A Brazilian blowout is a brand-specific keratin treatment that acts as a protectant for your hair’s cuticle and eliminates frizz while adding shine and smoothness. The beauty treatment originated in Brazil, which is where it got its name.
Keratin treatments are chemical procedures that break down the bonds in your hair and reseal them into a straighter position. This can give you smoother, shinier, and straighter hair, potentially helping you cut down on blow drying and straightening every day.
While there are plenty of benefits to the Brazilian blowout, there are also some potential downsides. Most keratin treatments contain formaldehyde, which scientists have identified as a toxic chemical with potentially harmful effects. Although Brazilian blowouts haven’t been prohibited by the FDA, California has banned formaldehyde in beauty products by 2025 under the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act.
This article covers some of the most common questions about Brazilian blowouts, including safety concerns, do’s and don’ts, aftercare tips, and alternatives.
What Is a Brazilian Blowout?
A Brazilian blowout is a long-lasting keratin hair treatment meant to smooth the hair. You can get a Brazilian blowout even if you have color-treated hair. It works on all hair textures, especially thick, wavy, or curly locks. In fact, those with naturally curly hair often choose the Brazilian blowout to detangle, reduce frizz, add shine, and cut down on styling time. Although the smoothing treatment can straighten your hair, you can also use it to keep your natural hair frizz-free.
How Long Does a Brazilian Blowout Take?
Brazilian blowouts typically take about 90 minutes on average. The treatment could take more or less time, however, depending on the following factors:
- Hair length
- Hair texture
- Hair thickness
- Curliness of hair
- Condition of hair
How Long Does a Brazilian Blowout Last?
Unlike temporary straightening treatments like the Dominican blowout, Brazilian blowouts are semi-permanent. They typically last about three months, providing you care for your hair properly. You can extend the life of the treatment by following these guidelines:
- Wash your hair less frequently
- Use sulfate-free shampoo
- Deep condition your hair
One of the best parts of a Brazilian blowout is its simple post-treatment routine. Other hair smoothing treatments require you to avoid washing or tying up your tresses for days or even a week. With the Brazilian blowout, however, you can live life normally immediately after the procedure with no waiting time or restrictions.
How Much Does a Brazilian Blowout Cost
The primary factor determining the cost of a Brazilian blowout is your hair length and thickness. Prices may also vary by location, with the average by state ranging from $75 to $325. Brazilian blowouts in New Mexico cost over $200 more on average than they do in Iowa.
The Brazilian Blowout Process
Although a Brazilian blowout involves multiple steps, it’s not as complicated as it might seem. The three basic phases include applying the keratin treatment, flat ironing, and styling. Your hairstylist will typically follow the steps below to achieve your Brazilian blowout.
- Hair washing: Because the hair must be clean and free of residues in order for the keratin to properly adhere, your stylist will start by washing your hair.
- Towel drying: Your stylist will gently dry your hair with a towel so that the liquid keratin spreads through your hair but doesn’t drip out.
- Formula application: The stylist will apply the keratin formula to your hair in sections to cover your hair from root to tip.
- Blow-drying: Using a blow-dryer, the stylist will get your hair as smooth and straight as possible.
- Hair straightening: Heat styling with a flat iron seals the product into the hair, but the stylist can customize this step depending on whether you want perfectly straight hair or prefer to keep some waves.
- Hair washing: To lock in the moisture and remove any excess product, your stylist may wash, rinse, and/or condition your hair.
- Blowout and style: Your stylist will blow dry and style your hair to perfect the look you want.
Brazilian Blowout Do’s and Don’ts
While the Brazilian blowout is a fairly simple technique, the following do’s and don’ts will help you get your hairstyle right and keep it looking great longer.
Brazilian blowout do’s:
- You can put your hair up in a ponytail or clip, even immediately after the blowout.
- You can exercise without any restrictions.
- You can wash your hair whenever you would like, with no waiting period after the treatment.
Brazilian blowout don’ts:
- Don’t apply the Brazilian blowout treatment yourself. To safely achieve the look you want without damaging your hair, only licensed professionals should apply the chemical formula.
- Avoid applying additional heat to your hair. Your hair should already look sleek and smooth after receiving your Brazilian blowout, and using additional heat will only damage your hair.
Talk with your stylist if you have any questions on what you can and can’t do after the treatment.
Aftercare Tips For a Brazilian Blowout
While the Brazilian blowout is complete as soon as you leave the salon, you can extend the life of your treatment by following these guidelines.
- Wash your hair less frequently. The longer you go between washes, the longer your hair will stay sleek and silky.
- Use salon-quality products. Using professional hair care products designed for blown-out hair can help you keep your look longer.
- Deep condition your hair. Deep conditioning products add moisture to your hair, which can decrease frizz, boost shine, and increase smoothness.
- Avoid swimming in saltwater or chlorine. Salt and chlorine can remove the protective layer of moisture from your hair shaft and scalp, causing dryness and irritation.
Is a Brazilian Blowout Safe?
The traditional Brazilian blowout formula is controversial because it contains formaldehyde, a known cancer-causing agent. Under the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, California has effectively banned formaldehyde (along with 23 other ingredients) in beauty products as of 2025. When combined with heat, chemical procedures (like keratin treatments) can also damage your hair, making it brittle and potentially leading to hair breakage and loss.
Even though the FDA has not banned Brazilian blowouts, some of the chemicals can have harmful side effects. Formaldehyde is classified as a human carcinogen, with high levels of exposure leading to potential cancers. Your skin may become more sensitive, or you could develop allergic dermatitis (rash or irritation) due to exposure.
Before getting a Brazilian blowout, ask your stylist about the ingredients in any keratin or other chemical smoothing products used in the process. Note that while the brand name Brazilian Blowout formula doesn’t list formaldehyde as an ingredient, it does contain methylene glycol, which releases formaldehyde when combined with heat during the process.
If you decide to go through with the treatment, make sure it’s done in a well-ventilated area and tell the stylist to stop if you feel any of the symptoms of formaldehyde irritation during the process. See if your stylist can recommend any alternative products that don’t contain or produce formaldehyde, formalin, or methylene glycol.
How Does the Brazilian Blowout Compare to Other Keratin Treatments?
Both Brazilian blowouts and other keratin treatments increase shine and decrease frizz. Some formulas straighten your hair more, while others help maintain your natural curl pattern. The brand-specific Brazilian Blowout formula typically contains more formaldehyde, making it a higher-intensity option. It also uses amino acids, which are smaller molecules and allow your hair to be rinsed out on the same day. Other types of keratin treatments take longer to set and come with more restrictions, such as waiting several days to wash, style, or even put your hair in a ponytail.
Keratin smoothing products also come in several popular formaldehyde-free formulas, which promise lasting frizz-free hair without the harsh chemicals. Check the ingredients as these “formaldehyde-free” formulas can include ingredients in them that release formaldehyde, like methylene glycol or formalin, when heat is applied during the treatment.
- The Cezanne keratin treatment offers low-maintenance aftercare and long-lasting smoothing effects. However, it may require even more salon time than the Brazilian, with treatments lasting three hours on average.
- The Goldwell Kerasilk treatment offers smoother, more manageable hair for several months. Both treatments can be pricey, ranging from $200 to $500, depending on the salon and location.
Is a Brazilian Blowout Right for You?
The Brazilian blowout is a long-lasting smoothing treatment that requires minimal maintenance. What’s more, your stylist can apply the keratin formula on top of color or other relaxers, as well as customize the treatment to your hair type and texture. However, because of the potential health hazards, you may want to explore alternatives. Once you decide which keratin treatment you want, consider your hair length and texture along with prices in your area to see what fits your budget.
If you want to say goodbye to frizzy hair, contact a local professional through StyleSeat. Our Pros can help you decide which hair treatment is right for you and answer any questions or concerns you might have.