Permanent hair treatments are used to treat hair. Depending on the method of processing you use, naturally curly or textured hair can be altered to lay flat and lose its curl.

These treatments work for several months or more, usually lasting until new hair grows in to replace the hair that was treated. For this reason, these processes are called permanent hair straightening.

The “permanent hair straightening” label can be used to refer to keratin treatments, Japanese thermal straightening, and “perm” straightening processes.

Salon treatments and self at- home treatments are popular. This article will help you understand the pros and cons of this kind of hair treatment.

There are treatments that can make your hair straight. Each uses a different formula and method.

Some of the treatments are sold in kits that you can do yourself at home, while others require salon-grade equipment.

Professional permanent straightening

A perm refers to a chemical process that permanently alters the hair follicle. Perms are sometimes associated with creating curls in hair that doesn’t naturally have it, but they can be used to make hair straight, too.

A perm is usually done in a few hours. The cost of a perm can be different depending on your hair length. Prices start around $50.

At-home perms

Pharmacy and beauty supply stores can sell chemical relaxant kits. The treatments claim to offer the same results as a salon.

“It will be difficult to use these kits effectively if you don’t have formal training. The at- home perm options start at around 15.”

Keratin straightening

Keratin hair treatments and Brazilian blowouts both refer to a method of treating your hair for a straight texture that lasts 3 to 5 months.

The method can take multiple salon appointments and cost over $150.

Japanese thermal straightening

The acid perm is a Japanese hair treatment that is more similar to a straight perm than a keratin treatment.

The process might take up to 6 hours in a salon chair, but it can last up to 6 months. It costs from $200 to $800.

Hair rebonding

Also called chemical straightening, hair rebonding is a process that converts someone’s wavy hair to straight. The cost can vary greatly depending on what salon you go to.

It takes 2 to 4 hours to complete, and it costs between $250 and $1,000.

All permanent hair smoothing methods use the same strategy.

  1. A solution is applied to your hair. The chemicals change the way the hair is made.
  2. “A neutralizing agent is applied to your hair after perms and Japanese thermal straightening procedures. The neutralizing agent causes your hair to change shape with new bonds between the hair’s proteins.”
  3. You will wait several hours for the chemical solution to be applied to the hair, apply the neutralizer, and style it.

You should not sweat or get your hair wet after a treatment because these chemical solutions often carry strong smells.

This means you are walking around inhaling the chemicals used to treat your hair and exposing everyone to them.

Hair breakage after a permanent hair straightening treatment is common. The chemical solution works by, in essence, damaging your hair so it lies flat or releases its natural curl.

The damage to your hair may make it harder to style and take longer to dry until it grows out.

Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, is also in most straightening solutions. A 2021 study on hair straightening treatments found formaldehyde levels that were deemed high enough to pose a health hazard for consumers.

Applying formaldehyde to your hair and inhaling its fumes causes exposure strong enough for side effects, including:

What about natural products?

When hair straighteners are heated, they can be full of duplicate chemicals that become formaldehyde.

“It is better for your health to look for low-exposure options, but this is a case where reading the labels and asking questions won’t yield the truth about the product you are using.”

There are some alternatives. Chemical hair straighteners that are free of harmful chemicals are safer than other hair styling products.

Of course, the safest option of all is to avoid exposure to harmful chemicals that can absorb through your scalp and your nasal passages. Straightening your hair without heat is a great alternative when possible.

“If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, you shouldn’t get any of these permanent treatments.”

The pros and cons of hair removal vary depending on the method you use.

Permanent hair straightening

Pros of permanent hair straightening

  • It is the cheapest option for getting results, and it is the least time- consuming.
  • It lasts for up to 6 months.

Cons of permanent hair straightening

  • Perms work by damaging your hair follicles, so they can’t hold their natural shape.
  • Hair loss can occur. You are also exposing your body to harmful chemicals.
  • “You can’t color-treat or modify your hair after getting a perm, and you won’t be able to wear it curly even if you want to.”

At-home perms

Pros of at-home perms

  • The hair-straightening kits you can get at the pharmacy are affordable.
  • They claim to be easy to use.
  • “They don’t require hours spent in a salon chair, and the chemicals are approved for home use, which may mean they are less concentrated.”

Cons of at-home perms

  • “You won’t get salon results with a home solution.”
  • You could damage your hair to the same extent, or a greater extent, that you would if you went to a stylist.
  • “Some consumers have reported that home hair styling kits don’t last long.”

Keratin treatments

Pros of keratin treatments

  • The treatments claim to condition your hair.
  • The treatments last 4 to 6 months, which is a lot more time than other hair treatments.

Cons of keratin treatments

  • The results of a Keratin treatment start to wash out after a few months.
  • “Your hair won’t grow back to its natural state, and you might not like the look of new hair growth on your head.”
  • Even if they claim to be free of harmful chemicals, most of these treatments contain them.

Japanese thermal straightening

Pros of Japanese thermal straightening

  • Japanese hair styling makes it easy to maintain.
  • Hair stays straight until new hair growth appears.

Cons of Japanese thermal straightening

  • The method of hair smoothing damages your hair. It contains dangerous chemicals that can be absorbed into your skin.
  • Japanese thermal straightening takes hours to complete and is quite expensive.
  • There is a stark contrast between the hair that has been treated and the hair that is natural.
  • People who get this kind of hair styling can have touch-ups several times a year.

Hair rebonding

Pros of hair rebonding

  • This process makes hair look better.
  • Long-term results can last until new hair grows in.

Cons of hair rebonding

  • Most hair rebonding formulas contain formaldehyde, which can result in increased risk of health effects, such as breast cancer and respiratory issues.
  • It is difficult to style until new hair grows in.
  • This process causes more damage to your hair than any other method because it gets your hair straighter.

The length can be different depending on the type of treatment you choose.

  • Your natural hair texture will start to reappear after 3 to 4 months after you have Brazilian hair straightened.
  • Home hair straightening kits are not usually last more than 6 weeks.
  • Permanent hair smoothing can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months.
  • Hair rebonding lasts about 7 to 7 months.
  • Japanese hair is straightened for 6 months.

You will need to decide if you will repeat the treatment or wait for your roots to grow out completely.

Permanent hair straightening is a treatment that makes your hair straight. Your results will vary depending on a number of factors, including how quickly it grows, how you use a chemical method to get your hair straight, and your hair type.

“It is important to keep in mind that permanent doesn’t mean forever, it just refers to the duration of one life cycle of your hair. Speak to your hairdresser about what they think is the best option for you.”