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Straightening Vs Smoothening: Everything You Need To Know About The Major Differences!

Straightening Vs Smoothening: Everything You Need To Know About The Major Differences!

Hair straightening is the hair styling technique used to straighten out your hair in order to give it a smooth, streamlined and sleek appearance. It was a very popular trend in the 1950s. It was done through several techniques like using a hot comb, a hair iron, chemical relaxers, blow-dryer styling, roller set, Brazilian hair straightening. Even some shampoos, conditioners, hair gels and serums can make your hair temporarily straight.

Temporarily Straighten Your Hair
Hair Products For Temporary Straightening
Hair Straightening – Permanent Or Rebonding
Hair Smoothening
Keratin Treatment
Brazilian Hair Treatment

Techniques To Temporarily Straighten Your Hair:

Shampoos and Conditioners


Do you live in a place where the humidity level is very high? Or do you have frizzy hair? We get it! It can sometimes get unmanageable. It probably stays nourished and smooth for an hour after a wash but after that, it goes back to its untamed state and the straight brushed, silky texture is lost! On top of that, when you opt for heating tools to straighten your hair, the long-term effects can be even more damaging to your hair. You lose the natural bounce and your hair eventually becomes dry and listless. Hence hair straightening shampoos can be the best solution for you to lock in that smooth texture.

Here are some of our favourites:

Tresemme Keratin Smooth With Argan Oil Shampoo (Rs. 410)

This range by the brand has been carefully crafted to achieve salon-like smoothness and silkiness. It has low sulphates and it helps restore keratin and nourishes each strand of hair. It controls frizz and transforms the hair to give a straighter appearance. It also becomes more manageable and easy to style.

Tresemme Keratin Smooth With Argan Oil Conditioner (Rs. 220)

Best used with the Tresemme Keratin Smooth With Argan Oil shampoo, together they give the result that will almost look like you went for a blow dry to the parlour. Say bye to frizzy and hair that just won’t stay put and hello to a world of silky smoothness.

Hair Straightening Cream


Another option for people who are a fan of the straight hair look but don’t want to subject their tresses to the unnatural heat and harmful side-effects of using a flat iron is straightening creams. If you are unfamiliar with this technique, let us break it down and tell you how to use it:

1. Start with small amounts of the product and keep building up as you go.

2. Go from the roots to the tips and run your fingers through the hair to spread out the product evenly. If you have longer or thicker hair you may need to apply it once more.

3. Then brush out your hair using a wide-toothed comb to spread the product evenly into your hair.

4. Section your hair into 3-4 parts and secure them with pins.

5. Now start with the lowest part of your hair and place a round brush under the bottom of the hair and start blow drying. Because the cream is heat activated it will set as soon as heat falls on it.

6. This will remove all the curls and frizz from your tresses. Continue brushing and blow drying until your hair is fully dry and do the rest for all the sections. The combination of the dryer and the hair straightening cream will give you a really fabulous look.

Here are some of our favorite Hair Straightening Creams:

Matrix Opti Straight (Rs. 1250)

It’s one of the best straightening creams out there, as it leaves the hair shiny and doesn’t strip the natural oils from the locks. It leaves them looking ultra-glamorous always. It even has a pleasant floral smell and neutralizes the dry and the overly heated smell of the blow dryer.

L’oreal Paris Studio Line Hot & Straight Cream (Rs. 950)

And if you want to go the more natural way, then here are some home remedies to straighten hair with kitchen-based products:

For a moisture surge in the hair:

1. Mix 2 tbsp of lemon juice and 3 tbsp of cornstarch together.

2. In a heating pan, mix a cup of coconut milk, 2 tbsp of olive oil and add the lemon juice and cornstarch mixture to it.

3. Stir constantly till it turns into a thick paste.

4. Wash your hair with a smoothening/straightening shampoo and apply it to your hair once it’s dry.

5. Cover your hair with a shower cap or a steamed towel and leave it on for two hours.

6. Wash your hair and shampoo and condition it well.

7. For more permanent results, continue this trick twice a week and you’ll notice your hair being moisture laden, straighter and silkier.

Hair-fall control straightening cream:

1. Heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a cup of coconut milk and stir continuously.

2. In a separate bowl, mix 2 tbsp of gelatin powder and 2 tbsp of corn flour together.

3. Pour all the dry ingredients together into a heating pan with the coconut mixture and mix it well till it binds and thickens.

4. Remove it from the heat and once it cools down add 2 tsp of lemon juice and 2 tsp of honey to it.

5. Part your hair in different sections and untangle it before applying this paste from root to tip.

6. Keep pulling your hair straight as you go and once you’re all done, leave it on for half an hour.

7. Rinse hair with cold water but don’t shampoo it, instead apply some conditioner and let your hair hang straight.

8. Keep the conditioner on for 5-7 minutes and then rinse it off with cold water again.

9. Don’t blow or towel dry your hair but let it dry out naturally.
Repeat this two or three times a week for best results and avoid using shampoos to let the concoction seep deep into your hair.

Also Read Also Read ‘Benefits Of Onion Juice For Hair’

Blow Dryer


If you’re one of those people who doesn’t like poker straight hair but enjoys that little bounce and healthy volume in your hair then using a blow dryer to tame it down is the way to go. It gives a more lifted appearance to the hair, however, it can be time-consuming and would require practice to figure out how to place and angle the blow dryer. It will load your hair with body and give it more natural-looking straightness than that of a straightening iron. The best would be to use the dryer after straightening shampoo to really fight those waves, curls and frizziness.

Here are some of our favorite Blow Dryers:

Vega Pro Touch VHDP-02 Hair Dryer (Rs. 2499)

It’s a professional blow dryer to give you that salon like finish every day. The nozzle is specially designed to straighten your hair and brush it out in a particular direction. It has a safety automatic cut out when it overheats.

Philips HP8100/46 Hair Dryer (Rs. 799)

If you’re on a budget then this is the best dryer for you. An ever-trusted brand, Philips always makes ace products. It comes with a 1.5-meter power cord so you can now dry your hair even if the plug point is far away. This even comes with a two years warranty so don’t worry about your money not being spent in the right place.

Straightening Iron


It goes without saying that flat irons straighten your hair by their very design. Earlier, flat irons were made with metal plates which were very damaging to the hair but now they exude the top-class ceramic, tourmaline, and titanium plates, that infuse the hair with moisture without burning it. While it is true that clamping down on hair for extended periods can cause serious damage to your locks, there are a few measures you can take to lessen your hair being damaged. It smoothens out even the most stubborn curls and leaves the hair straight till the next wash. If it’s volume you’re looking for along with straighter hair, put it all up and straighten in sections from the roots. Again for best results pair it up with a smoothening or straightening shampoo to make the hair look tidy and in-place for a longer duration.

Here are some of our favourite Straightening Irons:

Corioliss SKIN Bare Hair Straightener (Rs. 5999)

This is the ultimate pro hair straightener you’ll need. With variable temperature adjustment allows you to straighten or keep it effortlessly glam, you can decide what avatar you want to go for.

Hair Straightening Brush


It’s just like a straightening iron and performs the same functions of managing your hair and making it look flat-out-fabulous. However, it’s a much easier job. If you have thick hair, or tangled hair you know the struggle of holding a comb and hair iron together and straightening your hair. However, with the straightening brush, both those jobs are combined.

Here are some of our favourite Hair Straightening Brush:

Corioliss Travel Hot Brush – Black (1999)

If there’s one brand that does hair straightening products the best it’s Corioliss. Small and compact, easy to manage, and has adjustable temperature settings. It also comes with heat protecting bristles which save hair from too much damage.

But one thing to remember is with any heating appliance, be it a blow dryer, heating iron, straightening brush, it is mandatory to use a heat protectant spray while your hair is still wet. Use it every time to protect your hair from permanent damage and breakage.

Here is one of our favourites:

Toni&Guy Heat Protection Mist: High-Temperature Protection

1. Spray it evenly on towel dried hair and comb the product through every part with your fingers and voila, hair is protected from everything!

Permanent Hair Straightening/ Rebonding


This type of hair straightening involves the use of chemicals to smoothen out your hair. The method claims to be permanent but actually is semi-permanent till your hair completely grows out. Excessive chemical hair straightening can make your locks more susceptible to frizziness and breakage. It does give you a completely straight look but can be almost artificial to the eyes, if it’s what you want then it is perfect for you. It basically breaks the natural bonds in the hair and hence makes it lifeless and weak, if not cared for properly.

1. Your hair will be sleeker, straighter and you won’t need to style it every day.
2. Bye-bye frizz.
3. Having bad hair days will be a thing of the past.

1. Artificial looking, poker straight hair.
2. You have to keep going for touch ups because there will be a clear demarcation between the frizzy roots and straight ends.
3. It can take from four to eight hours, depending on your length and volume.
4. No bounce in your tresses.

Now we come to hair smoothening – what is it and what are the different ways it can be achieved?

Hair Smoothening

What is smoothening? It basically leaves your hair smoother and silkier without changing the natural hair type. It makes it more controlled and manageable. It lifts them from being dull, frizzy and split-end ridden to a more kept mane. There are obviously chemicals used in the process, however, it’s better than rebonding. The smoothening treatment lasts about 6-8 months depending on how frequently you wash your hair and how thorough it is, after treatment care.

Keratin Treatment


Keratin is actually a naturally occurring protein already present in your hair, teeth and nails which is responsible for adding shine and lustre. External factors like pollution and internal ones like age can often reduce the amount of keratin present and therefore making hair rough and frizzy. Keratin treatment for hair straightening replaces this lost keratin in your hair – making it soft, shiny and manageable. It won’t give you poker straight hair but instead, it will look like you got a blow dry at the salon. The results, however, are comparatively short-lived. It doesn’t last more than 6 months and the effects wear off after every wash. Although you do need to invest in special shampoos and conditioners, this is the safest treatment for minimal hair damage. You know that ‘I woke up like this’ look, you’ll be owning that all day, every day.

Here are some of our favourite Keratin Treatments:

OGX Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo (Rs. 725)

It’s a blend of antioxidants rich coconut oil with keratin protein, avocado oil and cocoa butter for smoother, shinier hair. It’s sulphate free and perfect for taming your hair and maintaining treatment.

1. It gets rid of frizz and leaves each strand smoother.
2. Hair will be manageable and easy to style.
3. All hair types can go for it since it is derived from a natural protein.
4. Leaves your hair smoother and shinier.
5. Not as harsh as rebonding.
6. You’ll get a more natural look with bouncy locks.

1. The chemicals can cause allergies like skin irritation or watery eyes. (Do a patch test first.)
2. The treatment has been considered very wrong because it contains formaldehyde, which poses serious health risks when inhaled.
3. You need to use sulfate free and sodium chloride free shampoos and conditioners, which are not cheap. The treatment itself is expensive.

Also Read Cysteine Hair Treatment For Thin Hair

Brazilian Hair Treatment


This treatment is usually recommended for someone with dry or wavy hair. Again, cysteine itself is an amino acid present in the hair bonds which is responsible for your hair’s elasticity. This treatment doesn’t get into harsh treatments and artificial chemicals but it also prevents frizziness and unruliness. The whole process is packed with natural ingredients, proteins and antioxidants, which help improves hair’s texture drastically.

1. Hair is shinier and sleeker.
2. It doesn’t contain formaldehyde and harsh chemicals.
3. It nourishes and moisturises hair from root to tip.
4. Unlike rebonding, the treatment fades out gradually and doesn’t show any actual difference between new and treated hair.

1. The treatment doesn’t last too long. Just 12-14 weeks.
2. It is expensive.
3. It’s semi-permanent.

So we’ve listed everything down for you, now it’s your choice what kind of look you want to go for!

Images: Shutterstock

This story was updated in January 2019.

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