Brazil Fabulous

hair & beauty – brazilian style

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 EscovaProgress.com and BrazilFabulous.com, 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…

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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. (http://www.oprah.com/community/thread/113583 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 – http://www.chic-critique.com/2009/11/keratin-is-my-friend.html (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

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.

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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 www.escovaprogress.com – (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:

BFV

Karsan Fannoform

Lysoform

Methyl Aldehyde

Formalin

Methylene Oxide

Formalith

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

Formic Aldehyde

Oxomethane

Formol

Oxymethylene

Fyde Paraform

HCHO

Superlysoform

Ivalon

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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