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Want Jennifer Aniston Hair? Get it with a Brazilian Blowout (Even if You Have Naturally Curly Hair)

I've had a hate-hate relationship with my hair since elementary school, when it went from Dorothy-Hamill sleek to AnnaLynne McCord on a very bad day. For a long time, I pulled my now naturally curly hair into a bun while wet and left it that way until it got greasy; by my early 20s, I'd graduated to piling it on my head with a dozen bobby pins. I was aiming for Grecian goddess but usually ended up just looking disheveled.

Try brushing that out every morning!
It's not that I wasn't willing to invest the time in hair straightening. God knows, I spent at least 10 minutes every morning stomping my feet, throwing myself on the bed, and cursing my inability to pull off a look with a hat. I just hated the idea of fighting what felt like a losing battle with my naturally curly hair, trying to whip a head full of unruly strands into submission, especially when they had humidity on their side. (Find out if you'll have a good hair day with SHAPE's Frizz Report.) Japanese hair straightening sounded somewhat appealing, but the level of commitment—it's permanent, so you either have to keep doing it or let your naturally curly hair grow in halfsies-style—was too high for me.

Enter the Brazilian blowout, a 90-minute smoothing treatment that eliminates frizz for up to three months (hair returns gradually to its natural state). Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan are fans, and rumor has it that if you want Jennifer Aniston hair, this is the way to do it.

Post-Brazilian blowout: Much more manageable, even when it's curly.
So I headed to the Rita Hazan salon one night after work with high hopes: Post-hair treatment, I expected to be able to come out of the shower, a swimming pool, or a rainstorm with straight, shiny hair, no styling necessary. Not so. My stylist explained that the Brazilian blowout is not a hair straightening treatment, it actually softens curls. It would, however, make hair straightening easier (less drying time and a reduced reliance on the flat iron), eliminate my constant frizz halo, and give me shinier, more manageable hair. Sold.

First I got a shampoo and mini scalp massage, then the Brazilian keratin hair treatment was applied and sealed in with a 450-degree flat iron.

Full disclosure: It stung a bit, and exactly what's in it is a little unclear (the site mentions a "Super Nutrient Complex in conjunction with a proprietary polymer system") but it is free of formaldahyde, unlike earlier versions. In fact, the formula is supposed to improve the condition of the hair and is safe—nay, recommended—for women who have undergone coloring, highlights, and chemical hair treatments. After the application was complete, I hit the sink again for a second lather followed by a blowout. The Brazilian blowout was two weeks ago, and here's what's happened since: I've been asked three times whether I just got my hair cut and styled. I've done that Lauren Conrad side braid thing for the first time ever. I've gone through a lot of dry shampoo (the less you wash, the longer the treatment lasts). And I've already locked in another Brazilian blowout (thanks to a Groupon deal, it will cost $150 instead of $350, the typical starting price—though the cost can range anywhere from $200 to $800 at the very high end); that's how much I love it. It takes me 20 minutes, tops, to get pin-straight hair, and when it's too hot to turn on the blow dryer, I get silky curl-wave hybrids I can easily pull into a pony (no pins necessary!). I wouldn't put the Brazilian blowout in the Moses on the Mountain category, but I would recommend it to anyone not naturally blessed with Gisele-Bundchen shiny-hair genes.

Ready to try the Brazilian blowout for yourself? Find a salon near you.

Not convinced yet? See hundreds of before and after Brazilian blowout pictures here or, if you're a member of Facebook, check out this gallery on Facebook—you'll be amazed!


Straight and shiny hair, I love the way it frames my face and lies flat now.

A little hair straightening after the Brazilian blowout. Do I have shiny Jennifer Aniston hair or what?

UPDATE: New reports say the Brazillian blowout may be dangerous. After several Portland-area salon workers complained of nosebleeds, respiratory problems, and eye irritation, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration tested samples of the Brazilian Blowout, which is marketed as "formaldehyde-free." The state agency found that the samples contained significant amounts of the chemical, which is recognized as a carcinogen if it's present at high levels. While the company disputes the findings, some salons have stopped offering the treatment as a precaution. For more information, check out this pamphlet from the agency aimed to educate salon workers, or keep an eye out for our story about healthy ways to get straight, silky strands in the February issue of SHAPE.


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