Your hair may have been chemically straightened if it is excessively thick, wavy, or frizzy, or if you simply don't like for the texture of your hair for any reason. However, the high-priced salon procedures have recently come under fire for generating some really frightening adverse effects, with hair damage being the least of the problems reported. You should be aware of the following factors prior to putting your hair and health at risk using the Brazilian hair straightening process:
1. Chemical straighteners operate by altering the structure of your hair, as explained above. Each hair is made up of a series of organized chains of keratin, which is a protein that occurs naturally in the human body. In order to efficiently de-coil each strand, chemical treatments must be applied to the chains themselves.
It is possible to have a chemical straightening and smoothing treatment performed in the salon, with the most frequent forms being Japanese and Brazilian treatments. Both procedures entail coating each strand with a powerful chemical and then heating it to activate the formulation.
The Japanese straight perm is a permanent straightening method that just requires touch-ups as your roots grow in, which should be done every six months on average. Depending on the salon, a treatment might cost anywhere from $150 to $800 per hour. In addition to posing the greatest danger of damaging your hair, it also incorporates the most potent chemicals available.
Additionally, keratin treatments can be performed (aka Brazilian hair straightening or smoothing). You will spend between $150 and $300 per treatment for the semi-permanent procedure, which will last between three and five months. According to Natalija O'Toole, a stylist in New York City, while it won't give you pin-straight hair, it will considerably minimize curls, frizz, and styling time, with results that will withstand humidity.
You won't walk out of the salon with the nicest blowout you've ever had because the procedure takes two to three hours. While in the salon, the stylist will shampoo your hair and then apply the chemicals to your dry or damp hair in sections as needed. The processing time for different formulas varies, so be prepared to wait a few minutes between each. Once your hair is dry, your hairdresser flat irons it at a very high temperature while blow-drying it. According to O'Toole, thereafter, your hair will be straight, shining, and silky, but it will also be flat and packed with product, which can make it slightly oily and smell strongly of chemicals.
3. You are not permitted to wash your hair for at least 12 hours following a chemical straightening procedure. 4. According to your stylist's advise, this drying time can continue up to several days, and it allows the product to get fully absorbed.
4. A large number of chemical smoothing treatments involve high concentrations of potentially harmful chemicals. 5. Officials at the National Institute of Health have discovered that formaldehyde, a chemical used to preserve cadavers, also aids the effectiveness of several keratin chemical hair straighteners. In fact, according to Tina Sigurdson, assistant general counsel for the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and co-author of multiple research on hair straightening procedures, even a single exposure to high concentrations of this toxin can result in severe symptoms.
keratin chemicals," says Kelly Merriman, a stylist from Joliet, Indiana, "every customer and stylist who has been exposed to keratin chemicals" has complained of "burning eyes, breathing difficulties, and burning feelings." According to Sigurdson, customers have also complained of throat and mouth ulcers, dizziness, headaches, flu-like symptoms such as vomiting, eye damage, loss of taste and smell, and weariness. Furthermore, because exposure is cumulative, salon workers are more prone than the general public to get serious side effects from the disease.
The chemicals are not allowed to come into contact with anything other than the hairs themselves, but they can cause blisters or rashing on the scalp, face, and neck if they do.
In the medium term, however, this is only an issue of concern. It is also a recognized carcinogen, which means that it has been shown to cause cancer in humans at high concentrations and over a long period of time. High levels and extended exposure provide the greatest dangers. The fact that hair straightening products containing the chemical have previously been banned in Canada, France, and Ireland could be the reason for this prohibition.
Five, even "formaldehyde-free" hair products can contain or emit the substance.
The Environmental Working Group discovered in 2011 that formaldehyde-free items can nevertheless contain the chemical. [source: EWG] As Andrews points out, "in general, the alternatives [to formaldehyde-containing keratin treatments] are preferable," he's referring to the severity of negative effects caused by straighteners that are not indicated as being free of formaldehyde. "However, with repeated use, the majority of these treatments still carry the risk of allergic responses and sensitization."
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