5 Types of Hair Straightening Treatments And Their Side Effects

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Do you like your hair straight? But how many times will you straighten up your hair? Why not go for a permanent solution?

Straightening, again and again, results in loss of protein from the hair. Why take that risk? Why damage your hair and face hair fall?

If you are eager to get straight hair, choose the best permanent hair straightening treatment for yourself that results in less hair fall and damage. Read on to know more! You will find all you are looking for in this article.


Hair straightening treatments

Hair straightening treatments

You try a lot of methods to get your hair straight. Some people prefer chemical treatments, others non-chemical methods and the rest prefer natural straightening methods. But what is suitable for your hair type?

To begin with any treatment, first, look out for its pros and cons as many of them result in the weakening of hair follicles, which causes hair fall and damages. Let us dive deeper into the types.


Types of hair straightening treatments

Types of hair straightening treatments

All treatments use chemicals to break down the disulfide bonds. These bonds provide stability to the protein present in your hair.

The position of keratin gets disturbed and changes its position when the chemical starts affecting, which results in straight hair. And this breakdown of disulfide only takes place in the presence of extreme heat.

There are five hair straightening treatments: Keratin, Rebonding, Smoothening, Hair relaxing, and Thermal reconditioning. We will discuss all of them in detail.

1. Keratin

Keratin is also known as ‘Brazilian blowout’ or ‘protein treatment.‘ The products used for this treatment alter curly frizzy hair into straight, shiny, and smooth hair. It is said to be less damaging compared to other methods.

Keratin is already present in your body. It helps form tissues of hairs, nails, and the outer layer of skin as it is a natural protein.

The keratin used in treatment is like artificial proteins containing a formaldehyde chemical. It is safer than other methods. The results of this treatment depend on your hair type and texture.

Usually, it lasts for 3 to 4 months and results in only 30 to 40% straight hair. But your hair looks shiny and smooth, and your hair gets enough protein to stay stronger.

If you wash your hair less and use shampoos free of sulfates and parabens or use products infused with keratin, the effect of the treatment may last longer because then the protein can penetrate adequately.

Advice: Some people are sensitive to the chemical used in this treatment. Therefore, you must consult your hair care professional before undergoing any treatment.

What is the benefit of keratin other than straightening?

It brings life to your dull and lifeless hair. Also, it makes your hair healthier. The treatment coats the layer of hair with protein, which prevents external factors from affecting your hair and maintains the shine and smoothness.


It takes 2 to 4 hours for the whole procedure. Also, the duration depends on the length of your hair. Your stylist will apply keratin solution to each strand of your hair for a few minutes. Then after rinsing it out, your hair will be straightened using a flat iron to seal the protein to your hair.

Side Effects:

It is highly recommended to prefer going to a good salon where safe products are used as, unequal level of formaldehyde in the keratin solution may cause,

  • scalp irritation
  • running nose
  • throat irritation
  • skin rash
  • coughing, wheezing
  • allergen reactions
  • chest tightness
  • scalp blisters
  • headache
  • nausea
  • mood changes
  • hair damage
  • hair loss


2. Rebonding

Rebonding is also known as chemical straightening. This process changes your hair’s natural texture by breaking down natural bonds of hair follicles and rebuilding the same bonds into different shapes. This treatment gives a more flat and 100% straight hair, which seems like an artificial look for some people.

You may face more hair fall because, during the process, your hairs are pulled, weakening the hair follicle. And do not go for rebonding if you have already colored your hair or your hair is dry and damaged. This treatment will then damage it more.

It lasts for 6 to 12 months, depending on your hair care and frizziness. On regrowth of new hair, you may need to revisit your stylist for a touch-up. Rebonding is expensive compared to other treatments. Also, you can’t repeat the procedure repeatedly as it will make your hair weak.


Depending upon your hair length, the procedure duration lies between 3 to 8 hours.

  • As with other methods, your hair is washed first in this treatment, but conditioner is not applied, and your hair is left to dry naturally.
  • Your stylist will apply relaxants dividing your hair into sections. After a while, your stylist will steam your hair and use conditioner on washing again.
  • He will straighten your hair using a flat iron and apply keratin lotion.
  • Then at the end, he will apply a neutralizer to seal the new bonds and straighten up your hair again.

Side Effects:

Dryness of hair is a common side-effect of rebonding. Other than this, the powerful chemicals formaldehyde or aldehyde may cause hair breakage.

Going for rebonding treatment continuously may cause dangerous diseases like cancer.


3. Smoothening

Again, formaldehyde solution is used in the chemical process of smoothening hairs. This treatment controls frizziness and gives 60-75% straight hair.

It causes less damage than rebonding because your stylist will press your hair softly while straightening. And compared to rebonding, it results in a more natural look.


The process involves saturating the hair with chemicals and straightening it up when it dries. It gives your hair follicle strength to stay stronger by reducing hair damage. It is just like Hair straightening with a softer and gentler process with no hair damage.

Side Effects:

As the same chemical is used in all the processes, the side effects will only arise from increasing the chemical’s usage. The side effects may include,

  • teary eyes
  • headache
  • skin rashes
  • skin irritation
  • upper respiratory tract problems
  • And cancer, in extreme conditions.


4. Hair relaxing

Hair relaxing treatment is similar to rebonding as it also breaks down the hair’s cuticle and cortex layer and loses the natural curls and frizziness. It breaks protein bonds but does not give you 100% straight hair as rebonding.

Hair relaxing results in a smooth, frizz-free look but may weaken your hair causing breakage and damage. Extreme heat and chemicals are used in this process.

If done from a proper place, the result will be worth-full. And the results last for around three months. The cost and maintenance are not as much as that of rebonding.


The procedure is faster but almost similar to hair rebonding. It just takes 1-2 hours to get straight hair. Like rebonding, the relaxants applied on hair strands break down the natural structure to change its texture into straight hair. The procedure goes like this,

  • An alkaline cream is applied to the hair.
  • It is washed and rinsed using shampoo.
  • You get straight hair.

Side Effects:

The alkaline cream is thick. Therefore you need to hide your scalp, as it may cause skin irritation and burns. The common issues after hair relaxation are dryness, hair breakage, and split-ends.


5. Thermal Reconditioning

Thermal reconditioning is also known as Japanese straightening. It is a chemical process that penetrates hair’s bonds by changing its structure. Even if the hair is colored, you can still go for thermal reconditioning.

It is a smoothening and conditioning treatment that results in permanent, frizz-free, straight hair. And it lasts for 6-8 months, but in the long run, your hair may get damaged.

Like rebonding, in thermal reconditioning, the chemical solution is applied, and then later, the hair is straightened up. Let us study the procedure in detail.

The treatment process of thermal reconditioning

The procedure takes 6 to 8 hours, depending on your hair length. And you have to visit your stylist between 6 to 8 months for touch-ups. And the chemicals used may vary; therefore, visit the best salon for the best treatment results.


  • Cysteine protein bond is loosened first, using the chemical solution.
  • It takes 15 to 20 minutes to break the bonds.
  • Then flat iron is used to straighten your hair.
  • Again chemical is applied to make the bonds strong.
  • The stylist then washes your hair, and you get the results.

It will not give you 100% straight hair, but yes, your hair will look smoother, shiner and frizz-free.

Side Effects:

You may experience side-effects if not done the procedure from the right place or by the right stylist. The side-effects may include,

  • extreme dryness
  • Brittle hair
  • Frizzy hair
  • Irritation to nose and eyes
  • respiratory difficulties
  • skin redness


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Five hair straightening treatments that keep your hair straight for a long period are keratin, smoothening, hair rebonding, hair relaxing, and thermal reconditioning.

All the treatments include a chemical process, and if the chemical is used in an uneven proportion, it may result in side effects. Therefore, it has been recommended to visit a professional hairstylist for a hair straightening treatment.

We hope you found this article helpful. Do not forget to tell your favorite treatment experience in the comment section below.

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