Diva Dish: The Brazilian BIBLE (Guest Post)

Diva Dish: The Brazilian BIBLE (Guest Post)

Want to Know Which Keratin Treatment Is Right For You?

Brazilian Blowout and Keratin Treatment Expert Jordana Lorraine (Los Angeles), who has added tremendously to the discussion already on Divalicious Blog.com, makes some suggestions for different hair types and results.

By Jordana Lorraine

Brazilian Blowout?  BKT?  Brazillian Blowdry??  Coppola?!  Global?!  With all the buzz about the newest craze in hair straightening, and so many similarities between products and their names, it’s easy to get confused!  Knowing that web-savvy clients have probably been bombarded with information, misinformation, and conflicting information, I’ll try to break it down and make some sense of it.

In general, keratin treatments use the proteins naturally found in the hair to strengthen it and relax the curl, and a variety of botanical extracts to smooth out the cuticle and add shine.  Afterwards, the hair can be worn wavy (sans frizz) or blown straight with a fraction of the time or effort. 

Wearing my hair  straight used to require 45 minutes, 2 round brushes and a flat iron; now it take less than 10 minutes with a flat brush and I am silky-smooth!  If I want a beachy look, I air-dry using some leave-in conditioner, or for va-voom I can use rollers, a curling iron or a round brush, because the hair does take a curl (unlike with Japanese straighteners).  And perhaps best of all…it’s impressively weather-proof, so no more dreading the beach! 

All of these effects are temporary, lasting anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months.  Lasting power depends on your hair’s condition, texture, and curl pattern, the type of treatment you have done, and your aftercare regimen.  If you have it done again before it has faded completely, it will build up and begin to last longer. 

These treatments virtually eliminate frizz, reduce bulk and curl, and leave previously unruly hair healthier, shinier and more manageable than it has ever been before.  They are safe for colored, highlighted, and even bleached hair; in fact, the porosity created by prior chemical services makes the keratin treatment last longer! 

You’ll want to have your color done fresh before a keratin treatment, as you will not be able to color it for two weeks afterwards.  Redheads and brunettes may consider asking their colorist for just a half-shade deeper tone, as they may lose a small amount of deposit with the keratin treatment.   All keratin treatments are non-damaging if applied and processed correctly.

So what’s the DIFFERENCE

Chemical makeup and compatibility with different hair types/lifestyles. 

For example, some treatments contain varying levels of formaldehyde, which has caused understandable concern amongst consumers and technicians.  I choose to only work with products which are FORMALDEHYDE-FREE.  Why?  The effects of formaldehyde being used in this way are unknown (it is too new), and a significant percentage of the population has mild to moderate allergies to it. I do several of these treatments a week and I want to protect my clients and myself, and also…I have had brilliant results without it!  Read on…


As seen on Nicole Richie, Halle Berry, Lindsay Lohan and Ashley Tisdale (and probably many more celebs who haven’t yet admitted it), Brazilian Blowout™ is the most popular keratin treatment on the market.  While previous incarnations of Brazilian Blowout™ did contain formaldehyde, that product has not been sold for over a year.  The newest formula is in a light cream base with a gentle açaí scent. It is the most semi-permanent of any I have tried, going slowly but surely back to the natural texture.  There is no line of “roots” as this happens, because the treatment fades off the hair at about the same pace as your hair grows in.  For clients with first-time nerves, or who might want to go back to wearing their hair curly, I almost always recommend Brazilian Blowout™.  It is also the ONLY one which allows the convenience of washing your hair that night, the next day, whenever you want to.  No rules about ponytails, clips, etc!  All other keratin treatments require a 24-96 hour waiting period while the keratin settles in, during which time you must be very careful to adhere to strict precautions to ensure success of the treatment.

BEWARE: Brazilian Blowout™ is a brand name, but is often misused to refer to a whole category of hair relaxing treatments.  Ask to see the bottle or printed materials if you aren’t sure what you’re getting; and/or ask when is the next time you can shampoo your hair following the service.


Global Keratin makes treatments with 4% formaldehyde, 2% formaldehyde, or formaldehyde-free.  I choose only to work with the latter for the reasons mentioned above, though I have been told that the solutions which contain formaldehyde do give wonderful results which last longer than the treatment done without (up to 5-6 months instead of 3-4).  Global Keratin Treatment is very flexible, and can be used to smooth frizz while maintaining curl, or to smooth and relax curl and bulk.  On coarser hair, I have found that the Global product provides superior results with smoothing, although it still does not make the hair completely straight.

Global Keratin’s formaldehyde-free solution is also free of any other “hyde” family ingredients, so if you have a known allergy or particular concern regarding formaldehyde, you may want to choose this treatment to avoid any exposure to related chemicals.  The solution contains ultra-fine keratin molecules in a moisturizing base that comes in a variety of scents, such as strawberry, chocolate, açaí and mint. Global Keratin Treatment should be left in the hair (unbent and not clipped or wet) for 72 hours for maximum results.


Keratin Complex by Coppola comes from the creative mind of hair guru Peter Coppola.  Based in Florida, KC knows a thing or two about fighting frizz and humidity!  Keratin Complex provides a slightly more rigid result than some other treatments, which I believe may be a result of its gel base (as opposed to some others, which are creamy). I have seen in my testing, that Keratin Complex results may weaken, but are visible in the hair for 4-6 months, even more in one case, making it hard for the client to wear her hair curly again.  For this reason, I mostly use Keratin Complex for clients who are in “Japanese Straightener rehab,” because it is much gentler on the hair but will provide a reasonable blend as the Japanese treatment grows out.  This treatment should also be left in the hair (unbent and not clipped or wet) for 72 hours for maximum results.


“Brazilian Keratin Treatment” is also sometimes incorrectly used to refer to the entire category of services.  Because its name is out there so much, I thought this product deserved to be on the list even though I choose not to work with it.  It does contain formaldehyde, which I have expressed my concerns about; this means that the stylist and the client are recommended to wear a mask during the process.  However, that makes the treatment work well and last as long as 6 months.  And, it is a less expensive ingredient, so the treatment is sometimes offered for less if you don’t mind the exposure.  Salons have been using formulas with formaldehyde for years in Brazil, though my research has shown they often do this outside so that the fumes are not trapped in the air to be breathed in by clients and employees. BKT needs to stay in the hair for 96 hours to fully process and develop, making it the longest of any treatment I’ve researched.

I hope this has helped you understand the differences between the most popular and widely-used keratins treatments available, and maybe to decide which one might be best for you.  Consult your stylist, or if s/he doesn’t do keratin treatments, google the names of these treatments along with your city to find someone who does. 

No one product can be right for everyone, so look for someone who works with a few of them and can do a personalized hair analysis/recommendation.

See more photos, testimonials, and FAQ on my website, http://www.jordanalorraine.com.

SPECIAL OFFER FOR DIVALICIOUS READERS: Receive $50 off your first treatment if you mention Divalicious when booking your appointment!

LDIVA NOTE: The information provided above by Jordana Lorraine is intended to clear up general confusion plus educate women on the newly popular Brazilian hair treatments. As with any hair treatment or beauty product, individual sensitivities and reactions should be considered prior to use.