If you’re always battling unruly hair in humid weather or have very dry and curly strands, you may be a good candidate for keratin hair straightening or Japanese straightening treatments. Both of these hair treatments are designed to leave your hair silky smooth and super straight. One uses thermal energy and chemicals to create a “blowout” look, while the other uses natural proteins to recondition the hair. Here’s a close look at how keratin hair straightening and Japanese straightening treatments work:
How Keratin Hair Straightening Treatments Work
The keratin hair straightening treatment involves applying a keratin solution directly onto dry hair, and then flat-ironing the hair using a flat iron to infuse the keratin into the hair cuticle. This solution must be left in the hair for at least 3 to 4 days, which means you can’t wash your hair with any type of shampoo or conditioner. After the treatment has fully set in the hair, the hair can be washed with a sodium-free, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. These special hair care products are usually available from the same salon, and can be purchased in larger sizes for ongoing use after the treatment.
The hair can then be blow dried or left to dry naturally, and will be much softer, shinier, smoother and manageable than before the treatment. There is no need to flat iron the hair again after washing and drying. You will notice that your hair resists heat and humidity for several weeks after the treatment, and also retains its body.
How Japanese Straightening Treatments Work
Japanese straightening treatments can take several hours, and involve chemically relaxing the hair using a calcium-based hydroxide solution, or a lye based solution. The hair is washed with a clarifying shampoo, and the straightening treatment is applied to the scalp and all the strands. After the solution is rinsed out, the hair is blow-dried and flat ironed until it is very straight and smooth. In some cases, the straightening solution is applied again, rinsed out, and the hair is flat ironed until it is very straight. In order to maximize results, you cannot wash your hair for about 72 hours after the treatment.
The Japanese hair straightening treatment does change the structure of the hair and can cause damage to weak strands. You will need a professional consultation before undergoing this type of intensive hair straightening treatment.
Choosing Between Keratin and Japanese Hair Straightening Treatments
Both keratin hair straightening and Japanese straightening treatments offer a number of benefits for curly and frazzled strands, but Japanese straightening treatments can cause some damage to the hair and scalp. Japanese hair straightening treatments, however, are permanent and are designed to straighten and relax the hair so that you don’t have to use a flat iron again.
If your hair is color-treated or highlighted, it is already fairly damaged. You may benefit from a keratin treatment that not only strengthens the hair, but also reconditions the strands so your hair becomes stronger and more resilient.