What are the side effects of hair smoothening?

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Hair smoothening has become one of the most popular choices for people in pursuit of straighter hair without wanting to undergo the burden of an expensive fully-fledged hair straightening session. In a couple of hours, your frizzy, curly, and untamed strands can turn into shiny, sleek, and smooth hair, which looks gorgeous and natural for a much more affordable price.

Hair smoothening uses relaxing chemicals to dissolve the molecular bondings that cause the hair to curl around itself and fixes the smoothed hair with the help of neutralizers and ironing. Due to the usage of milder materials compared to more intense hair transformation methods, hair smoothening is proven to be a safer choice for your hair. 

Nevertheless, this desirable treatment comes with a few downsides, similar to any chemical treatment. In this article, we try to break down some of the hair smoothening side effects and explain some of the advantages and disadvantages of hair smoothening to help you have a clearer picture before committing to applying such materials on your hair.

Hair Loss

Hair Loss
Hair Loss, Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Losing a few strands of hair daily may not seem like a big deal to most people, but increased exposure to chemical materials may gradually raise your hair fall rate to a problematic extent. Most people notice the difference in hair density way too late, and by then, it would be hard to regain your old hair thickness. 

Although the hair smoothening products follow a milder approach to softening your hair, they continue to damage your hair follicles and detach them for their roots and your scalp resulting in hair fall. It is proven that repetitive usage of hair smoothening treatments in a short period will significantly impact the hair volume and bring about excessive thinning, breakage, and hair loss.

Hair loss is one of the most common hair smoothening side effects and affects every user relative to their hair type, density, and length. 

Irreversible change

Irreversible change
Irreversible change, Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The dissolvents in chemical hair smoothening creams attempt to smoothen the hair by getting rid of the disulfide bondings and amino acids to rebond the hair to have a temporary straight structure. These chemicals usually wipe out other naturally protective layers along the way as well. The good news is, as the softeners get washed out over time, your hair will regenerate the lost components and does a great job of healing itself. 

Still, suppose you do not give your hair enough time to replenish its natural sources and repair itself by repeating chemical treatments over and over again. In that case, the damage may terminally prevent your hair from going back to its natural state, leaving you with no choice but to cut it and wait for regrowth.

The thing is, once hair smoothening users get used to their shiny new look, they do not want to go back to the old curly days. They reserve smoothening sessions back to back to ensure the smoothness and put their hair in the great danger of being diminished severely. 

Dryness 

Dryness
Dryness, Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Everything seems fine for the first few months when you perform hair smoothening. But as the beautifiers start to wash away, what remains is the residual chemicals that have found their way to your scalp, affecting your hair from the root upwards. The toxins remaining in the hair cover the scalp, blocking the way for natural moisturizers and drying the hair in the process. The chemical leftovers covering the hair will also result in drier strands prone to more breakage as they are crispy and brittle. It would be essential to include oiling your hair in your hair care routine to counter this issue. 

Allergic reactions to the chemicals

Allergic reactions to the chemicals
Allergic reactions to the chemicals, Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Hair smoothening materials are designed to improve your hair. They are suitable for different hair types and will not pose any immediate threat when contacting your hair. But it is inevitable for you or your stylist to apply some of it to your scalp and skin accidentally. As one of the most sensitive parts of your body, your skin may unexpectedly react to these chemicals. Skin rashes, blisters, and allergic burns are only some of the more regular hair smoothening side effects for allergic people. 

Dandruff 

Dandruff
Dandruff, Image courtesy: Shutterstock

As mentioned earlier, hair smoothening substances remain in your hair for a long time. They pile up on your scalp and create small flakes that show themselves as dandruff. These residual items detach a part of the skin when falling and catalyze dandruff production on your head, causing a lot of itching, greasiness, and hair fall, paving the way for various hair problems. It is recommended to use milder shampoos after hair smoothening to decrease the stress on your scalp and relieve some of the pressure on your hair. 

Splits Ends

Splits Ends
Splits Ends, Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Hair splits are another prominent hair smoothening side effect, and they happen for a variety of reasons. In the case of hair smoothening, the hair dehydration and the intense heat caused by all the ironing expose your hair strands to disintegration and splitting at the top. As your hair loses its natural moisture, it becomes more vulnerable to all the disadvantages of hair dryness and hair splits. Split ends are some of the most notable side effects of inadequate humidity in your hair. 

Losing natural hair color

Losing natural hair color
Losing natural hair color, Image courtesy: Shutterstock

One of the long-term hair smoothening side effects is premature hair discoloration. Using several chemical hair creams, masks and serums may affect the melanin in the hair roots and chemically damage the hair’s natural color sources in the long run. 

Statistics show that most hair smoothening clients use more significant amounts of hair care products after their treatment to safeguard their beautiful but fragile hair. The same thing usually happens with chemical hair neutralizers to extend the smoothening effects of the treatment. Even some of the shampoos prescribed for the hair smoothening aftercare can turn out to be too harsh, resulting in gray hair for younger adults. 

Too much hair grease

Too much hair grease
Too much hair grease, Image courtesy: Shutterstock

When you alter the natural balance of your hair, one way or another, you have to make amends by trying to bring back the balance artificially. Beauticians are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of hair smoothening, so they usually advise their clients to follow an extensive hair routine after the treatment. However, using too many protective hair serums, masks, and creams for smoothened hair maintenance may lead to excess hair grease. Recurrent usage of such materials can smooth your hair to the extent that it looks flat and greasy, making way for other problems like dandruff and smelly hair. 

Mental Stress

Mental Stress
Mental Stress, Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Commitment to taking care of hair that is way more fragile than before can take its toll on your mental health. You will have to put significant effort into keeping your smoothened hair shiny and perfect, shielding it from threats that you did not use to worry about before. There are also added expenses to ensure the softening effects and increase the longevity of the effective period. These factors may be a source of overthinking and anxiety for the user. 

Serious Health Hazards

Serious Health Hazards
Serious Health Hazards, Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Another disadvantage of hair smoothening could be the inhalation of the toxic gasses released from products. If the procedure gets performed in an enclosed environment, there is a high chance of dizziness, nausea, eye burns, and tears. Hair smoothening specialists and other individuals that are often exposed to such chemicals must wear protective masks and check their lungs regularly to reduce the chances of severe respiratory problems. It is necessary to apply hair smootheners in an airy and spacious room with good ventilation. 

To further reduce the health risks, it would be a good idea to use factory-made products and homemade remedies with much gentler approaches to softening your hair. They primarily operate by natural materials as smootheners and pose a smaller threat to your well-being. They are not as effective and instant as their chemical alternatives, but they get the job done and can be applied more often in a short period. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can hair smoothening damage hair?

Yes, It surely can. Strong chemical materials and natural skin and hair do not go along nicely in the long run. Regardless of the product, application method, and hair type, reshaping the molecular arrangement of your hair will bring about several side effects and burdens that may not show themselves instantly but will surely follow you around if you do not take the necessary precautions and use these products wisely.  

  1. Does smoothening cause hair fall?

Yes. It will vary between individuals of different hair characteristics, but as the chemicals and the applied heat are used to soften your hair, the follicles are weakened and burned partially. This would result in detachment from the hair roots and cause hair fall. If not taken seriously, it can even morph into chronic hair fall and deal irreparable damages that may force you to cut your hair short.  

  1. Is it good to do hair smoothening?

Hair smoothening is a milder and less damaging chemical approach to having straighter hair. It costs less money, can be done easily, and, if applied moderately, can be used as a long-term solution to achieving smoother hair. Experts suggest a maximum of three hair smoothening treatments in a year to give hair enough time to repair itself and rebuild the broken structures. So if you follow these guidelines and consult with an experienced beautician, hair smoothening can be a good answer to your frizziness problems.

We highly recommend consulting with a proficient expert to guide you through the exciting yet dangerous path of hair smoothening. We have brought together a long list of high-quality salons and skilled stylists around you to help you make the best choice for your hair and book a seat right away! Check out our hair smoothening category to find out about the best deals and packages and discover your next style!

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