I had frizzy, curly hair and dense hair. The biggest issue I had was with my hair becoming a frizz-ball even after using the most expensive hair care products. The struggle was long, and nothing seemed to tame my unmanageable hair. I read online about the ‘Cysteine Treatment‘ and ventured for it as it was a temporary process, which infused the hair with amino acids, tamed frizz and gave smoother, silkier hair without any damage.
Hair Smoothening at the Salon
But the salon experts laughed off my cysteine dreams saying that in my ‘coarse, frizzy and curly hair, cysteine effects wouldn’t survive a single shampooing’. I was heartbroken as my research and dreams went in vain. They instead recommended me to go for hair smoothening, which was definitely a harsher process but would give me the desired effects for some time. Let me address the biggest confusion for you ladies.
Straightening vs. Smoothening
Hair smoothing or Brazilian blowout is a less damaging process when compared to hair straightening. It doesn’t alter the structure of your hair drastically which is the case in hair straightening. In smoothening, you get frizz-free, smooth hair that can last up to 6 months or more. However, it is not meant to give you poker straight hair.
In hair straightening, chemicals used permanently break the bonds in your hair shaft, followed by heat application to restructure your hair and more chemicals are used to seal the newly-formed bonds.
This process causes more damage than hair smoothening, but it can straighten even the curliest of hair types and is permanent, meaning that the treated hair will remain straight until your natural hair grows out.
Keratin Treatment vs. Cysteine Treatment
Keratin and cysteine are restorative treatments for hair that penetrate the hair shaft and repair it. While the end results are comparable, cysteine treatments are less damaging than traditional keratin treatments. The ‘Cysteine Complex’ is a non-formaldehyde keratin treatment, hence doesn’t pose side-effects and heat hazards that the often toxic keratin complex uses. These treatments reduce 50-70% curl volume and add shine and smoothness to hair.
Which Treatment Should you Go For?
This is best discussed with your hairstylist. Choose a reputed salon, book appointments to know your hair type and what will suit you better. If you want absolutely straight hair, you can go for straightening. If you want to smoothen the frizz or restore the damaged strands, smoothening or protein treatments are good options.
How Long Does Smoothening or Straightening Take?
Depending on your hair length and volume, the process can take anywhere between 3 hours to 5 hours. I have very dense hair, hence it took me around 4.5 hours.
How is Smoothening Done?
Hair is washed, conditioned and blow dried followed by a cream application on hair. This cream is meant to break the bonds in your hair so that it can be modified to the desired effect. The cream is washed off in 30-45 minutes and hair is flat-ironed by a ceramic hair straightener.
A neutralizer cream is applied to seal the effect and washed off in 25-30 minutes. Hair is then washed off and blow dried. Tying up/pinning/tucking your hair in any way is a strict no-no for 2 days at least, after which you get your hair washed in the salon.
Will the Effects Last?
Totally depends on the natural texture of your hair and your hair care regimen. Smoothening or straightening can last for up to a year with regular restorative treatments and hair spa. Since my hair is very resistant, mine is expected to last for 6 months with good hair maintenance.
Do These Treatments Exaggerate Hair Fall?
Again, the results vary. My hair loss resulted from hair breakage while detangling, because of frizz and roughness. Smoothening has reduced my hair loss. However, your hair might be weakened from the roots, if the treatments aren’t done by experts, so be cautious.
Post Straightening/Smoothening Hair Care Tips?
Avoid swimming or excess use of chemicals. Use of sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners are a must. A great masque once a week is a great way to add moisture and shine to hair. Avoid combing hair when wet to avoid breakage. Get hair spas from salons to maintain the hair smoothness.
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