Ah, the quest for straight hair. You scour beauty magazines for the latest news on straightening treatments. You devote too many of your waking hours to taming your contrary curls. Spying a sleek, fabulous head of hair, you’ve been known to approach its owner to demand she spill straightening techniques. Stop coveting. Now straight hair can be yours. Choose from a bevy of breakthrough options - hair care products, straightening tools, professional treatments - and make your straight hair dream a reality. Here’s how.
Strong Hair = Straight Hair
Strong hair is the foundation for shiny, straight hair. And strong hair is all about an impenetrable cuticle. The cuticle is the outside of your hair shaft and is made up of overlapping cells that serve as a protective layer. When the cuticle is healthy, it lays flat and locks in moisture. Your hair feels silky smooth and reflects light. Damaged cuticles allow harmful elements to enter and weaken the hair’s inner cortex, leading to dulled color, the frizzies, split ends and breakage - all road blocks in your pursuit of smooth, straight hair.
Let’s face it, we all do what is most likely to damage hair: overuse of a blow dryer or styling iron, comb or brush several times a day, and pool or beach visits to enjoy the sun and water. So while we can’t completely avoid damage, we can significantly minimize it. The first step to strengthening your hair is to get a good haircut and that means getting rid of all the split ends. While you’re at the salon, jump-start your “spoil your cuticle” regimen by getting a deep conditioning treatment.
Use One with the Other
If you want luminous, straight hair, you need hydrating products and technologically advanced tools that work together. Make sure you condition your hair every day to keep it moisture-rich. While your hair’s still wet, use an ionic detangler comb. The ionic technology gently smoothes the cuticle and reduces static electricity. Air-drying is best, but if you’re pressed for time, liberally apply styling serum that contains frizz-fighting silicone. Split your hair into sections and clip all but one section up. Blow-dry each section while gently stretching your hair straight with a ceramic-barreled ion brush - the ceramic evenly distributes heat while the ions seal cuticles.
Choose a tourmaline-infused hair dryer because it also closes cuticles, and locks in moisture while drying up to 50% faster than conventional dryers. Employ the cool shot feature to set your hair. Before you reach for the flat iron, use a thermal protecting mist that is designed to safeguard your hair from the heat. A ceramic-plated, tourmaline iron will help you achieve glowing, hydrated hair that’s never flat. Irons can reach up to 400 degrees within minutes to help you quickly straighten hair, but use caution when handling and placing on surfaces. Finish with a satiny cream or wax to control any flyaway hair.
Professional Chemical Straightening
Tired of your straightening routine? If you are willing to spend hundreds, and in some cases, well over a thousand dollars, make an appointment with a trusted professional for a chemical straightening treatment. Thermal reconditioning is the most expensive and requires you to spend the day at the salon. It’s also permanent because it alters your hair’s protein structure; only your regrowth will have your hair’s original shape and texture. The new hair can be retouched to match your treated hair. The process includes alternating chemical applications to tame, deep conditioning to ultra-hydrate, and ironing to straighten. It's pricey but it lasts. Thermal reconditioning is not suitable for tight curls because the repeated heat styling will cause irreparable damage.
A relaxer is better for softening kinky curls and also permanently changes the structure of your hair. Both thermal reconditioning and relaxers can cause adverse reactions with previously colored or chemically-treated hair. Keratin-based treatments are appropriate for all hair types, even color-treated hair, but are also less permanent. It straightens your hair for up to four months. However, many keratin formulations contain formaldehyde to work. Because straightening your hair with chemicals carries risks, thoroughly discuss with your stylist before proceeding.
Today’s super moisturizing products and treatment advances have made straight hair more attainable than ever.