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Style ’em straight!

by Arun Shirishkar

Here’s a lowdown on the straightening treatments offered by top salons.

Super shiny, smooth and silky tresses are what dreams are made of. Sleek hair not only helps you to keep the frizz at bay, but also makes the hair gorgeous to flaunt and easy to manage.

Imagine this: You’ve to make it to a cocktail party in the next one hour. Everything from the dress to the make-up is in place – but those frizzy locks are really ruining your look. There’s no time to wash them. A quick blow-dry will only make them look like hay, if you don’t get back home till midnight. Do you want to play Cinderella? Or would you rather dance the night away with super shiny hair all the way till dawn?

While there are countless temporary straightening appliances in the market, the super shiny finish barely lasts till your next wash. If permanent straightening is what you’re yearning for, here’s everything you need to know.

What is permanent hair straightening?
Permanent hair straightening permanently flattens your waves and curls with chemicals that break the keratin structure to make the hair more manageable. Next, an oxidant helps to neutralise the keratin action and mould the hair fibres in the desired shape. Permanent hair straightening includes chemical hair treatment, rebonding and smoothing. While the cost for all three is more or less similar, the basic difference lies in its key ingredient or the chemical used and the number of times the hair is flat ironed,” says Arti Thakur, Owner, APS Salon.

Chemical hair straightening
This process involves breaking the protein bonds in the hair and restructuring them with the application of heat. When the right number of bonds are broken, the hair becomes straight. The new-formed bonds are then sealed with more chemicals. This process, however, needs a seasoned professional who’ll handle the hair carefully. If too many bonds are broken, the hair will go limp and if sufficient number of bonds are not broken, the hair won’t look straight. “Make sure you have an in-depth consultation to understand your hair texture and thickness at a quality salon before opting for this treatment,” advises Arti.

Rebonding does  a better job in terms of straightness and smoothness, but it breaks the natural hair structure with a relaxant softner or a cream and later rebonds the structure with a neutraliser. The process, however, can weaken the hair sometimes. If not done properly, the hair might lose its elasticity as well. “Rebonding works well to tame thick, frizzy locks, but once the hair starts to grow, the mixed texture is easily visible. In comparison to smoothing and keratin treatments, rebonding uses harsher chemicals. Plus, it also requires a lot of maintenance,” shares Arti.

Keratin treatment
Keratin treatment is the healthier and safer alternative to rebonding. Although it breaks the bond in hair, the gaps are later filled with ‘keratin’, a protein which comprises 88 per cent of the hair. The infusion of natural keratin into the hair cuticle results helps to reduce up to 95 per cent frizz. The protein fills in the damaged areas, boosts volume and can be used on chemically treated or damaged hair.

Hair smoothing

This treatment leaves the hair smoother and silkier than before without changing the natural hair type. Perfect for dull, frizzy hair, the chemicals used in smoothing are not very harsh. The treatment gives a super straight look, without damaging the hair.

Did you know?
Cysteine Hair Smoothing System is one of the most ‘in’ hair straightening treatments, which uses cysteine, an essential amino acid, to straighten and strengthen your hair. Considered safer than keratin, Cysteine is semi-permanent and lasts for about three months. It works wonders for chemically treated, dull, dry and rough hair. “The Cysteine hair treatment helps to strengthen the hair roots, adds shine and prevents frizz. As the treatment gradually fades, the demarcation line is not visible when the new hair begins to grow out. It is currently the safest and the most preferred treatment in the market,” points out Arti.

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