Some people don’t have straight hair by nature. Straighter hair is less difficult to style than wavy or curly hair. Some people would favour their natural hair texture, whether it is curly, straight, or wavy. As long as they have healthy hair, this is fine to them. It’s a plus if they can get out there and feel confident, regardless of what hair type.

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How Hair Straightening Affects Our Lives
There are still many people, especially ladies, who like their hair to be straighter. They would even be happy to get their hair straightening done in professional salons. Straight hair can make a big difference and significant impact in how you look overall. Straight hair is a timeless style that has been popular since thousands, if not centuries ago. You might be curious about how people straightened their hair back then, as there wasn’t a salon to straighten the hair.

A Short Historical Background of Hairstyling Products from the Egyptians to 1800s
The flat iron plates of ancient Egyptians were used to straighten hair. Iron plates were employed for hair straightening in ancient Egypt. However, it can cause burns.

According to Victora Sherrow’s book Encyclopedia of Hair: A Cultural History, female slaves used butter knifes in the 1800s to make their hair more attractive. DIY hot combs first appeared in 1840s. They were then used throughout Europe and the Americas. Sherrow’s book revealed that post-slavery blacks used a mixture of egg, potato, lye to straighten their hair after the Emancipation Proclamation. This procedure was dangerous and often caused scalp burns.
Thereafter, a French stylist named Marcel Grateau created a heat-activated hairstyler hundreds of years later. The main improvement was in the way it did not cause hair damage or burns like ancient Egyptians.

This was the first only ever hair styling device that was used. It has been a benchmark for many other hand-held hair styling devices that were created years later. A Scottish heiress Lady Jennifer Bell Schofield was said to be the inspiration behind the 1872 hair styling tool. Schofield’s hairstyler was made from metal plates attached to tongs to prevent burning your hands.

A Break History of  Hairstyling Products (1900s & Beyond)
Straightening of hair is a hairstyle technique that has been used since 1890s. It involves flattening hair and straightening it to give it a sleek, smooth and sleek look. This style became popular among black men and women of all races in the 1950s. You can achieve this using a hot comb or hair iron, chemical relaxers or Brazilian hair straightening, Japanese hair straightening or blowdryer or roller set hairstyling. Some conditioners, hair gels and shampoos may also help temporarily straighten hair. Imagine how difficult it was to style African American hair. Many women today have the opportunity to benefit from a variety of hair treatments and products, such as Balayage highlights or keratin treatment.

Annie Malone, an African-American woman from America, created a special formula to straighten curly African-American hair. Instead of using lye, which can cause hair damage and burns, she developed a more user-friendly technique for straightening hair.

Madame CJ Walker (formerly Sarah Breedlove) also created hair straightening products for African-Americans, who often have naturally-kinky hair. Walker created her hair care products from scratch after using Malone’s hair products for her own hair loss. It was believed that the flat iron was first invented by Simon Monroe in 1906. The flat iron had metal teeth, which were used as combs and straighteners. This was the first hot comb that was used in African-American households up to the 1980s. Isaac Shero’s hair straightener was the inspiration for modern handheld flat irons we all know today. The hair straightening treatment for men was also developed, as well as a hair relax chemical product that is specifically made for African-American hair.

Temporary (Non-Chemical) Treatment

Straightening Hair with a Hair Iron
Hot combs and hair irons can temporarily alter the texture or shape of hair. Environment factors are most likely to reverse the straightening effect, such as water contact from rain, washing, and humidity. Even though hairstyling products like gels can be used after straightening, they can still give usable results that are not as bad as if we had straight hair naturally.
The hair structure can be permanently altered if you use heat tools too often. This is called “heat damage”. Protective sprays and lotions can be used before heat hairstyling to help avoid heat damage. You can disguise the damage with different hairstyling techniques but it cannot be reversed. You can only repair heat-damaged hair by removing the damaged hair and regrowing it.

You can use five major tools to straighten your hair without using any chemicals:

  1. A hot comb is a straightening comb that uses heat to smoothen hair.
  2. Flat irons (or hair irons) heat the hair directly. Flat irons with heating plates measuring between 0.5 and 1 inch in width are best for shorter hair. For longer hair, a hair iron with larger heating plate hair irons are used.
  3.  Straighten your hair using a blow dryer equipped with a comb attachment and round brush. To avoid hair damage, you should use a low- to medium-heat setting. Hair dryers can dry hair, but you could moisturize it with a leave-in or rinse-free conditioner.
  4. To straighten and stretch hair, large hair rollers can also be used on damp hair. To minimize heat damage, large rollers can be used before blow drying.
  5. Electricity is the power source for hair straighteners. By brushing the hair with the brush, the bristles generate heat which is then absorbed into the hair. For maximum results, the hair must penetrate as deep as possible into the brush.

The Dominican blow-out, which originated in Dominican Republic, is a popular temporary hair straightening technique. It was popularized in the United States by Dominican hairstylists. The Dominican blow-out can straighten hair with a tight curl or high-texture without using chemicals. This blow-out is popular among African Americans as an alternative to permanent hair straightening, or as a way to straighten hair between relaxers.

Permanent Chemical Treatment
The hair structure is permanently altered by relaxers and other methods, but new hair growth is not affected. Interferon alpha, a drug that alters hair follicles has been shown to cause permanent changes in hair texture. Chemical hair straightening is a process that uses chemical substances to dissolve disulfide bonds in hair shafts. This is also known as an S-S bond, or disulfide bridge.

There are many ways to permanently straighten your hair. These are the main methods that are used today:
Keratin/Brazilian Treatment – This treatment involves adding keratin coating to the hair and then using a hot flatiron. Keratin is safe for hair because it uses the natural protein in hair shafts. It is suitable for all hair types. The treatment gives hair a straighter look, reduces frizz, and adds shine. The results will last for approximately 4-6 months before the hair returns to its original texture.

Japanese, thermal reconditioning, yuko or rebonding – a non-coating straightening treatment that causes the cysteine bonding to be looser in the hair by applying the chemical for fifteen to twenty mins, follow by a heat application to restructure the bonding into a straighter type. In some countries in Southeast Asia, the process is known as “rebonding”. In Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, the process is called “rebonding”. Flat irons and other chemicals can cause hair damage if used frequently. Excessive straightening may often results in split ends. Heat protectant sprays are available to reduce the damage.

Chemical straightening/relaxers – Chemical relaxers disintegrate hair’s disulfide bonding. Non-lye relaxers are made of calcium hydroxide which can be applied on more sensitive scalps. Lye relaxers have sodium hydroxide.

Modern Hair Straightening Techniques
Today, you have the choice to either keep your natural hair or visit a hair salon for a hair straightening treatment. Since ancient times, hair straightening has seen many changes. It was risky to style your hair back then. We have to give thanks to the personalities mentioned above for helping us enjoy modern hairstyling.

However, the individual can choose to have their hair cut or go for a keratin treatment in the hair salons. It is about you and how confident you feel, no matter what hair type.

Chemical straightening techniques were invented later in the 20th century to alter the hair’s basic structure. This method, also known as “relaxing”, was very popular in African-American communities during the 1950s. Chemical straightening can cause hair loss and damage, as well as scalp and hair burns.

A Smart & Smooth Future
Many things in the beauty business change over time. There are styles, trends and techniques that can be used. Keratin treatments are no exception. The beauty world first saw them in the early 2000s thanks to work at a Brazilian laboratory – hence the reference of Brazilian blowouts. They’ve come a long ways since then and now you have many keratin treatment brands and options.

Keratin is a protein that naturally occurs in hair. You can replace damaged keratin by bringing it in from the outside in. Keratin treatments are an excellent choice for people who have naturally curly hair as humidity and heat in the environment tend to cause their hair to less manageable.

For those who want more manageable hair, express keratin treatments can be a short-term solution. These treatments are quick and can last up to six weeks. The keratin treatment will be applied in serum form by your stylist. It is then sealed with a flat iron and blow dryer. The entire process takes approximately 45 minutes. It’s a great addition to your regular hairstyling appointments. You can expect to dry your hair in half the time you used before treatment. Your hair will also be soft and won’t frizz in high humidity.

Although full strength keratin treatments take longer to apply, they can be applied to damaged hair. You will need to let the product sit on your hair for a while before sealing it in with a flat iron and blow dryer. You can expect your hair will stay soft and manageable for three to six months and the results are similar to express treatments.


Look no further, visit our Hera Hair Beauty salons and have a consultation with one of our highly skilled international keratin treatment specialists to discuss how our keratin treatment will work for you.

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