When I moved to New York a couple months ago from Los Angeles there was some serious getting used to that had to take place on my behalf. I now walked everywhere instead of drove; I went grocery shopping at bodegas instead of Whole Foods (because its just too far); and my hair was an uncontrollable, frizzy mess.
After residing in dry California for almost ten years I almost forgot that my fine, limp, straight hair was actually kind of frizzy. There, I would wash it daily then tousle with my hairdryer and all was quiet on the home-front.
In New York though, there was washing, there was drying, there was flat ironing, and thenIm embarrassed to saymore drying. My hair was a disobedient, petulant teen, I was the frustrated parent and we were both in a losing battle.
Finally unable to deal any longerand frightened that my hair might fall out from all my abuseI called Shampoo Avenue B on the Lower East Side and made an appointment for a Brazilian Blowout. My husband claims Im being dramatic, but the treatment was life-changing.
My new mane man, Sylyse Rivera (who you should know has done hair for Jane Krakowski, Vogue Fashion Week shows and a slew of Broadway actresses), not only made me feel confident and relaxed, but he agreed to sit down with ThirdAge and give us the dirt on why Brazilians are best.
Q: What exactly is a Brazilian Blowout?
A: Its a de-frizzing treatment, more than anything. Women like it because it takes out a significant amount of frizz and makes their lives easier. Anyone can benefitnot just girls with curly or wavy hair. I have women with straight hair who get it done because it improves the condition of their hair and seriously cuts down on drying time.
Q: How does it differ from the Japanese straightening?
A: The Brazilian Blowout isnt permanent. It doesnt penetrate the cuticle. Its a sealant. There are polymers in the formula that wrap around the hairs cuticle and seal it in, so its not changing the composition of the hair. Its just temporary.
Q: Is it damaging?
A: No. Its a conditioning treatment.
Q: Weve heard scary things about straightening treatments. Is there formaldehyde or any other dangerous chemicals in the Brazilian Blowout?
A: No. Theres no formaldehyde or other dangerous chemicals in the Brazilian Blowout.
Q: Whos a good candidate?
A: Like I said, anyone. Its good if you have frizz you want to contain in your hairstraight or extremely curly. I have straight-haired girls that you wouldnt think would do it, but it leaves a really nice coat on their hair, gives them nice shine and makes it so much easier and faster to blow dry. You dont have to have curly hair to get it done.
People with dry hair are really good candidates. It really helps in the long run because youre putting less heat on your hairless drying, less ironing. I wish I could personally take flat irons on the market! Down the road, your hair will look so much healthier with the Brazilian.
Q: Can you still color your hair?
A: Definitely. We have girls who get it done the same day.
Q: Are there any restrictions with the Brazilian Blowout? Any products you shouldnt use?
A: All of the products you use should be sulfate-free. No sodium chloride. Thats salt and it strips the hair. Other restrictions would be swimming in a pool or the ocean. If you do choose to go in the pool or ocean, we found the best way to protect it is to coat your hair with olive oil, then wash it immediately after getting out.
Q: Will it make your hair completely straight?
A: No. It wont be flat to your head if you dont want it to be. Its all about how you do your hair. As a hairdresser, we can play with your hair and do what you want. Some people like that flat, sleek look; some people dont. You need to tell your stylist what you want and they can execute the service accordingly.
Q: How soon after can I wash me hair/get it wet?
A: You can get caught in the rain after you leave the salon! We completely shampoo, condition and neutralize your hair before you leave. Youre set and sealed.
Q: How long does it last?
A: Depending on how you maintain it and the health of your hair, usually about 3-4 months.
Q: How much does a Brazilian Blowout cost?
A: We start at $300 and go up from there. It depends on length and thickness of the hair.
Okay, so $300 may be a little steep for a hair treatment. But if you think about all the hours lost to drying and primping and fighting you can reclaim, it really is priceless.
Nicole Fabian is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. She is assistant editor of ThirdAge.com.