Every wonder how stars get their shiny, sexy tresses? Stars like Halle Berry, Jennifer Aniston and Salma Hayek have been jumping on the Brazilian Blowout bandwagon.
Keratin treatments have taken the country by storm, becoming one of the hottest chemical services, and the Brazilian Blowout has become one of the leaders of the pack. For curly girls, they provide a gentler way to straighten locks, loosen curls and zap frizz.
"This isn't a trend," says Brazilian Blowout founder Britney Huinker. "It's the perm of the 21st century. I truly believe it's here to stay."
Unlike the thermal reconditioning system (Japanese straightening), which thermally and chemically restructures the hair bonds to create permanently stick-straight hair (at least until new hair grows in), the keratin procedures recondition the hair, preventing frizz while allowing it to wave, curl or be flat-ironed straight. Hair gradually returns to its original state without the awkward growing-out stage.
Because of the nature of the treatment, it can be used on a wide variety of hair types to achieve a range of looks, from straightening waves to providing shinier, more defined curls. For that reason, demand has soared.
Huinker, a Los Angeles native, has always had an interest in hair. Her mother was a stylist, and she wanted to go to beauty school herself. But her parents insisted she attend a four-year university. Although she graduated from the University of South California with a degree in business communications, her passion for the beauty industry was still alive and well.
Four years ago, Huinker teamed up with friend and entrepreneur M. Devin Semler to open the Argyle Salon & Spa in the Sunset Tower Hotel on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, Calif. Since it opened, the salon has become a mecca for A-list celebrities. The 7,000-square-foot salon and spa has 18 stylists.
It also became the development laboratory for Brazilian Blowout.
The salon has truly been the catalyst for everything we do," Huinker says.
Semler returned from a trip to Brazil with a keratin treatment, and the salon began doing it on people's hair. They decided to create their own treatment, flying back and forth to Brazil.
A year and a half ago, Huinker decided to completely reformulate Brazilian Blowout because it took too long, and she didn't like sending her clients home with product in their hair. So they took the product off the market, reformulated it and rebranded it.
"We worked with a company here in the United States to come up with a formula that can be rinsed out of the hair so there's no downtime," Huinker says. "When a client comes in to get the treatment, it takes 90 minutes from beginning to end. There's no processing. They can shower and go to the gym right afterward."
Before and After
Huinker says this is what differentiates Brazilian Blowout from some of the other keratin treatments on the market. With other treatments, she says the client may have 24 to 96 hours of downtime.
The core of the product is Brazilian Super Nutrient Complex, a proprietary blend of amino acids that fill the cuticle and provide protective protein to create shine, conditioning and silkiness without losing volume.
The formulation enables clients to get exactly the look they want, she says.
"If they want to keep their curl and wave and just get rid of frizz, they can do that," she says. "If they want straight hair, they can do that too. It all depends on the technique the stylist uses. It really fits the needs of every client. It's a smoothing system, not a straightening system."
Training is an essential element of Brazilian Blowout, Huinker stresses. Stylists are trained on different techniques that provide different outcomes.
"That's one of the main reasons we haven't done a distribution deal, despite getting 20 calls a day," says Huinker, who does training every Monday at her salon for those who want to become a certified Brazilian Blowout stylist.
"I'm there every Monday, without fail," she says.
Although there is training available online, stylists who take it have to take a test and it is mandatory that they take part in the education tour.
Huinker says Brazilian Blowout does not contain formaldehyde—an ingredient commonly in some of her competitors' treatments. Brazilian Blowout instead uses a proprietary polymer system, she says. Although this has caused some people to shy away from the treatments, Huinker believes formaldehyde's bad reputation is undeserved. She calls it "media hype."
"It's a chemical treatment, but that's how you get fabulous results," she says.
The key to keeping hair looking good after getting a treatment, she says, is using the right products. The Brazilian Blowout Acai Aftercare collection includes Anti-Frizz Shampoo, Anti-Frizz Conditioner, Smoothing Serum and a Deep Conditioning Masque. The Acai hair care products infuse the hair with the company's proprietary Brazilian Super-Nutrient Complex. This complex allows for a continual and cumulative smoothing effect to occur while the hair is washed and styled in between professional treatments.
Huinker says the products benefit those who haven't gotten a Brazilian Blowout as well because they get rid of frizz and add shine.
Although Huinker believes Brazilian Blowout has become the gold standard, she has high praise for the other keratin treatments on the market and believe they are changing the industry.
"Within two years, I believe every salon will offer some form of keratin treatment," she says. "It really fits every client. Now people come in to get their haircut, their color and the Brazilian Blowout."
Common Questions about Brazilian Blowout
Q: What kind of look will you get from the Brazilian Blowout?
A: The hair will be left totally frizz-free, shiny, effortlessly manageable and with plenty of body and bounce. There will still be the option to wear hair curly/wavy (depending on the hair type) and the freedom to blow dry hair smooth and straight in a fraction of the time invested prior to receiving the treatment.
Q: Can I still receive a Brazilian Blowout if I have highlights and/or color?
A: Yes, the Brazilian Blowout will actually improve the health of color-treated/highlighted hair by conditioning the hair while sealing the cuticle for enhanced color, reduced frizz and radiant shine.
Q: Is the Brazilian Blowout going to make my hair straight?
A: If your hair is wavy, the Brazilian Blowout will make your hair appear naturally straight and healthy. If your hair is very curly, it will minimize frizz while enhancing the appearance of the natural wave/curl. If you have straight, frizzy hair, this treatment will eliminate frizz and promote radiant shine.
Q: How long does the Brazilian Blowout last?
A: The Brazilian Blowout will last for 10-12 weeks if the Acai After-Care Maintenance product line is used. The Brazilian Blowout is a cumulative treatment, in that the more you receive it, the healthier the hair will be and the longer the result will last.
Q: Can you apply the Brazilian Blowout directly on top of other relaxers and strengtheners?
A: Yes. The Brazilian Blowout actually works best on chemically treated hair, and helps to improve the hair's condition by fortifying each strand with essential amino acids.
The Brazilian Blowout works great directly on top of a relaxer. Perform the relaxer first, Brazilian Blowout next, and then neutralize at the very end of both treatments.
The Brazilian Blowout is great to perform when someone is trying to move away from having relaxers or Japanese straighteners. It puts movement back into the hair, allowing the hair to look its best.
Q: Will my hair lose volume if I receive the Brazilian Blowout?
A: No, your hair will not lose volume as a result of receiving the Brazilian Blowout. Your hair will maintain its natural volume and you will still receive great bend and memory when blow-drying or using a curling iron.
Q: Will my hair return to its original state after the Brazilian Blowout treatment has completed its life cycle?
A: Yes, the hair will revert to its original state once the Brazilian Blowout treatment has completed its life cycle of 10-12 weeks; however, the condition of the hair will actually improve as a result of the fortifying and conditioning nature of the product.
Q. Can you color your hair the same day you receive a Brazilian Blowout?
A: Yes, however, you must color your hair prior to having the Brazilian Blowout smoothing treatment. If you are coloring hair dark brunette or red, you will want to color the hair a shade darker than you otherwise would, as the hair color will experience fading during the Brazilian Blowout treatment.
Q: Can you swim in the pool or ocean after you have the Brazilian Blowout treatment?
A: Yes, you can swim in either the pool or the ocean after you receive the Brazilian Blowout treatment; however, the treatment may be slightly compromised if you swim on a regular basis. We recommend that you apply the Brazilian Blowout Smoothing Serum on the hair prior to swimming in order to act as a protective barrier to maintain the smoothest possible result for the longest period of time.
Q: How soon can you touch up your color after you receive the Brazilian Blowout Treatment?
A: You should wait at least two weeks to administer color to the hair after you receive the Brazilian Blowout, as the color will not deposit as effectively with the protein protective layer provided by the smoothing treatment.
If your clients need to touch up color/roots in between treatments, this is ok, as the hair being touched up is new growth and does not have the treatment on it. If you need to highlight or pull the full color through the entire head of hair, make sure that the client is using the Brazilian Blowout masque at least once or twice a week to fortify the treatment back into the hair.
Q: How soon can I wash my hair after the Brazilian Blowout treatment?
A: You can wash your hair immediately after the Brazilian Blowout treatment, or as you would normally.
Q: Can you perform a Brazilian Blowout on extensions?
A: Yes, the Brazilian Blowout performs perfectly on hair extensions. It would be best for the stylist to perform the Brazilian Blowout separately on the extensions prior to putting them into the hair. If you wish to perform the treatment on extensions that are already in the hair, the stylist will need to be extremely careful when applying the solution to the bonded area. Brazilian Blowout solution acts as a conditioning agent, and may create slip, resulting in the extensions separating from the hair. If the stylist is careful and works to first separate the extension hair from the client’s own hair, a great result can be achieved.
Q: Can I receive a Brazilian Blowout if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
A: There have been no clinical tests performed on the safety of performing the Brazilian Blowout on pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding. As a result, we do advise against pregnant or breastfeeding women receiving the Brazilian Blowout treatment.
Q: How soon can I receive a Brazilian Blowout treatment after I receive my first treatment?
A: The Brazilian Blowout is just like a conditioning treatment, so you will not harm the hair by performing them too soon or too much, however, please remember that you can only fill the cuticle to its capacity. If you want to back for another treatment, or it did not take to he hair the way it should have, you may go back 10 days after the first treatment.
Q: What is the active chemical in the Brazilian Blowout solution that makes it work so well?
A: This is a proprietary system that we are currently in the process of patenting. This treatment is 100% salon safe. What makes the Brazilian Blowout treatment effective is our use of the Super Nutrient Complex in conjunction with a proprietary polymer system. This combination is what rounds the follicle, smooths the cuticle and repairs any preexisting damage.
Q: How is the Brazilian Blowout different from the Japanese straightening method many people are familiar with?
A: Japanese hair straightening changes the actual structure of the hair. In doing so, there is an obvious difference between the new hair growth and the hair that has been treated, resulting in a life-long commitment to continuing the straightener or cutting hair off (if you are unhappy with the result). This service can also leave the hair flat, too straight and with little to no shine or luster. The hair's integrity seems to be compromised, and after a few treatments, the hair appears to be in an unhealthy state.
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