Articles By Michelle's Brazillian Blowout Blog

michelle breyer

Michelle before her keratin treatment.

So let me start off by saying, I love my curls. It's taken me a long time to get to this point, but I no longer long for straight hair (Okay, maybe every now and then on an excessively humid day).

So when I saw the whole keratin treatment explosion, I had no desire to take the plunge. That began to change when I ran into a stylist at a hair show who had the most beautiful, shiny, defined curls, and he told me he had gotten a keratin treatment. Otherwise, his curls would be a mass of frizz, he said.

The seed was planted. Maybe this is something that could work for me.

So when Brazilian Blowout offered me the opportunity to try it out, I decided it might be worth taking them up on the offer. Especially since so many of our readers were in my shoes: they liked their curls but wanted them looser and frizz free.

 

Consultation is an important part of the process; here Michelle talks with stylist Felice Partida.

That doesn't mean I wasn't scared to death. In fact, as the day approached for my Brazilian Blowout, I felt like a kid anticipating a dental appointment. I had flashbacks to college when I got a "chemical haircut." A stylist applied a lye-based relaxer after I had already had a thio relaxer — something I've learned you never, ever do. Handfuls of hair came out for days, and I had to have my hair cut short to hide the bald spots. To say it was traumatic would be an understatement. My boyfriend at the time told me it looked like my forehead had grown.

I feared I would lose the curls I have worked so hard to love. Not only that, my curls are important to my business. I am a co-founder of NaturallyCurly, and it wouldn't reflect well for me to show up with stick-straight hair. I'm not saying that's not the right choice for many of our readers. Just not for me.

So when I met with stylist Felice Partida of James Allan Salon in Austin, I grilled her. Would I still have curls? How would they look? Did she guarantee I would still be a curly? Although the majority of clients who she's done them on straighten their hair on a regular basis, she assured me I would still have my texture.

 

Here, Michelle's hair is sectioned and the treatment applied.

So we began the process.

First, she took me back to the shampoo bowl to clarify shampoo my hair with the Brazilian Blowout specially formulated Anti-Residue Professional Shampoo to prepare my hair and get out all the styling gunk.

Then she brought out "the treatment." It was much different than I expected. It looked and smelled like lotion, without any chemical smell. That reassured me.

After towel drying, she divided my hair into sections and begin to comb the Brazilian Blowout Professional Treatment through each section of the hair from root to tip, lightly lightly coating each section with the solution. It was hard for me to believe this could actually do anything, but Felice explained that the solution surrounded each hair shaft with protective protein layers to smooth and flattened the cuticle. I took her word for it.

The stylist blows out Michelle's hair.

Then she took out her round brush and went to work with the blow dryer. I have not blown my hair straight in a decade, so it was strange to see myself with straight hair. Once my hair was dry, Felice divided it into four sections and begin using a flat iron to further straighten the hair in 2- to 3-inch sections. It did feel soft and was incredibly shiny. But I didn't like myself with straight hair. It grew by what seemed like two feet.

I was so over the straight-haired look, but it didn't last long anyway. Felice took me back to the shampoo bowl where she rinsed it (no shampoo) and applied the Brazillian Blowout Masque to further seal in the professional formulation. After 60 seconds, she rinsed it again.

 

Michelle with straightened hair. It looks nice, but we like her better curly!

She offered to blow it out again, but I opted not to. I wanted to make sure my curls were still there. So I diffused my hair and was reassured to see curls. One issue, which is common when people have this done, is they may need a hair cut since the hair is longer. Luckily, curl guru Ethan Shaw was at the ready to give me a quick dry cut.

Initially, it was a little bit of a shock to have such loose curls. But this morning, I enjoyed having a swishy ponytail during my spin class. And there was no frizz after the workout.
And after doing my hair myself with my usual routine and products, I liked the added shine and looser curls. My hair is much less frizzy and I haven't had the shrinkage I usually do.

Felice said the process will last approximately 12 weeks, gradually reverting to its original texture.

Will I do it again? Quite possibly, especially as the humidity kicks in and frizz season arrives full force.

It is costly—$250 to $450, depending on the salon. But it can be a lifesaver, especially for people who straighten their hair on a regular basis. Felice, who does several Brazilian Blowouts a week, said she's still amazed at the results. And her clients have overwhelmingly been happy with the results. I am one of the few who actually wanted to keep it curly.

So far, so good!

2013 Update - My Advice:

I think people have a misconception that a keratin treatment is only for people who straighten their hair. I didn't want straight hair. I wanted more defined curls with less frizz. That's what this did for me. You do need to make sure that the stylist doing your treatment has been well trained. I've heard horror stories about people who lost their curls or ended up with damaged hair.


See a video of Michelle's experience:


Check out Brazilian Blowout's Facebook page.


So I seem to have become the poster child for the joys of keratin treatments, and how you can use them to keep your curls and make them more manageable.

So when Ron King at Bo Salon in Austin offered me the chance to try La Brasiliana's new Spruzzi Keratin Treatment, a spray-in treatment that replaces formaldehyde with aloe vera and lavender oil, I said, "Go for it!"

Mind you, I was terrified when I decided to try it out several months ago so I could speak to our curly community from personal experience. But I have learned that with an experienced stylist and good communication, you shouldn't have any surprises. With so many keratin treatments out there and so many stylists jumping into the fray, please make sure you find someone you feel confident with because it's still a chemical treatment and they are using a very hot iron.

After the Treatment

After the treatment

I was in good hands with Angela Torres, who loves doing keratin treatments and seeing how they make her client's lives easier. She assured me that this would not straighten my hair, but would make it softer, shinier and less frizzy.

Also After the Treatment

Also after the treatment

Unlike the other treatments I have gotten in the past, I had to wait two days to wash my hair. So for two days, I had the straightest hair of my life. My husband and daughter didn't recognize me when I met them at a restaurant.

After Washing Her Hair

The curls were gone...

I enjoyed the novelty of brushing my hair—something I never do. It felt like American Girl hair. It swished! But it wasn't me. My 10-year-old daughter told me that the hair was pretty, but I look better with curls.

Also After Washing Her Hair

...but wouldn't stay away!

But come Monday morning, I was ready to wash it and get my curls back. So far, so good. I'd say my hair is a 3a now. It's usually a 3b. It looks a few inches longer. And it's super shiny.


As many of you know, I was very leery of having a keratin treatment. I had to be convinced that it would not take away my curls or ruin my hair.

Little did I know that I would become an addict.

Five months later, I just had my third treatment done. CurlStylist was doing a demo for a company, and they needed another head of hair to work on. I had just had it done for the second time a month ago, but offered my curls up. The curl had tightened up quite a bit anyway.

The treatment I had done was very similar to a Brazilian Blowout, with similar application. Zac Watson of Dolce & Co. in Arizona provided some new insights, including the fact that the iron temperature can affect how straight the hair gets. Since I wanted curl, he had it at a lower temperature than he would for someone who wanted a smoother look.

This time around, my hair was noticeably straighter, even after the product was rinsed out and my hair was air dried. I have to admit that it freaked me out a little. But four days later, it's probably a 3a (I'm usually a 3b), with a lot of shine and definition. It feels really soft, and I have no frizz despite Hurricane Alex wreaking havoc on Austin's weather.


Check out the video below to watch the whole experience!

Some of you have been following my experience with my keratin treatment. With tons of questions on CurlTalk, I wanted to see what all the buzz was about. So I took one for the team and got one myself—in this case, the Brazilian Blowout.

Three months later, my curls were shrinking up to their pre-treatment coils. And with sky-high humidity, my hair was looking frizzier than it had in a while.

So I decided to go in for a touch-up treatment. The touch-up is identical to the original treatment - about 90 minutes and I was able to workout and wash it right away. It was also the same amount of money—not inexpensive—which was a little painful.

Unlike the last time, I wasn't petrified. I knew what to expect and wasn't freaked out by the flat-ironed, stick-straight hair.

I am loving the results. My hair is so shiny and bouncy, and I have much better curl formation, even with humidity. I've had several people ask what styling products I'm using.

Like last time, I'm still very much a curly girl. I wouldn't have it any other way. It's just my curls, but better.


It's been two months since my Brazilian Blowout, and I have really liked the results. They are not dramatic, by any means, especially compared to others who have gotten it. But it was exactly what I was looking for - less shrinkage, less frizz, a little looser.

So now, as the humidity cranks it up a notch here in Central Texas, I plan to make an appointment for a touch-up. What started as a scary experiment has turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I like the new, slightly different texture of my hair. I will be interested to see how the texture will change by doing it again, and will share my results with everyone.

I will say that one of the benefits of a keratin treatment like this is that it grows out gradually - loose curls and waves start to tighten up slowly. This is good for those of us who may tend to procrastinate about making appointments for hair color or other types of maintenance.

I've also been encouraged to hear about a trend in the industry to create different levels of keratin treatments to meet the needs of a variety of customers - from those like me that want to wear their hair curly to those who want a straighter look. I think it reflects a bigger trend. One size no longer fits all. Texture at all ends of the spectrum are being embraced. And options - once in short supply for us curly girls - are now readily available to us.


titi branch

Michelle, right, hangs out with Miss Jessie's Titi Branch at America's Beauty Show.

So it's been nearly a month, and I'm still liking the results of my Brazilian Blowout—so much so that I plan on doing it again in the summer.

I just returned from America's Beauty Show, and several people I'd known for a while commented on my curls and asked what was different. The big comment was that my hair looked shinier and less frizzy. Because the perception is that these type of treatments straighten the hair, people were surprised that I had had one done.

One thing that has been a pleasant surprise is that I can leave the house with my hair soaking wet and not worry it will turn into a frizzy mess. When it dries, I just run some pomade through it and my curls look bouncy.

I am having to adjust the products I use because the amount of styling product I used before now is too heavy. But overall, it's been great for me and my curls.


It's been a little over two weeks with my Brazilian Blowout, and I'm still liking the differences. I guess I realized how subtle the differences were when I traveled to Los Angeles to meet with a client, and saw someone who had entirely different results.

Over the past two years, this woman and I have compared notes about our tight curly hair. In the course of talking to someone else at this company, they told me the woman also had gotten a Brazilian Blowout.

They brought her in, and I realized I had seen her walking by several times. but didn't recognize her at all. Her tight curls were very loose waves. And she says she only air dries her hair to get the effect.

While I really like having my hair more curly, her hair looked gorgeous—sleek and shiny and significantly straighter—something that used to take her two hours to do with a dryer and flat iron. She said some people in her own family don't recognize her.

It shows the different effects you can get with this kind of treatment, from frizz control to a significantly straighter look.


Michelle video blogs an update about her Brazilian Blowout experience.


One week down and I'm still loving my Brazilian Blowout. My hair is so much softer, and I haven't had any frizz, despite fog and rain. My curls are more shiny and defined.

Here are some of the differences I've noticed.

First, I need less hair product. My hair feels less coarse and a little finer, so I need less conditioner and styling products.

It takes less time to style. I diffuse for about five minutes and I'm good to go. Then I scrunch out any crunch and I have defined curls all day.

My hair is much less frizzy after a workout. I used to have a halo of frizz. Now, it is smooth and shiny, even after a sweaty spin class.

The biggest adjustment has been getting used to having less volume, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. My curls still have a lot of bounce and body, but they occupy less square footage on my head.

Stay tuned!



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