The Best Hair Straightening Treatment for You

Not all hair types need to undergo the same process.

There are many straightening services on the market to help turn frizzy or non-straight hair types into 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:

Want to achieve smoother, straight strands that are more permanent than just using a flat iron? Learn more about three of the best salon straightening treatments.

1. Japanese Rebonding

the best hair straightening treatments japanese rebonding
Japanese rebonding is the longest-lasting of all the hair straightening treatments. Photo credit: Dvora

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 the 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

best hair straightening treatment ombre bob
Straighten shorter hair to prevent frizz and flyaways. Photo credit: Dvora

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. Hair Relaxing

girl with relaxed natural hair
Try hair relaxing for a straight hair treatment on natural hair.

Hair relaxing is a common straightening method for people with natural hair. It uses chemicals to straighten and smooth out your hair, which can last six to eight weeks.

This straightening process is often found in two forms: No-Lye relaxers and Lye relaxers. No-Lye relaxers use calcium hydroxide as the main ingredient. This can dry out your hair but is better for those with sensitive scalps. Whereas Lye-relaxers, also known as alkali relaxers, use sodium hydroxide. This ingredient works quickly in your hair, but may also rinse out faster too.

When determining what type of relaxer to use, it’s best to talk with your hairstylist about your hair type, scalp sensitivity, and what you want to get out of the treatment. However, it’s important to know that over time, both methods can cause damage to your hair. Also, make sure a test strand is done first to see how your hair reacts to the treatment.

Not ready for an actual hair straightening treatment? You can achieve a similar, temporary effect.

At-Home Treatment

Due to the popularity of salon-straightening treatments, there has been a surge of keratin-based, home variations coming onto the market. These are the best hair treatments 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.

Formaldehyde is the main cause of damage for those who opt for straightening treatments. There is also a slew of non-formaldehyde treatments on the market to explore, too. However, the results are shorter-lived.

If you want to see the benefits of keratin for yourself on a smaller scale, then consider grabbing Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner next time you’re at the drugstore. This pair will infuse your strands with smoothing keratin proteins and give you a taste of the keratin experience at home.

If you want to further achieve the benefits of keratin at home while styling your hair, protect your strands using TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Heat Protect Spray. This heat protectant will help you achieve shiny, soft, and frizz-free hair.

Whether you’re going to try out a new hair straightening treatment at the salon or want to stick to at-home products, there’s a straightening method out there for you.

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