Hair Straightening Options
Millions of people throughout the U.S. are on a quest to find hair straightening techniques that will end their frizz, remove the wave, or eliminate the curl. There are some methods that work for varying amounts of time, but there are also techniques that should only be performed by a highly trained hair technician.
While a flat iron isn’t an actual treatment, the devices have been used for decades to straighten hair. The first straightener was created by a Parisian and used in 1872. The design and materials used have changed, but it’s still the best option for beginners. A flat iron straightens, but makes hair dry and brittle.
This is a keratin treatment and one of the most popular. It’s safer than others, utilizes natural protein that’s already present in hair, and wraps strands in a sheath of keratin protein. There’s no limit on how often the treatment can be applied and doesn’t damage hair. It lasts approximately six months and utilizing keratin enriched shampoos and conditioners will help in maintaining it.
The chemical treatment utilizes a relaxant to “break” the hair’s natural structure. A neutralizer is then applied to rebond the hair structure in the desired, straightened style. It can make hair weak and fragile, can’t be performed too often, and requires a lot of maintenance. Another drawback is that as hair grows, the previous use of a straightener can clearly be seen.
Known by some as thermal reconditioning, the method utilizes heat and chemicals to achieve results and permanently alter the hair. It works by loosening protein bonds and then reshaping them. It can require up to eight hours to complete and individuals will need to return for the final step a few days later. It can cause considerable damage to hair, but if done correctly will last for approximately six months.
Also known as hair relaxing, it’s a technique that breaks hair bonds but absolutely must be performed by a professional. If enough bonds aren’t broken, hair won’t be straight and if too many bonds are broken, hair will be lackluster and limp.
Before embarking on any hair straightening procedure, consider the options carefully. Ensure the technician is highly skilled in the chosen method and weigh the drawbacks against the desired results and potential damage.
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