Brazilian Blowout: What You Need to Know

Nutrafol for healthy hair

If you are someone who keeps up with the newest in hair care, chances are you have heard about the Brazilian Blowout. A Brazilian Blowout treatment is a hair protectant that gives your hair a glossy, frizz-free, hydrated shine for up to three months. The ingredients used when doing a Brazilian Blowout are the Brazilian camu camu, annatto seed, and acai berries, which sound harmless enough. But studies show Brazilian Blowouts can actually pose a real health risk.

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What is a Brazilian Blowout?

Just what is a Brazilian Blowout hair treatment? The treatment is generally recommended for people with damaged, frizzy, or very processed hair. A Brazilian Blowout treatment is meant to make your hair straighter, shinier and frizz-free, which can tempt many of us to try it. But then there’s the question of how long does a Brazilian Blowout last, and it turns out the results only last for about 10-12 weeks. And that is if you maintain it the way the stylists tell you to, which we all know is hard to keep up with.

When you go for your Brazilian Blowout treatment, the stylist will assess your hair and answer any questions you have, from what is a Brazilian Blowout to how to care for your hair following a Brazilian Blowout treatment. The first step of a Brazilian Blowout is to wash the hair and then towel dry it. Next, the smoothing product is applied in sections. After that, the stylist will blow dry your hair while making it as smooth as possible using a brush. After a round of flat ironing, the stylist will rinse the hair out using only water, and then apply a specific bonding spray that will seal the cuticles of the hair. After that, it is time for a smoothing serum before the final blow dry and styling.

Why is a Brazilian Blowout Dangerous?

If you’ve read many Brazilian Blowout reviews, you know a lot of customers are satisfied with the results the smoothing treatment has on their hair. What those Brazilian Blowout reviews usually don’t mention is that Brazilian Blowouts can be dangerous to your health — not because of the process itself, but rather because of some of the chemicals involved in it. While many people want to know “How long does a Brazilian Blowout last,” a better question might be “How long can the potentially harmful effects of a Brazilian Blowout last?”

Did Somebody Say Free From Formaldehyde?

What is in a Brazilian Blowout hair treatment that could be considered harmful? Although the products used in the Brazilian Blowout, and the similar Keratin treatment, are reported as free from the carcinogenic chemical formaldehyde, the air in salons offering these treatments tested positive for formaldehyde. How is this possible?

Some manufacturers list “synonyms” for formaldehyde on their labels. This is because sometimes the formaldehyde has been dissolved in water or another substance, which changes its chemical composition slightly, giving it a new name. The problem is that all these substances can release formaldehyde when subjected to certain conditions, such as the heat involved in a hair smoothing treatment, or even when using heating tools later at home.

For this reason, The American Cancer Society wrote the following about keratin smoothing treatments: “Professional keratin hair-smoothing treatments can contain formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing chemicals. Using these can raise indoor air concentrations of formaldehyde to levels that could be a potential hazard.”

All of the chemicals listed below are names for formaldehyde under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s formaldehyde standard:

Methylene glycol
Formalin
Methylene oxide
Paraform
Formic aldehyde
Methanal
Oxomethane
Oxymethylene
Timonacic acid
Thiazolidinecarboxylic acid

Is Getting a Brazilian Blowout Worth the Risk?

Formaldehyde is known to cause cancer and tends to be the worst when it is in the gaseous heated stage. It is a “sensitizer,” which means that it can cause allergic reactions of the skin, eyes, and lungs such as asthma-like breathing, skin rashes, and itching. It can also be a health hazard, whether in a product or in the air.

Studies conducted by The American Cancer Society have shown that formaldehyde can increase the probability of nasopharynx cancer and leukemia. One study found that workers exposed to formaldehyde had higher than normal levels of chromosome changes in early white blood cells in their bone marrow. This finding supports the possible link between formaldehyde exposure and leukemia.

Other Everyday Chemicals You Should Get Rid Of

Considering this, maybe it is not worth risking your and your stylist’s health for the sake of beauty. There are other, safer methods of achieving great hair without turning to Brazilian Blowouts. Have you, for example, considered natural solutions and skipping the chemicals for a while? We are not only talking about choosing a supplement made from plants to increase your hair health, we are talking about changing your routines, even when it comes to how you wash your hair. Did you know sulfates, which can be found in many shampoos, are well-known irritants of the skin, eyes, mouth and even lungs? Maybe it is time to take a closer look at the ingredients of that bottle you use every other day.

The study “Exposure to Chemicals in Cosmetics” conducted by the Breast Cancer Foundation shed some new light on another shampoo ingredient — parabens — and what effect it has on the body. The study discovered that parabens can penetrate the skin and act as a very weak form of estrogen in the body potentially making hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer develop and grow.

So how about getting rid of shampoos containing sulfates and parabens and switching to a sulfate-free shampoo? Sulfate-free shampoos preserve your hair’s natural oils and are also color-safe, which is good if you dye your hair a lot. Instead of buying hair masks, which also have chemicals in them, you can make your own. A hair mask made from avocado, for example, contains vitamin E and is easy to make. Vitamin E is good for hair growth because it is a great moisturizer and also boosts the immune system.

Foolproof Tips When it Comes to Hair Growth – Hairstylists Give Us the Inside Scoop

Growing your hair out takes time and patience, so it makes sense that many people are asking if there are any foolproof tips when it comes to hair growth. Nutrafol contacted two hairstylists to ask them for their best advice how to reach the desired result, the easiest way.

“The day you decide to grow out your hair, you have to really start taking care of it,” explains hairstylist Mark Townsend, who can be found at Sally Hershberger’s Los Angeles Salon when he is not busy styling the hair of the Hollywood elite. “To get the length, there are sacrifices, and this is something that I tell all my clients,” he continues.

The truth is that there are no shortcuts to a long luxurious mane. It is a several months long methodical process, a process that starts with a healthy diet and ends with a thorough cleanse.

How to Maximize Your Hair Growth and Get That Transformative Effect

First of all, to keep your hair healthy and strong in order to grow it out, you need to get the right nutrients in your body. A healthy and varied diet with lots of the good vitamins and proteins goes a long way, but you can also take a supplement that is designed to support healthy hair growth. Nutrafol is built to strengthen the hair from within. This is because the nutraceutical ingredients it contains include may of the nutrients known to be needed for healthy hair.

Commit and Do Not Skip Those Regular Micro-trims

“When you go for a dusting – taking off just an eighth of an inch versus a standard trim – you barely see hair on the floor”, says Mr Townsend. And he has a point. If you do these carefully calibrated micro-trims, you are preserving the length. The micro-trims are helping you to get rid of the split ends that have been caused by environmental damage. Among the environmental factors that can damage hair we count traffic pollution, the over-use of hot tools, the heat of the sun, salt from the sea, as well as certain chemicals. So minimize your exposure to these to safeguard your hair as much as possible.

What If You Do Not Commit to Micro-trims?

“If left to their own devices, those pesky split ends can work their way higher up the hair’s shaft,” explains fashion shoot hairstylist Vernon François. Mr François, who works in both Los Angeles and New York and who has created his own brand of hair care products, specializes in different hair textures and hair issues such as split ends. He has dealt with many customers over the years who have decided to hold off on trims, in the hopes of growing their hair faster. It had the opposite effect.
“If you wait too long in between trims, you’ll end up having to take off more length in the end,” says François.
Even if you are not a fan of the micro-trim, the real pros recommend at least three dustings a year in order to keep your hair healthy.

Tips for better hair growth
Pros recommend at least three dustings a year, it will keep your hair healthy.

Commit To a Weekly Conditioning Treatment

A weekly conditioning treatment is good for all hair types but especially for fine, curly or color treated hair. When you do these weekly conditioning treatments, pay extra attention to the tips François advises.
“They’re the oldest and driest part of your strands. They’re thinner and brittle, so giving them extra love will minimize breakage,” he explains.

You can also incorporate treatments into your day-to-day styling routine. If so, choose a mask that will hydrate your hair from the inside and out and boost your hair growth.

Commit to Cleansing Consciously

You have probably heard about cleanses when it comes to your body, but yes – you can also cleanse your hair. And it is something you should do. In fact, a cleansing is the foundation of any hair-care regimen, and it starts before you even step foot in the shower. All you need to do is to soak your strands for 10 minutes with a protective pre-washing tonic.

What Is It Good For?

“It’s going to leave a little bit of film on your hair, so the shampoo won’t strip it from it’s moisture,” explains Townsend.
If you do not have time to soak your hair for 10 minutes before you shower, picking a shampoo and conditioner that is sulfate-free will go a long way to help. Shampoos without sulfate will preserve natural hair oils, protecting your hair from becoming too dry. Massage the scalp while lathering up to increase blood flow and stimulate the hair follicles for better hair growth.

This is what causes thinning hair – and how you can avoid it

At Nutrafol we have already written about some habits that can lead to thinning hair here and also here. So these are a few more to keep in mind.

Thinning hair might become an issue if…

  • …you are exposing it to too much sun

    Even if autumn is upon us, you might keep this in mind when flying off to that exotic island for the holidays. Because even if you have given up tanning, chances are your hair is still exposed to UV rays. UV rays eat away the strength and elasticity of your hair. Or as Dr Alan Bauman, a hair loss physician with many years experience, puts it:
    “Prolonged UV exposure causes the layers of the cuticle to weaken and break, resulting in brittle hair that can lead to hair loss.”

But you can avoid this by…

…wearing a hat! Tuck your ponytail underneath the hat and you do not have to worry about damaging your hair when out in the sun. If you are worried about hat hair, you can instead use a leave-in conditioner with built-in sunscreen.

Thinning hair might become an issue if…

  • …you are not washing it often enough

    Now that dry shampoo has become a common staple in bathrooms, it is easier to just skip a few days between washing your hair. It is indeed very convenient but not so good for your hair. You see, when you are not washing your hair during a couple of days, buildups happen – buildups of products or excessive dandruff on the scalp. And these two things are clogging the hair follicles. And if it continues for a long time, it can get very difficult for the hair to grow.

But you can avoid this by…

…simply washing it more often and not letting so many days pass between your washes. There is nothing wrong with skipping shampoo for a day. But do not make it a habit as dirt and oil on the scalp can clog pores. Try to wash it every two days, especially if you are sweating or using lots of products. But since shampoo dries your hair out, try to use a sulfate-free one if you are washing it often.

Thinning hair might become an issue if…

how to avoid hair loss
Wash you hair more often since dirt and oil on the scalp can clog the pores and can therefore be a reason for thinning hair.
  • …you are taking certain medications

    Certain medications (like statins, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety agents, anti-hypertensive medications) or hormones (like thyroid replacement drugs) can cause hair loss. “These can disrupt or interfere with the normal cycle of hair growth, which can cause hair to go into a resting phase and fall out prematurely”, says Dr Bauman.

But you can avoid this by…

…asking your doctor for advice. Make sure to ask your doctor if there are treatments available that don’t include hair loss as a side effect. If you want to do something to help your hair from damage already caused by a medication, consider adding a supplement to your diet. Your physician may even advise you to do so! Nutrafol has many nutraceutical ingredients that have been shown to strengthen and nourish thinning hair from within, leaving it healthy and strong.

Nutrafol lathered down two of the most common shampoo ingredients

sulfate-free shampoo

The latest buzzwords in beauty are paraben and sulfate, but it seems that nobody really tells you the reasons why. Why are parabens bad for you? Or sulfates? Why is it not good to have them as shampoo ingredients?

It’s known to us that we need to avoid them and many products today now include that statement in their marketing. But is the sulfate-free and paraben-free really that much better? Let us present the real down-low on parabens and sulfates before you decide which shampoo ingredients are bad for your hair and which are not.

They are chemicals found in beauty products

Parabens are chemicals that have been used since the 1950s to prevent bacteria. They act as a preservative in deodorants, lotions, lipsticks, shampoos, scrubs, and more. Sulfates, on the other hand, are effective cleansing and foaming agents. They can be found in toothpaste, shampoo and body washes, among other products.

They might be harmful

Yes, unfortunately studies have shown that some parabens can mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen in the body’s cells. Some estrogenic activity is associated with certain forms of breast cancer, and parabens have been found present in breast tumors. So…what about sulfates, then? Sulfates have many scientists concerned because they have been found to break down proteins, which can lead to a degenerative effect on cell membranes.

But – it has not been proven

Sulfate and Paraben
Sulfates may cause skin irritation and a dry scalp.

So far there is no scientific evidence to prove that parabens are linked to cancer. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review says that it is safe in up to a maximum concentration of 50 percent if they are properly rinsed off the skin.

Apply the safe not sorry routine

If you’re sweating just over the thought of using products that contain these chemicals – switch to something else. There’s a wide range of beauty products that are paraben- and sulfate-free. So how about ditching and switching?

Sulfate is not good if you want to keep your hair healthy

They can cause a number of problems such as drying out your hair, irritating your scalp, fading your color and in some cases even leading to hair loss.

Sulfate-free products are not necessarily better

The role sulfates play in your shampoo is to get rid of any build-up in your hair. However, with that they also take away natural oils, leaving your hair rough and dry. It’s important to keep in mind that just because a product is sulfate-free, it doesn’t mean that you still won’t run into these problems. Many beauty companies have swapped out sulfates for other chemicals, which in some cases can be even worse. So to make sure that sulfate-free products will not damage your hair, too – look for alternatives that use fruit or vegetable-based cleansing ingredients.

Use with a hint of self-control

Whatever you decide to do, balance and moderation is key. Rotate between different products to give your hair some rest every now and then.

How Sulfate Free Shampoo Benefits Your Hair

sulfate free shampoo

You may have heard of sulfate free shampoo and that using shampoo without sulfate can be beneficial for your hair and beauty regimen, but why? To better understand why sulfate free shampoo may be best for your hair, you should know what is sulfate free shampoo, what do sulfates in shampoo do to your hair and what are the benefits of sulfate free shampoo?

Sulfates 101: What Are Sulfates?

Sulfates are a type of cleansers that are highly effective at removing dirt and oil from the hair and body. They usually appear on the ingredients list of a beauty product as sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, and can be found in the formula for most rinse off beauty products, including shampoos, face wash, body wash, soaps and more.

Clean hair sounds like a great thing, so you may think having sulfates in your shampoo is good. But while sulfates are good at cleaning, they can have some drawbacks if you have certain types of skin or hair. Sulfate shampoos are considered safe when used briefly and rinsed out thoroughly, but some people may have reactions such as redness or skin rash if they’re sensitive to sulfates. Let’s take a look at some of the problems a shampoo formulated with sulfates can cause.

Side Effects of Sulfates in Shampoo

There are sometimes where shampoo that contains sulfates can be damaging to your hair and body. Here’s a closer look at those symptoms, which may also answer: Why use sulfate free shampoo?

  • Scalp irritation: Sulfates are known to irritate the skin. When applied as a detergent on your scalp, they remove oil, but they remove this oil so effectively that they can actually strip away your scalp’s protective layer too. With a compromised barrier to your scalp, it’s very easy for harmful bacteria to get in and for needed moisture to get out. This can leave your scalp dry, itchy and more sensitive.
  • Dry hair: Your scalp isn’t the only thing that suffers. Sulfates can also affect your hair. You may compromise healthy and glossy hair if you use sulfate-laden shampoo because the sulfate gets rid of oil so well that it strips away some of your hair’s natural moisture and shine. The effect is compounded if you have already have dry and curly or frizzy hair that already has difficulty retaining moisture.
  • Fading color: The same principle with sulfates drying out your hair also applies to its effect on hair that has been dyed or otherwise colored. Sulfates strip the color from your hair, undoing the effects of your hair dye and causing your hair color to fade more quickly or appear dull.
  • Hair loss: The research isn’t fully conclusive on whether sulfates in shampoo directly cause hair loss, but there have been some claims that sulfates can contribute to hair loss, thinning and shedding indirectly, by causing inflammation of the scalp. It makes sense that by compromising the scalp, sulfates impact its ability to effectively grow healthy hair.

It may be a good idea for you to use a sulfate free shampoo if you have sensitive skin, dry hair, naturally curly hair, dyed/colored hair or you want to take every precaution to avoid the possibility of indirectly contributing to hair loss.

sulfate free shampoo
For better-looking hair, try a sulfate free shampoo and experience the difference.

Sulfate Free Shampoo Benefits

So should you use a shampoo without sulfates? The answer is yes! Switching to a sulfate free shampoo is always beneficial for your hair. Sulfate free shampoo not only preserves natural oils on your scalp and hair, but also is a more color safe option for hair that has been dyed.

Two potential drawbacks you may experience when you switch to sulfate free shampoo involve the way it lathers (or rather, doesn’t) and how effectively it removes dirt and oil if you have hair that tends to get very oily. Sulfates cause shampoo to lather well, and because they’re such powerful cleansers, they more easily remove dirt and oil from hair.

If you miss the lather or don’t think your hair is getting as clean as you’re used to, give your hair some time to adjust to your sulfate free shampoo routine. As with everything else related to hair and beauty, it can take time for you to see results. Be patient and you’ll start to see your hair feels and looks much better after switching to a sulfate free shampoo and start seeing the sulfate free shampoo benefits in action.

Want to see even more positive changes for your hair when switching to sulfate free products? Try taking natural hair growth supplements to get healthier, stronger and thicker hair.