The new year is upon us, and many of us are looking for a total transformation to leave behind the strangeness of 2020. No matter what hairstyle you choose to go for, however, even the most gorgeous will be marred by tangles and frizz if your hair health isn't optimal.
Thankfully, technology has advanced to such an extent that even if you've bleached or permed your hair a dozen times, there are options for you to restore softness and smoothness to your strands. And the latest that have been trending in the recent couple of years is none other than BBO or Brazilian Blowout.
BBO is the short-form for Brazilian Blowout, a type of keratin treatment where liquid keratin is applied and sealed around your hair to create a protective layer around each strand, effectively diminishing frizz, sealing the cuticle, and protecting against any external damage. The smoothing treatment comes from Brazil, and uses ingredients such as camu camu, annatto seed, and açai berry to give your hair an unbelievable shine.
To be honest, this treatment is not new. It does however come from the other side of the world (South America) and so came to Asia much later than its rival system: rebonding.
Anyone who asked their hairstylists for options to remove frizz in the 1990s would very certainly be recommended to go for Japanese rebonding, a process which breaks existing bonds and removes curls for permanent de-frizzing. While the frizz is gone immediately after rebonding, it can look pretty bad months later when hair regrowth results in a strange delineation between wavy new hair and stick straight hair ends - a irreversible service that will probably require you to come back for regular rebonding touch ups every couple of months.
That is fortunately not the case with BBO. Instead of permanently changing your natural hair texture, Brazilian Blowouts focus on coating your locks to create a protective layer around each strand. This means that they retain your curls for as long as the coating remains; once the layer of Keratin fades off, your natural curls will be back in its glory. Do Keratin Treatments frequently and you'll find that your hair remains less frizzy compared to before as the layer of Keratin builds up to keep it frizz-free.
While boasting the maximum straightening effect, the way rebonding achieves straightness is via breaking down existing hair bonds before restructuring them. This is bound to damage your hair, making it more brittle over time. If your locks are already bleached or otherwise badly traumatised, rebonding could drive the final nail into your coiff's coffin, with strands breaking off left and right, even melting during the process.
What can stylists do to hair that has been very damaged then? In recent years, BBO has emerged to be the the secret weapon for more advanced stylists. By coating each strand with an extra resilient layer, BBO allows hair to be combed through more easily and grants it a silky mirror-like surface, breathing new life into your hair.
Because the treatment ingredients are naturally derived and come in smaller molecules, they permeate hair more quickly and deeply. So while keratin treatments and rebonding will require you to refrain from washing, tying and heat styling so as to give your locks time to properly settle into their new form, a Brazilian Blowout has an almost instantaneous effect and zero restrictions. Once you step out of the salon, you can go back to your standard washing, styling and general life routine.
To prove the point, we followed Agent R on her visit to 99 Percent Hair Studio, one of the first salons in Singapore to introduce BBO to its clients. Read on to see how the effects of BBO on her hair.
Hi, I'm Agent R, or @thebmbshxll on instagram.
Fitness freaks might know me as a personal trainer, as well as the island's first International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness pro.
But while I take care of my body for work, I can't say I pay nearly as much attention to my hair.
I've been a fan of lightened locks ever since bleaching my hair at a salon in 2016. I even started to take things into my own hands, going crazy with box bleaches and dyes.
The results were...mixed to say the least.
It wasn't the colour that got me panicking though.
I woke up one morning to find my hair so tangled, I couldn't even run my hands through them.
Was it time to chop my long hair off?
I hope not! As you can see, however, it has gotten quite out of control.
I knew I needed to go to a professional.
The first salon that came to my mind is 99 Percent Hair Studio. If you don't already know, 99 Percent Hair Studio is voted one of Singapore's best hair salons for gorgeous bleached hair colours. While their rainbow / galaxy hair colours look beautiful, their professional work-friendly balayage looks absolutely stunning - as I can personally attest to; I went to them for a balayage hair colour that got me lots of compliments. On top of the beautiful colour, I remembered that my last visit came with a very good treatment that kept my hair silky for ages.
So it got me wondering... could 99 Percent Hair Studio be my last bastion of hope?
I didn't make a specific request for any stylist so I was pleasantly surprised to have Jaron, the founder of 99 Percent Hair Studio attend to me.
On top of being the founder for 99 Percent Hair Studio, Jaron is also the ambassador for Wella hair colours and from what I hear, a skillful stylist who is highly respected in the hairdressing industry.
Within minutes of consultation, I could see why. Instead of diving straight into the hair service, Jaron took the time to get to know me and the problems I faced. While he did express surprise at how dry and tangled my hair was, Jaron was not in the least frazzled.
Don't worry, your hair isn't as bad as you think.We've seen and dealt with much worse!~ Jaron
He explained that a number of their customers love to bleach their hair and so, it is pretty common for some of them to come in with dry, damaged and even tangled hair. Normal hair treatment is not sufficient, so for such cases, he tends to recommend Brazilian Blowout (BBO). Jaron reassures me that Brazilian Blowout is not rebonding; while it straightens hair, it does not alter my hair texture permanently or damage my hair further. Instead, it wraps my hair with keratin, making it easier to comb through.
It is clear that Jaron knows what he's talking about so I'm just glad that he's here to help me take control this mess of hair.
So it turns out that the Brazilian Blowout is a complete treatment that comes in three separate steps:
Step 1 - Scalp cleansing
Step 2 - Brazilian Blowout treatment,
Step 3 - Leave-in treatment.
The first step is to create a squeaky clean base, prepping my crowning glory to best absorb the nutrients from the following treatment phases.
If we haven't mentioned before, 99 Percent Hair Studio is also the flagship salon for NIOXIN, so I was treated to thorough cleansing using NIOXIN scalp shampoo to purify both my congested scalp and tresses at the same time.
It was a big bonus that a massage was part of the purification procedure.
I haven't had someone wash my hair so thoroughly for some time, so it felt darn good!
Once that one was done, we moved to Step 2: The Brazilian Blowout Treatment proper.
A generous amount of rich cream, containing naturally derived keratins, was squirted into a basin, and then from there, luxuriously brushed through my tangles.
This was the part that I really took notice. My hair started to visibly smoothen out the moment the treatment was applied.
My hair never looks this cooperative this when it is wet, ever.
It did take a while to get through all my tresses.
My hair is long, and Jaron coated it layer by layer to make sure every inch of my mop would get its share of Brazilian Blowout bounty.
Before moving on to the third step of leave-in treatment, Jaron dried and ironed my locks to prep it for the final serving of restorative nutrients.
Drier hair absorbs the leave-in ingredients better than if it was already saturated with water, so Jaron took the effort to first blowdry the hair.
The hair iron then seals the nutrients into the hair and makes sure that the upcoming batch of leave in ingredients penetrates deep into the hair shaft.
Glossy smoothness here I come!
Once my locks were properly prepped, it was time for the penultimate phase of the Brazilian Blowout.
A lush leave-in cuticle repair elixir was comprehensively brushed through my dried hair, to seal in the keratin treatment.
No washing required, I simply had to wait for it to do its work.
Because my hair was now damp from the latest solutions, it was blow dried again, with gentle heat really helping to accelerate the chemical reactions that were forming a glossy coat over my locks.
And before I knew it, my tress-transformation was complete!
Blowout? More like blown away!
I loved how my hair had impeccable shine and smoothness, without volume and movement being sacrificed.
As a bodybuilder, I really didn't want to slog everyday creating definition and shape in my body only to have my hair hang completely limp and flat.
Instead, the Brazilian Blowout gave me oh-so-silky tresses that were as bodacious as my heart could desire.
And of course, they could be styled immediately, to rock lush curls...
...Or be worn straight to highlight their new mirror-like sheen.
Jaron also gave me really thorough instructions to prolong my crowning glory's new glow-up.
I was advised to use mild shampoos without sulfates and parabens to maintain the integrity of my new gloss-coating, and to blow dry my hair cuticles after each wash. He also mentioned that I could really max out the durability by using keratin hair masks, but that in any case I could return for a refresher treatment when the effects of this one started to fade, in about three months.
Will I be back? You bet!
Just look at how soft and smooth my rebellious frizz has become, and you'll understand why I'm SO HAPPY with my new hair.
Thank you Jaron and 99 Percent Hair Studio for giving me new tresses that feels all set to take on 2021~
Want to give the above Brazilian Blowout a try?
99 Percent Hair Studio is giving away $50 voucher for all First Time customers (for use on weekdays only).
Enter this link to find out more.