If you are tired of your curly locks, hair straightening is a hair styling
process that you can resort to. Chemical hair straightening is also called relaxing. This process of hair straightening changes the basic structure of the wavy hair. Chemical hair straightening is best carried out by a professional who is thoroughly conversant with the process as well as one who has a proven track record of success with hair straightening. It is advisable to get a strand test done before embarking on the hair straightening process. This test would reveal the hair texture, porosity and elasticity which would aid the hair stylist in deciding on the strength of the hair straightening relaxer that would need to be used. A hair strand test will also guide the hair straightening stylist as to whether to use a conditioner-filler on the hair before applying the chemicals or whether a base petroleum protection layer is needed. A hair strand test to be undertaken before the hair straightening process could follow either
of these methods:
- Pulling the hair to decide on its degree of elasticity
- Finger test
- Applying a small amount of relaxer to determine the hair reactions.
Hair straightening process also depends on the hair type. Fine chemically lightened or colored hair could do with a mild relaxer formula whereas normal and medium textured hair can withstand regular strength relaxers. Coarse hair would need stronger relaxers so as to achieve hair straightening to the degree
required. The chemical products used in the hair straightening process include:
- Relaxer formula
- Petroleum cream
- Special shampoo
- Hair relaxing conditioner
Hair Straightening Process:
- A protective petroleum cream is generally applied on the hair and scalp
if the hair is damaged or has been subjected to chemical treatment already.
- Hair relaxer formula is then applied. This chemical is what straightens out the hair texture.
- After the appropriate time limit, the relaxer is rinsed out of the hair with warm water and shampoo.
- A neutralizing formula is later applied to the hair to oxide it and restore its pH balance. This halts the effect of the relaxer.
- A conditioner, either cream or liquid, is then applied to the hair, depending on its condition.
Overly curly hair or damaged hair may need special attention when going in for hair straightening. Such hair may need to be conditioned before the relaxer is applied. Severely damaged hair is best left alone to recover before embarking on a hair straightening treatment. Instead, regular conditioning and care would go a long way in restoring it to its earlier texture.
Hair Straightening Chemicals
Sodium Hydroxide is the strongest of the relaxers and can give the most dramatic results for hair straightening. This hair straightening chemical is caustic in nature and will soften the hair fibers and cause it to swell too. When this hair straightening chemical is applied, it penetrates the cortical layer and
breaks the cross bonds. It seeps to the inner layer of the hair shaft that provides the strength, elasticity and shape for curly hair. A sodium hydroxide solution of about 5 – 10 % will be appropriate for hair straightening. Anything stronger may cause harm to the hair on account of its high alkaline content.
Guanine Hydroxide is a hair straightening chemical of lesser intensity. A conditioning treatment for the hair prior to use of this hair straightening chemical is advised.
Ammonium Thioglycolate acts differently as in it causes a change to the hair’s
cystine linkage. With a pH of around 9.5, this hair straightening chemical is available in cream or gel form and is generally preceded by a hair softener.
Precautions while undergoing Hair Straightening Treatments
A protective base of petroleum cream is generally applied to the scalp and areas of the hair that have been subject to straightening before. Apply a protective cream around the hairline and over the ear to avoid any allergic reactions. The hair straightening relaxer must not be allowed to come into contact with sores or abrasions. Avoid combing through the hair when the hair straightening treatment is in process. Since hair straightening involves changes in the hair’s natural elasticity, combing might make it stretch and break.
Post Hair Straightening Treatment
Special ongoing care and treatment is essential to maintain the effects of hair straightening. Newly straightened hair must not be allowed to become brittle and stiff. Hair that has been subjected to hair straightening treatment is more porous and has a tendency to become duller in appearance. Proper shampooing and rinsing is necessary to prevent this. Use of deep conditioning and detangling products is recommended so as to smoothen out the hair and prevent damage to the hair cuticle. Limit the use of hot blow dryers and styling tools. Remember that hair straightening must be followed up with extra special aftercare.
Revolutionary Hair Straightening System – Bio Ionic System
A revolutionary treatment in the retexture of hair is the Ion-Retexturing system also known as Thermal Reconditioning. This treatment aims at effectively straightening all hair types sans the damage that can be caused by conventional hair straightening techniques. This breakthrough hair straightening technique
works at allowing natural negative ions to break water molecule clusters into micro particles thus allowing the formula to penetrate the hair shaft. In this way, the hair is straightened without breaking its internal structure. With this Ion hair straightening system, you can eliminate the use of Sodium Hydroxide
or Guanidine Hydroxide.
This formula is to be used along with an Ion-Retexturing Iron that delivers natural negative ions to the hair. With this system, the hair shaft is well hydrated thus improving the tensile strength of the hair and leaving it retextured and rejuvenated.
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