What heat does to hair

What heat does to hair

LIMIT THE LOSS Excessive use of hair irons can dry out hair, leading to split ends and considerable damage.Like make-up, hair styling has also become a specialised profession, thanks to deep pockets, changing styles and evolving looks. Here’s how you can try a few styles at home or with guidance from an expert stylist.

Roll with it!

Perming or “permanent wave” is a procedure that makes hair curl. A chemical lotion is used to change the structure of hair. The lotion penetrates the inner layer of each strand and softens it. The hair is then set into curls and waves with the help of curlers. An oxidising agent is then used to harden the hair. Remember, you must only trust an expert with a procedure like curling. If you are doing it yourself, carefully read the instructions on the curling lotion package. After perming, take good care of your hair by way of hot-oil treatments and conditioning. If you suffer from dandruff or hair loss, do not subject your hair to chemicals until its condition improves.

Get it straight

Hair can be straightened with the use of chemicals. The different procedures available today include relaxing, rebonding and ironing. Relaxing involves the use of chemicals, which coat each strand and change the structure of the inner layers by which the hair becomes straight. The effects of a strong relaxing procedure may last up to six months.

Rebonding is a relatively permanent solution. A chemical solution is applied to break down the hair’s disulphide bonds (a disulphide bond connects two sulphur atoms). The breaking of the bonds makes the hair more pliable. The solution is applied and left to work on the bonds for a few hours. The solution is then rinsed off and the hair is partially blow-dried. With the help of a hair-straightening thermal iron, small sections of hair are straightened out in layers. This is followed by applying another solution, which helps ‘rebond’ the broken disulphide bonds. The effect of rebonding is said to last for a year, after which the roots may require a touch-up every six months.

Rebonding is more expensive than relaxing. Visit an experienced hair stylist for rebonding or relaxing. These treatments cannot be performed at home. The stylist must conduct a strand test and examine your hair first. There should be an interval of  at least six to eight weeks between colouring and procedures like straightening or perming.

If you only want a temporary style, hair can be straightened with the help of a straightening iron.  Hair irons come with wide plates. Some have a nylon comb attachment to hold hair in place.

Ceramic irons are the most efficient, as they are believed to cause less damage. They also distribute the heat evenly. It would be best to get a ceramic iron which allows you to set the heat according to your hair texture.

Excessive use of irons can dry out the hair, leading to split-ends and considerable hair damage. The hair also loses its natural shine and begins to look damaged and brittle.
After-care is extremely important to limit hair damage. Avoid repeated touch- ups. Use mild shampoos and extra-rich conditioners.

Chemically-treated hair requires deep conditioning treatments once or twice a week. The use of hair serum helps to give shine and protection. Once a week, treat yourself to hot-oil therapy. Use a wide-toothed comb to disentangle knots. If split ends start appearing, cut them. Take a break from straightening your hair every three weeks and allow the hair to recover. Hair that is treated with heat requires intense after-care.

 What men want

- Short hair is in fashion for men. Short hair is easy to care for, especially in summer. Men have found that short hair best covers up a receding hairline. It makes thinning hair look less obvious. Crew cuts are also in fashion. They suit those with an oval face. If you have big ears, a long nose or a very large head, avoid crew cuts, as these features will seem too obvious.

- Among short hair styles, the spiked look is still popular, especially among young men. It is worn short at the sides and the back. The top layers are left long and are then styled or spiked with gel or wax into a mohawk.

- Another popular hair style is where the hair on top is layered and brought forward, towards the forehead. The texture is rugged and this style suits those with wavy hair.

- A lot of young men have been seen sporting a fringe. The fringe may be worn in varied lengths. In fact, the side-swept fringe is said to be catching on among men too, as it is among women.

- The classic look is back too. The hair is worn short, with a side parting, and slicked back neatly. It’s a traditional style worn by Hollywood stars of the ’60s, like Cary Grant.

- The slightly tousled look: Medium-length hair is styled with soft gel but not neatly combed into place. Of course, it is not really natural, but styled to look that way. Hair styling products can be used to achieve the look.

- Streaked hair has gone out of fashion. Subtle, darker and more natural hair colours are in. But it is important to pick a style that suits your face. 

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