While you battle tangles and try to tame the frizz, regular brushing and using a billion different leave-in serums don’t always seem to do the trick. Having smooth hair may start to seem likely only in dreams. However, achieving smooth hair without tangles or frizz is not impossible. In this article, we have listed the different ways to smoothen hair. Read on to know more.
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Ways To Smoothen Hair
There are two ways you can smoothen your hair: chemical smoothing and regular hair styling.
- Chemical Smoothing: This method uses chemicals like formaldehyde, alkalines, etc. to treat your hair (1). It is a permanent treatment that lasts for at least 12-15 weeks. You will have to get it redone every few months to keep your hair looking smooth.
- Natural Smoothing: This method uses regular hairstyling tips to smooth your hair. It is temporary but very efficient. It does not heavily change the structure of hair, as chemical smoothing does. With the right care and management, you can achieve smooth and healthy hair.
While these methods are temporary, natural smoothing is likely to improve the health of your hair, in the long run, making it smooth and shiny. Read on to know more about these two smoothing methods and decide which one would be the ideal choice for you.
How To Get Smooth Hair Naturally
1. Rinse With Cold Water
Rinsing your hair with cold water removes any frizz and makes the hair straight. After you wash and condition your hair, rinse with cold water a few times. Pat dry your hair instead of drying it vigorously or scrunching it. You can also use a straightening or anti-frizz conditioner before rinsing your hair. The cold water will lock in the anti-frizz action of the conditioner and keep your hair smooth.
2. Banana Pack
Banana is rich in carbohydrates, vitamins, natural oils, and potassium. It has antioxidant potential that helps fight free radicals (2). Using banana in a hair pack will make your hair feel nourished and moisturized. It reduces frizz and soothes an irritated scalp with regular use. The benefits of banana can be enhanced by adding yogurt to it, which is also an excellent hair moisturizer.
You Will Need
- 1 ripe banana
- 2 teaspoons yogurt
- Mash a ripe banana and add two teaspoons of yogurt to it.
- Blend it to get a smooth paste so that no chunks of the banana remain.
- Apply this all over the hair, starting from the tips and work up until the crown.
- Rinse off after 45 minutes with a shampoo.
3. Vinegar Rinse
Apple cider vinegar has been in use as a natural hair rinse for a long time now. Our hair has a pH of 5.5, but the shampoos and conditioners we use are strongly alkaline (3). Although there is no scientific evidence, anecdotal evidence suggests that apple cider vinegar helps maintain the pH balance of our scalp while cleaning the build-up that might have formed from the excessive use of products. Rinsing your hair with the vinegar will close the cuticles of your hair and make it smoother, softer, and shinier.
You Will Need
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- Dilute apple cider vinegar with water.
- Use this as the final rinse after washing your hair and leave it on.
4. Hot Oil Treatment
A hot oil massage once a week will not only give you healthy and smooth hair, but it will also help you de-stress. Use oils, such as coconut, olive, sweet almond, jojoba, castor, lavender, rosemary, and thyme, to massage your hair (4), (5), (6), (7). You can also use the combination of these oils for better results.
You Will Need
- 2-3 tablespoons of oil, depending on the length of your hair
- Massage your scalp with the oil and apply it to all of your hair.
- After massaging your scalp, wrap your head with a warm towel. This creates an environment that allows for maximum penetration of the oil.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash off the oil with shampoo.
5. Use A Shampoo For Your Hair Type
A shampoo cleanses your scalp and also makes your hair smooth and soft. However, you should always use a shampoo that is suited to your hair.
The best shampoos for smooth hair that are available in the Indian market are:
- Herbal Essences bio:renew Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo
Argan oil is a new, widely used component in hair care. Argan Oil of Morocco shampoo contains natural Moroccan argan oil, which penetrates the hair roots to soften them. It also repairs damaged strands and strengthens hair. It does not contain chemicals, such as sulfates and parabens, and is safe to be used on colored hair. It is especially effective in preventing damage from styling heat and UV exposure. By restoring moisture, it makes the hair soft, silky, and shiny. The antioxidants and vitamin E present in argan oil improve the texture by nourishing the hair.
- Head & Shoulders 2-in-1 Smooth & Silky Anti-dandruff Shampoo+Conditioner
Head & Shoulders 2-in-1 Smooth and Silky Anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner is shampoo and conditioner combined into one bottle with anti-dandruff properties. It removes frizz and restores moisture in the hair, making it smoother. The main ingredient in the product, pyrithione zinc, is an active antifungal agent. The results are, therefore, dandruff-free scalp and hair and frizz control. It is suitable for all hair types.
Another safe idea to cleanse your hair is to use natural ingredients.
- Make your own natural shampoo by boiling dried Indian gooseberry (amla), shikakai, and reetha.
- Let it boil until you get a soapy solution.
- Use this to wash your hair at least twice a week to get shiny and smooth hair.
6. Careful Combing
Go easy on the brushing. Combing or brushing your hair too much will cause friction, which will make your hair frizzy. Restrict combing your hair to a bare minimum, and never do it when your hair is wet. Wet hair is more prone to breakage. A good combing schedule involves detangling your hair before a shower with a wide-toothed wooden comb and then combing it once or twice a day to style and get rid of tangles.
7. Proper Conditioning
The right conditioning treatment can work wonders for your hair and make it smooth and silky. Make it a point to deep condition your hair at least once a week. Leaving a little conditioner behind on your hair can make it appear smooth. This is completely harmless as long as the conditioner is not in contact with your scalp.
You can also use leave-in conditioners and serums, which are very useful to achieve that smooth and frizz-free look. Leave-in conditioners are especially beneficial for people with curly hair.
8. Take A Break From Heat
Straighteners, curling irons, and blow dryers may be the best solution for instant styling to make your hair appear smooth. But the regular use of these hot styling tools is extremely harmful for your hair. The heat from these tools damages your hair, making it coarse and frizzy and stripping off its natural sheen (8).
However, if there are days when you cannot do without styling, remember to use a heat-protecting spray or serum. It will help reduce the damage from the heat by forming a protective shield around your hair.
9. Blow Drying Techniques
Always try to dry your hair naturally. But if you are in a hurry, you can blow dry your hair. However, make it a point to use a good quality big-toothed round brush with a ceramic base. Use the cool settings of your blow dryer as this leads to less damage. Hold the blow dryer 15 cm away from your hair and move it constantly so that it doesn’t blow at one section of hair for too long (8).
10. Say No To Chemicals
Do not use products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate or ammonium laureth sulfate, as both of them are industrial cleansers and very harsh on your hair. These are ingredients that most shampoos contain. Research has shown that these chemicals cause heavy hair fall and thinning of hair (1). Instead of sulfate shampoos, use shampoos with natural and organic ingredients, which are not harsh on your hair. They lock in the moisture, thus giving you smooth and soft hair.
11. Trimming Is Important
Trimming is the most important thing to do if you want to maintain hair that is healthy and smooth. It helps remove split ends and damage that would otherwise spread up the hair shaft, causing frizz and dryness. Trim your hair every four to six weeks.
12. Mayonnaise Mask
Treat your hair by giving it a deep conditioning treatment once a week. Mayonnaise is a rich source of L-cysteine, which is an amino acid and a powerful antioxidant, which is also found in eggs. Using this hair pack regularly stimulates healthy hair growth.
You Will Need
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons mashed avocado
- Mix the mayonnaise and avocado until the mixture becomes fluffy.
- Apply the mixture to your hair from the roots through the length of your hair.
- Pull your hair to the crown and cover your head with a shower cap.
- Keep it on for an hour and rinse off with shampoo.
You can also smoothen your hair with chemicals. However, this method is expensive and can have damaging side effects on your hair (1). If you want to smoothen your hair chemically, ensure that your hair is healthy and not over-processed. It is always a good idea to consult a stylist before you get a treatment done. Pre and post care is crucial for healthy, smoothened hair.
Chemical Smoothing Hair Tips
13. Traditional Relaxers
Relaxers are used to soften and calm the natural texture of the hair. They are suitable for people with wavy or slightly curly hair. However, they do not work well with extremely curly hair (1). Relaxers fix frizzy textures and smoothen the hair shafts. The effect loses out once the chemicals fade out in four to six months.
14. Chemical Smoothing
This technique uses a lot of chemicals to break the natural bonds of your hair (1). The hair is then washed with a smoothing solution and straightened. This procedure takes four to five hours, and the effects last for about three months. Regular touch-ups are required to maintain the smooth and straight look of your hair. It is not meant for colored hair.
15. Thermal Reconditioning
Also known as Japanese straightening, this technique is suitable for bulky, loose to medium curls, but not for very tight curls (1). The hair is repeatedly washed with a chemical solution, which helps break the inner bonds. Then, each strand is reshaped. Finally, the neutralizer is applied to achieve a smooth, silky, and straight look. This technique permanently changes the structure of your hair, and regular touch-ups are required every five to six months, depending on the growth rate of your hair. It is not suitable for colored or processed hair. Here is a detailed post on Japanese straightening.
16. Brazilian Keratin Treatment
This technique has widely gained popularity due to the use of keratin, which is less harsh on hair. It smoothes the surface of the hair but does not permanently break the bonds. This treatment controls frizz by maintaining the volume and texture of the hair (1). It is safe for colored hair and is suitable for all hair types from waves to tight curls. Here is a detailed post on Brazilian Keratin treatment.
As discussed earlier, chemical treatments come with certain risks and side effects.
Risks And Side Effects
When using chemical treatments to smooth your hair, make sure they don’t contain formaldehyde (1). It can burn the scalp and eyes. Some products claim to have unactivated formaldehyde, which might be activated by the other chemicals in the product. When using regular straighteners, make sure you use keratin straighteners as they do less damage to the hair (1).
Follow these natural methods or choose any chemical treatments to get smoother and shinier hair.
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