Brazilian Keratin Treatment FAQ

Still thinking of going for the Brazilian Keratin Treatment? All in all, it’s a toxic treatment in my book, but here are some FAQ’s you might find helpful when considering your options.

Is it approved by the FDA? No. No way. You should really stop reading right now. That sentence sums up the entire article, but if you are still interested, keep reading.

A Brazilian Keratin Treatment (BKT) can be used on every hair type whether natural or chemically enhanced. This includes virgin hair, color-treated hair, Japanese straightened hair, relaxed hair, permed hair, highlighted hair, gray hair. The results will last longer on ‘non-virgin’ (translation: porous/damaged) hair. Sure, so your hair can soak up more of the toxic chemicals. Who wouldn’t want that? Me!

It is not a relaxer, it’s a chemical treatment (with Formaldehyde with a capital “F”) that straightens your hair. Read more about the dangerous risks of a BKT treatment here.

If you are coloring your hair, you should color your hair first, then get the BKT. If you want to color your hair after a BKT, you must wait at least two weeks. Assuming you don’t have any issues from breathing in all of those toxic fumes and have a Doctor’s appointment instead.

To help protect your hair against any dryness during the treatment our friendly hairstylist, Dave, gave us a great tip! About 1 week before your keratin treatment use the Maijan Pure Organic Argan Oil infused with Grapeseed Oil as a deep oil treatment. This will help reduce breakage and keep your hair shiny and silky!

If you’re cutting your hair, wait until after the treatment. Sure, why not sit around having more hair straightened to cut it off right after? Great idea.

It can be done on anyone over six years of age. Assuming they know all the risks of getting a chemical treatment that is loaded with potential risks (including cancer) due to the toxic Formaldehyde fumes. I’m sure kids like that…NOT!

While getting the BKT you should wear a mask and keep your eyes closed during the entire blow drying session due to the large amounts of (potentially toxic) Formaldehyde fumes. Great huh? A MASK. Why are you even still reading this?

After the treatment you must wait 4 full days before doing anything to your hair. This includes washing, wetting, using any type of hair products, wearing a ponytail, headband, etc. Nothing can be done to the hair until after 4 days – this will allow the hair to ‘set’. I’m sure you’ll smell nice and Formaldehyde-y by then, people at work will love you. And best of luck taking a shower and not getting your hair wet without tying it up, pulling it back or twisting it.

If for some reason your hair does get wet you must blow dry it immediately. This of course will subject you to more toxic Formaldehyde fumes. Toxic bonus!

After your 4 day ‘sentence’ feel free to treat your hair as you normally would. Wash it, wet it, go swimming, go nuts with the ponytails, whatever floats your boat. At least you’ll be washing off the Formaldehyde.

Your BKT will last anywhere from 2 to 4 months depending on your hair type. Like I mentioned above, it works longer on ‘non-virgin’ hair. But I’ll bet the potential dangers will last way longer than that.

After your BKT make sure you wash with a Sodium Chloride free shampoo. Sure, they’ll smother and cover you in Formaldehyde but stay far away from the Sodium Chloride – that’ll keep you safe…NOT.

The best part? Aside from the fabulous danger your putting yourself in, of course, the entire treatment must be done again after the 2-4 month time frame. No touch ups. The whole entire process. YAY, more Formaldehyde.

Looking for a better and safer alternative?  There are many formaldehyde free keratin treatments like Coppola Keratin Complex, Rejuvenol, and Global Keratin Treatments which are a safer alternative to the Brazilian Straightening!  Yes there is an alternative to the nasty fumes!

Check out our picks for the best flat irons to use when doing and maintaining your keratin treatment.

I find this You Tube video frightening…and I’m sure the stylist doesn’t know that she should be wearing a mask as well.

Still thinking of getting a Brazilian Keratin Treatment? Me neither.


  56 comments for “Brazilian Keratin Treatment FAQ

  1. Renee
    June 15, 2011 at 11:45 am

    lol at all the people not bathing because of this treatment. It’s called a BATH, people !

  2. Rachel
    August 21, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Hello! I am African-American with 4a-4c type hair I believe, well basically my hair has small tight curls. I have relaxed hair and less than an inch of natural new growth. I want to discontinue using a relaxer or perm altogether and grow my hair out naturally. However, I do not want to do the big chop. I don’t want to cut off The relaxed ends until my hair grows at to the height it is now which is below shoulders. I’m am highly interested in a keratin treatment that is Hyde- family free that will help both hair textures to coexist and grow out heathy. Please offer me your best suggestions as far as treatments, aftercare, etc. Let me know what you think would be the best thing for me I would prefer asking you versus another stylist because I know you are good at what you do as far as research. Please offer your thoughts.
    Oh and just so that I come across clear, I would like to grow my hair out naturally and little by little cut the relax ends off. I know you’re probably saying in your head that the keratin treatment is a contradiction to growing my hair out naturally because it not completely natural but I understand that the treatment is not permanent compared to a relaxer, perm, texturizer or Japanese straightener. Am I wrong? I figure if I use the treatment (well one you recommend) to straighten or loosen natural curls I can reduce breakage or stop damage completely as my hair grows out because like I said earlier I understand that I would have two different textures in my hair but I would like to find a solution that would help them to coexist so I can reduce damage and or breakage to my hair and so I would not have to do the big chop but rather i could cut the hair gradually as it grows little by little. I’m hoping that with this method I’d have a full natural head of shoulder length hair in about 3 years or so. Hopefully this post helps you to understand what I am looking for rather than confuse you. Thank you so much!!!

  3. sama
    April 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    hiii… i checked sunliss’s website and their treatments are supposed to be formaldehyde free… how can i be sure that it is??? since many brands say its formaldehyde free but then was proven that they still have a small amount of if ???

  4. sama
    April 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    ok heres another question… are there any alternatives for keratin??? i have curly hair and i just want to loosen them and to have wavy ones not all straight.. im like 3a (my virgin hair, before any keratin) and want to have 2b foreverrrrrr would be great… i dont care about harsh chemicals that damage my hair as long as their somehow safe and look natural in a way… ive done the keratin treatment 6 times now and i loved it but i dont think ill be doing it again because of all these things to say about the formaldehyde…

  5. Juliana
    June 10, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    This treatment is Great, tomorrow is the third time I am gonna do that in my hair, it is not that bad, doesn’t smell bad, and nowadays you can wash off the product righ after the professional apply in your hair. Look for hairdresses updated about this kind of products, if you guys want, I have one in Florida (Brazilian), that use this one, you can wash off in the same day, and the results are perfect!

  6. Lisa
    June 17, 2009 at 12:43 am

    I am dying to do this treatment. I couldnt see the website / product you recommend. would you mind sending me this information? thank you

  7. Robin Baker
    June 29, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Not knowing what I now know, I had one done for my daughter before going off to camp. She is 13 and even though there was a fan and ventilation, her eyes stung and teared the whole time, her throat hurt and eventually her stomach began to hurt. We will not be repeating this experience–that’s for sure!!!

    p.s. For the privilege of this poisonous treatment, we got to pay $430!

    p.p.s. Has any one heard of a product called Miss Jesse’s ????

  8. Christine
    August 16, 2009 at 2:14 am

    i was wondering what salon do you work at because i was thinking about getting a keratin hair treatment. I heard that there is one that doesn’t remove all your curls, but it removes the frizz.. Do you do this treatment??

  9. August 26, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Yes Jennifer,
    You are right. there are strong regulations in place in brazil due to the popularity of this product. I personally have used sunliss before and I LOVE it. you can get it from or ebay.

  10. Lisa Rampelli
    November 10, 2009 at 10:31 am

    I just got the Keratin treatment done in Jersey, my hair has never looked this good. Totally worth the money and not even as much $$ as other places I’ve heard about. Call Hair Quest 201-854-7968, and ask to speak to Al. The product they use is formaldahyde free and my hair has never looked this tamed and even after I wash it, I just have to let it air dry and it stays in amazing condition.

  11. Camil Itanny
    September 19, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Yes, randi, your hair will gain the waves again… But te best thing is that you can blow dry it in 10% of the time it took you before… In my case I used to blow my hair for 45 minutes!!!!
    it was a hassle… now I do it in 5-10 minutes and it looks like I spent an hour in the best salon in town…
    The brand I prefer is sunliss I normally buy it from their site: and then I take it to my stylist. – he normally charges me $110 for the application.

  12. Sara
    October 4, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    I wish i had read this article yesterday. Today i had this done. as soon as i got to the place which looked like a barber shop, i wanted to get ot.. the kept telling me their had no formaldehyde… i stayed ! the fume was so bad my eyes were burning, around my face and scalp is very sensitive and has a tingly effect. I my legs are week…

    How can i remove this from my hair? please anyone know tell me.

  13. Chris
    October 8, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Where in Florida is the best place to go ? I live in Central Florida and have highlighted hair?

  14. Valerie Conger
    January 29, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    The formaldehyde IS the active ingredient that makes the product work. NOT the keratin that so many companies claim. Certification is just another way for the companies to make more $$. We are hairdressers! We KNOW how to apply product in the hair, dry and flat iron. We can also follow directions! Why would they charge outrageous fees to sell their product? To line their pockets some more. Same thing with eyelash extensions. Watch the videos on how to do it when you get your products and we can handle the rest. Certifications not needed. I’ve been doing hair for 20 years in SW Florida and educate and research all the time. Do not take the manufacturers word. Research yourself. “ONLY” 2% Formaldehyde is ALOT of formaldehyde!

  15. Valerie Conger
    January 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Don’t be mad at her, she was only listening to her sales rep. That is what they tell everyone. What she did wrong was that she didn’t do any further research and she believed her rep. I have heard the BKT companies at the hair show say ‘no chemicals and formaldehyde free’ and I looked on the ingredients and it says ‘formalin’ which is a form of formaldehyde. When heated it turns into formaldehyde gas. Valerie – SW Florida.

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