Straightening - it does just what it says on the tin. Hair straightening refers to any method of straightening out the frizz that annoys anyone with a big barnet, but but it's more than just a quick once over with a pair of GHDs. No sir, you can get the Brazillian Blowdry, Japanese Hair Straightening, Ionic Retexturizing... the list goes on. Who knew there was so much science to getting that 'do just right?
You’ve got two main options to start with, straightening or relaxing. There are then a whole host of sub types you can choose from; so get researching which one is right for you...
This is when a product or a tool is used exclusively, and can often be done at home or relatively quickly by your hairdresser. These tend to be semi-permanent and just give you the short-lived hit you need for that special night out.
Flat Iron: This is your classic temporary fix, whacking some hot flat tongs over your bangs to knock the hell out of your frizz. Simple.
Products: There’s a plethora of frizz easing products on the market, again they only give you a short-term hit but if you are fixed for time they do the job.
This is a more permanent method of straightening hair, and results can last upwards of three or six months, depending on which method you opt for. ‘Relaxing’ the hair re-textures your hair, breaking it down and rebuilding it again without the frizz. Quite obviously these methods put your hair through its paces and can be a little on the brutal side.
Thermal Restructuring: Or Japanese Hair Straightening to you and me. This is where they lather on some gold plated water onto your locks before ironing, rinsing and blow drying them. Granted it seems a little extravagant, but something in the gold molecules contained in the Phi-ten water they use electrically fuses nutrients into your hair, making it more susceptible to the post-lather straightening. Depending on how much hair you have this can take up to eight hours, so make sure you’re in for the long haul.
Ionic Hair Retexturing (IHR): This is a sciencey one that you’ll be forgiven for not getting your head round. It uses ionizing technology to achieve a straightening effect on your hair, restructuring water to infuse it with your hair (which means it rehydrates as it goes). The negative ions used break down the water molecules, making them diminutive enough to penetrate through the hair cuticle, eventually moulding with the core of each hair. Again, this makes the irons more effective post treatment.
CHI Transformation System: This is another one of those science types, and is basically the same as IHR, but with the use of ceramic plates and silk instead. This means it is a little less harsh to your bangs, as it doesn’t use ammonia, your hair’s arch nemesis.
Brazilian Hair Straightening: This one is apparently not as effective as IHR and CHI, but is more widely compatible with hair across the globe. It de-frizzes hair by coating the cuticles in a keratin-rich solution of cocoa oil, white and red clay, vitamins and proteins, and is sealed into the hair shaft using a hot iron. Your hair will be shampooed and conditioned, then a nourishing mixture will be painted on section by section and left on for a few minutes to sink in. Your hair is then rough-dried and straightened with irons, giving you long lasting smooth results.
Your hair type may not be compatible with some of these options, depending on your hair type, and whether you have bleached or coloured it in the past. As these procedures are incredibly harsh to your hair you need to consult your hairdresser before choosing which treatment to undergo. Your hair may look good, but it probably won’t talk to you for a while after.
The procedures can also be a bit pricey, so you may have to save those pennies if you are thinking of investing in a hair relaxing treatment.