Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Straightening Hair

I remember as a teenager, those with curly hair wanted it straight but those with straight hair wanted it with some curl. I fell into the group with curly hair who wanted it a bit straighter since I couldn't do much with it.  The weekend I graduated from high school, I went out and purchased those super large orange juice sized rollers for my hair.  I washed it bright and early on Friday morning, put my hair up in those rollers and that night brushed it out.  I was thrilled because my hair was calm and looked great until it rained and then it turned into a frizzy mess.  I tried again on Saturday and the same thing happened so I gave up.

I wasn't willing to follow the advice of the older generation who told me just to iron my hair.  That would do it.  At the moment there are two ways to straighten hair using either via heat or chemicals.  If you are not careful, either method can cause damage to the hair.  

One way to straighten your hair is via the use of a flat iron. Be sure to invest in a high quality flat iron that allows one to choose the temperature since it depends on the type of hair you have.  If your hair is damaged, or fine, set the temperature to 300 degrees or less.  If you have average hair, use a temperature of between 300 and 380 degrees where as if you have thick course hair set it to 400 degrees but no matter which temperature you choose, use a heat protector or you could damage your hair quite a lot. 

Furthermore, you have to use just the right speed with the flat iron.  If you run the flat iron too fast down your hair, it won't straighten it but if you go too slow, you could burn your hair.  In addition, you need to section your hair rather than using chunks of hair.  Run the flat iron down each section from roots to ends until it is smooth and sleek but pull each section taut when straightening it.  When the proper amount of tension is used, it makes it easier to straighten hair. At the end, apply a hydrating serum from mid length to the end to add shine and a bit of light weight hairspray to keep the flyaways and frizz down.  Make sure the hair has been allowed to cool before straightening. 

Before you straighten your hair, make sure it is clean and totally dry otherwise it might sizzle or steam.  It is recommended that you do not use any other product than a heat protector otherwise there might be a problem.  When you apply other products, they can cause your hair to sizzle or produce steam because when the iron clamps down on the hair, the product has absolutely no where to go. Consequently, the product is being boiled into the hair follicle, especially if it contains alcohol.

The other way to go when straightening your hair is to use a chemical treatment of some sort.  It might be rebonding, hair relaxing, a combination of chemicals and heat or the use of keratin.  Although rebonding and relaxing might sound the same they aren't.  Hair rebonding is where a cream or relaxer to soften the hair bonds of the natural structure and then a neutralizer is applied to rebuild the bond. Unfortunately, rebonding cannot be used very often because it makes the hair quite fragile and weak.

In relaxing, also known as chemical straightening, the protein bonds in the hair are broken down to straighten the hair but only a certain number need be broken. If too many are broken, the hair becomes limp and if enough are not broken, the hair won't be straight. Chemical straightening should always be done in a salon by a professional.

Another way is by using Japanese straightening also known as thermal reconditioning. This method uses both chemicals and heat to permanently alter the structure of the hair that smooths and conditions the hair. This six to eight hour process breaks the protein bonds in the hair and they are reshaped.  In addition, after it is done, you must return to the salon a few days later for the final step. The results last six to seven months at a time. Although it does last quite a long time, it can severely damage the hair. 

Finally is the Keritan method also known as the brazilian straightening. Keratin is a natural protein found in the hair and this method is considered a better way to straighten hair.  A keratin solution is applied to the hair, then it is heated with a 450 degree flat iron to seal the keratin to the hair.  It can help the hair so it doesn't get damaged and can be repeated more often than the other methods.  

So now you know the two main ways to straighten hair.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.  I'd love to hear.  

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