We go under the tongs to try the latest celebrity hair craze in Dubai
Say ‘Brazilian Blowout’ and people think you’re being rude. Or, if they keep their finger on the hairstyling pulse, they quickly recount a testimony about how it changed their life. For the Brazilian Blowout is an extreme hair-straightening remedy, or, as its highfalutin website suggests: ‘the most effective professional smoothing treatment in the world’.
Surfacing in 2005 in Brazil (as the name suggests), it was created to combat high-humidity-induced frizzy hair, and soon spread across Europe and North America via famous endorsements from Hollywood celebrities such as Nicole Richie, Halle Berry and Lindsay Lohan. Why is it so much more popular than other straightening treatments? Because this one guarantees straight, shiny locks – even without blow-drying. Even better, it manages this by actually making your hair healthier, rather than more damaged, which can happen with your average straightening tongs.
‘Through the use of a Brazilian “super nutrient complex”, the Brazilian Blowout improves the condition of the hair by creating a protective protein layer around the hair shaft to eliminate frizz and smooth the cuticle,’ states Brazilianblowout.com. And since September, excitingly, the international super-treatment has been available in Dubai, at Ideal Image Saloon in Al Bustan Rotana.
Unfortunately, it’s arrived just as the treatment has begun to receive some dodgy press in the States regarding the levels of formaldehyde in the formula, which is classified by the US Environmental Protection Agency as a probable carcinogen. The ingredient is alleged to have caused stylists to experience sore eyes and coughs; this has prompted some US salons to stop offering the service, while the Canadian authorities have released a warning about the possible health hazards. Brazilian Blowout, however, has stated that no formaldehyde is used, as has the Saloon in Al Bustan Rotana.
So what exactly is involved? There is a set schedule to a Brazilian Blowout, which stylists can learn in a two-hour workshop. First, I have my hair washed with a specially formulated shampoo, which, according to my Lebanese hairstylist Zaib Chokr, ‘opens up the cuticles’. How do I know this? Because he explains that this is why it hurts so much as he combs the treatment through each section from root to tip, lightly dusting my hair with the solution. At this point the magical potion apparently surrounds each hair shaft with protective protein layers to smooth and flatten the cuticle.
Next up, he blow-dries my hair as straight as possible with a huge round brush, and then straightens it into sections again with a flat iron. We’re surrounded by humidifiers to disperse the strong chemical smell, and I am given a mask to wear to protect my nose when the fumes cause some tingling in my nostrils (though there’s no pain). Again, the tugging and straightening hurts, but needs must for a beautiful bouffant.
Finally, my hair is dry and straight, and I am about to get up and go when Zaib tells me he needs to rinse my hair and apply a masque and smoothing serum to further seal the cuticle, before completing a final blow-dry. This time I really am ready to go. Armed with the special Brazilian Blowout shampoo, conditioner and hair mask, I trot home to see if my previously moderately frizzy, naturally curly hair really will remain poker straight – even without a blow-dry. Pah! I don’t believe it.
The next morning I awake and spot a couple of kinks – aha! – but they disappear as soon as I comb my hair. The following day I wash and blow-dry it and am taken aback when I don’t have to straighten it to tame the fuzz: an all-time first. By the weekend I’m brave enough to test what happens when I allow my tresses to dry naturally: again, not a curl or frizzy lock in sight. If anything, my hair is too flat, the exact opposite of what normally happens when I allow my wild mane free range.
So far, so straight – the only drawback being that my hair feels lanker, and I need to wash it every two instead of three days. But if I don’t have to worry about the time-consuming rigmarole that used to accompany each shampoo, that isn’t a problem. And, according to Zaib, that won’t be a problem for five months. Now that’s certainly a life-changer. From Dhs1,500 for short hair. Ideal Image Saloon, Al Bustan Rotana, Garhoud (04 282 8774)
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Nik Feb 14, 2013 02:37 pm
Lorraine does my hair, she's a mobile hairdresser also she does brazalian blow out, she is fab, very friendly and explains everything. She charges 600 dhs. Highly recommended.
mol Jun 18, 2012 08:18 am
I have been having the brazilian blow out done with a british hairdresser called lorraine. she has been doing it for the last year and i have followed her to the different salons she has worked in. The great thing is she is really honest and talks you through the whole proceedure and explained that some hairdressers have been saying its the blow out but in fact its the brazilian keratin which as you guys may have tried doesnt give as good effect as the blow out. I was concerned after having a bad experience with the brazilian keratin leaving my hair so flat! The blow out left my hair soft shiny frizz free smooth but not flat. I love it!! if any one wants her number its 0567443734 she only charges 600dhs
Len Apr 06, 2011 12:44 pm
I wonder how different it is with hair rebonding...
Zee Apr 06, 2011 06:45 am
I heard from people that tried it that when the hair grows, the contrast between the super straight hair and the natural hair is very big and at the end, you still have to straighten the regrown hair... so it beats the whole purpose of the process.
So if you have to redo the treatment every 3 months, instead of the 5 months recommended by the brand, it can become very costly!
I would be interested if Nyree (the reporter) writes a follow up article in 3 months and tells us her impressions.
Mona Apr 01, 2011 11:54 am
I cannot agree more... a year ago, I had highlights in my hair that turn my hair from wavy thick hair to kinky burned thin hair,... I tried everything in the books of awards to bring my hair to improve and nothing worked.
I went to my stylist in Canada last summer who, with all confidence, promised to bring my hair back with this treatment she called "Brazilian Blow out" I was doubtfull but had nothing to lose...
in 90 minutes my hair looked and felt the way it did when I was a child... silky, soft, shinny and healthy.... I, though had to do another treatment here in Dubai Al Bustan Rotana after 3 month and in between, I just wash my hair and go out and it looks perfect.... still does... no hair dryer or styling heat.....etc.