Brazilian, Japanese, Relaxer, hair straightening

Relaxer Thermal reconditioning also called Japanese treatment Keratin treatment also called Brazilian blow-dry
Pro Permanent solution
Cheaper than other solutions
Great curl reduction
Does not contain Formaldehyde
Permanent solution
Very straight result
Does not contain Formaldehyde
Softer on your hair than the other solutions
Con Shouldn’t be used on already chemically processed hair Shouldn’t be used on already chemically processed hair Semi-permanent solution will fade out with time.
Contains Formaldehyde or derivative.
Maintenance just roots ~ 5 months just roots ~ 5 months ~ 3 months
Price ~$200 ~$500 ~$300

Relaxer or straightener, Japanese, thermal reconditioning


A relaxer is a type of lotion or cream generally used by people with curly hair which makes hair less tangled and also is much easier to straighten. A relaxer works by chemically “relaxing” the natural curls. The active agent is usually an ammonium thioglycolate.


Keratin treatment


Also known as “Brazilian” hair treatments, keratin hair treatments are a semi-permanent, hair-smoothing, curl-softening professional chemical treatment. They make hair straighter. The treatments are usually made up of a chemical like formaldehyde. Keratin hair treatments work very well but are all the while controversial.

Because most contain formaldehyde, or more correctly, a chemical called formalin, formalin heated to 450 degrees can turn back into formaldehyde.

Since its all the rage for the past 4 years let’s clear things up about this treatment.

Keratin treatment is a semi-permanent straightening treatment.  Most brands will advertise results for 6 months.  I would say the result will be visible for 3 months if not less depending on what you do with your hair.

On contact with salt, chlorine, bleach, sulfate and any other strong chemical the treatment will be stripped out.


How it works


Keratin is a protein that exists naturally in hair. The idea of a keratin salon treatment is to make hair smoother, sleeker, straighter and easier to style. For the treatment, a stylist applies a mixture of keratin and formaldehyde (a strong preservative) to the hair, which fills in the gaps in each hair shaft…then the stylist “seals” the mixture into the hair, lock by lock, using a very hot flat iron. At this high temperature, the liquid formaldehyde converts to gas vapors.


What is formaldehyde and its Health Risks


Considered a carcinogen, formaldehyde also causes short-term irritant effects. Common adverse effects include eye, nose and throat irritation, breathing difficulties, headache, and allergic skin conditions or dermatitis.

Formaldehyde, a derivative of natural gas, is one of the most common industrial chemicals worldwide, with global production estimated at more than 31 million tons annually and a U.S. market of 4.4 million tons.

Levels of formaldehyde above 0.1 ppm in the air can irritate your nose, throat, and lungs. These symptoms will get worse as formaldehyde levels go up. Most salon during treatments were calculated between 0.1 to 0.3.

Careful ladies, gel manicures also Use formaldehyde.

Americans living in cities are exposed to significant amounts of formaldehyde daily. Formaldehyde is a byproduct of gasoline combustion in vehicle exhausts. Adhesives in pressed-wood products release formaldehyde vapors. Indoor air levels of formaldehyde often are ten times higher than outdoor city air and are highest in new, inexpensive housing. The infamous trailers in which the Federal Emergency Management Agency sheltered people uprooted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 were constructed of cheap plywood infused with high concentrations of formaldehyde.


 200px-FormaldehydemState of Minnesota tried to reduce it’s formaldehyde emissions.  Here is the estimate emission per sector

Formaldehyde Free


Some companies use chemicals (aldehyde) that are not, strictly speaking, formaldehyde but that break down to formaldehyde and release the chemical into the air when they are heated.

The products that are formaldehyde free, which I’ve tested, the results are nowhere near comparable to those derivative of formaldehyde .

The only way to guarantee that you’re not getting a hair-smoothing treatment that could expose you to unacceptable levels of formaldehyde is…to go for a relaxer instead.


Ultimate Hair Guide