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Hair straightening is a hair styling technique which involves flattening and straightening of hair in order to give it a smooth and sleek appearance. It may be accomplished by using flat irons and hot combs, chemical relaxers, Japanese hair straightening, or Brazilian hair straightening. In addition flat irons and hair gels can help to make hair temporarily straight.

Flat irons and hot combs can only temporarily modify hair texture, whereas relaxers and the other methods permanently alter the structure, although new hair growth is not affected.

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Japanese straightening, also known as thermal reconditioning or yuko straightening is a method for permanent straightening. Whereas other straightening procedures involve applying relaxers to smooth out the hair, in Japanese straightening the hair is treated with chemicals, then separated into sections. Each section is ironed, rinsed, and blow dried. The procedure takes from one to eight hours depending on the length, thickness and condition of the hair. The effect is permanent, though new growth is unaffected.

Brazilian straightening also called escova progressiva or Brazilian blowout is a method of temporarily straightening hair by sealing it with keratin with a flat iron.

Chemical straightening
Chemical hair straightening also known as relaxing is a procedure where the basic structure of curly hair is changed to straight form. This process utilizes strong chemicals that are applied directly to the shaft. It is best to have the relaxing process performed by a professional. After the treatment you must use the recommended protein rich shampoo and conditioner to wash. If the hair is not maintained properly then it may result in breakage and also loss.

Brazilian hair straightening
In Brazilian straightening or non-chemical treatment, a solution made with Keratin is applied to the hair and then sealed using a 450 degree flat iron. This product traps in moisture and hydrates the hair leaving it lustrous and smooth looking. This keratin treatment is found to have no side effects and makes the hair strong and healthy. This is a temporary straightening technique and lasts for 2 to 4 months. You have to use only sodium chloride free or sulfate free shampoos and conditioners to wash the hair after the treatment to avoid the salt content from stripping the keratin.

Brazilian straightening works best on chemically treated hair because the cuticles are open as all chemicals will raise the PH levels in the hair and that is what opens the cuticles and this enables the keratin to penetrate into the hair shaft.

There is lot of talk about the formaldehyde content in keratin treatment and many hesitate to take this treatment due to this reason. Formaldehyde is a colorless and pungent gas which can irritate the eyes and lungs if the fumes are inhaled. But off late many reputed brands have come out with formaldehyde free hair treatments which are absolutely safe to use.

Global Keratin is a brand specializing in Keratin Hair Treatment for Brazilian Hair Straightening. Their Keratin Hair Treatment comes in 4 amazing fragrances and 3 compositions suiting all types of hair. They even a impressive line of keratin based shampoos and conditioners

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Curling Wand That Spins Okay, let's talk straight. For decades, women of African descent the world over have relied on various tried-and-tested methods to "relax" their hair. Then, about a decade ago, the Yuko system made a big stink among people of all colors when it came over from Japan, followed by Opti-Smooth. Now a third contender is fighting to become top dog in the hair straightening stakes: the Brazilian. Not what the name may imply, the Brazilian is a relatively new hair straightening system that has nothing to do with waxing away pubic hair. It is a semi-permanent way to straighten the hair on your head, which uses keratin - and sometimes formaldehyde - to tame even the curliest locks. But while it may be taking the world of hair by storm, even it has its drawbacks... If you are considering straightening your hair for more than just an occasional night out, you may be thinking of a permanent hair straightening system. Here is the best - and the worst - of the most popular systems currently on offer. Remember, success will depend not only on your type of hair and how rigorously you adhere to its upkeep, but also on the skill of your stylist - as well as the products he or she chooses to use. Brazilian Hair Straightening (aka Brazilian Blow-Out or Brazilian Keratin Treatment). The stylist applies active keratin, a protein found in the top layer of our skin which makes it both waterproof and tough, although sometimes this is used in conjunction with formaldehyde, which can be dangerous (see below). The formula is then sealed into the hair using a hot iron, taking away frizz, curls and unruly waves. Takes about two hours, more for longer or more unruly hair. PROS: Will fade away gradually, meaning that it will eventually grow out and leave you with natural waves once more. Takes less salon time and generally costs less than the Yuko or Opti-Smooth system. Leaves the hair with more body than the Yuko System and can be used on dyed hair as well as virgin hair. CONS: The effect doesn't last as long as Yuko or Opti-Smooth - about three to four months. And if the product contains actual formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, - you will need to check with the salon first - this could reportedly be a health hazard, for both you and your stylist as well. Note that the FDA does not regulate the use of formaldehyde in cosmetics. The Yuko System. Created in the 1990s, this can make any type of curly hair straight in about five hours - for about six months or so, depending on hair. After a consultation with your stylist, your hair will be washed and divided into segments, then the application will be put on for roughly 20 minutes, depending on hair length etc. It will then be flat-ironed and a neutralizer will be put on to reset the bonds of the hair. It will then be rinsed, followed by a blow-dry, style and perhaps a cut. The whole process takes roughly five hours in total. PROS: Last forever. That means that you won't see any curly hair until new hair grows in. CONS: Last forever. That means that when new curly hair grows in, you will have a ring of frizz on the top followed by dead straight hair. The only way to look "normal" - with hair either entirely straight or entirely curly - is to have your hair redone, in about six months' time, or to straighten the top bits with straightening irons. Also, repeated application of the Yuko system can cause extensive damage to hair - and not just the ends. Not recommended for use on color-treated hair as it will damage it too much. Opti-Smooth. Similar to the Yuko System, but you will have a choice of results: cold-smoothing is for less frizz, progressive smoothing will leave you hair looking as if it's just been freshly blow-dried, and heat-straightening will make it look iron-rod straight (that's just so passe, darling!). PROS: Lasts forever (see Yuko, above). If your hair is shorter or you choose cold-smoothing, the salon time will be considerably lessened. CONS: Lasts forever (see Yuko, above). Unlike the Yuko system, however, Opti-Smooth claims to be kinder to hair long-term, with less damage and breakage. Not for dyed hair. Other Ways To Straighten Hair * Blow-Drying. Many people seek to blow-dry their hair to make it straight and sleek, although often only a salon blow-dry can have truly effective results. Can damage hair long-term. * Hair Straighteners. A variety of flat irons or hair straighteners are on the market today - those with ceramic plates are usually considered the best as they work by gliding through the hair without it catching on the edges and splitting. It's advised to use them sparingly with special products/gels that minimize heat damage to the hair. * Home Relaxing Kits. Much like a do-it-yourself salon-style routine. Apply straightening cream, leave on, rinse away, straighten with straightening iron, neutralize, wash and blow dry. Takes about two hours in total, more for longer hair. Good luck! * Ironing. Time was when many young girls had their hair ironed - with a clothes iron - to have straighter tresses. The process could take up to an hour and was often saved for special occasions. Required two people: one to lay her head on the ironing board while the other wielded the iron. Had to be a trusted friend - with excellent eyesight! Hair straightening is just another way that us mortals deal with "the grass is greener" syndrome. In the 1970s and 1980s everyone was rushing to have a perm and make their straight hair curly, now the reverse is the talk of the town. If you decide to go the permanently straight route, it's important to find a salon you trust. Take heed if your hair is dyed, colored or even just highlighted, as this may affect the outcome of the straightening process - even if your stylist assures you this isn't the case! Remember, also, that all chemically straightened hair will require a good hair-care routine to keep it looking good. This means using a protein-rich shampoo, conditioner and other anti-frizz products, as locking in all the moisture possible will be crucial in maintaining that salon style. Sarah Matthews is a writer for Yodle, a business directory and online advertising company. Find a Healer at Yodle Local or more Health & Medicine articles at Yodle Consumer Guide.

Improper Cleaning Can Permanently Damage Your Hair Straightener

Curling Wand That Spins Straightened hair in 2010 is like teasing in 1985 or feathering in 1973: it's expected. From girls to women, and men too, sleek, smooth, straightened hair is the most popular style. Hair styling irons are available everywhere from bargain retail stores to high end, high dollar salons. They range in price from less than $20 to more than $500 and each style has something to offer. There are many things to consider when purchasing a hair styling iron and it's important to be aware of the benefits of each straightener. There are so many options available that it can be overwhelming to find the "right" one. Not all styling irons are the same, and inexpensive does not necessarily mean best value. Before purchasing a new hair straightener, consider the type of plates, the heat settings, the plate size and the warranty. The most common types of plates on a hair straightener are metal, glass, ceramic, titanium and a tourmaline ceramic blend. Metal and glass are typically used in the least expensive straighteners. Unfortunately, however, they are often painted, which can result in chipping and damaged hair. Metal and glass plates tend to take longer to heat and don't always heat evenly, leading to dry, damaged, frizzy hair. Hair straighteners with ceramics plates are slightly more expensive than straighteners with metal or glass plates, but they are still affordable. The ceramic plates hair more evenly and produce smoother, shinier and less frizzy hair. Titanium plated hair straighteners are very smooth and are known to heat evenly and maintain their heat. This is important for even straightening and styling and efficient results. The most expensive variety of hair straighteners are the tourmaline and ceramic blend. These straighteners are also the highest quality and leave the hair smoother and straighter than the other varieties. One benefit of using a straightener made with tourmaline and ceramic blended plates is that it can be used on damp hair. The quality plates dry hair so quickly that the straightener and the hair will remain undamaged. Moreover, blended hair straighteners add moisture and shine while straightening and styling the hair. The heating mechanism on a straightener often involves more than just "on" and "off." While there are varieties that have simply one switch, many newer and higher quality straighteners offer temperature settings and automatic off features. Heat will unavoidably damage hair over time. That said, it is important to consider the best temperature for each style and length of hair; the hottest setting on a straightener is not always the most effective. For a person with thin, short hair it may be better to use a lower setting, which will cause the least amount of stress or damage to the hair. Sometimes, a person with thick, long hair it is smartest to use a higher temperature setting, but using a hair straightener with adjustable temperature offers each user an option. Heat maintenance refers to how effectively a straightener retains heat after being used on the hair. It is natural, and even expected for the straightener to begin to lose heat when it comes into contact with cool hair, but depending on the quality and style of plates, some straighteners increase to the desired temperature more quickly than others. Plate size is another important, often forgotten feature of a straightener. If the straightener is intended for primarily straightening long hair, a two inch plate will be most effective. For a person more interested in styling the hair, a hair straightener with a one inch plate is best. For those who are interested in a combination of straightening or styling, or for those who share a straightener, there are even one and one half inch varieties available. Finally, let's consider warranty. Some straighteners offer no warranty, and some offer up to three year "no-questions-asked" warranties. Once again, this typically depends on the quality and price of the hair straightener. When purchasing online, look for both warranty and return policies. When purchasing in a store or salon, the hair straightener box is the most likely place to find this information. Also consider that sometimes the warranty comes from the manufacturer and sometimes it comes from the retailer. Neither option is necessarily better, but it's important to be aware of this. The most common and most valuable hair styling tool available today is the hair straightener. Because of the wide range of prices and quality available, every person who wants straight, smooth, sleekly styled hair can find the best straightener to meet those needs.

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