Not all hair types need to undergo the same process.
There are many straightening services on the market to help tame wild hair to 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.
The Best Hair Straightening Treatment For You
Also known as thermal reconditioning, Japanese hair straightening or “rebonding” works, as can be inferred, through chemically altering the 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, from straight to wavy to afro-textured hair. The curlier the hair though, the more touchups are needed as regrowth comes in. Note that if hair has been subject to a lot of dying or heat-related treatments prior, strands may already be weakened and the results might not be as effective.
This particular treatment is best done in a salon and left to a professional. If the straightening solution is left on for too long it can harm the strands, and can leave hair thin and brittle. As this needs to be done in a salon, it is one of the most expensive straightening options as it takes a while to complete the process—approximately three to four hours or even longer, depending on the existing condition of your hair. Expect to visit the salon every four to six months for maintenance.
Brazilian keratin treatments
A more common method, Brazilian treatments is first and foremost a keratin treatment. The 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 not works to give smoothness, but also imparts loads of shine as well. The treatment typically lasts between six weeks to three months, and 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 are also the best hair straightening treatment for those who have color-processed hair or dry and damaged locks, as the keratin protein helps fill in porous hair cells.
As for the cost, a salon usually breaks this down into hair lengths. Longer, thicker hair can be more expensive compared to shorter or shoulder-length hair. The treatment can last anywhere between two and four hours depending on length, and it’s not uncommon for the hair to be straightened twice by the stylist to ensure all kinks are refined. Also note that it is recommended that hair is left unwashed and left down for up to 72 hours to ensure the best results, as the keratin needs to be fully absorbed.
The Best Hair Straightening Treatment for Home
Due to the popularity of salon-straightening treatments, there has been a surge of home variations coming onto the market. Much like Brazilian treatments, most of the products are also keratin-based and essentially work in the same way. These are the best hair treatment to try if your tresses aren’t too thick or frizzy. However, if your hair is very curly and/or unmanageable, it’s best to go to a professional and have your locks properly assessed.
Again, the main damage that can be experienced by those who opt for straightening treatments is via the inclusion of formaldehyde. There are also a slew of non-formaldehyde treatments on the market that you may wish to explore as well, although these results can be shorter-lived.
What’s the best hair straightening treatment for you? Read on to see how we break down the top three treatments out there.