What are Hair Treatments?
Good hair can save the day. Yes, that’s correct, if your hair looks good nothing else matters. Hair cannot look good without proper care. Besides good diet, silky and shiny looking hair requires nourishing treatments from the outside. Depending on the type and condition of the hair, you can opt for different kinds of hair treatments.
We can broadly categorize hair treatments into two types:
1. Hair treatments for damaged hair
2. Hair treatments for beautification
While getting a beauty treatment for hair we often neglect the damage it can do. Using quality products and visiting a certified hair care professional can help get amazingly silky and stylish hair without doing the unwanted damage. Discussed below are few hair treatments with their pros and cons.
Straightening Hair Treatment and Effects
Opposites attract is true for hair too. If you have straight hair, you’d wish you had curly hair and if you have curly hair you’d wish to have silky straight hair. Curly hair is difficult to manage and style and living with frizzy hair is definitely not easy. Mentioned below are few treatments that can help you get glossy, silky straight hair just the way you love them.
Hair Straighteners/Flat Irons
Calling it a treatment would be wrong but this is the easiest and quickest way to get straight hair. If you are looking for perfectly straight hair for sudden hangouts, a flat iron is the best option. Consult an expert before buying a straight iron according to condition, length and thickness of your hair.
Excessive straightening with flat iron has following side effects:
- Your hair gets dry
- Dryness results in frizziness
- Hair breaks when it is dry and hair loss is the result
- Dry scalp itches
Hair has a natural bond which is responsible for the type of hair. In other words, your curly or straight hair is because of the hair bond. Rebonding is a chemical process that changes the natural bond of the hair. It permanently changes the structure of your hair by breaking down the natural structure of the hair.
Side Effects of Rebonding
Rebonding, being a chemical based treatment has several side effects:
- Hair becomes fragile and requires more than regular care.
- Metal plates and chemicals used in the process can cause long-lasting damage to hair and scalp.
- Regular touch-ups are required
- Whether you like your hair after the treatment or not, there is no turning back, it is permanent.
It is also called chemical straightening. Protein bonds present in curly hair are broken down to make them straight. Getting it done at professional saloon will be a wise choice since the process involves chemicals and is expensive.
Like any other treatment that involves chemicals, hair relaxing, no matter how good the hair looks afterward, has side effects.
- Hair breakage and resulting hair loss
- Hair damage due to extensive chemical based hair treatments
- Chemicals used in the process can burn the skin resulting in permanent hair loss and scarring.
- Itchiness and irritation in the scalp is the most common side effect
Coloring Hair Treatment and Effects
Hair coloring is the process of dying your hair in colors other than your natural hair color. Hair colors are used either to cover grey/white hair or for becoming part of the latest trend. No matter what the reason and how good and fashionable you look, it comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Here are a few types of hair coloring treatment:
Permanent Hair Color
A mixture of ammonia and developer/oxidizing agent is applied to permanently change the hair color. Ammonia opens the hair cuticles and developer and color penetrate into the cortex for a permanent change in the hair color.
Demi-Permanent Hair Color
The presence of alkaline in these hair colors make them less damaging for the hair. The only disadvantage is that they cannot dye hair in a lighter tone.
Semi-Permanent Hair Color
It has little to no developer, hydrogen peroxide/ammonia and has compounds of lower molecular weight making it less damaging. Color stays for a few weeks.
Temporary Hair Color
The higher molecular weights of the pigments in temporary hair colors stop them from entering the cuticle, the color hence is temporary and easy to wash off. These hair colors are brighter and vibrant and are often applied for costume parties or Halloween.
Natural Hair Colors
The use of herbs like Henna and Indigo are the safest ways to color your hair. The only disadvantage is limited color options as they can be dyed in only certain colors.
Side Effects of Hair Colors
The chemicals present in hair colors can do slight to adverse damages which may include but not limited to
- Skin allergies and irritation
- Rough, dry and fragile hair resulting in breakage and eventual hair loss
- Skin discoloration
Hair Transplant Treatments
Hair transplantation is the method used to re-grow hair in the areas where hair loss has occurred due to any reason. It is a surgical technique mostly availed by men to treat baldness. Skin grafts from the areas that are less prone to balding are transplanted on balding areas. There are mainly two types of hair transplant treatments depending on who it is intended for, the condition of hair and level of damage:
1. FUE Hair Transplant:
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is the most popular and intricate hair transplant procedure. Single follicles are removed using specialized tools and transplanted individually into the recipient site.
2. FUT Hair Transplant
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), also called strip harvesting involves removing a strip of hair and inserting it into the bald patch.
Hair transplant is a safe procedure if done by a specialist. Like any other surgical procedure, it can have certain post-op complications including:
- Infection and bleeding
- Swelling and soreness of the scalp
- Lack of sensation in the scalp
- Hair thinning or temporary hair loss also called shock loss
Hair Smoothing Treatments
Hair is exposed to sun and environmental pollutants and requires extensive care. Hair smoothing is a treatment that involves hair saturation using formaldehyde solution followed by drying and flat ironing to straighten the hair. The treatment keeps hair straight for 2-5 months. If your hair is too curly or thick, this treatment isn’t for you as it won’t do much to straighten the extremely curly locks.
Also called the Brazilian Straightening or Blowout is a very popular hair treatment. Keratin is a protein which is naturally present in hair. Keratin treatment is a way to add an extra layer of keratin to hair. This keratin coating adds shine and smoothness to the hair making them look straight. The treatment is the safest there is.
No matter how good keratin is for your hair, it still has a side effect.
- Formaldehyde is present in the serum used for Keratin treatment which, if inhaled can cause a throat infection. Formaldehyde can also cause skin irritation, eye irritation and nausea.
As I said earlier, opposites attract. People with straight hair wish to have curly locks. Curly hair, although difficult to manage are easier to pull off. There is no bad hair day with curly hair as you can wake up like a supermodel every morning. From tight spiral curls to soft bouncy waves, women these days opt for different perm styles to match their personalities and choices.
Perms can be temporary and permanent depending on the treatment and requirement. You can get a temporary perm if you want to flaunt a fresh look at an event or get permanent perms if you are tired of straight hair. Wrap type defines the type of curl you will have. Spiral perm, body wave, spot perm, pin curl perm, root perm, stack perm, partial perm, volumizing perm and multi-textured perms result from different types of wrapping.
Types of Perms
Depending on the solution used, perms are of two types:
- Hot Perm is the application of the acidic solution to break the disulfide bonds in the hair. The hair can thus be curled in the desired shape.
- Cold Perm is the application of the alkaline solution to break the disulfide bonds. The process breaks the protein structure of the hair allowing a change in the original structure of the hair.
Side Effects of Perms
Naturally curly hair is easier to maintain but if your perms are a result of chemical based treatment, there can be side effects
- Chemicals and heat processing takes out the moisture of hair leaving it dry and coarse.
- Scalp infections and irritation is a common side effect of hair treatments
- Hair becomes weak due to excessive use of chemicals resulting in split ends.
- Chemicals can burn your skin, scalp and ears
No matter how good a certain hairstyle or hair color looks on you, every treatment comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Before going for any permanent hair treatment, think extensively. Do thorough research. Compare products, their ingredients, reviews and don’t forget to take an expert’s advice. Once you get a certain treatment, there is no turning back for the next 6 months if not longer.