Keratin Treatments Vs. Brazilian Blowouts
7 mins read

Keratin Treatments Vs. Brazilian Blowouts

By Kristin Confer and Steven Lake

What they are: These are smoothing treatments, not straightening treatments. In the past there were Japanese straightening treatments that permanently altered the structure of the hair making it straight, and many times causing damage. This is not so with smoothing treatments. Smoothing treatments remove up to 95% of the frizz, add reflective shine, seal in color, fight humidity, and decrease blow dry time (if you even choose to blow dry after having this treatment). Additionally, hair can be curled or set on rollers for those days you want curls and more bounce.

The process: Without getting too technical, the salon process involves first preparing the hair by shampooing it 2-3 times with a clarifying or anti-residue shampoo.

Keratin Complex: After the hair is shampooed, towel dried, and then blow dried to 100% dry, the product is applied lightly, section by section. To let the product fully penetrate the hair shaft, you will wear a cap for 20-30 minutes. The hair is then blow dried and flat ironed, generally at the 450 degree F setting. They’ll use a lower temperature for damaged or over-processed hair. You will leave the salon with the product still in your hair (but your hair looking blow dried and finished), and you must shampoo the product out of your hair at home after three days, all the while avoiding moisture or anything that will leave an impression in your hair. Allow 2-3 hours.

Brazilian Blowout (original and Zero): After the hair is shampooed and towel dried with some moisture remaining, the product is applied lightly, section by section. The hair is then blow dried and flat ironed at 450 degree F. The product will then be rinsed out of your hair thoroughly and an intense moisturizing masque will be applied for a minute. After this, you will be blow dried and good to go. Allow 90 minutes.

How they work: These in-salon treatments bond protein to the outer layer of the hair (the cuticle). These proteins smooth, protect, soften, and slightly relax the hair. The bonding actually occurs when the 450 degree F flat iron is applied to the hair.

How long they last: These treatments typically last 3-4 months, depending on the application, stylist, how you care for your hair, and your lifestyle.


  • To maintain volume, ask your stylist to not apply smoothing product to your roots in those areas.
  • Avoid shampoos and styling products that contain sodium chloride (salt), including ocean water.
  • Avoid shampoos that contain sulfates.
  • Use after-care products specifically designed for smoothing treatments.
  • Permanently color before (even the same day) or two weeks after the treatment.
  • Smoothing treatments are a great way to slightly relax and reduce frizz in wavy or curly hair.

Results: Smoothing treatments are recommended and highly requested in my Salon. People have loved the results and are usually repeat clients for these treatments. Here is what I have found:

Keratin Complex: Most keratin products derive their protein from sheep’s wool. The results are optimal and clients have customarily requested this treatment because of the controversy that Brazilian blowouts allegedly contain formaldehyde. Additionally, some salons and stylistis  choose to provide this service instead of the Brazilian blowout due to the hazards of exposure to the alleged formaldehyde. The drawback, to me, is that the client is leaving with product in her hair, must leave it in for three days, and then is required to shampoo it out herself in three days (while avoiding moisture, barrettes, ponytails, and anything that would make a dent or physical impression in the hair in the meantime).

Brazilian Blowout Original: This product derives its protein from a blend of amino acids. The results are optimal. I choose to ventilate the salon and purify the air while conducting Brazilian blowout services. It’s when the blow dryer, and subsequently the flat iron, are applied to the hair during this process that my eyes may sting a little and I sometimes experience a change in my breathing. Both symptoms are mild and temporary. I like that the client leaves with the product out of the hair, and the results finalized.

Brazilian Blowout Zero: This product derives its protein from plants. The results are optimal. It was created in response to the allegations of formaldehyde in the original formula. I still prefer to properly ventilate and purify the air during this treatment. This product is great for clients who want the smoothing benefits of the original Brazilian blowout treatment, while also maintaining maximum volume in the hair.

Cost: Salons typically charge between $250 and $350 for this service.


About Kristin Confer:  “It’s all about creating hair that reveals sustainable beauty and confidence from the inside out.” Kristin Confer, Haircare Expert and the Los Angeles owner of Inside Out Salon, is zealous about his inside out beauty philosophy. Kristin has been a frequent speaker at professional hair shows and a guest artist in salons globally, where he generously shares his life concepts about those inner/outer connections and how they can be orchestrated to create an unforgettable, lasting, individual experience.

As a stylist, educator, and salon owner, Kristin offers his cherished clients the experience of slowing down, catching their breath, and being present long enough to acknowledge themselves. Clients leave knowing they have what it takes, inside and outside, to create whatever it is they want in their lives.

Kristin is currently developing a product line with his creative partner, Celebrity Hairstylist Steven Lake. The Perfect Hair Duo (PhD) of hair, Steven and Kristin’s teamwork, history, and knowledge offers the unique experience for clients to recreate celebrity looks at home. 

About Steven Lake:  “How you feel affects how you look.” Steven Lake, Hollywood celebrity hairstylist and Haircare Expert, is passionate about expressing personality through hairstyles, from everyday chic to sexy. Currently represented by Solo Artist’s Agency, over the past 10 years, Steven has worked on Magazine Covers, Red Carpet Events, Commercials, Television Shows and Photo Shoots around the world. 

Most recently Steven brings his philosophy of teamwork, personal expression and fun to the set with Brooke Burke, Carmen Elektra, Carson Kressley, and Tori Spelling, to name a few. Steven’s inside out beauty philosophy offers clients a glimpse into what makes them unique from within and how to express that through their hairstyle.

Steven is currently developing a product line with his creative partner, Industry Educator and Owner of Inside Out Salon, Kristin Confer. The PhD of hair, Steven and Kristin’s teamwork, history, and knowledge offers the unique experience for clients to recreate celebrity looks at home.

The Perfect Hair Duo: Steven Lake and Kristin Confer who make up Perfect Hair Duo…the PhD of hair, bring over 30 years of experience, education, and teaching to the hair industry. Their passion and insight set this Perfect Hair Duo up for success in creating, recreating, and sharing their vision and creativity behind the chair and on set.


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