How do you straighten your hair? We explain it all to you!

If you have frizzy hair, it's often very tempting to have it straightened, the idea being that the straightened hair will be easier to style for both women and men, because it will be smoother with this technique. Fashion, the desire to conform to an 'ideal of beauty' that does not accept Afro beauty, the desire to change hairstyle, simplified styling - these are just some of the reasons that can motivate this radical change in the texture of your hair, and for a long time to come. These chemical manipulations alter the intrinsic characteristics of the hair and the consequences of straightening are not just aesthetic. In fact, in the event of an accident, the consequences of a botched straightening on the hair and scalp are far from harmless. 

These techniques for softening and smoothing hair are not just for frizzy hair. Straightening (or smoothing) is just as suitable for Caucasian hair, where frizz is impossible to control in humid conditions, as it is for mixed-race, curly or frizzy hair. And, it's worth pointing out, these methods work just as well on women's hair as on men's!

Your hair is a precious commodity. So when you decide to straighten it, you have a right to know what you're going to do to its keratin. To help you make an informed choice, the Centre Clauderer has compiled update on techniques to which they will have to submit in order to radically change their form, because that's what it's all about: a profound change in the hair fibre.

The different types of straightening

In fact, there are two types of straightening: the thiol straightening and the alkaline straightening. Both are applied cold and act on di-sulphide bridgesin other words, the hard links of the hair keratin. Today, given the undeniable popularity of the term "straightening" among female customers, some hairdressers have renamed their straightening thiolé. a "It's just a question of vocabulary. It's just a question of vocabulary, the word 'straightening' evokes an action that is less traumatic for the hair than the word 'straightening', but don't be fooled, what counts is the term 'thiolated' and the transformations undergone by the hair with this technique. See our articles on Brazilian straightening and on smoothing Japanese to understand what's going to happen to your hair.

Relaxing: how is it done?

Important : the type of straightening depends on the nature of the hair and the objective you set yourself in terms of softening. There is no straightening for men and no straightening for women.

Thiolol straightening

The thiolating agent destroys 30% of the di-sulphide bonds that weld together the cystine chains and give the hair its original curl. Under the action of the product, the hair is straightened until the desired suppleness is achieved. We then apply a an oxidising product that fixes the action protein fibres together. result is reversible and fades after about 1 year.

Alkaline straightening

The alkaline agent destroys 90% di-sulphide bonds by expelling one of the two sulphur atoms on each cystine molecule. Spontaneously and at the same time, a new bridge is formed with a single sulphur atom (known as the lanthionine bridge).

So unlike the thiol product, the alkaline product does not require an oxidising fixative since the welding of the single bridge is inherent and simultaneous with the very action of the alkaline agent. The process of total disintegration of the bridges is stopped by prolonged rinsing and a neutralising shampoo to remove the last alkaline residues. This is a permanent transformation and radical removal of the keratin. In other words, this technique is irreversible and only the first few centimetres will need to be treated as the hair grows back to maintain a harmonious hairstyle.

The main ingredients

Thiolol straightening

  1. Reducing agent (pH between 9 and 9.5)
    - Thioglycolic acid
    - Ammonia
    - Several different silicones
  2. Fixing product
    - Hydrogen peroxide
    - Several different silicones.

Alkaline straightening

  1. Reducing product (pH between 12 and 13)
    - For products with soda: sodium hydroxide
    - For soda-free products: guanidine carbonate + calcium hydroxide
    - Paraffin oil
    - Fatty alcohols
  2. Neutralising shampoo
    - Sodium laureth sulphate (powerful cleaning agent to remove alkali residues)

Which straightener to choose for your hair type

Thiolol straightening

  • For Caucasian, wavy to curly hair
  • For customers whose curly or frizzy hair is difficult to control and who no longer want to be slaves to endless blow-drying, the effect of which disappears at the slightest sign of humidity.

Alkaline straightening

  • For African or mixed-race hair

Essential precautions for both straightenings

  • All brands offer several different straightening 'strengths' depending on the calibre of hair to be treated: ideally, you should always choose the least powerful level of softening (in other words, the degree of keratin degradation) so as not to risk destroying the keratin.
  • The pause time start from the very beginning of the application and must be scrupulously respected.
  • Your hair absolutely must be in good condition - free of breakage or split ends - and should not have been sensitised by previous manipulations such as perming, colouring, highlights, henna...
  • If you wear extensions or additions, remember to remove them 15 days before the operation, as well as braids.
  • Your leather scalp must be perfectly healthy before straightening: straightening should not be considered if your skin is irritated, whatever the symptoms: redness, pimples, dandruff, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis
  • The relaxer should never touch the scalp. Regardless of what some brands say, the correct distance is a maximum of 0.8 cm from the roots, even when only treating new growth.
  • The regrowth should not be treated too often Ideally, no more than 2 or 3 times a year, without touching lengths that have already been straightened.

Method of application of straightening products

Thiolol straightening

The hair is first washed with a neutral shampoo and then thoroughly towel-dried.

  1. Apply a protective cream to the edges, nape of the neck and ears.
  2. Apply the relaxer, strand by strand, about 1cm long: Start at the roots, without touching the scalp, and work towards the tips, starting at the nape of the neck and working towards the top of the head, finishing at the edges.
  3. Smooth hair without pulling, using fingertips or the back of a comb.
  4. Timer-controlled pause time
  5. Rinse thoroughly and for a long time, wring thoroughly, but without rubbing
  6. Application of oxidising fixative
  7. Timer-controlled pause time.
  8. Thorough and prolonged rinsing.

Alkaline straightening

The hair has not been washed for at least a week.

  1. Apply a protective cream to the edges, nape of the neck and ears,
  2. Apply relaxer, strand by strand, about 1cm thick: start at the roots, without touching the scalp, and work towards the ends; begin at the nape of the neck, working up towards the top of the head; finish at the edges.
  3. Smooth hair without pulling, using fingertips or the back of a comb.
  4. Timer-controlled pause time.
  5. Rinse with plenty of warm water and continue rinsing until all the product has been removed.
  6. Neutralising shampoo and rinse until the water runs clear.

What results can I expect from straightening?

Hair - whether frizzy or simply wavy to begin with - is straightened but they have lost their natural elasticity and can come out rough to the touch, very dried out, very more sensitive to breakage, or even crumbling. These comments mainly concern alkaline straightening because the relaxer is so caustic.

Clauderer tips for carefree after-care

If you've decided to have your hair straightened, or if you already have, you should also think about after straightening: specific, gentle, nourishing care products are essential to gently maintain your new hair. Gentle shampoo and nourishing balm should become your new friends. Find out more about our expert advice for caring for your relaxed hair and enjoying your new hairstyle => repair relaxed hair.

Thiolol straightening

Even if this straightening only destroyed 30% of its original structure, the hair has had to endure powerful chemical active ingredients that are harmful to the natural cohesion of its keratin. As part of ongoing care, it will absolutely need natural products to gently repair and look after it on a daily basis.

Alkaline straightening

With its original structure destroyed at 90%, the hair's keratin is severely degraded, as if the hair had lost its backbone. Its transformation by chemical products (even more corrosive than those used in thiolol straightening) requires very special care. Favouring care products based on natural 100% active ingredients is an ideal solution for restoring some of the hair's defences and preventing breakage. On the other hand, if your hair is thinning or looks like it's not growing any more, it's best to stop straightening: this is a sign that the roots have been affected, either directly or by capillary action.

Jean-François Cabos

Jean-François Cabos is the creator of a unique hair care method based on the research he coordinated, which led to the publication of the book "Cheveux, Racines de Vie" with Hélène Clauderer by Robert Laffont (Collection "Réponses/ Santé").

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *