Which straightening treatment is right for you?

Jeanette | 21 August 2016

Which straightening treatment will you pick?

If you straighten your hair frequently, the prospect of having straight hair for months on end could sound too good to be true. But it is possible. What you need to invest in is a chemical straightening treatment, which can be done on most hair types.

But are you a little unsure as to which is the right straightening treatment for you? Don’t worry, that’s where we come in. We’ve put together a simple guide to help you figure out what the best process for your tresses might be.

The best straightening treatment for your hair type


Straightening treatment: dark brown haired women
Straightening treatment: Japanese hair straightening is permanent. Credit: indigitalimages.com

Japanese hair straightening treatment

You’ve probably heard a lot about this hair straightening treatment, so it’s difficult to know what is fact or fiction. But the truth is, the Japanese straightening treatment is probably one of the most expensive and (more importantly to note) damaging treatment on the market. So do bear this in mind before you book an appointment.

The treatment works by applying a pre-conditioner to the hair to help protect it, before applying a mixture of chemicals. This chemical cocktail permanently changes the structure of the hair by breaking the hair bonds. After the treatment has been rinsed out, it’s finished off with an intensive blow-drying and straightening process, and most likely another straightening session after that.

All-in-all it’ll probably take 4-6 hours to complete this straightening treatment. The lengthy and costly process isn’t offered any at many salons, but we suggest skipping this strenuous straightening treatment all together, as the damage it can cause to your tresses is irreversible.

Straightening treatment: Platinum blonde straight hair
Smoothing keratin treatments. Credit: indigitalimages.com

Keratin straightening treatment

The first thing to note is that technically, keratin treatments aren’t really straightening treatments. The truth is that they’re more of a smoothing treatment, which can leave your hair frizz-free and healthier-looking. In fact, there are many types of keratin treatments available. And unlike Japanese straightening or relaxers, keratin treatments aren’t permanent, lasting from 2-6 months.

The most widely known treatment within this family is the Brazilian blow-dry. It works by applying keratin to the hair and sealing it in by blow-drying the hair afterwards (hence the name!). This treatment can take  2-4 hours to complete.

Find out more about other types of keratin hair treatments, here.

Straightening treatment: relaxed black hair
Straightening treatment: Temporary chemical relaxers. Credit: indigitalimages.com

Chemical relaxer

This hair straightening treatment is extremely popular with the black hair community. This is because this chemical straightening treatment works to ‘relax’ or loosen the tight curls and coils of black hair, making it easier to manipulate and control.

Although, it works in a similar way to Japanese straightening, the main point of difference is that relaxers do not permanently alter your hair structure. What this treatment does is simply straighten the hair’s alignment, temporarily changing the texture of curly and coily hair. So don’t worry, your curls will definitely bouncy back if you want them to!

Often you will hear terms like, lye and non-lye, used in conjunction with chemical relaxers, this describes the two types of treatment available. Lye relaxers contain sodium hydroxide, while non-lye relaxers contain calcium hydroxide and can be used on more sensitive scalps – so you don’t have to worry about any irritation post-treatment.

Straightening treatment: blonde girl straightening her hair
Straightening treatment: Convenient DIY

DIY straightening treatments

When it comes to chemical treatments, we always suggest going to a trained professional to receive your treatments (chemicals and an untrained hand don’t mix). But there are some at-home straightening treatments now available on the market. These range from smoothing keratin types that are ‘sealed’ with flat irons, to lye and non-lye chemical relaxers for black hair.

Want to know how to do these treatments at home? Before you set off to do some DIY straightening treatment on your hair, read our guide first!

So, now you know what’s what of the straightening treatment world – which of these will you be trying to tame your hair?

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