I tried a Brazilian hair treatment at home. Here is what happened

I’ve struggled with fine, frizzy, wavy hair since I was about 11 years old. I’ve tried just about everything to get it to behave – from burning it with chopsticks and irons to frying it with harsh chemical treatments (I’m pretty sure I killed a few brain cells in the process) .

As I grew older and wiser, I learned to look for products that were more health conscious for the hair and preferably free of formaldehyde and other harsh chemicals. So when I heard about the real, organic, toxin-free Brazilian treatment for straightening frizzy-haired girls like me, I knew I had to try it.

What it is: The True Brazilian Anti-Frizz Hair Treatment, $34.99, is an at-home smoothing serum created by Mauricio Riberio, creator of the original True Brazilian (a chemical smoothing treatment that produces sleek, smooth hair for months). Thanks to the high demand for healthier, chemical-free hair straightening options, Riberio decided to create a non-toxic version of its best-selling treatment. The serum’s main ingredients, Abyssinian Seed Oil and Meadowfoam Oil, help hydrate hair and repair damaged ends while adding shine, body and manageability. The serum is worked into wet hair, blow-dried then flat-ironed in small sections to seal the product into the hair shaft.

Those who live in LA can also visit Mauricio at the Cure Salon in West Hollywood, where he’ll give you the ultraluxe version of his anti-frizz treatment, $350. It has two visits scheduled one week apart and follows a similar protocol to the home version. The final step is to sit under Sunetics FDA approved hair laser for 15 minutes to help the serum penetrate even deeper into the hair.

Who is it best for: Anyone with frizz-prone hair or extremely damaged ends (ahem, like me.) Like most at-home straightening treatments, the True Brazilian won’t straighten your locks forever. You need harsh chemicals for that. So, those with tight curls or highly textured hair looking for a permanent straightening solution may prefer a traditional Brazilian or keratin treatment.

My experience: At the start of the treatment, my hair was about the frizziest it had ever been. My long dark locks have been fried due to years of color experimentation. The treatment was odorless and did not burn my eyes like others in the past. I was in the salon for about an hour and a half in total, but time flies when you connect with your stylist.

When he finished, my locks were completely straight and shiny. I immediately noticed how soft my hair felt and was amazed that my split ends weren’t visible at all. Can I get a hell yes? Mauricio asked me to avoid washing my hair for two days to make the treatment last longer.

The second salon treatment was identical to the first: shampoo, serum, brushing, flat iron and laser. To maintain my results, Mauricio sent me home with a bottle of True Brazil Activating Serum and suggested that I only use a mild sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner.

I doubted I could get the same results at home as Mauricio at the salon. But incorporating the serum into my hair routine was very easy. A little pump of the product makes my blowouts look amazing and like the flat ironing was done by Mauricio himself.

I even tested the product’s anti-frizz claims by the ocean, in light rain, and in a sweaty salsa club (three high-humidity situations that would typically cause a ton of frizz.) I’m happy to say that my hair resisted and remained smooth.

Takeaway meals: Since using True Brazilian, my hair is much healthier and smoother. I can easily run a comb through my hair right out of the shower and detangle it without leave-in conditioner (a first!). My split ends are still not visible and I don’t notice as much breakage when brushing my hair.

What it didn’t give me was the washed and worn hair I had hoped for – my natural waves don’t miraculously look sharper or defined. Still, when I wear it straight or curled with an iron, the style holds much better now than before. It is also softer and shinier.

A miracle straightener, the real Brazilian isn’t, but it’s definitely an easy-to-use, affordable at-home straightening treatment that gives me shiny, tangle-free, frizz-free hair – without any harmful chemicals.

Melissa R. Brumfield