Brides met Michael Van Clarke hair colour and Brazilian blow-dry specialist Jodie Lloyd to get the juice on all things smooth hair. We wanted to know how brides with insanely unruly hair can get more manageable tresses in time for their wedding day. But we also heard that a Brazilian blow-dry can protect your hair from humidity and rain, meaning it looks less frizzy/puffy all the time. Ideal if you’re worrying about your hair staying in place on the big day – particularly if you know it has a habit of doing its own thing as soon as you leave the salon.
First, we booked Cara, whose extra-thick locks were formerly capable of breaking a brush, in for a treatment with Jodie. What did she think of the result?
"Since the Brazilian blow-dry, my hair has been tamed in a way no high-street product could achieve. It's so much quicker to dry and style, and requires no conditioner after shampooing, saving me a lot of time and money. I've gone from spending nearly two hours managing my hair to just 45 minutes! I also now feel able to walk out the door without doing anything to it. I'm thrilled with the final result and feel much more confident about how my hair looks with very little effort required. I can't wait to go on holiday and beat the frizz!"
But don't just take Cara's word for it. We asked treatment specialist Jodie Lloyd all the questions you need answers to, so you don't have to. Read on to find out more – as well as whether this treatment is right for you.
Q. What is a Brazilian Blow-Dry?
A. We call this hair treatment the ‘Wash & Go’. Literally, after having it done, clients can happily wash their hair and let it dry naturally without feeling that they look like a mess.
Q. How does it work?
A. First, I wash the hair with a special shampoo to remove any oil or impurities. Next, I have an in-depth consultation with the client (we’ll already have had a brief one ahead of this appointment, where we discuss what they’re after and whether it’ll achieve those results). We decide whether I’ll do it in sections etc. Then I comb the product, which is called Nanokeratin, through the hair and leave it to treat the hair. Finally, I blow-dry it and then straighten each section about ten times. The client then leaves it this way (the product still hasn’t been washed out, remember!), for the recommended number of days before washing – depending on what they want the result to look like.
Q. How long does it take and how many days do people have to wait before washing?
A. It takes an average of 2 hours total and 72 hours is the normal amount of time clients wait until they wash it, but I sometimes recommend less time, depending on their hair texture and thickness. For example, I have one lady who comes in just to get her fringe smoothed out!
Q. Is the result the same on everyone?
A. Not at all. This is where the treatment becomes very bespoke. I can give some rough ideas of results (see below), but it really depends on the individual’s hair thickness and texture. This is why an initial consultation is so important. It’s around 10 minutes-long and is free of charge.
If your hair is very thin, there are two options, 1. Don’t do it because it’ll lose a lot of volume and sit flat against your head. 2. I can work in sections – for example, treating the wavier hair underneath and just leaving the hair on top can help maintain volume. Or I can recommend the client washes their hair before the recommended 72 hours is up, so it works ‘less effectively’.
For very thick hair, I recommend clients leave the product on for 3 days before washing, as their hair won’t lose too much volume. Lots of my clients with thick hair are looking for it to sit less ‘poufy’ on their head – this treatment is great for that.
This may result in a Kate Middleton-style kick at the ends. Remember, Kate Middleton definitely styles her hair – but she may also have a Brazilian blow-dry treatment every once in a while to make it smoother generally. Again, I'd recommend the client leave in the cream for the full period of 72 hours.
It’s likely to look completely straight and smooth afterwards.
Some of my straight-haired clients will wash it out after one day (rather than three), so it just gets rid of surface frizz. Or else I can give them a 20-minute Express treatment, which is like a conditioning treatment that you wash out in the salon. This also works really well to smooth any flyaways.
Q. Is it bad for your hair?
A. Quite the opposite! This product is packed with keratin, which is what your hair is made of, so it’s actually deep conditioning. I’ve even had clients come in with frazzled hair from using straighteners and hairdryers at home, who’ve then come back to me after their appointment saying their hair is much improved. This is a ‘Wash & Go’ treatment, meaning you can stop damaging the hair with heat at home. And, unlike some chemical straightening treatments, Nanokeratin doesn’t change the structure of your hair, so it’s not breaking the bonds and damaging it that way, either.
Q. Will my hair smell for the three days I can’t wash it?
A. It’s not a bad smell at all – more a sort of strong shampoo scent. But it will take a couple of washes before it completely goes away.
Q. How long does it last?
A. Up to three months. I can also do an express 20-minute treatment after three months to smooth it down a bit, before we book the full works again.
Q. Will there be a line of smooth/not-smooth hair when it grows out?
A. Not at all. Because your hair grows at the same time as the treatment wears off, there’s never any visible demarcation along the roots.
Q. How does it interact with hair colour?
A. You can get it coloured before or after, no problem – just leave it a few days on either side. If you wanted to get colour and a Brazilian blow-dry done on the same day, however, that actually locks in the dye really well. The sealant in Nanokeratin keeps colour fresher for longer. But that would be a very long appointment for anyone!
Q. When should a bride get it done before the wedding?
A. I’d recommend getting it around 2-3 weeks before the big day. This allows it to settle properly and gain a little volume ahead of time. For anyone with very thin hair, I’d tell them to get it done at least a month before, so it can become fuller in advance of the day. It's important to remember for your honeymoon, though, that salt-water will break down the product and make it less smooth faster. No dunking your head under the sea!