All for silky smooth tresses

Last Updated 11 April 2014, 13:41 IST

While it is best left to expert hair stylists to give you the treatment, if you want to have your hair straightened by rebonding, you should know how it affects your mane and how to limit the damage, advises Shahnaz Husain.

The natural texture of the hair, be it straight, wavy, curly or frizzy, is determined by genetic factors. But most women love to experiment with their hair textures.

Thankfully, there are many ways of straightening the hair, like relaxing, rebonding, ironing, and using hair dryers. Believe it or not, hair straightening methods have been in existence since 1890s! Garret A Morgan invented a prototype of what we today call hair-ironers, to help Afro-Americans manage their hair.

He even came up with hair-straightening creams and combs. Well, that man sure knew what women wanted, didn’t he?

Be it a formal interview or a get-together party, be it for an ethnic outfit for a wedding or for a sexy dress for a romantic date, most women (with curly, wavy or frizzy hair) prefer straightening their hair, either completely or partially, to style it as per the needs of their outfits.

The hair straightening method that has become most popular is the Japanese thermal straightening method, also known as “rebonding.” The other reason why the method has become popular is that it is said to make the hair look healthier and smoother.

While it is, indeed, best left to expert hair stylists to give you the treatment, if you want to have your hair straightened by rebonding, you should know how it affects the hair and how to limit the damage it can cause.

The procedure begins with shampoo. Later a protein cream is applied to the hair, which coats each strand of your hair. This helps the straightening process and is also said to protect the hair. Then, a chemical solution is applied, which breaks down the hair’s disulphide bonds.

Hair is made up of a protein matter called keratin and has a lot of disulphide bonds. A disulphide bond is the bond between two sulphur atoms. The breaking of the bonds makes the hair more pliable. The duration for which the chemical is let to settle on the hair is decided by the hair stylist, according to hair texture.

Once the solution is rinsed off, the hair is partially blow-dried, until it is mildly damp. A thermal iron is then used to straighten the hair. Then, another solution is applied, which helps to re-form or “rebond” the broken disulphide bonds. Hence, the name rebonding. The hair is then rinsed and conditioned.

The entire rebonding process may take four to eight hours. After the rebonding is done, the hair should not be washed for two to three days, to allow the reforming of the disulphide bonds. The effect lasts for about one year, after which the regrown hair needs touch-up. Needless to say, rebonding is an expensive method of hair straightening.

What must be emphasised is that aftercare is extremely important with straightened hair.

It is said that the straightening is permanent in this method and so, it does not require the use of blow dryers after shampoo. However, truth is, blow drying may be needed after shampoo to add body to the hair.

Use mild shampoos and extra-rich conditioners.

Use a wide-toothed comb to disentangle your hair.

If split ends start developing, be sure to cut them off.

Give the hair regular conditioning,
especially at the ends.

Always use high-quality shampoos and conditioners.

Use hair serums to give shine and extra protection to your hair.

Chemically-treated hair should get deep conditioning treatments and hot oil therapy at least once or twice a week.

Heat pure coconut oil and apply on the hair.

Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for five minutes.

Repeat the hot towel wrap three or four times. This helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better.

Use a mild herbal shampoo. Use very little of it by diluting it with water.

Rinse well. Apply a creamy conditioner and massage it lightly into the hair.

Leave it on for two minutes and rinse off with plain water.

(The writer is a beauty care expert)

(Published 11 April 2014, 13:41 IST)

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