Straight PermQ: Is there any process simpler than thermal reconstructing that can permanently straighten my hair? Can't I just get a "straight" perm?
A: Actually, you can get a thio-relaxer which is essentially a perm without the curling rods. The perming solution is applied to the hair and combed through using a wide-tooth comb while it processes.
The process can be done at any salon, or even at home using a home perming kit. However, doing it at home can be tricky by yourself. You should get a friend to help. You hold your head back over the sink while your friend applies the perming solution and combs the hair during the process. This lets you keep the hair hanging as straight as possible.
There are a couple of tips to remember. Before applying the perming solution, you need to make sure your hair is smooth and tangle free. The hair should be damp so the perming solution gets more even coverage, and be sure to be gentle in the combing process. The perming solution works by breaking the disulfide bonds in the hair and allowing it to hang straighter.
Leave the perming solution on the recommended time (per the package) and rinse thoroughly with warm water, then use the Neutralizer following the same method as with the perming solution, following package directions for the timing. Afterward, rinse the hair fully again with warm water and follow up with a cool water rinse.
The results you get will vary, depending on the texture and condition of your hair and the amount of curl you have. However, many women with loose curls or waves find the results to be very worth the procedure.
You won't get the perfectly straight results common with thermal reconstructing, but you will see a definitive lessening in the amount of curl or wave in the hair. At the very least, a thio-relaxation process, combined with blow-dry straightening and flat-ironning, should give almost anyone silky-smooth tresses.
Perms and perming hair
How to untangle your hair