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Monday, May 23, 2011

Brazilian Blowout Before and After

Hi all!  Okie doke, this post is so long overdue, I'm a bit chagrined to do it now.  However, it's needful.  On Feb 2/3 (I forget exactly), I had a Brazilian Blowout done on my hair for $150.  Yes, 150 clams.  I went to Stewart Palmer Studio in Provo, Utah and was totally stoked to finally see a change in my coarse, dry, semi curly hair.  Who doesn't want sleek, baby-shiny, tossable hair?  Here's my review on the whole process from the bitter befores to the amazing afters and the miss it months later...

Here's me, day of, with greasy 'do showing it's coarse, split ended glory.

The hardest part of my hair to deal with is the underlayer by my neck.  It's the curliest and most prone to breakage and split ends.  No matter what I do, it's forever looking ragged.  Let me preface by saying that at this time I was using Matrix Sleek and Smooth conditioner (I don't use shampoo- too drying) and Pureology glossing mist and avoided blowdrying at all costs.  Hence the crarazy style.

Oh boy...any rats in there?

Close up of the before texture- so you can be totally convinced of the condition of my hair.  Not so hot, right?  Years of bleaching, styling, and a 3 month overdue cut gave me these locks :)

Here's me in the downstairs bath trying to show my hair- this is how it naturally dries.

So I ventured to Laura Palmer's salon and they were super friendly!  It reminded me of a Southern beauty parlor with old ladies sipping drinks, kids laughing, and the stylists chatting away.  They were worried they'd scare me off, but I found the atmosphere fun and cheery.  First off, Laura updated my color with streaks of light golden blonde and updated the bottom with a cinnamoney ash blonde on the bottom.  I wanted my color completely done before the BB.  Here's what Brazilian Blowout says about the BB procedure:
"Through the use of a Brazilian Super Nutrient Complex and a proprietary polymer system, the Brazilian Blowout actually improves the condition of the hair by creating a protective protein layer around the hair shaft to eliminate frizz and smooth the cuticle.

The end result is smooth, healthy, conditioned hair with radiant shine.


When you arrive at the salon, the process is as follows.

1.Stylist will shampoo your hair with the Brazilian Blowout specially formulated Anti-Residue; Professional Shampoo to prepare your hair for the optimal smoothing result.

2.After towel drying, your certified Brazilian Blowout stylist will divide your hair into sections and begin to comb the Brazilian Blowout Professional Treatment through each section of the hair from root to tip; lightly dusting each section with the solution.

3.Solution will surround each hair shaft with protective protein layers to smooth and flatten the cuticle.

4.Stylist will then blow-dry your hair as straight as possible with a flat or round brush.

5.Once the hair is dry, the Stylist will divide the hair into four sections and begin using a flat iron to further straighten the hair in 2-3 inch sections.

6.Once complete, the Stylist will rinse the hair (no shampoo), towel-dry and apply the Brazilian Blowout Masque to further seal in the professional formulation. After 60 seconds, the stylist will rinse the hair once again and towel dry.

7.The Stylist will then apply the Brazilian Blowout Smoothing Serum to further seal the cuticle and assist in detangling the hair prior to the final blow dry.

8.The Stylist will then blow dry the hair straight one final time and style as desired.

You will leave the salon in approximately 90 minutes with beautiful, smooth, healthy radiant hair!"
Laura followed this checklist pretty much to the letter.  I don't know if it was exactly 60 seconds lol if she rinsed my hair haha, but this describes what you'll experience.  Here's my hair after being shampoo'ed.  Laura explained that the BB shampoo really strips the hair of residue, proteins, and prepares it to take in the solution at maximum efficiency (sounds so surgical the way I retell it lol).

The color was gorgeous- she did an outstanding job!  It was perfect and I need to get it updated to match her work.  She was friendly, fast at coloring and I was uber pleased with the result.  After shampooing my hair she applied the BB Solution (milky clear conditioner like fluid if I remember correctly- tbh I couldn't really see it as she was applying it- but it came in a big bottle) onto my hair.  She combed it through and then began to blowdry.

After she blowdried my hair, she applied the masque.  This was supposed to seal in the solution and prep my hair for ironing.  After that was applied, she began to flat-iron my hair.

That's when the magic happens!  I loved the results so much!  I did notice some fumes and a strange chemical smell as she was flat-ironing.  If I believe the lawsuits and rumors, this was a chemical reaction causing an ingredient in the solution/masque to react with the heat of the iron and give off a lovely puff of formaldehyde steam.  Laura didn't wear a mask and neither did I.  I think if I do this again, I will suggest it for both.  Not that the amount is so bad per se, but just because if I can prevent it, so be it.  Better to be safe than sorry.  Here's how my  hair looked when she was done.  WOW!

Look at that SHINE!  It was incredible, truly!

Remember that coarse, frizzy, split ended mess my ends were before?  Here's after...

I left the salon on an absolute high.  The only drawback was that the personal experience with Laura left some to be desired.  She was super friendly- almost too friendly.  She detailed to me a staffing issue she was having with another stylist and complained heavily about that other stylist.  I found it unprofessional and offputting.  Considering it was my first visit, I didn't want to hear shop gossip.  Also, she only took cash payment.  I wasn't told ahead of time, so I had to leave afterwards, locate an ATM (luckily there was a gas station across the street that had one) but I had to pay a fee to use it.  Lame.  I also couldn't take out the exact amount, so I was forced to either get change from Laura or be gracious and give her a tip geared to the amount I took out and not ask for change.  I did the latter and she was very gracious.  She also gave me the BB serum ($35 value) to use in a swap for makeup consulting.  I was grateful and happy to do that.  After I left I had baby soft, gorgeous silky hair I LOVED!!  I've seriously never had hair that beautiful, soft, swingy, shiny- I felt like a hair model- no joke.

Then a couple of days later, Laura called and explained she overcharged me and could I either get a discount on the next service or come by for the refund.  I appreciated her call and honesty.  It's rare someone would do that.  She really was a sweetheart.  BUT I haven't been back because A, the cost of the treatment and B, I didn't like the gossip.  It wasn't me.  I like a bit of professional distance.  I let the overcharge go as I haven't heard from her (I left her a message) about the makeup consult and as she gave me the serum as a swap for a service she hasn't gotten yet, I won't bother her with a small amount of overcharge. 

So how did the Brazilian Blowout hold up?  Did it last 6 weeks?  I was told if I used any products with sulfates it would pretty much nix the BB and to wait 24 hrs to wash my hair.  After the BB (and still),  I use Pureology Nanoworks conditioner and the BB serum and only washed my hair once a week to make sure this baby stuck!  Here's me the morning after.

Comparison shot of before and the morning after.  I didn't brush my hair or anything for the MA photo as I wanted it to be totally as is.  Straight and soft still!  Hooray!

Here's about two weeks later, Feb 18, 2011.  I followed the aftercare with no sulfates, washed once a week, and didn't blowdry or straighen.  I wanted to see exactly what the BB did to my hair without me intervening.  I wonder if I'd flatironed if it would've lasted longer.  I don't think so.

Here's my infamous trouble hair spot, same time frame of two weeks later to show the difference.  It truly does tame it and keep your hair more manageable.  I remember I felt like Cinderella waiting to wake up and have pumpkin hair instead of my glassy, silky coach 'do. 

Here's one month later (March 4, 2011), no blowdry and no flatiron.  It's holding up!  I did notice the icky texture coming back slightly and if I wanted it straight I definitely had to blowdry and iron my hair.  Otherwise, it was still very wavy but not coarse and not frizzy- a plus!  I was told the BB would cut drying time in half and I noticed that at first.  It helped dry my hair in about 10 mins (I usually take around 15-20).

Here's my hair, same day as the photo above, but after I flat ironed it, so you can see the difference.  Above is air dry, no styling.  Below is with some work.  I used the BB serum as a heat protectant.  Now normally when I straighten my hair, the day after it's got some kinks and a bit of coarseness...like it's rebelling or something.  At this time frame, the nice straight hair would last a couple of days and wouldn't get fussy for atleast a day or two.  Nice! 

Here's me below in mid April, about two months out.  Bye-bye Brazilian Blowout!  I've got my usual hair with the usual wave and yes, the good ol' coarseness and frizziness.  This photo was styled and makeup applied (duh) lol.

So did it hold out to the 6 week claim?  Yes and no.  It was great for the first couple of weeks, but then slowly faded and was normal about 5 weeks later.  As of now, end of May I can't see any effect left over at all from the BB.  The first week was really nice, it was smooth and soft but by week 3 I definitely had to blowdry and flatiron to get sleek hair.  But that's what I normally have to do.  At that point the benefit was that the style would hold longer, not get as frizzy as quickly, and would dry quicker.  Nice, but did it validate the $150 price tag?  No.  I'd rather buy a Juicy bag and get the solution on Ebay and have my husband do it.  It's not a very difficult process to do and if you have the products, you can avoid the stylist's fees.  I do miss the initial result and plan to buy the solution and have a stylist friend do my hair (she's amazing, Amy Deans Ketcheside- love her!).  So would I do this again- not at a salon and not at that price.

Have you had a Brazilian Blowout?  Would you have this done?  Let me know your thoughts!



VijiiS said...

You look great in both straight and wavy hair! Not me, though. Me+Straight hair=EW!

Mrs.Makeup said...

It looked amazing,thanks for doing this post.I am too a blonde that has done years of hairdying,straightening,curling, and much more.I agree with you too its uncomfortable when people who aren't professional and put you in their gossip and chaos.

mNg said...

Never had a Brazilian Blowout and I personally wouldn't spend that kinda money. I worked in a high-end hair salon before and knowing what I know and like you said, this is an easy process to do (even sans the Brazilian Blowout products), so why pay that much?

And really, my former employer makes outrageous profits from various hair jobs/treatments. Employees get charged on an average of 5% or less than 10% of what the clients would get billed for! So again would I wanna spend that kinda money knowing what I already know? No way. LOL.

I'm happy with just a simple blowdry or flat iron job on my own. That will probably last me a day, maybe two but hey, a Brazilian Blowout doesn't last forever, just a few weeks more than a normal blowdry or flat iron job anyway.

No offense but I kinda wonder if the Brazilian Blowout process would have worked better and lasted longer for hair that haven't gone through as much chemical jobs and/or styling.

Bleaching is MF-ing harmful but I understand the need for it to get done if a dark haired person like me wanted a really light to medium color to show on my hair. Having said that, a Brazilian Blowout is simply a temporary solution to getting baby soft/fine and tossable hair. Due to its temporary nature, you either go back and keep getting it done OR you just use the old school way i.e. doing hair treatments vigorously and minimize the amount of chemical jobs so that you can achieve healthier hair in the long run.

The Peach said...

When I first saw Brazilian Blowout, I was thinking something different! Haha! I have never heard of this before. You hair looked stunning right after the blowout! Wow! Thanks for sharing this with us!

Skulda said...

My hair gets tangled and damaged on my neck too. It just gets caught on my shirt collars and turns into a big clump. :(

Baroque In Babylon said...

@VijiiS I saw some of your photos and you look beautiful!! You have thick gorgeous hair. Mine is very, very coarse..it's a hassle. I always have breakage.

@Mrs.Makeup It's a lot of work being blonde. Almost all celebs with blonde hair that is long have extensions. It's just so hard to maintain. I constantly think I should go dark but I wouldn't feel like 'me'. Dang it, I'll just keep hanging on, lol.

@mNg I agree, the markup and cost is nothing short of a robbery. I'm not offended love, my hair is difficult to get nice and I think it's partly the processing and partly my texture. Even when I was little it was this way. It's a curse haha! Thank you for leaving such a thoughtful comment.

@Peach LMHO!!! Oh I bet! I wouldn't dare put what my husband was saying...men! LOL! You're welcome!

@Skulda Really? I wonder if it's because it's so close to the face and we mess with it more? Same here...oohh girls with silky hair have it so easy! I want to join that club!