Not all hair types need to undergo the same process.
There are many straightening services on the market to help tame wild hair to help you achieve smoother, sleeker locks. At the end of the day, it boils down to finding the best hair straightening treatment for your needs and hair type. Read on for some pros and cons for each of the most popular in-salon treatments:
1. Japanese Hair Straightening or Thermal Rebonding
Also known as thermal reconditioning, Japanese hair straightening or “rebonding” works through chemically altering hair bonds. Protein bonds in every curly strand is reconfigured to a “straight” hair bond to permanently change its structure. This results in a complete straightening of curls.
Similar to relaxing hair, this method works on most hair types. However, the curlier the hair the more touchups you’ll need. Note: if hair has been subject to a lot of dyeing or heat-related treatments, strands may already be weakened and the results might not be as effective.
It’s best to do this treatment in a salon with a professional. If the straightening solution is left on for too long, it can leave hair thin and brittle. The process takes approximately three to four hours or longer, depending on the condition of your hair. Expect to visit the salon every four to six months for maintenance.
2. Brazilian Keratin Treatments
A more common method, Brazilian treatments are first and foremost a keratin treatment. Hair is straightened by coating the hair in keratin proteins that fill in gaps in the strand, effectively smoothening it out. Hot irons are then used to lock in the keratin, which works to give smoothness and loads of shine as well. The treatment typically lasts between six weeks to three months. Within this period, clients have reported more manageable, less frizzy locks.
Brazilian keratin sessions are less risky than their Japanese counterpart; however, they can still damage hair through the chemical formaldehyde, which is added during the process. This is the best hair straightening treatment for those who have color-processed hair or dry and damaged locks. The keratin protein helps fill in porous hair cells.
As for the cost, a salon usually breaks this down based on hair length. Longer, thicker hair can be more expensive compared to shorter or shoulder-length hair. The treatment lasts anywhere between two and four hours. Also, the stylist straightens the hair twice to get rid of kinks. Leave hair unwashed and down for around 72 hours after the treatment for the best results.
3. Flat Iron
Okay, so this isn’t really a straightening treatment, but for beginners, a flat iron is the easiest way to tame frizzy hair until your next shampoo. When straightening your hair, make sure it’s completely dry before using a flat iron to avoid further damage to your hair. As straightening hair can make hair dry and brittle, be sure to always use a heat-protecting spray and try to go heat-free on days when you don’t need a straightener.
4. Chemical Straightening (Hair Relaxing)
Chemical straightening, or hair relaxing, is the process of breaking protein bonds in the hair. When a certain number of bonds are broken in curly or wavy hair, it then becomes straight. However, as simple as that sounds, the execution of it by a professional is crucial for its success. For example, if too many bonds are broken your hair will go limp and if not enough are broken then the hair doesn’t straighten out. This hair care procedure is no joke. However, for those willing to fish out the money for a quality treatment at a quality hair salon, the results are well worth the money…just make sure to do your research first!