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. Formaldehyde is not a dirty word
    November 2, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I really don’t understand why some people respond so dramatically to Formaldehyde (even with the capital “F”). I just got one of these treatments done and it is amazing. I held a towel over my mouth and never noticed a thing. Not one bad smell. Also, I am in grad school working on a degree that has me in the lab all the time, where I am surrounded by . . . Formaldehyde!!! If anyone is going to get cancer its med students who spend hours with cadavers that reek of formaldehyde. Trust me, no one is getting cancer from these hair treatments. In fact, I believe my hair treatment has actually made me healthier. I no longer blow dry my hair every morning. Which means I get an extra hour of sleep everyday (huge health plus!!) and I love my hair now, so less worry and stress! I feel great about my hair and a positive attitude adds years to your life!!!

  2. Emote. Really.
    November 15, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Sooo… you’re all for the BKT, then?

  3. Melissa Lindo
    November 25, 2009 at 12:52 am

    I usually research something to death before I try it but in this case I didn’t. I trusted that my hairdressor was telling me the truth that the BKT did not contain chemicals. It did contain formaldahyde. I asked to see the bottle after she had applied the treatment and it burned my scalp, eyes and throat. No chemicals my ass! I am soo furious that she would betray my trust when she knows I am very health conscious and have super sensitive skin. I guess I can only live and learn. Hopefully my hair doesnt fall out, I dont develop cancer or any more skin issues! I was not even told to close my eyes or cover my mouth!

  4. Charlene
    December 15, 2009 at 5:11 am

    I left my treatment only for three days according to my hair stylist, will this be enough time for the treatment to settle.

    Also they said I can tie up my hair with a material band but not a rubber band, will this also be a problem for the treatment to settle or what is the reason that no clips ect. may be used?

    Please Respond to my questions.

    Kind Regards

  5. January 14, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Where can have the Sunliss keratin done?
    My best friend from Australia and did it and her hair looks wonderful!

  6. d~
    January 31, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    treatment on very processed hair ,even though they claiair ,,which was a light silver gray…We had recently done a color correction on this client to remove the dyes from her and match thIm a stylist and refering to the comment made by Lucy on March 30th 2009.. I have been a hairdresser for over twenty years,, I also agree that this Keratin straightening is and can be an amazing blessing for many people out there. I have been certified to do this treatment by attending 6 hour certifcation course , which they introduced and instructed us how to use the product and this revolutionary new process…. I have had much success with this process and alot of very happy clients, but I have also experienced some major issues with the product as well.. In this class ,the company instructed us to use an flatiron not less then 450 degrees or the product may not take to the hair ( if cautious use 425 degrees but no less) and are supposed to flatiron each section of the hair ten times at the shaft and maybe 3-5 times towards the ends …..They also claimed that the more chemically treated the hair is the better the treatment works.. And used a model with bleached blond double processed hair …Well Ive used this product on very chemically treated hair, which is supposed to be the best canidate for this treatment .. I have to say I had a hard time using such high heat on bleached hair so I turned the temp on the iron down ,almost 100 degrees when working on this type of hair, and still experienced synging on the ends..
    As of late ,I had a client experience an extreme yellowing of the he natural pattern of the different shades of gray…She was growing out color to go back to her natural heavily silver with dark pepper gray mostly in the back … Again , turning the temp down from 450 to 350 degrees knowing the history of the chemicals in the hair… and as I passed the iron down the hairshaft one time , then two times ,the hair had turned a bright yellow tone, even on the natural hair close to the scalp..I didnt continue to pass it the ten times required worrying about what it might do to the hair after any more of the exposure to the heat .. I dont know why this happend .. Ive seen this treatment done on many highlited and over processed hair without the color changing so radically….So I personally will not do or recommend to do this m it works best on this hair .. I think its a very new technology ,not a bad one for most clients ,but still in the experimental state..We dont really know what kind of reaction certain chemicals used prior to this service can have an unexpected reaction with this particular product… So even the experienced stylist ,in reference to Alan
    The company supplying the product “Coppolla” is very vague on details or even the ingredients that are used to make this product, a supposingly formaldahyde free product.. The product is shipped to us sometimes in different consistancies , sometimes thick, sometimes liquidy and runny ..
    I really love the result of this procedure in most circumstances, but just be weary of extremely processed hair,,,

  7. Lisa
    February 1, 2010 at 9:36 am

    The Brazilian Keratin Treatment I used was “organic.” Does that mean no Formaldehyde? They claimed it didn’t have it, but you never know….

  8. Alison
    March 21, 2010 at 12:30 am

    I am thinking about getting this treatment done, but I was wondering if it permanently straightens your hair? I love my curls, and simply want to have straighter/sleeker hair for a while. However, I want my curls to come back in full effect eventually. Will this treatment permanently change my hair?? Please tell me how the after effects are if one does not want to reapply the treatment after the 4 months. Thank you!

  9. Susy
    March 23, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Not all Keratin treatments contain high amounts of Formaldehyde, Obviously the writer is not aware that several nail products, coffee, even McDonalds food contains this… which I am sure after reading that the writer will now swear of coffee. and everything else that has this horrible toxin. I have done the Coppolla Keratin treatment, I went 3 days not 4 without washing my hair… i was able to get away with a bit of dry shampoo on the third day… and no smell from the Formaldehyde. Do not try doing this yourself no a 6 year old can not do it as there are several important steps and its best to go to a proffessional, and if your hair happens to get a bit wet from rain or whatever its best to flat iron the hair not blow dry… Keratin treatment is the best thing I have done for my hair, its not nearly as damaging as relaxer or even highlights if done properly, my hair is now healthy and frizz free after years of hasseling with frizzy curly hair this is a life saver, my hair is still wavy (I did the conditioning treatment not the relaxing) and not frizzy. If I choose to blow it out my hair can be blown out in minutes :o)

  10. Susy
    March 23, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    *hair can be blown out in 15 minutes

  11. Bianca Anderson
    April 6, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    I saw in Sunliss website that they are comming out with their new generation of keratin treatments…
    I have used this product before and it really works but the most important thing, is that it is SAFE.

    For all of you outhere that are thinking on diong it, I honestly recommend this brand… be smart and safe. go with a good brand… after all its your head.

    • admin
      April 7, 2010 at 11:14 am

      Yes I have heard this. I will definitely do some research on this.

  12. May 16, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    I Have not had the treatment. My hairstylist is trying to convince me I have the perfect hair for this treatment. Color,highlighted,wavy/curly ,a little frizzy, especially in the summer. I’m told I will not loose all my curl,and will loose all the frizz. My main concern. What happen as you hair grow out. Do you need to have the treatment as often as you color? I’d appreciate any input.

  13. elizabeth
    May 20, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    just in case you all were interested….there is formaldehyde in almost all products. and if anyone smokes, well guess what…your sucking it in anyway….I bet no one knew that though….how about when you color your hair? ever read whats on the back of the label? Enjoy your life, be happy and all is well. :)

  14. jane
    August 3, 2010 at 9:07 am

    this article is incredible biased and over-dramatic.

    yes, elizabeth – formaldehyde is actually everywhere. in walls, cigarettes, floors, window treatments, etc.

    the author of this article is paranoid and pessimistic.

  15. jane
    August 3, 2010 at 9:07 am


  16. Hazel
    August 12, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Does somebody heard a brazilian keratin tratment named softliss?

  17. August 23, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    I have frizzy FINE hair. My stylist is recommending BKT to help frizz and cut done on blow drying and flat ironing.
    I am concerned about hair loss and breakage.
    Help!!!! Anyone had BKT done that has the fine/frizzy thing going on? How did it turn out….would you do it again?

  18. Donna
    September 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I had the Brazilian Blow Dry and some of it got on my forehead, that was 8 months ago. So far I have a permenant red blotch which is constantly peeling and flaking, it itches as well. My hair dresser asked me what my dermatologist said. What an idiot, she wears gloves then tells me that the product is natural. I should go to the dermatologist and then give her the bill. The BKT can ruin your skin!!!! Try a different brand. There are alternatives that don’t permenantly damage your skin.

  19. Cindy Gram
    October 20, 2010 at 5:41 am

    I had a treattment from a company called Londonblow, my hair has starrted to fall out and I suffered chronic nausea for 2 days after.

  20. moara
    May 1, 2011 at 5:42 am

    The mask that the client in the video is wearing does absolutely nothing to block formaldehyde. The formaldehyde gas molecules are small enough to pass right through it. This is the mask I wear when I work with formaldehyde as a scientist.

    To all the people saying that can’t be bad, because it makes their hair look great… you’re missing the point. It’s a seriously harsh chemical. It works so well because it chemically alters the proteins in your hair. That’s also why it significantly increases your chances of getting cancer. 20 years from now, those of you with brain tumours are going to be seriously regretting all your years of beautiful hair.

    Also, be careful with the keratin treatments which bill themselves as “Formaldehyde-free” They don’t work very well, because they don’t have the active chemical in them, so some hairdressers add extra formaldehyde to the mix themselves, so their customers don’t complain.

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