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Health, Beauty & Fashion

Curly or straight?

Read about how you can obtain these two different styles for different occasions
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - August 12, 2010
By: Sheila Lim
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Curly or straight?

Wish to get a headful of wild, sexy curls like your favourite movie star’s, or create a more polished image by straightening out unruly curls?  

When it comes to choosing a hairstyle, it’s best not to pick out something that catches your fancy. Instead, seek the advice of an experienced hairstylist, and get him or her to recommend a style that suits your hair texture and face shape. The hairstyle you pick will also determine the kind of perm you need. Some perms work well with hair of a certain length, while others are designed for layered hairstyles.


Perming

A perm involves the use of chemicals to break and restructure the bonds within the hair shafts. The hair is washed before being tightly wound around perming rods – the size and type of which depend on the desired wave pattern.  

A perming lotion is then applied to the hair. The lotion creates a chemical reaction that causes the inner structure of the hair to swell, stretch, soften and break down, and allows the hair to conform to the shape of the perming rods. An acidic or alkaline perming solution can be used. The former produces highly-conditioned, flexible curls and is milder than the latter, which is usually used for normal hair.


After a length of time, the hair is rinsed and a neutraliser is applied to close up the broken protein links within the hair, restructure the bonds of the hair and thus set the new curls.


Rebonding

This is the term used for a hair straightening process that was created in Japan in 1996.  This intensive process, also referred to as straight perm, thermal reconditioning/ restructuring or ionic retexturising, keeps every strand of hair ramrod straight and silky smooth for months. It also seems to leave the hair in better condition than it was prior to treatment.

A typical rebonding procedure requires about three to six hours to complete; the cost of treatment depends on the length of the hair, the amount of chemical processing required and the stylist's experience.


First, the hair is shampooed and treated to nourish it and protect it against any harmful effects that may result from the straightening chemicals.


After the chemicals have taken effect, the hair is rinsed (and sometimes washed again), and treated again with moisturisers and proteins to nourish and protect it.


The hair is then passed through thermal irons at very high temperatures in very thin layers to ensure that heat is thoroughly distributed and hair evenly straightened. A fixative chemical is then applied to “lock in” the straightness and left to process.


Next, the fixative chemical is rinsed off and the hair is conditioned with a moisture-balancing shampoo. Special protective products are applied to protect the hair during blow drying.  


A final protective product is applied for the final ironing procedure, during which the hair is passed once again through the thermal irons to ensure that the hair remains ramrod straight.

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