HAIR STRAIGHTENING: PREPARING FOR STRAIGHTENING
Many women with curls, crimps or frizzy hair swear by straight hair (and the reverse is just as true, life is bad!). So here's how to prepare your hair for straightening, an operation far from trivial.
When you want to straighten your hair, you have the choice between several techniques: smoothing, which stiffens the hair fiber temporarily via the use of a heat source. Brazilian and Japanese smoothing, which relies on keratin and heat, and can last 3 to 4 months. Hot straightening, an old technique that relies on an iron comb, heated to a high temperature, the effects of which are irreversible. And cold straightening, which capitalizes on chemicals to stiffen the hair just as irreversibly. It is the latter that are discussed in this article.
In terms of chemical straightening, a distinction is made between thiolated technology, which is "softer", which acts on the surface and is better suited to curly and medium curly hair, and alkaline technology, which acts inside the fiber itself to destroy the molecules of keratin, and is best suited to frankly curly and frizzy hair.
Whatever the preferred cold straightening, the action of chemical agents is very aggressive. It is therefore advisable to prepare the hair before straightening in a very meticulous way.
Make sure the hair is healthy
You don't solve a hair problem by straightening it! On the contrary, it could make the situation worse. The hair must therefore be in perfect health. If you have damaged, dry, brittle hair, dandruff or an irritated scalp, you start by treating the problem before considering straightening.
Also to be avoided: colors and the use of alcohol-based gels and mousses, which dry out the hair fiber and leave it defenseless against the attacks of chemical products.
If we have just undone braids or a weave, we wait about ten days, just to let the hair breathe.
Finally, during pregnancy or breastfeeding, we forget straightening!
Make an appointment with your hairdresser
Hair straightening is a very technical operation that cannot be improvised. Some mistakes can be annoying to say the least. So no hair straightening, trust your hairdresser!
No shampoo in the ten days preceding the straightening…
It's not very appetizing, but the dirt accumulated on the base of the skull protects the scalp from irritation and burns from chemical agents.
… but a protein treatment
During straightening, the hair loses its proteins, and therefore its strength. This is why it is important to do a protein treatment upstream to strengthen them and make them more resistant to cold straightening products. Of course, we think of doing a deep moisturizing treatment after the protein treatment.
Avoid hair manipulation
After the last shampoo, the protein treatment and the moisturizer, we leave the combs, the brushes, the hair dryer, the straightening iron and the rubber bands in the closet. We also avoid braids! The idea is above all not to weaken the hair fiber.
Apply a final layer of protection
The day before the big day, untangle the hair and apply a final protective layer. We opt for a fatty solution, such as petroleum jelly, shea butter or castor oil for example.
One last tip for preparing to straighten curly and frizzy hair
Thiol and alkaline relaxers are totally incompatible. One cannot succeed the other and vice versa. Regarding the frequency, no more than three thiolated straightenings per year, and care is taken to respect a period of six weeks between two alkaline straightenings.