Wait, Stop! Here's Everything You Need To Know About Chemical Hair Straightening

by Charlene Flanagan

We understand that nobody likes dealing with bad hair days. All of us at some point or the other, curl, tong and pin in the hopes that our tresses will cooperate. And when they don’t, we tend to rely on our trusty heating and styling tools to get the desired look. While we've discussed how they singe and dehydrate your tresses and tear out the follicles, even if you're not going for a temporary fix but a more long-term solution like chemical hair straightening, here's what you need to know:

  • The most obvious fallout is that as your hair begins to grow, the portion closest to the root will be of a different texture (that of your natural hair), and make your lengths and your crown look like a case of mismatched drapes and sheets.
  • As is the case with styling tools, chemical straightening also dehydrates hair, and every time you use a blow dryer or curling tong afterwards, you make it worse. End result? Over-dry, frizzy, fried tresses.
  • Allergic reactions to hair straightening are rare, but very real. The chemicals can seep into your blood stream, and if you're a new mommy  that's breastfeeding, this one's a no-go at all costs!
  • Another clinical side-effect of hair straightening is severe hair fall. Many people, who straighten their hair notice hair loss due to poor quality chemicals, improper technique, and yanking of strands from the roots which causes permanent damage.
  • In the long-term, the hair follicles become weak and hair fall continues, sometimes leading to dandruff and scalp problems due to excessive dryness.

Resolve

  • The best resolve is to say no artificial straightening—not by way of styling tools, or even a chemical fix.
  • If you must, very sparingly use a straightening iron to the desired section after applying a protective serum.
  • Be sure to invest in products for chemically treated hair, and look for ones that aim to hydrate the strands.
  • Learn how to air-dry your hair to #FightTheFrizz, because excessive combing or blow drying will only make things worse.
  • Deep conditioning treatments and hair masks will help temper, but not reverse the damage.

Make note that our hair grows .3mm to .4mm each day, which approximates to about 6 inches per year. If you're already a victim, we urge you to wean off the locks by getting half  an inch trimmed every month to make way for new, virgin hair, and then just stay off chemical (or temporary) straightening, altogether.

As for the multi-textured half-and-half tresses, your best bet is to try a hairstyle that camouflages the damage.

 

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