Do you want to change your head, or do you just have to spend hours in your bathroom with your hair straightener? Switch to permanent smoothing! There are several kinds. I give you all the information you need to decide if permanent straightening is right for you, and to know which one to adopt.
What is permanent smoothing?
Permanent straightening is a hair process that guarantees smooth hair for a shorter or longer period, generally around 6 months. This term is opposed to the ephemeral smoothing that is obtained for example with a straightening iron or brushing with a hair dryer.
Why achieve permanent smoothing?
The main objective of permanent straightening is of course to have straight hair. If you have curly hair and want to change your look for an extended period, this is what you need
Permanent straightening allows you to save a lot of time in your hair routine. If you’re used to straightening your hair with a straightener every morning, you can say goodbye to it! By avoiding subjecting your hair to the heat of a straightener or a hairdryer on a daily basis, it is also less damaged and regains its shine. In addition, Brazilian straightening in particular is an excellent opportunity to regain hair that is strong, shiny and soft to the touch, thanks to its keratin action.
What are the different types of permanent smoothing and what are their particularities?
There are 3 main types of permanent straightening: Brazilian straightening, Japanese straightening and Korean straightening. These are the 3 best known and most practiced procedures, and so you are likely to find them in most professional hair salons. Brazilian straightening is probably the most popular straightening. It is actually a two-in-one process: the hair is straightened, but it is also a treatment that deeply hydrates and strengthens your hair. The central product of Brazilian straightening is keratin: this protein is naturally contained in the hair fiber, but it tends to decrease in concentration over time and with different hair practices (brushing, straightening iron, coloring, etc.), and it does not know how to regenerate itself.
The principle of Brazilian straightening is therefore to liquid keratin into the hair fiber to hydrate it and restore its elasticity and resistance. The natural structure of the hair is not changed during Brazilian straightening. Japanese and Korean smoothing is more chemical smoothing. They feature acid as the main component. This chemical compound has the function of breaking down the natural structure of the hair. It removes the disulfide bridges that bind the atoms of the hair together and are responsible for curls and frizz. These two smoothing processes also use silk proteins which have the function of protecting the hair during the restructuring process. They do not provide hydration or strengthening the hair, they simply limit the damage caused by chemical compounds. The main difference between the two processes is the use of henna in Korean straightening. This natural compound adds a protective function to the hair and therefore makes the overall process less aggressive.
The hair comes out smooth, but less smooth than with Japanese straightening, which is the most effective of all permanent straightening.
What are the stages of permanent smoothing?
Although the products used differ, the process for permanent straightening is always the same. Depending on the method you choose and the length of your hair, it takes between 3 and 5 hours to complete all of the steps. A permanent straightening always starts with a clarifying and purifying shampoo which has the function of cleaning your hair and getting rid of all impurities, but also to open the micro-scales of the hair and prepare them to receive the smoothing product. Your hair is pre-towel dried. The product is then applied to the entire hair. Even distribution is absolutely essential, which is why most of the time, the product is applied with a brush, strand by strand. It is then necessary to let the product act while letting it sit. The exposure time depends on the process you have chosen, as well as the length, nature and state of health of your hair. It can take about 5 to 30 minutes. Then comes the rinsing of your hair, in order to eliminate all product residues. They are then completely dried with a hairdryer.
The particularity of permanent straightening is that its smoothing components are activated and fixed in the hair thanks to the heat. The next step is to smooth each of your wicks with a straightening iron – most of the time it will be an iron with ionizing ceramic plates. The main objective here is not to straighten the hair but to heat it to make the product penetrate. Don’t be surprised if your hairdresser goes through each strand up to 5-6 times.
Once this step is done, the Brazilian straightening is finished. Korean and Japanese smoothing require two additional steps. We first apply a moisturizing fixing milk to strengthen the fixing action of heat and to compensate for the aggressiveness of chemicals by providing a restorative action. We finally go to a last shampoo and drying with a hair dryer.
- You can then admire the result and enjoy your smooth hair for the next 4-6 months!
- What precautions should I take immediately after my permanent straightening?
- All permanent smoothing requires special care during the first 72 hours after the process.
You have to wait 3 days before you can wash your hair. All accessories are also prohibited: elastic bands, clips, barrettes … Your hair could adopt the shape, and thus reduce to nothing all the efforts made!
Also avoid humidity: no shower that is too hot which would turn your bathroom into a sauna, no sport that would cause excessive sweating, and you avoid going out in the rain. However, if your hair accidentally comes into contact with water, don’t panic! You can make up for it by straightening the affected strands with a straightening iron.
How long does a permanent straightening last?
Permanent straightening usually lasts between 4 and 6 months. The effects of a Brazilian straightening will fade over the months, usually from the 4th month, and if you choose not to do it again, you will find your natural hair. Know that the more you do Brazilian straightening, the longer they last!
However, this is different for Japanese and Korean smoothing. Indeed, these modify the internal structure of the hair, and the smoothing effect does not fade over time, but as regrowth.