City Guinea – Brazilian Hair Straightening

The Brazilian Hair Straightening treatment is a mild temporary chemical treatment enriched with Keratin that de-frizzes and straightens unruly hair. It has been around in the Americas for many years however it has also been subject to much controversy because it contains formaldehyde. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA does not regulate the use of formaldehyde in cosmetic products which means formaldehyde is present in many of them. Make sure you do your research before having the treatment done.

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If you’re hair is anything like mine then you probably own every anti-frizz product available, a GHD, an ionic blow dryer and have tried all sorts of ‘straightening’ treatments.

If you’re hair is anything like mine then you probably own every anti-frizz product available, a GHD, an ionic blow dryer and have tried all sorts of ‘straightening’ treatments. I have been straightening my hair for almost 17 years and have had some good and many terrible experiences ranging from hair loss to breakage. This is mainly the reason I stopped chemically straightening my hair a couple of years ago.

I have tight curls and to make matters worse very fine hair. This means that although serums, a blow drier and my GHD usually give me good enough results any moisture whatsoever frizzes it up undoing the 35-minute effort (GHD is still to come up with a mini wireless version!)

Having considered the Yoko for some time but not convinced with its ‘permanent’ nature (new growth=curly roots…) I was thrilled to hear about the Brazilian Keratin treatment; a semi permanent, progressive treatment which does not damage the hair (actually conditions it) and gradually washes out.

Having done my research I booked my appointment at Joshua Altback, one of the few salons (if not the only one) in London to offer the treatment. Joshua is an award-winning stylist and his salon has done the treatment to over 500 customers.

I arrived promptly at 11 for my appointment and was greeted by Marina, the lovely Brazilian who specialises in the treatment at the salon. Marina explained a little about the treatment and the products (also Brazilian) and made sure I had no questions before starting.

The first step was to wash my hair thoroughly; Marina then applied the treatment to all the hair and left it to work for 15 minutes. The solution is quite strong (eyes can sting) so I suggest you don’t wear contacts. After that Marina prepared to blow dry my hair (solution is not washed out). She wore a mask to avoid inhaling the fumes and gave me something to cover my face when she did the front part.

Once my hair was dry she started ironing it taking very small parts at a time; this is when I could fully appreciate how straight & shiny my hair looked (v. exciting!).

During the process Marina explained a few Rules I would have to follow after the treatment:

•    The hair cannot be washed, get wet or be tied (not even hair pins) for 3 days following the treatment.
•    If it does by any chance get wet you should dry it immediately and use your straightening iron to smooth it. This is very important.
•    When you wake up make sure there are no ridges / marks on your hair from sleeping, you can use you straightening iron to fix them.
•    The hair can only be washed with sodium free shampoo; I suggest you buy it from the salon as it is difficult to find.
•    You can use any conditioner and all your normal products including serum except anti-frizz hair spray (you won’t need it anyway!)

So 3 days later I washed it for the first time…I was very pleased to see it didn’t curl back to its old self and, as instructed by Marina, I used the hairdryer and only used the brush when it was nearly dry. If you have curly hair you will understand my surprise when the finished product was shiny, straight hair!

To find out more and to book a free consultation go to

Brazilian Hair Straightening Summary

Would I recommend it?

Yes; I am thrilled with the results and will be going back in 3 months. It has been three weeks and I am frizz-free (priceless in this weather). The time it takes to dry my hair went from 35 mins to 15mins; I suggest you also have your hair shaped after (I wish I had!)

How much does it cost?

Prices vary depending on the length and thickness of your hair from £130 to £200 (WATC members will receive a 10% discount off their first visit; make sure you mention WATC when booking your appointment).

Can it be done on hair that has been previously chemically treated?

Yes. It actually works better on treated than on virgin hair. It will not damage your hair at all so it doesn’t matter if I has been coloured etc.

How straight is the hair after?

Mine went from very curly & frizzy to wavy when wet and very straight when blow-dried. Once I dry it, the hair has body and some waves in what were the curliest parts. It is exceptionally shiny and needs very little in terms of products.

How long does it take?

Up to 2 hours.

How long does it last?

Up to 4 months depending on how often you wash it and each time you have it done it lasts a bit longer. The treatment also last longer if you wash your hair with sodium free shampoo; you can get it at the salon.

After effects?

No negative ones. The treatment improves the condition of the hair as it is keratin based, so it also works as a intensive conditioning treatment.

Does it work on all types of hair?

It is best to book a free consultation to make sure you have the right expectations; for example, although it does not straighten afro hair, it will help relax it and make the curls softer and easier to deal with.

Tel: 0207 722 1225
Email: [email protected]

About the author

City Guinea is one of many. She will try anything and gives us the results here. Find out more about how she has been poked, prodded and dated in her articles

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