Hair Review: Brazilian Blowout vs Japanese Hair Straightening

Angela Ranieri

Summertime Frizzing

Summer means pool, beach, surf, sand, and for some, really frizzy hair!

Recently I went for my quarterly Brazilian Blowout to kick off the season and battle my frizz. My stylist and I began discussing the Japanese Hair Straightening treatment. Mind you, I get the Brazilian Blowout once per quarter (it lasts about 12 weeks) so it seems like a logical next step to do something that lasts longer, but I could not help but wonder why when the Japanese Treatment came to the beauty market in the 1990s, I decided to skip it, so I dove in deep.

Here’s what I learnt….


About hair



Hair texture is determined by your genetics

My Mom has crazy hair, her Mom had crazy hair; so here I am – with crazy hair. Your hair follicle will determine if your hair is straight, wavy or curly. The density and coarse nature of the hair is also determined by those tiny follicles in your scalp. For frizzy haired folks, I picture a really tight angry situation in that follicle. From that space, the hair strand grows and often it is the case with frizzy hair, the strand itself is not only coarse, but porous. As a result, locks will absorb humidity and expand, because the hair strand is filling up with moisture from the air.
Add coloring agents, which makes strands more porous and you will find yourself with some crazy, difficult to manage hair (to be polite).

I weighed my ponytail; it weighs 3 pounds in the summer. That is how much my hair expands.


The Brazilian Blowout

Candidates seeking frizz-free, shiny and manageable hair, who wish to keep the option for waves, should look into this treatment. This can be performed on every hair type (fine, coarse, frizzy or curly) and hair condition (damage, color, relaxants) after an evaluation with a Brazilian Blowout Certified Stylist. Check ( for a list.

The Brazilian Blowout claims to work best on chemically treated hair because the treatment infuses amino acids to each strand. I can attest to this personally, as I’m not a natural blonde (gasp). Hair will retain volume, so you won’t have to worry about looking like you were a cast member on ‘The Addams Family’.

What to expect with the Brazilian Blowout


Your Stylist will assess your hair and determine what result you want to achieve. Your hair will be cleansed with a special Ionic Cleanser, towel dried and then lathered with a smoothing solution from the root to the tip.
Your hair will then be blown dry, and your stylist will use a flat iron to seal in the solution.
Your hair will then be rinsed, a conditioning masque will be applied to set the hair to its natural pH (between 4.5 and 5.5 in case you wondered).

Smoothing serum is applied and then hair is blown dry again and styled.
This process can take anywhere from 80 – 120 minutes depending on length and hair texture.
You can wash your hair the next day, I choose to wait a day or so to really let all the product sit and do it’s magic.
Your home care requires the use of a sulphate free shampoo.

The results are incredible. My drying time gets cut to 20 minutes vs. the standard 60 minutes.

It washes out over time, since it is semi permanent, and then when it is out, and you can tell when it is; it’s time to go again.  The cost ranges from $120 – $350.

Brazilian Blowout Before & After



The Japanese Hair Treatment


Japanese Straightening Before (top) & After (bottom)

A candidate with wavy, coarse or curly hair is made “pin straight” via a thermal reconditioning process that breaks down the protein bonds in the hair. Hair condition is a bit dicier with this treatment and a thorough assessment of past chemicals on the hair must be assessed by the stylist.  If approved, candidates will have sleek, frizz free, easy to manage hair.

Before (L) & After {R}


What to expect with the Japanese Hair Treatment

Following a consultation, the process will begin with a shampoo and a partial blow dry. A solution is applied. If you have coloring agent on-board, a strand test will be performed. If that passes the test, the treatment continues with a solution made of disulphide and cystine that chemically alters the protein bonds.

Hair is then ironed, a neutralizer is applied and left on to restore the pH of the hair and then the hair is blow dried.
Candidates are not to wash, wet, sweat or even put hair in a ponytail for 48 – 72 hours.
Check out the for a list of providers.


Japanese Straightening Before & After

You will only have to return for touch ups within 6 – 9 months for the service. This treatment is permanent. So, all of the hair that is treated will stay straight. This means that re-growth texture will not match the treated hair.
The initial service can take anywhere from 4 – 8 hours and costs vary from $400 – $1000.


The Verdict

If you one of the few with treatment-naive or ‘virgin hair’ and don’t mind re-growth frizziness, try out the Japanese treatment.

For the rest of you, go for the Brazilian Blowout.

Good thing summer time is ‘easy breezy’, because summer hair can be a real pain!




Author’s Biography
Angela Ranieri joins us as Contributing Editor with an extensive background in Fashion, Beauty and Digital Media. She has worked with PRADA USA Corp., Jurlique, Amore Pacific and the New York Daily News in management capacities including Marketing, Client Relations, Employee Relations and Training Management. She has authored and published the column, “Ask Angela,” featured on the Amore Pacific USA website. Her beauty advice has been featured in Shape and Fitness Magazines and CBS News.

She is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Writing. Angela also has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, her Market Research on the Electric Car was published for University use.

Angela is currently creator of Circuit Cosmetics, a Brand Ambassador for luxury beauty line, Patchology, an On Air Guest for QVC and blogger for

In her spare time you can find Angela running, spinning, practicing yoga or getting beautified. She resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her Husband, Son, and Chihuahuas.

About Angela Ranieri

Contributing Author on AlphaLuxe web magazine. View all posts by Angela Ranieri →

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