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The temptation of poker-straight hair is simply too hard to resist. After all, who doesn't want straight, silky and smooth hair and that too without the need to touch up for a long time? For those not blessed with naturally straight hair, it is the blessing you have been wishing for. A day at the salon is all that is needed to achieve that hair of our dreams. But, hair straightening- whether permanent or temporary- can turn out to be a nightmare for your hair.
Permanent hair straightening exposes your hair to a lot of damaging elements and comes with its own set of side-effects. Leave untreated, these side effect can translate into irreversible hair damage. You might now be wondering what are the side effects of permanent hair straightening and how do you prevent them! We are here to answer all these questions for you.
1. Dry Hair
Ever wondered about the steam that comes out of your tresses during the process of permanent hair straightening? Well, that is the moisture leaving your tresses. Permanently hair straightening loosely can be described in two steps: applying the chemicals to break the binds and applying extreme heat to your tresses to remould the texture of your hair. Both of these steps suck the moisture from your hair, leaving it dry and dehydrated. And we believe what a disaster dry hair is need not be spelt.
2 Itchy Scalp
The process of permanent hair straightening involves a lot of chemicals. Some times the exposure to such harsh chemicals can lead to itchy and irritated scalp. In addition to that, loss of moisture in the scalp and the damage done to the hair follicles during the process can cause the itchiness and irritation to worsen.
3. Split Ends
Split ends is a common issue that many ladies face after getting permanent hair straightening. Due to the high amount of heat provides to your tresses, the hair cuticles get damaged resulting in split ends and hair prone to breakage.(1)
4. Hair Fall
Exposure to high heat can do lots of damage to your hair and that involves your hair cuticles and the hair follicles.(1) Additionally, the chemicals applied to the hair during the hair straightening process can amount to terrible damage to the roots of your hair. All these factors lead to weakened hair roots and thus you experience drastic hair fall. Often it takes some time before the situation settles and for your hair to comes to its natural state.
Permanent hair straightening can leave your hair dry and vulnerable. The mix of heat and chemicals applied to your hair is enough to damage the hair cuticles and weaken your hair. This makes the hair extremely prone to breakage. It takes a lot of time for your hair to have its strength back.
6. Stunted Hair Growth
Healthy roots make up for healthy hair growth. Nourishment provided to the roots will result in long and strong hair. Permanent hair straightening might just be the opposite of nourishment to your hair. All the damage to your hair cuticles and hair follicles often result in stunted hair growth. Many women have complained about no or slow hair growth after the permanent hair straightening procedure.
7. Permanent Hair Loss
Of all the damages done to your hair by hair straightening, the most grave are the ones that are permanent. Getting silky, smooth and poker-straight hair does not come without a cost. Hair fall might be a common side effect of permanent hair straightening but they have been instances when the hair that is lost did not grow back resulting in permanent hair loss. (1) This is a factor you need to consider before getting the treatment done.
8. Damage To The Natural Texture Of Hair
Moulding the natural structure of your hair is the reason why permanent hair straightening works. The process works because the chemicals used break the natural bonds of your hair and the extreme heat applied to the hair allows the professional to remould the bonds and change the natural structure of your hair. While your hair looks amazing for a certain period of time, the effects of permanent hair straightening would inevitably wear off. And when it does, you would find that your hair does not restore to its natural state before the process but somewhere in the middle. And it is not always a beautiful or desired state.
9. Difference Between New And Treated Hair
Hair straightening alters the look of the hair you already have. It will do nothing for the hair that grows afterwards. A few months into permanent hair straightening, your new hair will start to grow. It is going to be an issue, especially if you have naturally curly hair. The stark contrast between your natural and treated hair would be difficult to manage.
10. Allergic Reaction
There are a lot of chemicals involved in the process of permanent hair straightening. You can not know if you are allergic to any one of those chemicals. A chemical, formaldehyde, released during the process is mainly the cause of the allergic reaction (2). You may develop a rash or feel itching and irritation if did have an allergic reaction to the chemicals. Redness of the skin or eyes is also an indication of the allergic reaction. You might get this reaction immediately or over the next few days after the procedure. So, look out for that. In worst-case scenarios, permanent hair straightening can also lead to asthma (3).
How To Prevent The Side Effects Of Permanent Hair Straightening
If the end result of a permanent hair straightening far outweighs the ill-effects of it, you better be prepared to fight any probable damage to your hair or your health. Here are the measures you can take to prevent the side effects of permanent hair straightening.
- Take all the precautions that the haor expert has told you to after the procedure.
- Use the hair products meant for chemically treated hair.
- Oiling your hair is important. It helps to retain and add the moisture to your hair and scalp. Coconut oil and almond oil both can be used to oil your hair 2-3 times in a week.
- Do not use heat styling equipment on your hair for as long as six months.
- Do not use hot water to wash your hair. It will strip the natural oils of your hair leaving it dry.
- Use home remedies with ingredients such as yogurt, coconut milk, banana and olive oil every week to keep your hair healthy, shiny and bouncy.
- Before you get the treatment done, consult the hair expert and know if your hair would be able to take the damage.