Human hair

Malaysian vs. Brazilian

Published By: Kennedy

Last Updated: February 14, 2022

Malaysian hair and Brazilian hair have some slight differences that set them apart. Today we will have a detailed look at what those differences are, and also a look at some of their similarities. 

Malaysian Hair vs. Brazilian Hair

There are some differences and some similarities between Brazilian hair and Malaysian hair. If you are an on-the-go person who does not want constant maintenance, Malaysian hair may be the best fit for you. If you are someone that wants a more comfortable and natural look, Brazilian may be best for you. Below is a quick summary of the attributes of these two hair types. 

Some of the differences are:

  • Malaysian hair is very silky hair, which also gives it a very shiny look. 
  • Brazilian hair is not as shiny and coarser than Malaysian hair. 
  • Brazilian hair is generally more curly than Malaysian hair. 
  • Malaysian hair has more of a wavy pattern.
  • Malaysian hair is heavy, and Brazilian hair is lighter. 

Maintenance differences are:

  • Malaysian hair should be moisturized often because it can get dry. 
  • Brazilian hair needs moisture for shine and maximum curl definition. 

Some of the similarities are:

  • They both are around the same price
  • They both benefit from deep conditioning
  • They are both thick and dense

Malaysian Hair

Malaysian hair is a soft and silky type of hair. It blends well with all hair textures and has a lot of natural shine. The hair is thick, but not thicker than Brazilian hair. Malaysian hair tends to be finer than Brazilian hair and has more of a wavy curl pattern. 

Many people gravitate towards Malaysian hair because of its longevity, it can last for a full year. Malaysian hair is heavier than Brazilian, so wearing many bundles may feel more excessive. The colors of Malaysian hair are usually darker, usually a deep brown. 

This hair is low-maintenance because the curls generally stay intact without the help of hair products. The price range for Malaysian hair is usually between $30 and $40 per bundle. 

Best Ways to Care for Malaysian Hair

1. Brush Hair While Wet

Malaysian hair is known to become dry and poofy very easily. In order to get the most out of the curl pattern, you should brush the hair while wet in order to clump the curls together. Malaysian hair has more of a wave pattern, so if you brush the hair while it is wet, you actually help to define the curls. By brushing the hair while wet, you will help to reduce frizz, which keeps the hair’s natural shine intact.

2. Deep Condition

The key to keeping Malaysian hair soft and silky is moisture. Deep conditioners/hair masks impart extra moisture into the hair that will last throughout the week. Using a deep conditioner is especially beneficial for Malaysian hair because it tends to dry out, so deep conditioning will help prevent that from happening.[1]

When you deep condition your hair, apply a plastic bag or shower cap around it for about an hour. Covering the hair while the conditioner is applied will help it to penetrate the hair shaft more, giving it extra moisture.

3. Limit Straightening

If you want to get the most out of the curl pattern, you will need to limit the number of times you straighten the hair. Straightening the hair dries it out, and the curls do not come back the same after the heat has damaged them. The hair can also lose its luster and softness after excessively applying heat. 

Using a straightener once or twice a month should be the maximum amount that you use heat. However, if you want to keep the curls looking the same way for as long as you wear the hair, you should not straighten the hair at all. 

Brazilian Hair 

Brazilian hair is coarse and is also very dense. It is usually purchased as curly hair, and it is not uncommon for it to contain several curl patterns. Brazilian hair looks very natural and is more durable than most hair types. 

Brazilian hair can hold curls and withstand heat better than Malaysian hair, and also blends better with African American hair. Brazilian lasts for a long time, but not as long as Malaysian. Also, Brazilian hair requires slightly more maintenance than Malaysian, mostly due to curl definition. Brazilian hair typically ranges from about $30 – $45 dollars per bundle. 

Best Ways to Care for Brazilian Hair

1. Use a Heat Protectant 

Using a heat protectant is one of the best ways to protect any type of hair that you are applying heat to. Brazilian hair can withstand heat better than Malaysian hair, however, after heating it tends to lose its shine.

A heat protectant is simply something you apply to the hair to create a protective layer from the heat. The product has to be able to withstand high temperatures, while also imparting moisture into the hair.

There are heat protectant sprays you can buy, but there are also natural products you can use as well. Argan oil and coconut oil are some of the best natural heat protectors – but you don’t want to use too much or your hair will smoke.

2. Night Protection 

Protecting Brazilian hair at night will prevent matting and dryness. One great way to protect your hair, especially if you are wearing a weave, is to use a silk or satin bonnet. You can lose a lot of moisture in the hair as you’re sleeping, so applying a soft covering that does not absorb moisture is beneficial. 

Applying a silk or satin bonnet on top of your head before you go to bed will keep the hair from rubbing against your pillowcase – which can cause breakage – and hold in moisture throughout the night. A good silk bonnet costs between $10-$15, although you can get higher quality ones that are more expensive.[2]

3. Oils 

Oils work so well to keep Brazilian hair soft, moisturized, and shiny. The best way to apply oil onto the hair is while it is wet. When the hair is wet it can absorb the oil better. You also do not need to use a lot of oil.[3]

If you make Brazilian hair too oily, it can become weighed down and dirty very quickly. A small amount goes a long way. There are several oils you can use, one being avocado oil. Avocado oil is loaded with fatty acids which help soften the hair and impart shine. 

Argan oil also imparts moisture and shine, and is very lightweight which means that it will not weigh the hair down too much. 

The Final Word

Both Malaysian and Brazilian hair are very thick and beautiful. Knowing the differences between the two can determine which suits you best. 


I have always had a love for writing and have been blogging for about 3 years now. I have a passion for teaching what I have learned over the years, especially about hair. I have had almost every hairstyle - typical of a cosmetologist’s daughter- including the big chop in 2015. With all the knowledge I have gained, I feel it is my duty to help others on their healthy hair journey. I believe education can be fun, and I strive to make it fun to learn about beautiful black hair.

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