Frizz is not easy to manage. Especially when you have beautiful curls that poof up as soon as you take a brush to them. While a solid hair care routine does help to some extent, not everyone finds enough time to pamper their hair with oil massages and hair masks. That is why there are treatments like hair smoothing and hair straightening that help transform the structure of your hair, making it more manageable. While both these treatments result in sleeker hair, there is a slight difference between the two.
Here’s how hair smoothing and hair straightening are different from each other:
What Is Hair Smoothing?
Hair smoothing is a temporary treatment that also goes by the names Brazilian blowout, keratin treatment, and protein treatment. The process involves saturating your hair with a formaldehyde solution followed by drying it out and using a flat iron to lock your hair in a straight position. However, the chemicals used for smoothing hair are not as strong as the ones used in hair straightening treatments. This makes this treatment less damaging. But, it is not ideal for all hair types.
The effects from the treatment last from 2 to 5 months and it is primarily recommended for hair that is wavy or ridden with frizz. This is because it doesn’t so much alter the structure of your hair so much as it aligns it. The treatment is not likely to be as effective with hair that is extremely thick or curly.
What Is Hair Straightening?
Permanent hair straightening is a process by which the structure of your hair is altered to give you pin straight hair. The chemicals used in this process permanently break the bonds in your hair shaft. Heat is applied to restructure your hair, and more chemicals are used to seal the newly formed bonds.
While this process causes more damage than hair smoothing, 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. Permanent hair straightening is also known as ‘Japanese straightening.’
Experts often recommend hair smoothing over hair straightening. Here’s why:
Why Hair Smoothing Over Hair Straightening?
Hair experts lean towards hair smoothing over hair straightening in some cases. This decision is simply based on the client’s hair type and desired result. Most people want a natural finish without their hair looking pin straight. Hair smoothing, although temporary, serves this purpose with less damage.
With hair straightening, the hair bonds need to be broken and then rebuilt. This spells a certain amount of hair damage. While your hair can be repaired, it will need intense care and regular touch-ups and trims when the natural hair starts to grow back in.
Why Hair Straightening Over Hair Smoothing?
While frizz can be tamed with hair smoothing, it doesn’t do much for straightening really curly hair. Hair straightening is preferred when dealing with difficult hair types like thick and kinky hair when the client desires straight hair.
While smoothing your hair can transform your curls into frizz-less waves, the chances of it going straight are poor. You are more likely to get the results you desire when you choose to straighten your hair permanently.
So, what should you go for?
Hair Smoothing vs. Hair Straightening – The Final Verdict
At the end of the day, what you choose should be based on your hair type and the results that you are looking for.
Do you want a treatment that is permanent or temporary? Do you want pin straight hair or something that looks more natural? Are you just trying to battle frizz or is straight hair the end goal?
These are some of the questions you can ask yourself to decide which treatment is likely the best option for you.
Regardless of the choice you make, remember, hair that is defrizzed still needs some serious TLC. No doubt your hair will be easier to manage and maintain. But you will still need to go the extra mile to keep it damage-free and healthy.
Have you made your choice yet? Tell us about what you have in store for your hair in the comments section below.
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