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July 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ingredients of Escova Progressiva. The stuff that makes it work.

Hi kids, welcome to science class.

I thought I’d turn my attention to the ingredients of Keratin hair straightener and what makes it so good at taming frizz, relaxing curl and general straightening duties for all those in need of a little help.

escovaEscova Progress Progressiv Progressiva Natural hair Straightener (11)

Before I go in to greater detail on this – which I’ll get round to in my next entry I’m going to list the ingredients of probably Brazil’s favourite Keratin hair straightening treatment.

Below is the complete list, as it appears on the bottle.

Here goes… (speak soon by the way)

Zene Escova Progressiva Ingredients:


Glyoxlic Acid


Cocodimonium Hydroxpropyl

Hydrolyzed Keratin

Hydrolyzed Keratin

Ceteraryl Alcohol

Cetyl Alcohol

Diisopropyl Adipate

Coffee Arabica Extract

Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate

Ethylhexyl Triazone

Isodecyl Neopentaoate


Polyquaternium 55


Hydroxyethyl Ceteamidopropyldimonium Chloride

Behenyl Alcohol

Isocetyl Alcohol

Quaternium 70

Propylene Glycol


Methyl Siloxane

C11-C15 Ethoxlatedsecondary Alcohol

Disodium Louriminodipropionate

Tocopheryl Phosphates


Loudimonium Tosylate


Lauroyl Lysine

Glycine N-Acetil Cystein

Arginine HC1

Polyquaternium 44

Sodium PCA

Cetrimonium Chloride

Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein

Quaternium 91

Cetrimonium Methosulfate

Isopropyl Myrislate


Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol

Cetyl Acetate







April 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

The best products to use before and after Keratin straightening

With the Brazilian Blowout – or Escova Progressiva as we call it in Brazil – the must have hair product for 2010, I’m getting a growing number of questions from people confused by the dazzling array of before’n’after products designed for use with Keratin hair straightening treatments.

keratin hair products

I’ll be adding a new page all about these products soon, but in the meantime here’s a quick guide to Keratin care products designed both to boost and improve the fabulous results of Escova Progressiva and to maintain them for as long as possible between applications.

Pre Keratin Clarifying Shampoos

Probably the best single thing you can do to prepare your hair for Keratin straightening is to make sure it’s free from residual product build up, grime and pollution. Always use a salt free formulation (That means avoid anything that says sodium on the side). Having really clean hair is essential for Keratin absorbtion and many of these shampoos also soften the hair, making it more receptive to the treatment.

cheap alternative to anti-res shampoos

(Tip. If you don’t have access to a clarifying shampoo try something like Johnsons Baby Shampoo, or another mild salt-free formula)

Products like Nazca Professional Cleansing shampoo are an inexpensive solution if you’re a regular user of Keratin straightener, or a professional stylist offering Brazilian Blowout, as they come in larger 1 litre containers. Most websites and salons offering Keratin products will also supply anti-residual shampoos, but it’s worth looking around for the best deals.

Pre Keratin Boosters & Finalizing Treatments

These are a relatively new range of products for use either just before using a Keratin straightening solution, or straight after the treatment. Generally laced with extra Keratin and added nutrients to protect the hair, these rub-thrus are left on the hair before and after treatment.

Finalizador, by BioExtratus is a leave in conditioner which adds extra shine and resilience to the hair after applying Keratin. It’s applied post rinsing and left on between washes, providing added protection and creating an invisible seal against pollution and grime.

One secret I’ve discovered from a friend who runs a busy hair salon is a new product called NovEx Blindagem. It’s a closely guarded secret of the pros, and despite being marketed as a leave-in rub-through Keratin conditioner, it’s also used by some stylists immediately before applying a Keratin straightening treatment as it dramatically improves the results. I can personally vouch for this and a tiny amount rubbed through the hair after washing leaves hair easy to manage and resilient to frizzing up, even in Brazil’s humid climate.

Post Keratin Shampoos & Conditioners

A good number of salons will try and sell you specialist shampoos and conditioners after your treatment, and the same goes for online stores selling Brazilian (or supposedly Brazilian) straightening products. Heck we do it ourselves over at and, but are they really neccersary and are they worth the money?

Well the answer, you may be surprised to hear me say, is no. Or at least maybe no… Because while shampoos like the KeraMax Professional line will help maintain the effectiveness of a Keratin straightener, working like a mini Brazilian Blowout each time it’s used, if the treatment you had initially was good enough you wouldn’t need it.

Of course, as always, Sodiums are a Brazilian Blowout’s worst enemy, leeching into the hair and literally forcing out the moisture and with it any Keratin you may have added recently. These specialised products certainly work exceptionally well, but as long as you stay away from all products salty (cos that’s what sodium is for anyone who skipped chemistry lessons) there should be no problem. Ergo, no need for ‘special’ shampoos.

On the site, we find most people who buy products like BioExtratus Pos shampoo, or Hydrating shampoo, do so because they adore the luxurious glossy shine provided by the all organic ingredients list which includes Macadamia nuts and Vitamin B5 and not for the longevity they no doubt add. I guess it’s about pampering, and I have to say, once you start using this all natural selection of hair goodies it’s hard going back to inferior products.

That’s the briefest of brief overviews and I’ll stop my rant about BioExtratus right there. Although you may like to take a peep at one of their recent TV ads which screened over here. It’s only 30 seconds long and it has to be one of the most beautiful bits of animation I ever did see. Take a look below and let me know what you think…

April 15, 2010 Posted by | brazilian blowout, DIY Keratin treatments, ingredients, Keratin care, keratin hair straightener | Leave a comment

Big names getting it so wrong with new straightening products

I know I’m always ranting about the safety issues surrounding Keratin hair straightening

hair in knots

Tied in knots... Have the big companies rushed in too soon?

products, and that sometimes this can seem like blatant marketing on my part. (You probablyknow I run an online Brazilian hair and beauty store and that we sell Brazil’s favourite Keratin hair straightener- Zene Progress). But to be totally honest with you, this blog is more a vent for my thoughts than an advertising platform – seriously! Business is good and I prefer to use BrazFab for sounding off my very opinionated thoughts, so it’s never going to become a major sales driver…

So I’ll leave the cussing and cursing to others, but in the spirit of free information I’d like to draw your attention to a couple of disturbing articles I’ve read about high profile manufacturers of so-called Brazilian BlowOut treatments in America.

The first focusses on a growing number of complaints from people who have used a product called RedKen Vertical, a permanent chemical straightener that has apparently caused scalp burns, bald spots, hair loss and thinning. A quick look around the blogs and forums left me in no doubt that this product is definitely one to be avoided at all costs, with many reports backing up the claims and suggesting that RedKen Vertical at best leaves hair dry and brittle. Yes indeedy, so widespread is the uproar that the story even made it onto Oprah Winfrey’s online chatroom. ( if you’re interested…)

The second, perhaps more distressing report concerns several products made by one of America’s best known names – a company I have no intention of getting on the wrong side of, as it’s already involved in a number of very public legal cases concerning these products. So I’ll just let you know that my friends over at Chic Critique posted a very fair report on the subject which you can find here – (Be sure to scroll down for one or two very worrying comments from unhappy customers…)

With so many women (and men it now seems) turning to the new breed of Keratin hair straighteners, and so many big name hair companies desperate to cash in on this huge market, it seems many are cutting corners when it comes to the science. My advice, as ever, is always read the label and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re having this treatment in a salon. Your stylist or supplier should be able to tell you exactly what’s in the product they are using and also be aware of how it should be applied and left to work its magic.

OK, here come the ads…

To see the ingredients of Zene Progress – Brazil’s leading Keratin hair straightener click here.

Or to find out why Zene Progress is the hair straightening product of choice for Brazilian stylists as well as women wanting a Keratin hair straightener they can use at home, click here.

March 16, 2010 Posted by | brazilian blowout, DIY Keratin treatments, formaldehyde, ingredients, keratin hair straightener | Leave a comment

A New Hope for Damaged Hair…

BrazFab Exclusive – BrazFab Exclusive – BrazFab Exclusive – BrazFab Exclusive

If you’re hair’s been frazzled by years of abuse, help is at hand…

Cauterização – Brazil’s brand new must-have Keratin hair repair treatment

Cauterização - Brazil's latest must-have hair repair treatment

Don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard about cauterization yet. It’s red hot and set to be Brazil’s must-have hair product of 2010. I’ve struggled to find anything online in English so far, but I expect that will change very soon. So for now let me tell you that cauterização, as it’s called in Brazil, is a brand new process designed to repair and rebuild even the most damaged and weakened hair.

Developed in upmarket salons and rapidly taken on by the big names in Brazilian hair products, hair cauterization combines hair reconstruction with deep conditioning to repair and rebuild dry or frizzy hair, hair that is naturally weak or has been subjected to years of abuse from electric straighteners, bleaching, dyeing and perming.

I’ve seen a couple of these products in action on friends, and I have to say, the results are profound to say the least!

I’m going to be posting full reviews and How To’s on a couple of these deep conditioning Cauterização treatments soon, so stay tuned for more…

KeraMax Pro Cauterização

Until then, this is what everybody with dry, brittle or damaged hair needs to know about Cauterização.

All of these products involve the application of several products before a slow drying of the hair, locks in a semi-permanent dose of deep conditioning nutrition. (One or two of them also require electric straightening irons for the last bit)  The entire process is repeated weekly for between 2 and 6 weeks and the final result lasts at least two months, much longer if you use salt-free shampoos and conditioners with Keratin.

Keratin is a big part of the cauterização effect and works with other ingrdients such as Silicone, Creatin and Royal Jelly – one of nature’s richest substances – to seal each hair with an impermeable water and pollution proof layer, locking in nourishment to restore gloss and shine.

Cauterização is basically a very deep penetrating hydration treatment with the power to seal the cracks and faults that cause frizzy hair and make it look dry. It’s perfect for hair that’s suffered from years of chemical treatments, electric straightening of excessive colouring, providing instant shine and softness.

I’ll be posting full reviews of two of the better known brands of Cauterização in the next few weeks, but if you can’t wait for some serious DIY hair repair, you can see more of them at Brazil Fabulous, our new online store packed with Brazilian hair goodies.

Did I mention the online store already? It’s all my own work!

deep hair conditioning
dry hair
frizzy hair
hair emergency
hair reconstruction
hair reconstructor
hair repair
hair repair treatment
products for frizzy hair
treatments for dry hair

March 2, 2010 Posted by | anti frizz, DIY Keratin treatments, Keratin care, straightening time savers, tips for hair straightenng | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New page on the blog

Just a quick note in case you haven’t noticed.

I made a new page, with a few tips on getting the most from Brazilian Keratin treatments. The first batch are up already and it’s something I’ll be adding to over the next few weeks, but I also want to hear from any professionals or at home users with tips of their own.

Head over to the new Tips page, pick up a few hints and if you know something I don’t let me know…

Remember, it’s good to share😉

February 3, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Under the radar hair supplies to your door.

Well it’s taken a while, but the Christmas break finally gave me the time to stock the cyber shelves of the new online store, figuratively speaking. is open at last!

If you’re looking for Brazilian Blowout, you’ll find Brazil’s leading brand of salon quality Keratin hair straightener. But that’s not all. Here in Brazil they’ve taken Keratin to the next kevel and way, way beyond, so we added heaps of all new under the radar hair goodies.

boost Brazilian Blowout, keratin conditioner

Blindagem. Closely guarded secret of Brazilian stylists

NovEx Blindagem, for example, is a closely guarded secret of Brazilian stylists. As a leave in conditioner it adds profound moisturisation and makes hair more controllable. But as a pre treatment rub-thru, used just before Keratin straightening, it’s almost instant moisturisng action allows deeper absorbtion and produces markedly longer lasting results.

Without doubt the biggest buzz word in Brazil, as we head into the new year, is Cauterizção. This fab deep conditioning treatment is perfect for rebuilding damaged or weak hair and works by applying a series of nourishing creams and Keratin to your locks before sealing them in with a resilient and glossy finish. The results are remarkable and work on every tyoe of hair.

There’s bags more stuff on the new site that you won’t find anywhere else, including post Keratin shampoos and conditioners, designed to boost and prolong the results of your Brazilian Blowout.

OK, enough hype. I’m sorry. I spent the last two days banging my head against my keyboard trying to put the site together and I just wanted to tell someone.

More sane stuff in the New Year. Talking of which,happy 2010 everybody!

a rub through cream which

December 30, 2009 Posted by | anti frizz, brazilian blowout, DIY Keratin treatments, Keratin care, keratin hair straightener | Leave a comment

Cash strapped girls give the salon a miss this party season

escovahomeSoI read on the website of the LA Times that salons and stylists have had their worst holiday season ever.

I can’t say I’m surprised. 2009 has seen an explosion in DIY, at-home hair treatments like the new Escova Progressiva or Brazilian Blowout products. Most are now so easy to use it’s hardly worth paying a professional to do little more than applying a deep conditioner.

Apparently more of us are deciding to skip our annual trip to the salon this Christma, preferring to go it alone.  It’s certainly something we’ve noticed at the company I run, exporting high end Brazilian hair and beauty products, such as Escova Progressiva – the original Brazilian Blowout.

While we’re still sending larger orders to professionals (mainly in America and Europe) the number of women buying a single bottle of Keratin hair straightener lept up during November and the first half of December. It must be because more of us are taking the plunge and styling at home.

Have a great Christmas and New Year everybody


December 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Formaldehyde Hiding Away…

Warning, Always Read the label

Seems like frizzy and curly girls all over the world have discovered the fabulous benefits of the Brazilian Blowout Keratin hair straightener, or Escova Progressiva as we say here in Brazil. And as the number of women discovering this wonderful way of smoothing out curls, kinks and frizz grows, I’m getting more and more questions about health worries.

My advice on Keratin straighteners... Always read the label

Many come from people who have had a keratin straightening treatment in professional salons, but a few come from girls using Brazilian straightening products at home, which is worrying. From what I’m hearing some people experience breathing problems and/or irritation of the scalp in the days after a treatment, which are both classic symptoms of exposure to a chemical called Formaldehyde.

So as a concious kind of a gal I decided to do a little research…

Now if you’re a regular reader you’ll know that my website – (shameless plug, sorry) sells Brazil’s leading Formaldehyde-Free Keratin hair straightener, Zene Progress, but I’m not just here to sell. I love my blogging too much for that most of the time and I’m just happy to rant about hair ‘n’ stuff.

Here’s what I discovered after an hour or two looking on the internet. Many products on the market use chemical cousins of Formaldehyde, which may have different names but are essentially the same thing and pose the same health risks.

They include them for two reasons, they’re cheap and very effective, (Companies selling hair straightening products containing these chemicals may claim results lasting 6 months or offer unbelievably low prices). Without turning this blog into science class, the most common names I found were:


Karsan Fannoform


Methyl Aldehyde


Methylene Oxide


Morbicid (this one sounds so grim it’s almost unbelievable)

Formic Aldehyde




Fyde Paraform



It’s not all carrots and honey, honey!

These chemicals are to be avoided at all costs I reckon, but then I would wouldn’t I? Seriously though, my advice is always check the ingredients first. Now that’s easy enough if you’re visiting a salon, but a little trickier if, like many of us, you buy online and use Keratin straightening Escova Progressiva products at home.

Without doubt, Keratin hair straightening treatments are the best thing ever if you have wavy, curly and even Afro hair, but don’t be fooled by products which claim stuff like chocolate, coffee and even strawberry are the magic ingredients. While many plants and fruits are great for your hair, it’s the combination of Keratin (itself a natural product by the way) and a skilful blend of chemicals that do the hard work. Most of these are completely harmless and pose no threat to your health, but you have to be careful.

It may seem bizarre but products from Brazil are leading the way, especially against those manufactured in the States, many of which stil contain Formaldehyde, or one of it’s dangerous relatives. Always read the label and don’t be afraid to ask…

See a complete list of ingredients in the product I use myself  here

Discover the smart girls answer to fabulously frizz free, straight hair here…

October 20, 2009 Posted by | brazilian blowout, formaldehyde, ingredients, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Understanding and Detangling Autumn Frizz

With autumn well underway in Europe and the States I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking me if the latest Brazilian Keratin hair straighteners can help girls who don’t necessarily want ultra straight hair, just to tame the annoying frizz that accompanies the season’s humid conditions.

Cauterização Capilar

Detangling autumn frizz needn't be that hard

Well while the answer is a resounding yes, and I’d love to be seeing more sales of our fabulously glam Keratin products, there are a number of cheaper, and somewhat simpler solutions to hand which could save you both time and money…

First, let me give you a brief overview of how and why our hair frizzes up in the first place. You see, all but the most naturally straight hair has numerous twists and kinks in it, and every hair follicle has countless small cracks running along its shaft. As the air becomes more moist water particles penetrate these cracks and kinks, as well as permeating through the ends of your hair, especially if they are damaged. Couple these elements with the fact that the more naturallycurly your hair is the drier it will be and you’ll find that no matter what you do, autumn causes your hair to become course, frizzy and less manageable.

Well the good news is, that with a little extra care and attention you may not need any new or expensive treatments to repel the misery of autumn hair frizz. Without further ado, here are a few things that work for me.

  • Get your hair trimmed once every 4 weeks or so. Even if it’s just a few centimetres off this will help stop split ends running up your hair and reduce the amount of moisture that penetrates in from the top
  • Try not to wash and blow dry your hair as often, it strips out the natural oils and moisture that protect your hair
  • Use moisturising shampoos. Even high street brands will help keep your hair silky
  • The same goes for conditioners and you could consider a monthly deep conditioning, or hydrating product such as the NovEx range of hair food
  • When you do blow dry, use a towel first to get rid of as much water as possible. I know there are new hair towels available that are designed just for this, but if you ask me they’re not worth the money. Anyway, towel first means less hot air and that’s a good thing, especially if you’re prone to frizz
  • Finally, after washing and when you’re blow drying, use a large rounded brush and be forceful. That’s right girls, go in hard and you’ll find your hair dries straighter and is less likely to go wild as soon as you step out the door

If you’re still struggling after all that, I’d suggest you opt for products like the QueraVit range from BioExtratus, which you can see on the site, or high end deep conditioning products containing ingredients like Keratin and Silicon, which have a proven track record of holding back the frizz.

Science class over. Any questions, feel free to fire away.

Until then… Love from the beach (which coincidently is a bitch for making my hair frizzy)

October 20, 2009 Posted by | anti frizz, Keratin care, straightening time savers | , , , , , | Leave a comment