Are you tired of your frizzy locks and want to go the straight way? If you are seeking the straight silky hairstyle of Jennifer Aniston or Nicole Kidman, hair straightening may be just the treatment for you!
Straight hair has always been in style and it is little wonder that there are many a hair straightening products and treatments enticing women today. Hair pressing and straightening methods have been around since the turn of the 20th century. The latest permanent straightening method or Japanese hair straightening method (thermal method) has been taking the hair care world by storm all over. Let us understand the chemical process of hair straightening.
Permanent hair straightening
Permanent or chemical hair straightening should be carried out by a trained professional, who has sufficient experience with these relaxing processes. The nature of relaxing formula to be used depends on the hair that has to be treated. The main ingredient of permanent hair straightening chemicals is Thioglycolate or Thio.
This chemical causes the sulfur bonds to separate and allows the hair to take a new shape. The next stage of neutralizing seeks to reconnect the sulfur bonds so as to retain the new shape. Use of flattening or straightening irons is also made to create the tension on the hair and allow it to take on a new shape.
Chemical hair straightening
Chemical straightening of hair involves use of formulas that either use sodium hydroxide or Thio formula. Chemical hair straightening needs to be undertaken with care and caution. It is necessary to follow the directions and precautions for use of chemical hair straightening treatments. Alkali based hair straightening chemicals can cause damage to skin and hair.
Chemical hair straightening involves use of alkaline chemicals that swell the hair and break the sulfur bonds in the keratins. If the chemicals are left on the hair for too long, it can cause irreversible damage. Care should be taken to cove the scalp skin with a protective cream before the chemical treatment for hair straightening.
Thermal hair straightening
Thermal reconditioning is a permanent hair straightening treatment that works to restructure the hair bonds such that they give a straight and glossy appearance. This method has its roots in Japan and has now gained in popularity in the US and elsewhere.
A trained hair treatment professional will find out if your hair is suitable for this type of permanent hair straightening process. Those who have had a hair coloring or hair lightening process recently may not be able to go in for this hair straightening process. The hair designer will give you an opinion after an examination of your hair type.
Japanese hair straightening
Japanese hair straightening method also used a Thio base as the major active ingredient. The process of thermal hair straightening may take up to 6 hours. A hair straightening process can set you back by about $750. You will need to use special shampoos and conditioners that have been formulated for treated hair.
The process begins with the application of a protein solution or conditioner that aids in equalizing the hair porosity. This will work as a protection against the chemicals that will be used in the straightening process. The Thio based solution is then applied to the hair.
This works on softening the hair by disassociating the sulfur bonds within the hair shaft. The hair designer will then apply the chemical and work it through the hair. The hair is very fragile at this point and needs deft handling. After allowing sufficient time for the chemical reaction to take place, the hair designer will check the results.
Some hair types react faster to the chemicals than others. The hair is then rinsed and shampooed after the disassociation of the sulfur bonds. At this stage, some tension in the form of a straightening iron has to be used to get the hair as straight as possible. It is then allowed to cool and a neutralizing solution is used to oxygenate the hair and lower its pH. The sulfur bonds then work on the new configuration. Finally the hair is rinsed and dried and ironed into a style. The hair should be allowed to absorb more oxygen else there is a likelihood that part of the hair might revert to its earlier curly state.
Hair straightening irons
Hair straightening irons have wide plates to accommodate large sections of hair. These ceramic-coated plates distribute heat evenly and prevent damage to the hair. The nylon comb attachment holds the hair taut during the straightening process to give better results.
These straightening irons offer different heat settings to suit various hair types. The ceramic technology allows gentle infrared heat and negative ions that will result in frizz-free hair. Hot pressing irons have been used for straightening hair since nearly a century now. To use a hair straightening iron, you need to wash your hair and towel dry it.
A small amount of lubricating solution or gel is used to allow the heat to pass through quickly. The straightening iron is used to reconnect the broken bonds of the hair into a new position. Use of straightening irons offers a temporary solution to the problem of curly hair. But care should be taken to see that you do not overuse the hair straightening irons. It can result in breakage and skin burns.
Hair straightening tip
An important tip for those who have undergone hair straightening treatment is to use a mild shampoo and strong conditioner so that the hair is well protected. You must keep off from any heat-styling tools so as to prevent any damage to the hair.
Regular deep conditioning of the hair can give it a healthier bounce and shine. Use good detangling products and wide-toothed comb for the hair after a straightening treatment. A tip to those who want to add a bit of shine - Add a drop of silicone serum and watch the tresses bounce. A little care will go a long way in maintaining the straightened tresses.