Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Hair Straightening Treatments

Q: I wanted to find out about hair straightening - i.e., the opposite of perming. I have wavy hair which reacts badly to humidity, I am at the moment going through change of life and having hot flashes and sweats, which make my hair curl up again when I have spent significant time blow waving, using straightening products and also having used a hair iron too. I color my hair, and worry that permanent hair straightening treatment may do more damage and make it look even worse. Can you advise where I can go in Melbourne to receive the best possible treatment? I will travel to any area and cost is not an issue.
A: First let me apologize to you for being unable to give you any specific salon references here. Hairfinder is not affiliated with any salons or product manufacturers, and we don't endorse any businesses. That being said, I do want to offer some information on hair straightening that you may not know.
Most straightening treatments use either a thioglycolate-based or hydroxide-based formula. The hydroxide straighteners are usually called relaxers, and are permanent in the effects they cause in the hair. The hydroxide relaxers destroy the chemical side bonds in the hair and these, once destroyed can never be reformed. You don't want to perform either a thio-straightening process or a hydroxide relaxing process over one another. It will destroy the hair. Care has to be taken when performing color over relaxers and vice versa.
The thio-based straighteners use the same chemical formulas as perms to break the chemical side bonds and then reform them in the desired arrangement. The benefit to thio-straightening is that haircolor is usually safely done over thio-straightened hair. The downside is that if the hair is already damaged, the thio-straightening, like a perm, can worsen the damage.
Finally, there is the new Japanese Hair Straightening process, called Thermal Reconditioning. It generally gives excellent results, but should not be used on previously straightened hair or hair that has been bleached, highlighted excessively or colored with permanent haircolor using a high-lift developer (above 20-volume peroxide).
The three processes will straighten the hair to varying degrees of effectiveness and the costs are very different. Hydroxide-relaxing and Thio-straightening are comparable in price to having a perm, while the Japanese Straightening can cost between AU $200 to AU $800 per service depending on the length of the hair.
My best recommendation before choosing any of these is to look for a salon you feel you can trust. I suggest you take a look at the websites, the services offered, and even phone the salons that interest you and speak with one of their professionals.
When you find one (or more) that you like, you can arrange to visit the salon for a consultation. Just remember that you should not feel pressured to book a service on your initial visit. You want a salon that will work with you, not try to work you over. I wish you the very best and hope that this information has helped.
Related posts:
Hair straightening
Permanent hair straightening
What is Japanese Thermal Reconditioning?