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Avoiding Disaster When Straightening Your Hair

November 24th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

If you are thinking about straightening your hair for the first time, you’re probably a little apprehensive, a little unsure if straight will suit your look, and a little excited at the possibility of re-inventing your style.

Before you go out and invest large amounts of money into a top of the line hair straightener you may want to borrow a friends straightner or have it done at the salon to see if the look is right for you. Straightening can go well with any hairstyle and any race, whether it be to combat un-controllable, curly hair, to achieve an everyday sleek, professional look, or simply to look your best on your wedding day or other special occasion.

Whatever the reason may be, before you start out it is important to understand you’ll have heavy chemicals applied to your hair and if done incorrectly, there is potential for permanent damage. This is why we have put together valuable tips for straightening your hair.

It is often a tempting, cheaper option to straighten your hair at home with a self-apply product, however we suggest you at least seek advice from your hairdresser, if not have your hair straightened by a professional. The goal is to have a positive experience that results an all new you! The last thing you want is to end up dealing with the nightmare of damaged hair. While the process of hair straightening is not necessarily a difficult one, a specific technique needs to be followed.

Your salon artist should begin with a basic strand test. This helps determine your hair’s characteristics, the texture of your hair, how strong it is, elasticity, and porosity. once your strand-test is complete, your salon artist will know whether it can handle the chemicals, or what alternative should be used.

If you are having your hair straightened for your wedding, you should absolutely insist on a strand test before beginning.

This involves your hair being pulled to determine how elastic it is and then a small amount of relaxer is applied to see how the hair reacts. If your hair reacts as expected, then your hair is ready and safe to be straightened. Additional tips for straightening hair include information on the three primary steps involved:

1. Protective petroleum cream may be used to shield your scalp from excess chemical. Additionally, this cream will help against hair that has been relaxed or damaged previously. The one thing to remember is that this cream must be applied to loose, soft, natural curls.

2. Once the hair has processed, the chemicals are then rinsed with warm water and a neutralizing formula is applied. This helps the process oxidize, as well as balancing your hairs PH levels.

3. Once the straightening is finished, you should have a soft, protecting conditioner applied to your hair.

In many cases, hair has been damaged from previous home straightening, incorrect coloring procedures, sun exposure and chemical applications. In cases such as this your hairstyle professional should thoroughly condition your hair before starting the straightening process.

Chemical hair straightening, in general is achieved with one of three chemicals. Sodium hydroxide is the heaviest of the chemicals, ammonium thioglycolate which is less intense, or guanidine hydroxide, a chemical that contains no lye and is the softest of the three. As with any chemical treatment, miss-use of these straightening products can result in devastatingly adverse affects on your hair color, texture and strength, and can also cause redness or irritation to the skin.

Keep in mind that when hair has been chemically straightened, you should continue to use appropriate conditioners and take appropriate measures to prevent drying.

If you are planning a straight look for your wedding day, we highly recommend you go to the salon for a test straighten at least 6 months before your wedding day. This way you have plenty of time to weigh up your options, and have sufficient time to recover should you disagree with the straight look.

You will notice a vast range of hair straightening products on the market that claim to straighten hair without the use of chemicals, the bottom line is that these products simply will not work. You could use a flat brush or flat iron, along with smoothing gel to straighten your hair but this would be temporary and probably not be as straight as you might like. Another option is to use a blow dryer to straighten the hair. Just remember, blow-drying will only last until the next time you wash your hair.

Your goal in straightening your hair is to find a fresh new look that suits you. Whether it be for your wedding day, a birthday, a date, or just a change to your everyday hairstyle, paying a little extra to have your hair professionally straightened can save a world of heartache.

Rochelle Hines
http://www.articlesbase.com/women’s-issues-articles/avoiding-disaster-when-straightening-your-hair-101994.html

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