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Permanent Hair Straightening- How Does It Work, Types, Cost, Advantages And Disadvantages

Who doesn't want poker straight hair! The prospect of permanent hair straightening is appealing. When it comes to straightening hair, we use heat styling equipment such as flat iron and dryer. But the effect of these is temporary and fades off within a couple of days or after your hair wash. How cool would it be if we could straightening our hair permanently and not have to worry about styling and managing our hair! Permanent hair straightening gives you exactly that.

Before you jump in joy and look for the nearest parlour that provides the services, it is important to educate yourself and know what you are getting into. And that is exactly what we are going to do today.

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What Is Permanent Hair Straightening?

As the name suggests, permanent hair straightening is a method to permanently straighten your wavy or curly hair. The method involves giving chemical treatment to your hair to alter its texture. The most visibly drastic results on this treatment are seen on those with naturally curly hair.

While this is a complicated hair treatment, the basics of permanent hair straightening can be summed up in the following two steps.

  • Breaking the natural bonds of your hair using sodium-based products. This allows the salon professional to alter the texture of your hair.
  • Applying a neutraliser to your hair to mould them in the desired shape and lock it in place.

The entire process of permanent hair straightening takes hours to finish. So, if you are thinking about getting permanent hair straightening, you need to dedicate an entire day to the process.

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How Much Does Permanent Hair Straightening Cost?

Each hair straightening method differs in cots. However, on an average, getting permanent hair straightening will cost you anywhere between INR 5,000 to INR 10,000.

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Types Of Permanent Hair Straightening

There is not just one way to permanently straighten your hair. These differ in the technique used and the duration for which the treatment lasts. But, all these will give you the same result- silky, smooth and straight hair.

Keratin Hair Treatment Or Brazilian Straightening

Starting from Brazil and getting its name from it, Keratin hair treatment or Brazilian straightening imparts shine and lustre to your hair apart from straightening them.

Keratin is a natural protein found in our hair and is responsible for determining the structure of your hair[1]. If due to any reason, your hair loses the keratin, it starts to lose its shine and become frizzy, damaged and unmanageable. Unfortunately, there is no other way to add keratin back to your hair than externally giving it to your hair. That is exactly what keratin hair treatment does.

In this treatment, your hair is separated in smaller sections and a keratin solution is applied to each section. After all of the hair is coated properly, a flat iron is used to put heat and pressure on the hair and thus straighten them. The heat applied also causes the release of formaldehyde that is what moulds the bonds of your hair and makes it straight and smooth. The entire process takes 3-4 hours depending on the length of your hair.

Because keratin is the natural protein of your hair, it is the least destructive permanent hair straightening method for your hair. The keratin applied to your hair replenishes the damage to your hair leaving it soft, smooth, shiny and straight. This is also a hair treatment that is safe to do on chemically treated hair.

This is, however, a permanent hair straightening treatment that won't last long. The effects of the treatment will start to fade away after 2-3 months. But unlike other hair treatments, you can do this one multiple times without causing a lot of damage to your hair.

How much does keratin hair treatment cost?

Depending on the length of your hair and the hair salon you choose, keratin hair treatment can cost anywhere between INR 4,000 to INR 8,000.

What Is Keratin Treatment And Is It Good For Hair?

Hair Rebonding

Before keratin hair treatment took the hair industry by storm, hair rebonding was the ‘IT' thing. The natural bonds of your hair is what give your hair its texture. Your hair is curly, wavy or straight only due to these bonds. Hair rebonding is a chemical hair treatment that alters the structure of your hair. If you want a hair treatment that is permanent to the core, hair rebonding is the one to go for.

In this permanent hair treatment, a cream softener or relaxant is applied to your hair. The relaxant helps to break the natural bonds of your hair and allows the professional to mould your hair the way you desire. A neutralizer is then applied to the hair that helps to restructure your hair and make it poker straight. It is as simple as that- changing your natural hair structure to make it smooth, silky and super-straight. It is a long and tiring process that requires your patience. It takes 3-8 hours to complete the process depending on the length of your hair.

If you have curly hair, this is the treatment that will completely change the look of your hair. This is a fairly permanent treatment and you would not have to worry about the rebonded hair losing its charm. At the same time, the new hair that grows will be completely in contrast to your rebonded hair and that would cause you to rethink this treatment.

Unlike keratin hair treatment, it is not recommended to get hair rebonding done multiple time. This treatment weakens the hair at the roots and poses a threat of hair damage in the long run. Rebinding the hair will also require a lot of maintenance and precautions. It is an expensive procedure that has will cost you much even after the treatment is done.

How much does hair rebonding cost?

Depending on the length of your hair and your choice of the salon, hair rebonding treatment will cost you anywhere between INR 5,00 to INR 9,000.

Chemical Straightening Or Hair Relaxing

Hair relaxing or chemical straightening is a treatment that uses chemicals to break the protein bonds in the hair. These protein bonds hold the structure of our hair and shape it the way they are. Therefore, breaking those bonds can be a little tricky and you would need a thorough professional to do this technique just right.

For this treatment to be a success, the protein bonds to be broken has to be just right in number. Break more than necessary and your hair stiff and damaged. Break less and there would be no point in getting this treatment because your hair won't change at all. Done right, this treatment would give you straight, beautiful and smooth hair but you have to have 100% trust in the professional doing this treatment.

This treatment does not last for long. However, if you want your hair softer rather than straight, this is the treatment for you.

How much does hair relaxing cost?

It will cost you anywhere between INR 2,500 to INR 8,000 to get hair relaxing done.

Japenese Straightening Or Thermal Reconditioning

Japenese Straightening or thermal reconditioning is a hair treatment that straightens and conditions your hair. Like keratin hair treatment, Japenese straightening also makes use of chemicals and heat to straighten your hair. This treatment involves swelling the hair fibre and weakening the cystine bonds (rather than the entire protein) of the hair to restructure it[2].

In this treatment, the expert starts by applying a chemical to your hair that weakens and break the cystine bonds of your hair. The chemical is left on your hair for 15-20 to do its job. High heat is then applied to the hair to restructure those bonds and give you permanent straight hair. In a follow-up step, another chemical is applied to your hair to lock the binds in place and add a protective layer on your hair.

Although the results of this treatment last for a good 6-8 months, the process itself is quite time-consuming. It requires 6-8 hours at a stretch to complete the process and there is a follow-up session about 3 days after getting the treatment done.

This treatment, however, is not for everyone. If you have got ant another chemical treatment done to your hair, you can not go for this treatment. Talking to a hair expert and your hairstylist will give you a fair idea whether this treatment will work for you or not.

How much does Japenese straightening cost?

This is an expensive process that will cost you anywhere between INR 10,000 to INR 40,000 depending on the length of your hair.

Recommended Read: Smoothening Vs Rebonding Vs Keratin Treatment, What Should You Go For?

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Advantages Of Permanent Hair Straightening

Apart from a fresh boost of confidence, here are the major advantages of permanent hair straightening.

  • It makes your hair poker straight (duh!).
  • It makes your hair super soft and smooth.
  • It adds a shine to your hair.
  • It makes your hair easily manageable.
  • It limits the use of heat styling products for the foreseeable future.
  • You do not have to fuss much about styling your hair for a long time.
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Disadvantages Of Permanent Hair Straightening

The chemicals used might weaken your hair from the roots.

  • It may lead to hair damage and breakage in the long run.
  • It is an expensive treatment.
  • It can damage the natural texture of your hair.
  • Studies show that frizzy hair, dandruff, hair loss, thinning and weakening of hair, greying of hair and split ends are the most common side-effects of permanent hair straightening[3].
  • You need a skilled professional to do the right job.
  • It can not be done at your home.
  • It might need regular follow-ups.
  • You need specific hair products after getting it done.
  • It is not suitable for pregnant women.
  • The harsh chemicals can irritate the scalp.
  • You might have an allergic reaction to any of the chemicals used.
  • It takes a lot of time to get the treatment done.
  • The new hair growth might ruin your look, especially if you have curly hair. You either have to do the treatment again for the new hair growth or wait for the treated hair to lose its effect.
  • You can not do any other treatment for your hair for at least the next 6 months.
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Maintenance After Permanent Hair Straightening

After you have permanently straightened your hair, half the battle is still left. Permanently straightened hair needs a high level of maintenance, especially for the first few days. And after that too, you need to take extensive care of your hair to prevent any hair damage.

  • For the three days following the permanent hair treatment, you have to avoid washing your hair at all costs.
  • Also, avoid tying your hair for the next three days following the treatment.
  • After getting this treatment done, you can not use your regular shampoo. You have to get hair products that are suitable for treated hair.
  • Use an oil massage to combat the dryness in your hair. Coconut oil is your best option. Studies show that coconut oil not only moisturises your hair but also prevent the loss of protein from your hair[4].
  • Be gentle while combing your hair. Get a detangler and do not tug on your hair.
  • Do not use excessive heat styling products on your hair. Not that you would need to.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat foods rich in vitamins A, C and E and antioxidants to give a boost of nutrition to your hair.
  • Switch to leave-in conditioners. They are more effective and moisturising for your hair.
  • Use a soft towel or an old t-shirt to squeeze out the excess water from your hair. You should not rub your hair vigoruously with a harsh towel.
  • Follow any hair care instructions given by your hairstylist.
  • Do not get any other chemical treatment for the next few months.
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