I Tried Brazilian Blowout to Tame My Frizzy Hair, and Here's What I Learned
I've fought my curls for as long as I can remember. I never had what were deemed "perfect curls," you know, the Shirley Temple-like ringlets that fall beautifully across a little girl's shoulders. Mine were always a bit of a frizzy mess. And once I hit puberty, they just got worse.
As a teen in the '80s, I fought against them with Revlon Fabulaxer, a chemical straightener designed for coarse, natural hair. My mum would spend hours applying the formula to my head as I tried not to wince when a speck would touch my skin. That, and other chemical straighteners, did a great job of smoothing out my curls but did little to curb the halo of frizz that would float around my head. I wanted Cindy Crawford's easy, messy look. I got the shaggy dog look instead.
In the mid-'90s, I welcomed the arrival of flat irons that were great at temporarily decurling and defrizzing. But once I stepped outside, the hair would shrink up and return to its natural shape — this time with parched ends in the mix.
It wasn't until about 10 years ago that I learned about keratin treatments. I had recently given birth to my first child and didn't have the time to blow out my hair to perfection every other day. When I had weaned my son, my hairdresser introduced me to the process, and I was hooked. In the early days, the formulas were unregulated and still contained formaldehyde. I knew they weren't good for me, but I underwent the process three times a year. It worked like a charm. I could let it air-dry into beautiful, frizz-free curls. I could blow it out into Gisele Bündchen-like beachy waves or Charlotte York-like straight perfection. I was hooked, but hairdressers were getting sick from all of the burning formaldehyde, and the government quickly stepped in and took the products off the market.
The next round of keratin treatments were introduced five years ago. They were formaldehyde-free and did the job, but not quite as well as their predecessors. I kept at it, but it was a lot of work to get the look of the original treatments.
Recently, I had the opportunity to try Brazilian Blowout's version of the treatment. Unlike other versions, Brazilian Blowout is customisable based on your desired results — curls or straight, but no frizz either way. The treatment has minimal amounts of formaldehyde in it so it actually works and claims to last for up to three months. I headed to the Rita Hazan salon in NYC and tested a double treatment of b3 Brazilian Bond Builder. It claims to rebuild and protect the bonds in your hair and the Brazilian Blowout that "fills/seals the cuticle and creates a protective protein layer around the hair shaft to tame frizz." The entire process — including semi-permanent colour — lasted approximately three-and-a-half hours and was slightly different than other keratin treatments.
Read on to see how it worked and what you need to know before going in for the treatment yourself.