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Hair straightening is a popular method for achieving smooth, sleek, and frizz-free hair regardless of your natural hair texture. There are various ways to straighten your hair, including in-salon treatments like rebonding, as well as at-home methods like blow drying. It’s important to be aware of all the options available to make an informed decision on the best method that suits your needs. Hair straightening techniques can be broadly categorized into three types: chemical, non-chemical, and natural. This article provides details on each technique, including their benefits, results, potential side effects, and recommended precautions to take. By understanding the differences between these techniques, you can choose the most suitable method to straighten your hair while minimizing any potential risks.
Types Of Straightening Hair Methods
Chemical Hair Straightening Methods
The use of chemical solutions to straighten hair is the essence of chemical hair straightening techniques. There are three major chemical hair straightening methods to straighten your hair.
Hair rebonding is an in-salon procedure that uses chemicals and heat to give you smooth and straight hair. The process starts with breaking the bonds in your hair shaft and then rebonding them in a straighter texture. The results of rebonding last longer than a smoothening treatment and make unmanageable or frizzy hair look put together. The treatment takes a couple of hours, is semi-permanent, and lasts up to 6-12 months, depending on the original texture and aftercare.
Keratin treatment, also known as ‘protein treatment’ and ‘hair smoothening’, helps make your hair frizz-free and look a lot straighter. After applying a keratin solution, your hair is blow-dried and straightened with a flat iron to seal in the product. It is less damaging than rebonding as it doesn’t break the hair bonds to restructure them, but smooths down the cells that overlap to form hair strands, making them shiny and soft to the touch. The results of a keratin treatment last up to three months, depending on the texture and thickness of your hair.
Hair relaxing treatment uses extreme heat and chemicals to give you super straight hair. Chemical relaxers break the hydrogen and disulphide bonds in your hair, after which your hair technician reconfigures the hair strands into a super straight texture with a hair straightener. A hair relaxing treatment is permanent and lasts longer than three months until your hair grows out.
Straightening irons work by breaking and reforming hydrogen bonds in the hair, resulting in a temporary straight texture that can be easily reversed by water or humidity. Although not particularly healthy for hair, straightening irons can be used in a less damaging way by using heat protectant sprays and avoiding pinning or putting up straightened hair.
Blow drying can also straighten hair by reshaping strands that have had their hydrogen bonds broken by washing. This method is less damaging than using straightening irons but also not long-lasting. Heat protectant products and serums can be used to achieve a silky and shiny finish, while a round bristle brush provides more control over the strands while blow-drying.
Straightening brushes are electric devices with wide bristles that straighten hair while drying it. While they may seem like a time-saving option, the results are often unsatisfactory and the uncontrolled heat can damage cuticles. Pulling on wet hair with a straightening brush can also cause breakage.
One of the methods mentioned is a hot oil treatment, which involves using a combination of castor and coconut oil to deeply nourish and repair the hair shaft. This treatment is beneficial for dry and frizzy hair and can provide a silky, shiny finish.
Another method is a DIY milk spray, which is a gentle formulation that can be used on hair every day. Milk is enriched with vitamins, calcium, and proteins, which help to fortify hair shafts and add luster while also making the hair smoother.
Finally, the rice water has been known to result in long, sleek, shiny tresses. Rice water is enriched with flavonoids and phenolic compounds that can improve the texture and appearance of hair.
How It Works
Permanent hair straightening treatments utilize a chemical process to achieve the desired effect. These treatments are typically categorized into several types that rely on different chemical formulas and processing methods. While some treatments can be performed at home, others require salon-grade equipment and a professional stylist to be completed effectively.
The common strategy used by all permanent hair straightening methods involves the application of a chemical solution to the hair. This chemical solution alters the way proteins in the hair are configured. In procedures like perms and Japanese thermal straightening, a neutralizer is also applied to the hair, which causes new bonds to form between protein molecules, locking the hair into its new straight shape.
After applying the chemical solution and neutralizer, the hair is then styled, which can take several hours. It is essential to note that the chemical solutions used in these treatments can carry strong scents. For this reason, individuals are often advised against getting their hair wet or sweating too much in the days following the treatment. This caution is due to the fact that they are exposed to inhaling the chemicals used to treat their hair, which can also affect people nearby.
Before undergoing permanent hair straightening, several factors must be considered. One crucial aspect to consider is the individual’s hair type. Curly hair typically requires more heat and chemicals to straighten effectively. Another essential factor to consider is the desired outcome. For example, if someone wants to add overall smoothness and soften waves, it would be better not to use perms, which are effective but more damaging solutions.
The state of an individual’s hair health is another vital factor to consider. If someone has strong, thick, and healthy hair, and they commit to taking care of it in the months following the treatment, they may well give it a try. However, if someone has thin, damaged hair, it may struggle to survive such a trial.