What is it?
Ok, for a second imagine your hair is a long chain of protein. Are you there yet? Good…because that’s essentially what hair is. Keratin, which is the main ingredient in this process, composes about 88% of a hair follicle. Keratin is high in sulphur & the amino acid cystine which is what gives it its strong structural properties. As a matter of fact keratin is found in even stronger parts of anatomy such as horns, hooves, wool, skin & even fingernails. Contrary to popular belief, this process is non-abrasive as it works with the hair & not against it like a relaxer, which opens & restructures hair follicles.
How is it done?
Firstly, the hair is washed with special shampoos to make it porous so the keratin can better bond with the hair. The keratin is applied & it fills in defects & fissures in the hair shaft, making it look straighter. Hair is blown dry & a flat iron is used to activate the formaldehyde.
Is this process for me?
Let’s start with some facts. This process is pricey (`$300-400$), and is not one with which you should bargain. The stylist you see for this service should have ample experience & proof of success in this method. The timetable ranges from 1.5 – 5 hours depending on hair length. In turn it lasts about 2 months in natural hair & 3-4 months in previously straightened hair. Because it is not abrasive, it is OK to perform if your hair is relaxed or otherwise chemically processed. If your hair is virgin, colored, highlighted, kinky, curly or even wavy this process may benefit you.
Anything else I should know?
This process should NOT be performed if you are pregnant.
This is not a permanent process, & will need to be redone when new growth becomes evident, please allot expenses accordingly.
Do NOT go in any body of water until 4 days after this process, or apply gels, mousses, or sprays.
DO wear your hair straight down for the first 4 days. No ponytails, clips, barrettes, etc.
DO blow dry or flat iron if you notice crinkling or if you slept against the hair grain.
DO purchase a silk scarf to sleep in, as well as a sulfate free shampoo (sodium chloride)
Do NOT sweat/exercise for the initial 3-4 days
Formaldehyde can be toxic when in percentages higher than 2%. It can cause nausea, skin irritation, & long term cancer threats. The most used system, Chocolate, contains formaldehyde. If you are looking for a formaldehyde free formula you could look into Brazilian Blowout products. (www.brazilianblowout.com)
www.Braziliankeratin.com is a formaldehyde free formula that you can actually use at home, for us divas that require a more personal experience. Do it alone, or order a few & call over some friends.
Pros using Brazilian Straightening for African American Women
- It is much easier to blow dry your hair
- It is more manageable
Cons using Brazilian Straightening for African American Women
- It stinks if you workout often or sweat
- Your hair can break if not well managed
- Formaldehyde is toxic and can cause long term health issues