much for those Brazilian black powers, eh? I have even witnessed with my own eyes the smoothing and straightening transformation of a colleague’s locks after the process.
Now, would I ever do it? Nope! There is a snowball’s chance in hell I would ever go near the stuff. Here are my personal reasons why:
- There are reports (such as this report from Good Morning America) about consumer and stylist skin and respiratory reactions due to high levels of formaldehyde in the product. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.
- It costs $200 – $500 each application and it only “lasts” for 12 weeks. That’s $41/week. 142 lattes. A plane ticket to Hawaii (from SF). You get the point.
- The Acai Aftercare products, which make the process last longer, cost about $25 a bottle. And there are four products.
- In order to make the active ingredients (amino acids) adhere to the hair, you have to pass a 450F flat iron over the strands repeatedly. The potential for damage here is sky-high.
- There are user experiences of hair NOT reverting back to its curly textured state after the treatment. I have spent the past year growing my natural hair out and I would be oh-so-so sad if my Lola lost her boing boing curls.
In my opinion, this is a big, fancy, not to mention potentially cancer-causing protein treatment that works because of the excessive heat treatment. Just for the sake of temporary straight hair? I don’t think so. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally down with rocking straight hair, but I would recommend you get a nice flat iron and a lot of heat protectant and use the extra money you save to buy me a present. (Kidding. ………..kind of). Want the dose of protein to help with the frizzies? Grab a bottle of Aubrey Organics GPB or rock the Cherry Lola method at home or get some gel. If you still want to get a treatment with ‘Brazilian’ in the title, well, grab some advil and make yourself an appointment with a waxer.
In the end, I get it. I totally understand why people get these sorts of treatments, whether its this Brazilian Blowout, Keratin Treatment, or Japanese Straightening. I’ve been there: I had a relaxer for 15 years and flat ironed religiously, but I’m over constantly fighting what my hair wants to do naturally. Not to mention I’m totes over spending $$$ on the battle. There will continue to be a market for these products and processes until we start accepting on a widespread scale that textured hair isn’t a problem, but an asset.
To end on a humorous side note, those expensive after products use Acai, a berry from the Amazon that is not only highly nutritious, but also DELICIOUS. The funny thing is that if you ever see these things growing from an actual tree, they unmistakeably resemble a janky weave. Too funny. Spent my entire time in the jungle giggling about this resemblance.