Having straight, smooth hair no matter what the weather and without wrestling with your tresses for a good hour before stepping out every day is a fantasy we all have. So it’s very tempting to chemically treat your hair to get rid of all the kinks and curls and never have to pick up your blow-dryer again.
But, ladies, be warned that chemical treatment can cause plenty of stress to your hair. There are different types of options and processes to chemically straighten your hair, which are harsh on your hair in varying degrees. Don’t book yourself in for an appointment to smoothen your mane just yet - read up on everything you need to know about chemically straightening your hair first!
Here's the lowdown on whether straightening will "save" your tresses or distress them further.
If You Want It to Last Permanently Till Your Whole Length Grows Out
Otherwise known as Japanese Rebonding, this is widely done for thick, frizzy hair where the hair is treated with a chemical that breaks the bonds, which give your strands their shape – whether straight, wavy or curly. The hair is then rinsed, blow-dried and flat-ironed before it is saturated with a neutralizer, which helps lock in the new straight shape. The entire process can take anywhere between 4 to 8 hours and would require touch-ups every few months for new growth. Be prepared for poker-straight locks minus any volume or bounce.
If You Want to Smoothen Your Strands
Using the same chemical compounds that break and reshape the bonds, the hair is then rinsed and neutralized. It’s a shorter process, but uses the same chemicals to leave your hair smoother, frizz-free and more manageable.
If You Want a Milder Treatment That Will Wear Off in a Few Months
Also known as Keratin Treatment or a Brazilian Blowout, this option has gained immense popularity in recent years since it smoothens the surface of your strands without permanently breaking down the bonds, so your natural texture returns in 2 to 4 months. This treatment has received plenty of flack for containing formaldehyde, which poses health risks when inhaled, though the makers of the Keratin Hair Therapy insist that the treatment contains small levels of the chemical which are too low-risk to matter. The Brazilian Blowout will smoothen your locks and control frizz while maintaining some of your original texture and volume, so don’t expect your hair to be super-straight.
What You Need to Consider
It is essential to have a long talk with your hairstylist about the quality of your hair and the shape it is in. If you really want to go in for a straightening treatment, your locks must be in in good enough shape. Ask your stylist to perform a strand test to know if your mane is strong enough to survive straightening and not too damaged beforehand. Like with any other chemical treatment, be prepared for dryness, breakage and having to put in lots of special care and love once you have straightened your locks.
Irrespective of what type of process you choose, committing yourself to the care and upkeep of your mane is a must. Your tresses will be left dehydrated, so it is important to start using effective products after your treatment. Depending on the procedure, your stylist will recommend special shampoos and conditioners for you to use, which may be a bit pricey but definitely worth the money to keep your hair healthy and avoid split ends and breakage. Nourishing serums like Moroccanoil
and hydrating masks like L’Occitane Repairing Shine Hair Mask
should also be incorporated into your hair care routine.
Things To Keep In Mind
Vanity is something we understand, and we know only too well the time and effort that goes into taming stubborn locks! So if you still decide to chemically straighten your hair, here are a few important points to keep in mind:
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- Do not treat extensively damaged hair.
- Be prepared for some loss of volume.
- You cannot wash or tie up your hair for a few days after the treatment.
- Straightening can be an addictive process. You will constantly be tempted to chemically treat your roots and new growth every few months.
- It may be damaging, but it certainly does give you fuss-free and easy to maintain locks that you can just wash and run out the door!