Summer is on its way and with it the humidity that wreaks havoc with your hair, turning your silky-smooth tresses into a tangled, tousled mop and a reliable straightening and anti-frizz product into your new BFF. But which product should you choose from the wide variety of chemical and non-chemical treatments, all of which promise to solve your hair-hassles with one easy application?
Understanding the composition of these products is a good start to finding the right solution to keep you looking sleek this summer. Chemical, or permanent, straighteners work like a reverse perm and can be effective in straightening, de-frizzing and controlling the volume of curly or wavy hair.
Relaxers, on the other hand, are generally more effective on ethnic hair, straightening the hair by breaking down and restructuring the hairs internal composition.
The active ingredients in chemical straightening and relaxing products are usually sodium hydroxide (lye), which is used on coarse curly hair or ammonium thioglycolate, which is most effective on fine curly or wavy hair. However, if your hair has already been chemically treated in any way, you would do well to proceed with caution even if your hair is in reasonable condition, as chemicals do weaken the hair. Regular conditioning treatments are a must for chemically-straightened hair, particularly if you plan to heat-style it.
A relatively new and popular alternative to chemical straighteners, which offers both frizz control and improved hair condition, is keratin treatment. Certain of the early keratin treatments did contain chemicals that released formaldehyde, a potentially harmful gas, when heat was applied but most of the new, advanced keratin products are formaldehyde free.
It is worth checking which product your stylist uses.
The newest nanotech keratin treatments are gently ironed into the hair and can last for up to six months. Don’t be dismayed if there is an unusual aroma when it is applied – this is attributable to the exotic organic ingredients that are added to boost your hair condition and won’t last. Special care must be taken in maintaining your keratin-treated hair to ensure the best results and this means avoiding products that contain salt, or sodium chloride, rather than sulphate-free treatments, as has been suggested.
With all the technological advances in hair care it is perfectly possible to enjoy a frizz-free Summer!