I’ve been hearing a lot about a process that treats your hair with Keratin to smooth the cuticles and create beautiful straight strands for months! I have to say, I’m certainly considering having a treatment done but I wanted to find out a little more about it so I asked Stacey Zayas, owner of Ritual Salon in San Diego, CA to comment on the treatment.

I’ve been hearing a lot about Brazilian Keratin Hair Treatment lately. Can you tell me what it is?

Keratin is a type of protein high in Sulfur and the amino acid cystine, making it tough, elastic and insoluble. These qualities are fundamental to the strong structural role keratin often plays in nature. It is a major component of horns, hooves and wool. In fact, keratin is the main protective substance in our hair, skin and nails. Keratin is difficult to extract without damaging the cystine, or sacrificing potency. But Keratec® has discovered how to do this in a gentle, patented process.

Our keratin is derived from pure wool harvested from New Zealand sheep. The wool comes from an agricultural sector guaranteed to be free from BSE and other disease-related substances present in other parts of the world.

No animals are harmed throughout the Keratec TM process.

How does it work?

When it comes to keratin, tough is good. Its strong protective qualities improve the hair both inside and out. Our unique biopolymer ingredient is virtually a “liquid form of hair” that gently blends with the hair on your head. It brings to hair what it was lacking to begin with and what it has lost over the years.

Is the hair dull, dry and damaged? Is it curly, wavy, frizzy, overly voluminous or unmanageable? Application of our keratin treatment puts an end to all that.

The smaller keratin molecules penetrate the hair cortex improving and repairing the quality of the hair from the inside. The added strength, elasticity and moisture results in the smooth, soft, shiny and straightened affect.

The larger molecules coat the hair cuticle and take the environmental insults such as UV rays, smog, and smoke for your hair on the outside. Further damage to the hair shaft is prevented.

How long can I expect my salon visit to take when receiving the treatment on shoulder length hair? About 2hr.

How does an in-salon treatment compare to a DIY like Liquid Karatin 30 Day Starter Kit?

Well, like any home DIY product, it is very hard to do a thorough job yourself. You can expect the home process to take about 2 hr. Like any do it yourself home color, it’s just never as good. A salon treatment will last 3-4 month the DIY will only last 1 month.

What can I expect to pay to get my shoulder length hair treated?

About $250

How would this treatment benefit a busy mom?

It will cut your blow dry time in half. Most mom’s do not need to blow dry their hair at all after the treatment.

So, with this treatment, can a woman let her hair dry naturally and expect straight hair during the 3-4 months post treatment?
You can let your hair dry on its own and it will be smooth and frizz free. If you like your hair to be pin straight you might have to blow dry,It depends on how curly your hair is and how straight you want it.

Can it be applied to color treated hair?

Yes it works best on chemical treated hair.

Can an expecting mom get the treatments?

Not recommended.

How can I find a salon near my hometown that offers the BKT?

I would Google Brazilian Keratin Treatment in your area.

Do stylists have to go through special training to give the BKT?

Yes, they should be certified.

Does the treatment grow out like a perm does so the ends remain straight as the curl grows in with new growth? Or, does the hair gradually return to it’s normal state over time?
The treatment will gradually and evenly wear off the hair in about 3 to 4 months.

Here is a before and after picture so you can see the dramatic difference in how your hair would look:

before BKTAfter BKT

Results are stunning aren’t they?  I’m almost convinced to spend the money if it means not having to blow my hair straight with every washing!  It sounds like a fairytale come true for me!

However, I still have some more investigating to do as I’ve read there are similar treatments and I’d like to find out the differences. I’ll bring you my findings soon! Until then, if you have any questions about BKT, check out Ritual Salon‘s website or call Stacey with your questions!

Since publishing this piece, I’ve learned that the BKT does have some downtime of several days, meaning you can not wash your hair, wear it in a ponytail or even put sunglasses on top of your head as dents may be formed. Ohh, not good. It also contains formaldehyde, which some people are allergic to. There are options available if these conditions don’t work for you.

Related posts:


TAMMY GIBSON, founder of A Mom in Red High Heels, is a God-loving, coffee-drinking, heel-wearing, wife and mom offering up her best tips to help women look and feel fabulous so they can achieve their biggest dreams.


  1. Looking forward to hearing more. This would be worth it. I hate blow drying my hair straight!

  2. Wow, so glad you did this post… I’ve been dying to know how this works! I can’t believe it works on dyed hair? I always thought I couldn’t use these kind of treatments since my hair has highlights and color in it…wish I could do this!
    Now if only I lived in a place where they did this treatment (and did it well)…

  3. Tammy

    Bailey, you are going to NY next month! Ask DM to hook you up with someone they recommend in NY! (unless you are going to be nursing your new baby girl- then you’ll have to wait).

  4. Wow, the BEFORE and AFTER pics look great. Wonder how much it costs in my city…

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  7. I started doing the Brazilian Keratin treatment two years ago. A month ago, I found that it had strong chemicals such as formol (more than the approved amount by the FDA). I decided to try yesterday the Brazilian Blowout which claims to be formol-free. During the application, my eyes got irritated (just like with the Brazilian Keratin Treatment by Marcia) and it smelled. I washed my hair as soon as I came home. Today, a day later, I’ve felt my scalp tingling and as if there was ice on it – an odd feeling. Does anyone know what ingredients have been substituted for the formol to straighten the hair? Are they just as bad as the original straightening?

  8. Tammy

    In the following article, Jordana explains that the Brazilian Blowout (TM) contains a chemical cousin, also in the ‘hyde’ family, and therefore can cause irritation in some individuals.

    She suggests an alternative for those experiencing irritation called the Formaldehyde-Free Global Keratin Treatment. You can read about it here:

    I hope this information helps answer your concerns! If you have more questions, you can contact Jordana directly at jordanalorraine@gmail.com. She has been terrific at answering my questions and those of other readers. 🙂

  9. Tammy, YOU ARE THE BEST!!! Thanks for th quick response – very, very helpful! I’m going to try to use the formolhyde-free product – Global Keratine.
    Thank YOU thank you so much!

  10. Tammy

    Me too! the BB made me tear uncontrollably! But I do love the results and would be willing to do it again. First, however I will try the GKT and see how it compares 🙂 Let me know how you like it!

  11. My daughter had a straightening treatment in Japan about a year and a half ago. I would like to know if it’s the same treatment as the BKT or the blowout. Her hair was super straight and shiny. It was just beautiful. The only problem was that it tangled quite badly. So bad in fact. that she ended up having about 6 or 8 inches cut off. Could this be the same treatment?

  12. Tammy

    Narla, the BKT, Brazilian Blowout and Global Keratin Treatment are all semi-permanent hair straighteners. This means they gradually fade out of your hair, returning it to it’s original texture. From what I understand of Japanese straighteners, they are permanent and grow out like a perm.

    My Keratin Treatment expert, Jordana, has a great comparison chart that compares Japenese Straighteners to Keratin Treatments. I hope it will help you:

  13. Narla, I agree with Tammy, and would guess your daughter had a Japanese treatment such as Yuko System, which changes the structure of the hair permanently and compromises its strength. Did it look beautiful, but maybe a little too straight, and stayed that way even as roots grew in? Was the process 3-4 hours long? Depending on her hair texture, there is a good chance she could get a similar but more natural-looking and healthier results from a keratin treatment such as Brazilian Blowout or Global Keratin. There is more body left in the hair and as Tammy said, it is semi-permanent and fades away slowly.


  14. Hi Ladies, I just want to share my experience:

    I have really tight curly blond hair. Always have envied girls with silky long hair, and the easiness they have to brush and get that Asian straight look.

    Well, 6 months ago my twin sister (same kind of hair) came from FL to visit me. Let me tell you, she looked FABULOUS! her hair was shinny, and unbelievably smooth!!! She recommended me a Brazilian keratin called Sunliss. She has tried many brands before but said that this was second to none. So I went and bought it directly from their site and took it to my stylist. There are no words to describe how my hair looked, before and after. I would have been the perfect candidate for those types of pictures LOL. Anyhow, after the treatment I can blower my hair in literally 7 minutes giving that $100.00 dollar blower in the best salon in Manhattan. Seriously, 7 minutes! that is the best part, and more when I’m not a morning person and any minute I can save to sleep a little longer is precious…

    In the past 6 months I have done this twice, the last application being 6 weeks ago. They claim that its safe and I really hope so. Sunliss is very popular in South America and Europe. I love this product and want to continue using it.

    Another great thing is that its progressive, so the more you use it, the better the absorption of keratin in your hair will be.

    Feel free to ask me questions about it



  15. Tammy

    Thanks for bringing another keratin treatment to our attention! I like that it is Formaldehyde- free! I can’t wait to hear if Jordana has any experience with this product 🙂

  16. Thank you, Taty!

    I have looked over the site and contacted them to learn more. I did notice that they make their treatment with or without formaldehyde; which one did you buy? The one which contains it is called “Ultra,” because it is stronger and probably lasts longer. What kind of ventilation did the stylist use in the area she performed it? Did you experience any eye irritation? I hope I’m not asking too many questions…

  17. Hi Jordana!

    I read in their website that all their treatments have 0% formaldehyde. I had the Ultra applied because of my hair type. My stylist started with a little fan which I told her to turn off after a while. I didn’t think it was necessary… She has a big space though. During the flat ironing part, I did see vapor coming out which got my eyes a little watery but nothing unmanageable. This is normal right?

  18. Hi Taty,

    I misread the website and would like to CORRECT my previous statement; both treatments by Sunliss are FORMALDEHYDE-FREE. The ingredient they use in place of it is the same one used in Brazilian Blowout (http://amominredhighheels.com/stop-battling-frizz-brazilian-blowout/), however the latter has the benefit of being rinsed off and then styled during your appointment, so you see the results immediately. This is especially exciting on the first visit!

    Your eye sensitivity is not abnormal with this ingredient, it occurs in maybe 10% of clients. The fan probably would have helped keep the vapors away from your face, and I would recommend letting her keep it on in the future for your comfort. In my salon, we use special air filters for both the clients’ comfort and the stylists’ safety (considering that while you do this a few times a year I do it 5-10 times a week).

    So did your stylist just do this for you, or did she buy the bottle and start offering the service? I would be curious to speak with her about it on a professional level, if you wouldn’t mind pointing her in my direction. http://www.jordanalorraine.com (phone and email contact info there)

    Thank you for the information and for being open to questions!

  19. Two hours with Alan, and my life is forever changed! Situation: I have over-processed and damaged hair from necessary color, highlights, blow-drying (over an hour every time I washed my hair), ironing, etc., etc. Straighteners over the years? You name it, I’ve tried it, damaging my hair further. I went up to Alan’s and left with beautiful, silky, shiny hair. A few nights later, I walked the Highline near the river with some friends – walked for two hours, with the river winds blowing through my hair. Afraid to look in the mirror afterwards – it was still perfect (as it is, now, when I wake up in the morning). But the ultimate test (and resulting joy) was a few nights later when I went on a Blues Cruise on the Hudson River, something I’d avoided for 10 years in New York, knowing my hair would look like cotton candy ten minutes into the trip, spoiling the evening for me. Now? I am happy, happy, thrilled! My life no longer revolves around my hair. Thank you, Alan!

    Linda F., New York

  20. I’ve had the treatment done twice and I’ve discovered that the different products are definitely not equal. The first time I had it done, the sylist used Brazilian Blowout. My lungs hurt the next day and my eyes were burning for about a week. I couldn’t wear eye makeup or contact lenses for awhile. It also burned my skin without even touching it. My face was dry and flaking and felt sunburned for about a week. The results were nice, but not what I was hoping for. I was able to dry my hair quickly, but I had a lot of frizz if I let it air dry. Also, I felt it had worn off in about 5 weeks. So I did some research and decided to try sunliss and I decided to apply it myself because it didn’t seem that complicated. While I was doing the treatment I feared that my eyes would really be burning the next day because it was hard to position myself away from the fumes. But I had no reaction at all in my eyes, lungs or skin. Also, the treatment worked far better than the Brazilian Blowout. It still has body when I blow dry it, but I can air dry it now without having frizz. It also looks shinier and healthier than it did after Brazilian Blowout. It really was pretty easy to do it myself. But I’m glad I didn’t use Brazilian Blowout on myself because the chemicals are just too harsh to be working with in that way.

  21. @Alicia I am so sorry to hear about your experience. May I ask when you had the Brazilian Blowout? They have changed their formula a few times and have removed all aldehydes from the solution, but it sounds like you had an allergic reaction to something in it (most likely formaldehyde if it was the original formula, or the replacement).

    I will definitely agree that all keratin treatments are NOT equal. I’m glad that you have found one you like!

  22. I have been investigating about this treatment before I decide to do it. I need your opinions. This will be my first time experience. I have frizzy and thick curly/wave hair. I live in Orange County, California but I plan to stay at my boyfriend’s home in Chicago for 3 months this June. I’m considering that the weather in Chicago has a humid-heat summer. Also I will travel with my boyfriend on a Harley Davidson Motorcycle. I want to make sure that my hair will not be damaged and stay good healthy. I am worried about the formaldehyde allergy. I need to know how long the formaldehyde will be gone after BKT. I am not sure which Brazilian Blowout or Brazilian Keratin Treatments is the best for me. I need your advice without risk.

  23. @Ann I think we spoke this evening. If you are concerned about allergies, any stylist should be willing to perform an allergy test. This takes only a few minutes and should be free. BKT does last longer, which may be good or bad (you could get roots when it grows in). Also, you will have to wait 4 days before washing, wetting, ponytailing or clipping your hair. With Brazilian Blowout, there is no formaldehyde and no waiting, and the results will fade back to natural if you decide not to repeat the treatment.

    In any case, have a great trip!!!

  24. Veronica

    Can anyone recommend a salon in San Diego which uses the Sunliss products?

  25. WOW!
    I used the new choco product of Sunliss 3rd generation! and I am impressed! Sunliss is SECOND TO NONE!!!!! I love the new fragance too!
    is there any way I can show my pictures?

    To veronica: I actually bought it from their website and took it to Craig Michaels – my stylist.

  26. this kind of a late response, but I had the brazilian blowout done about 4 months ago.. Then sunliss done like a month and a half ago. I defintely prefer sunliss. The chemicals were less harsh and the results were far better and lasted longer. The difference is night and day.. I really don’t understand why anyone would use brazilian blowout. I guess they haven’t tried sunliss.

  27. I am a stylist in San Diego and have been doing the Keratin Treatments for over 3 years. I have use about all of them on the market. I always try any new products that come out so I can stay on top of the trend. With that being said I prefer the Brazilian blowout. I love the fact that the client leaves the salon with gorgeous hair and does not have to wait the 3 days to wash it. Also it does not contain any formaldehyde. The treatments that have formaldehyde need excellent ventilation and you need to use a fume extractor, which is very expensive and most salons do not use it. If you are shopping around, and you should, be sure to ask what products they will use on you, if they are certified and how well is their ventilation. Even with the Brazilian Blowout treatment . I hope this is helpful in choosing a salon/stylist

  28. Too hard to read because of your blog layout

  29. Sorry about that, it’s a temporary widget that will be down at the end of the month. In the meantime, you can close the Poppy widget (click the X at top of widget) to read the content!

  30. i just hade apearl keraTIN
    BUT THERE WAS SOME WAVES>>>my hair was frizzyand nowits wavy and shiny
    the salon lady advice me to repeated next week to remove this waves completely>>> she will do it free for me>>> but am not sure ?>>it wil affect my hair if repeated????? or its is un safe to repeated( notic that iwashed the keratinwithin 24 hrs as she told me THAT PEARL KERATIN IS ONLY FOR24 HRS NOT 3 DAYS!!!!please advice me ???

  31. I have heard that aldehydes, such as formaldehydes contained in the BKT-type products are linked to brain and nasal cancer. Does anyone know if this is true?

    I have also heard that the products which claim not to contain these ingredients, in fact, produce dangerous chemicals (aldehydes) when heated with the flat iron to 450 degrees.

    Also, some stylists wear a mask while performing these services while some don’t. If the stylist needs a mask, why doesn’t the client need one? How much exposure to these ingredients is dangerous?

    How safe is it to have these chemicals on your hair for the 24-72 hours that is recommended before the first washing?

    Any information you can share with me would be helpful,


  32. @Robin You raise some good questions. Part of the confusion is that many products are being lumped together into one category, when their ingredients, process and results are different. A stylist may choose to wear a mask with stronger treatments such as those containing formaldehyde because s/he works with them for several hours a week (where as you will be around them for a few hours, a few times a year) however if a client is interested in one and they obviously have them, one should be provided.

    I would suggest you look into Brazilian Blowout. It contains no aldehydes or carcinogens, does not require or recommend a mask for stylists or clients, and does not remain in the hair for 24-96 hours like most others. It is actually rinsed out during your visit, which also means no waiting period before you can work out, wear a ponytail, or wash your hair. You can read more here: http://amominredhighheels.com/big-news-brazilian-blowout-hydefree/

    With regard to potential health impact, I would think that stylists have much more to worry about than clients, due to more frequent exposure, but it is of course each person’s choice so if you are concerned, perhaps you should try fighting frizz on a daily basis with styling products such as Living Proof (available at Sephora) rather than with a long-term treatment.

    Best of luck with your research and our choice!

  33. How much would it cost if my hair is a little wavy and the length is only to my shoulders?

  34. I got my global brazilian keratin treatment today and am loving my hair!

    I did find out from my hair dresser that “brazilian blowout” is under a legal investigation right now because there is actually 12% formaldehyde in the product that is supposed to be formaldehyde free. I did have a bit of a reaction to the treatment with my eyes which my hair dresser told me was normal for a lot of people. She was also up front about the 2% of formaldehyde that was in the actual bottle itself that she used on my hair. you MUST find someone who is honest about it! make sure everything is properly ventilated and you’ll be fine.

    The down time is only 2 days where I can’t get my hair wet or pull it back in a ponytail. I made sure I wasn’t scheduled for work in these two days so I don’t screw it up. I have moderately wavy hair, with a lot of frizz (well i think its a lot), and about a 30 minute blowdrying time and a 10-15 minute flat ironing session, I needed to cut back so I can get more sleep because I’m definitely not a morning person.

  35. @Kelly I am glad you like your treatment. Global Keratin makes great products! But please be cautioned about putting too much stock in what one person (stylist, sales person, politician…) tells you about a competitor without researching it…see my next comment and its links.

    You mentioned proper ventilation; what kind of did your stylist use?

  36. @Paula

    First, let’s talk about math. A product which contains an ingredient at 8% is in no way “PURE”ly that ingredient. It is 8% that ingredient.

    Now, let’s talk about research, and accurate reporting (even if you’re just “reporting” it as a rumor/comment.) Did you read any other sides of this story, or just see one bad thing and decide to announce it?

    Lastly, let’s talk about science. If you had done research about this claim, you would have found some or all of the following links…

    A scientist/chemist explaining why tests by OSHA (which reported similar levels) are inaccurate:



    An explanation that trace amounts (which were revealed in accurate testing and reporting) may be present under a certain limit, in a product labeled “formaldehyde-free” (much like how a snack can be labeled “fat-free” if it contains less than .5g of fat per serving:)


    Excerpts from a new OSHA report on environmental testing (safety of the air during the process:)


    And most recently (11/3) a statement from Brazilian Blowout, that they have begun legal proceedings against OSHA for these false and damaging reports. I guess maybe the European Commission will be next:


    Remember that there are always at least two sides to every story. Oh, and that this post isn’t even about Brazilian Blowout, it’s about a treatment called Brazilian Keratin by Marcia Teixeira.

  37. Here is the TRUTH!
    Oregon OSHA Confirms:
    Exposure to Cosmetologists and Clients is
    well below OSHA’s Air Level Requirements.

    OSHA’s Action Level of 0.5 parts per million is the most stringent level of exposure set by the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

    On October 29, 2010, Oregon OSHA released results of a comprehensive air monitoring study conducted across seven salons. Each case yielded formaldehyde exposure levels well beneath OSHA’s Action Level, Permissible Exposure Level (PEL), and Short-Term Exposure Level.

    The average Formaldehyde gas exposure level for the seven salons tested by Oregon OSHA was 0.079 parts per million; well beneath the OSHA Action Level of 0.5 parts per million.

    Sample Case Study #7 (cited directly from Oregon OSHA’s recent report entitled “Keratin Based” Hair Smoothing Products And the Presence of Formaldehyde):
    Case 7: The seventh salon had four stations with a false ceiling. No doors or window were left open and the stylist did not use any fans during the treatment. She did not wear gloves.

    Breathing zone samples were placed on the stylist during the process, which took 94 minutes. The samples were changed every 15 minutes. Samples were also placed to the right of the stylist, near the stylist’s sink and to the left of the stylist. The stylist’s peak exposure was 0.471 ppm, while applying the solution. Her average exposure during the procedure was 0.255 ppm and the 8 hour average was 0.050 ppm.

    The results did not exceed the 8-hour limit and it is unlikely that multiple treatments would have done so.

    In referencing Brazilian Blowouts recently released air sample test results, Oregon OSHA confirms the following:

    “The company released air monitoring results on October 15, 2010, taken from two stylists performing two treatments each in a single salon. The only results reported were for the eight-hour average exposure, which came to 0.064 ppm for one stylist and 0.073 ppm for the other. The middle of the salon also was tested, providing an eight-hour average of 0.016.58

    In general, these results – although less detailed – are not inconsistent with Oregon OSHA’s air monitoring results, which included both results that were higher and results that were lower than those reported by the company.”

    CONCLUSION: Air sample tests conducted by Oregon OSHA and HSA (those published by Brazilian Blowout) yield remarkably consistent results; both demonstrating that formaldehyde exposure levels are safely below OSHA’s Action Level.

  38. That is great information, Stacey, but please note that it is in reference to the brand Brazilian Blowout. This particular blog post is about Brazilian Keratin by Marcia Teixeira, a different brand of treatment. While then names are similar and easily confused, the two vary significantly in chemical make-up, processing and results.

  39. i want to ask somthing i only need treatment my hair is good and its a lil bit wavy but because if high lights its always frizzy and i don want it to be straight i only need it to be back as it used to be good and healthy and shiny ,is keratin gonna work or is it gonna make my hair straight which i really don want to ? and if i done it once do i really have to do it again every several months? need an answer please thanks alot!

  40. @Diana Good questions! I would definitely not recommend the Brazilian Keratin brand, as it does straighten the hair significantly.

    Look into Global Keratin, asking salons in your area specifically for the “Light Wave” formula. This is the gentlest smoothing treatment I know of, and while it may relax the curl somewhat it is definitely not as strong at texture change as most of the other treatments on the market. Be sure to let the stylist know that you want to keep your curls/waves!

    Good luck!

  41. I get my treatments from Lana @ the Hair Delight (858) 367-9090 . She is rated the best on Yelp for Brazilian Keratin Treatments. They carry all the brands but from my experience the Brazilian Blowout brand last longer and works ALOT better.

  42. @amber: Thanks for the recommendation Amber! Where is Hair Delight located so those in that area can take advantage of your recommendation?

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  46. Im brasilian and have been around these treatments for a while and ive seen many n had many done.. Your hair does NOT go back to its original texture. It may look good after your dne but in reality , your slowly losing hair quality.
    A recent study that was also on the news showed that after years your hair tends to fall out and it does not grow back. anyone who tells you diff is prob trying to sell a product. Adding chemicals to your hair is never good-common sense.

  47. Pingback: You Want a Keratin Treatment. But How Do You Choose a Stylist? | A Mom in Red High Heels - Beauty & Style Tips for Moms