Most women today want perfectly straight or silky smooth hair. It looks elegant, bright, and convenient to carry. While curly and wavy hair also looks gorgeous, they need continuous maintenance. Healthy hair care benefits in some way, not everyone can spend time with oil massages and hair masks on their hair. That is why treatments such as hair smoothing and hair straightening help transform your hair’s structure and make it more manageable. These two treatments lead to slimmer hair, but the differences between the two are slight.
What Is Hair Straightening?
There are two types of treatments that straighten the hair: permanent and temporary. Temporary straightening is done using heat styling equipment such as hot irons or hot combs. Cohesive and adhesive forces are used to maintain the fibers parallel in a highly viscous environment. The straight hair that you get is temporary due to these procedures. When you wash your hair, it returns to its natural texture.
Permanent hair straightening is a process that reshapes the hair structure to give you the pin-straight hair. The chemical relaxers used to break the bonds in your hair shaft forever as long. Heat is applied to rebuild your hair, and the newly created ties sealed with more chemical substances. In the chemical relaxer, the alkaline agent breaks the keratin bonds in curly / wave hair to stretch and buttery smooth.
How Does It Work?
Alkaline straighteners contain 1-10 percent sodium hydroxide (lye-relaxer), lithium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide., or a mixture of these ingredients. The high pH of these chemicals allows to open the cuticle scales and to enter the hair fibers. They respond with keratin as these chemicals interacted with the cortex to split and rearrange the disulfide bridges to stretch them out, thereby giving you straight hair.
Although this procedure does more harm than hair smoothing, even the curliest of hair can be straightened and is permanent. Therefore, the hair implemented remains straight until the natural hair grows out. Permanent hair straightening is also referred to as ‘Japanese straightening.’
When Can You Choose This Method?
Hair straighteners work on all types of hair, from wavy to kinky, curly hair. Depending on the hair texture, the procedure should be repeated every 8-12 weeks. One important thing to know is that permanent straightening uses hydroxides or thioglycolate, which are incompatible with bleached hair.
Side effects of hair straightening.
1. It is not advisable to apply chemical relaxers on the scalp because they can burn your skin. , it is recommended to apply some petrolatum to the hairline and ears before use of the relaxer to prevent alkaline burns
2. Poor technique can cause scalp burns and hair breakage
3. Swelling hair fibers and opening cuticle scales will make the hair susceptible to friction, thereby lowering its resistance and strength
4. The most frequently identified side effects of permanent hair straightening include: frizzy hair, dandruff, hair loss, hair thinning and hair weakening, hair graying and split ends
What Is Hair Smoothing?
Hair smoothing is a temporary treatment perceived by some people to be a procedure under hair straightening. The method involves saturating your hair with a solution of formaldehyde, then drying it out, and using a flat iron to lock the hair in a straight line. The chemicals used for hair smoothing are, however, not as strong as those used for hair straightening treatments. It makes the procedure less harmful. But this isn’t suitable for all styles of hair.
Keratin treatment got famous because the technique is compatible with bleached hair and gives the hair a perfectly smooth, glossy look that is difficult to achieve with chemical relaxers.
How Does It Work?
Firstly, a treatment for formaldehyde applied to the hair. The water within the solution breaks the keratin molecule’s hydrogen bonds. It is then straight blow-dried (can also use a flat iron). The latest improved keratin stays straight because the formaldehyde cross-links the keratin filaments in perfect. This makes the hair relatively straighter and brighter
When Can You Choose This Method?
The hair smoothing effects last from 2-5 months. It’s recommended, especially for wavy or frizzy hairs. It is because the structure of the hair is not so much changed as it aligns. The procedure on extraordinarily thick or curly hair is unlikely to be very successful.
Side Effects Of Hair Smoothing
• Earlier, customers complained of burning eyes, heavy smell, and burning mouth and nose when formaldehyde used in the keratin treatment. The ingredients, though, are not formaldehyde- or glutaraldehyde-based. Formaldehyde releases, for example, methylene glycol or glyoxylic acid, are now used.
• KT (hair smoothing) uses formaldehyde releasers. Formaldehyde releasers used in KT (hair smoothing). Formaldehyde was associated with reactions, such as eye problems, problems with the nervous system (e.g., headaches and dizziness), problems with the respiratory tract, nausea, chest pain and vomiting.
• Research found that formaldehyde can raise the risk of developing asthma
• Excessive and unnecessary use of heat (flat iron) in the smoothing of the hair can harm the hair.
Why Hair Smoothing Over Hair Straightening?
This decision is based purely on the condition and desired result of the client’s hair. Most people want a natural finish without the pinpointing straight to their heads. Although temporary, hair smoothing does serve this purpose with less damage.
The hair smoothing advantage is that it can be achieved on bleached, permanently colored, and relaxed hair. It is also perfect for enhancing glow and softness. The Hair ties need to be broken and then repaired with hair straightening. That causes hair damage to a certain extent. Although your hair can be repaired, intensive care and daily touch-ups and trimmings will be required when the natural hair begins to grow back.
Why is the hair straightening over the hair smoothing?
While frizz can be defeated with hair smoothing, it doesn’t do much to straighten up curly hair. If the client needs straight hair, hair straightening is favored when dealing with complicated hairstyles such as thick and kinky hair. Whereas smoothing your hair will turn your curls into frizz-less waves, there are poor chances it will go straight.
Note: Test if you have any chemical allergies, hair loss problems, or other severe conditions before you get any of those hair treatments. Get a hair check done in a salon. If you experience any hair breakage or discomfort, consult your doctor before going any further.
So, what should you decide?
Hair Smoothing Vs. Hair Straightening – The Final Verdict
Both of these techniques have advantages and drawbacks. These both must be done by professional hairdressers at a salon. Note, both procedures require daily care to maintain the texture and structure of the hair obtained.
Below are some of the questions you ought to ask yourself before making your decision:
• Do you want a permanent or temporary treatment?
• Would you like to have pin-straight hair, or something more natural?
• You’re trying to battle frizz, or the end target is straight hair?
Above are the concerns you can ask to chose which treatment is your best option.
Repeated chemical treatments have the potential to damage hair. After those procedures, how can you protect your hair? Here is how it goes!
Hair Maintenance For Smoothened Or Straightened Hair
• Massage with oil (coconut, sunflower, mineral oils) your hair and scalp.
• Research found that coconut oil can minimize the loss of protein in damaged hair.
Use a conditioner and hair masks to hydrate your hair and strengthen it.
• In the first few weeks, restrict the use of heat styling devices on your hair until your hair regains its moisture and strength.
Whether you choose to straighten or smooth your hair, keep in mind that when done repeatedly, chemicals are being used in both ways that can damage your hair. If you do, feed them and take care of your hair to avoid more damage and hair loss.