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Permanent hair straightening techniques

No matter how many times we are told that beachy hair is in for the summer, for some of us curly gals, styling beach-like waves – that still look chic – can be a nightmare. Unfortunately, straightening our hair won’t do this season – the humidity outside can ruin an hour-long straightening job in just under three seconds! If nothing sounds better to you than jumping out of the shower and – gasp! – letting your hair air dry, it is important to know that there are some more permanent straightening options. However, these treatments will not necessarily be kind to your hair, so you must seriously do your research before choosing a treatment that is right for you.

Relaxer:A relaxer is great because it does not completely straighten your hair but softens the texture and reduces the frizz. Therefore, your hair retains most of its natural movement and look but becomes much easier to handle. The downside, of course, is that a relaxer is a treatment that involves chemicals. These chemicals fade over time, so you might want to get your hair treated again in a few months.

Japanese hair straightening (also known as thermal reconditioning):This method is great if you are looking for sleek, perfectly straight strands, much like naturally Asian hair. The treatment is expensive (around $600) but it does last a long time. Your already existing hair will remain straight forever, but the new hair growing at the roots will come out in its original texture, requiring a retouch of the roots every six months or so. Unfortunately, the chemicals involved in procedure are quite strong and could seriously damage your hair. Be sure to talk to your hairdresser to see if this treatment is right for you, and if you do get it done – ask what shampoo you should wash your hair with afterward!

Traditional chemical straightening:This method was very popular years back before the rise of methods like relaxers and thermal reconditioning. As the name suggests, it heavily involves chemicals but lasts a very long time. While the process does result in straight hair, the roots will grow back in your hair’s original texture, much like with Japanese hair straightening.

Brazilian keratin treatment:The Brazilian keratin treatment was quite popular a few months back, but the hype has died down because the treatment’s chemicals have been linked to formaldehyde, a carcinogen. Nevertheless, this treatment will give you relatively straight hair that still retains a natural-looking wave. The good news is that many new products are coming out that do not contain formaldehyde, so this is still a treatment to look into.

Brazilian blowout:The Brazilian blowout emerged after the carcinogen controversy in Brazilian keratin treatments. It still uses keratin, but your hair will remain healthier. The treatment does not necessarily straighten your hair, but it does smooth it significantly. This procedure will last you around three months.

Debbie Lechtman is a sophomore at Syracuse University majoring in magazine journalism. In addition to interning at Her Campus this winter, Debbie writes for the Syracuse branch of Her Campus. She is also on the Syracuse gymnastics team and has written for several publications on campus. Debbie loves writing, Anthropologie, evil eye charms, and her dog, Justin Bobby. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in either journalism or advertising.
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