Smoothing and de-frizzing hair treatments are all the rage in the summer time. Salons find that they are busier with requests for treatments such as the Brazilian Keratin and thermal reconditioning, or Japanese straightening before the humid months of summer kick off.
These treatments can be a great way to seal off humidity and keep your hair frizz free, smooth, and easier to keep straight and shiny. However, there are some major differences between the two treatments that might help you make your decision if you’re looking for longer term remedies against frizz.
The first major difference between thermal reconditioning (also known as the Japanese Straight Perm) and the Brazilian Keratin treatment are cost. The Brazilian Keratin treatment is the cheaper option, running around $400-$600, depending on your geographic area and also the salon you choose to get it done.
Thermal reconditioning costs more, because it is more labor and time intensive. It costs anywhere from $600-$1,000, depending again on where you go to get it done. While thermal reconditioning is more expensive, the results do last longer, and for those that like extreme straightness in their style, this one will be a crowd pleaser.
Japanese straightening results in poker straight, completely frizz free hair for about 6 months to a year before it needs to be touched up. The process actually opens the hair’s cuticle, deposit’s the chemicals that relax the hair and de-frizz it, and then seals the cuticle back up by using high temperature flat irons.
Some say that it actually results in healthier hair because it seals the cuticle so effectively against humidity. Of course, this is probably debatable since it uses powerful chemicals to do the trick, but the end result is definitely healthier “looking” hair.
The process for this straightening treatment takes anywhere from 6-10 hours, depending on the length and texture of your hair. If you are of an ethnicity that has more coarse hair, then you will probably have a longer treatment, and hence a larger bill at the end, since most salons charge by the hour. The average cost per hour is about $100. You can usually get an estimate before committing to the process.
In contrast, the Brazilian Keratin smoothing and de-frizzing treatment takes less time, and is therefore a little more cost effective per visit. However, it will also not last as long. The average duration of increased smoothness and less frizz with this process is anywhere from 3 months to 6 months. The length of time Brazilian Keratin lasts depends on a number of factors.
First, it depends on how coarse your hair is to begin with. Second, it depends on how often you wash your hair. Each time you wash your hair, you are essentially shortening the amount of time the chemicals stay in your hair. Salt is the mortal enemy of this treatment, so you must use shampoos that do not contain any type of sodium.
This is a key difference between Brazilian Keratin and thermal reconditioning, as the latter does not “wash out”, only your new growth will need to be re-treated. Some people buy the special shampoos and conditioners that salons sell you along with the treatment, while others just may try to go find different ones on their own that they like.
The major differences are really the cost differential and also the degree of straightness. Many who would still like to have some wave or body in their hair, just reduced frizz and greater smoothness, choose Brazilian Keratin because it still can be adjusted to keep some wave. There is really no way to adjust the thermal reconditioning treatment, you get poker straight hair no matter what.
By Danna Norek