If you want smooth, shiny hair, a keratin treatment at a salon is a great option. Many clients wonder about the benefits of a traditional keratin treatment vs. Brazilian blowout. While both can eliminate frizz and boost shine, one of them can actually be harmful for your health. Vakkar cares about our clients and our stylists, so we only offer the safest option.  

Why Would I Need a Keratin Treatment?

Your hair’s outer layer is made up of keratin, a protein that keeps it strong and shiny. When keratin cells break down due to aging, UV chemicals, and heat, the hair becomes weaker and can look dull and frizzy. A keratin treatment at a salon combines natural keratin and chemicals that are proven to replenish the hair’s elasticity and luster. 

Keratin treatments are especially helpful for thick, unruly hair because the smoothing process makes hair more manageable. Clients with natural curls who long for a more manageable mane might also want to try keratin treatments. In general, keratin-treated hair has fewer flyaways, requires minimal styling, and dries in at least half the time it did before. 

How are Keratin Treatments at a Salon Applied?

As with any process at Vakkar Salon, our first step is always to spend some time discussing the results you’re looking for and what is best for your hair and your lifestyle. When keratin is a good choice, you can expect the following procedure:

First, to make sure the hair is free from impurities, hair needs to be washed. In a traditional keratin treatment, the hair is dried thoroughly since wet hair dilutes the keratin mask and can affect the results. With a Brazilian blowout, the hair is left damp.

Next, the keratin mask is applied and left on for about 20 minutes as it goes through the oxidation process. Then it’s rinsed with cold water and blown dry again.

Finally, a flat iron set to 450 degrees bonds the chemicals to the hair shaft. The number of times the stylist swipes the hair with the flat iron depends on the texture of the hair and how straight you want it to be. Typically, it’s eight times for a Brazilian blowout. For a traditional keratin treatment, it ranges from three to five times. 

Flat ironing the hair is the last step for a keratin treatment. In a Brazilian blowout, the hair is rinsed again and another masque is applied, followed by another blow dry. 

What Are the Differences in a Traditional Keratin Treatment vs. Brazilian Blowout? 

Brazilian blowout is a special type of keratin treatment that originated – not surprisingly – in Brazil. It uses a similar keratin-infused solution to tame and smooth the hair, but the formula and results differ.

Chemical Levels

Most notably, Brazilian blowout contains up to 12% methylene glycol. As heat is applied to the hair during the smoothing process, this chemical is emitted into the air as formaldehyde – a strong-smelling gas that presents a health hazard in large doses. In a poorly ventilated area, this can cause adverse effects for the client and stylist, including watery eyes and coughing. 

Traditional keratin treatments, on the other hand, only contain about .02% methylene glycol, so danger is minimal. 

Damage Risk

A Brazilian blowout is best for coarse hair because it can better handle multiple high-heat applications while maintaining its volume and curl. However, traditional keratin treatments can be just as effective for curly, coarse hair when applied by knowledgeable stylists. Finer hair is much more delicate, so the additional heat could cause damage. Regular keratin treatment is safest for achieving smooth, soft locks on this type of hair. 

Length of Effectiveness

Another difference between a keratin treatment vs. Brazilian blowout is that the latter doesn’t last as long. While a traditional treatment can hold up for 5 months, the Brazilian version only lasts between 8 and 12 weeks. Keratin treatments last longest when hair is only washed two or three times per week, and when using shampoos that don’t contain sulfites. 

Styling After Treatment

As soon as a client with a Brazilian blowout walks out of the salon, they can style the hair however they wish. After a regular keratin treatment, it’s best to avoid ponytails, clips, or even washing for three or four days until the chemicals settle in. 

client receiving a keratin treatment
Image by microgen by Getty Images by Canva.com

Can Color-Treated Hair Handle a Keratin Treatment?

To keep your hair healthy, it’s important to wait at least two weeks between having it colored and getting a keratin treatment. Hair dye contains chemicals like ammonia or peroxide that can make hair brittle, so adding a keratin treatment directly on top of those can damage the hair. Keratin bonds to the hair best when it’s healthy from the start. The keratin treatment can also make hair half a shade lighter, so your stylist will need to plan accordingly when mixing the desired color.

The same goes for applying a keratin treatment to recently colored hair. The shampoo preparation of a keratin treatment is very powerful, so immediately putting keratin over hair color could strip away some of the color. It’s best to let the color settle in for at least a week first.

Want Smooth, Shiny, Healthy Hair? Talk to Your Stylist at Vakkar

Every day, we have clients ask about the best ways to tame unruly curls or get rid of frizzy hair. For some, a keratin treatment is the perfect solution, while other avenues may work better for others. Because we care about your health, we do not offer Brazilian blowouts in our salon. 
Vakkar only offers the safest keratin treatments to help you achieve beautiful results. Contact us to schedule an appointment today. We promise you will love your new look.

Cover Image by Africa Image by Canva.com