Aug 2, 2010

Guest Blog from the Smashing Nav

I have sooooo many amazing friends who have tons of knowledge to contribute. My pal Nav is in love with her long, straight hair BUT, the kicker is, it's not natural. Read on my product chums...all your questions will definitely be answered after this.

Don’t hate me!!! I’ve got extremely low-maintenance poker-straight hair. I can walk out of a pool, convertible, or even a Vancouver rainstorm and it’s generally pretty good once I run my fingers through it a few times. If I’m running late, I can just walk out of the shower, slap on some product and it’ll dry quite nicely. Oh, and it takes about 8 minutes to style when I DO have the time. You’re hating, aren’t you? Well, what if I tell you it’s not luck or genes? It’s chemical straightening that I pay for every year and it’s well worth the cost as far as I’m concerned. Intriguing, right? Let me tell you more…

I figure I get asked about this so often that it’s about time I write about it. And what better platform than my friend Christina’s beauty blog? Before I begin, I just want to stress that I’m not a hair expert by any means. I can also only speak about the results from the point of view of someone with straight-ish, thick Indian hair. However, I’ve had "The Procedure" done a number of times and have spoken about it at length with other girls who’ve “gone under the drier”, so I’ve probably got a few tips and best practices to share. If you’re thinking about straightening, this might help you decide if it’s right for you or not.

As I mentioned, I have what you’d call naturally straight hair… but it’s never straight enough on its own. All I see is frizz and kinks when it grows out to that dreaded unprocessed state. (If you straighten yours, you probably know what I’m talking about. It takes a bit of maintenance to get it right.) I’d heard a few girls rave about how convenient their mornings became after getting theirs chemically straightened. I decided to go for it when I planned a trip to Europe a few years ago and didn’t want to bother with getting an electrical adaptor for my ceramic hair straightener. I’ve had it redone annually ever since and am sooo grateful for my wash-and-go mornings year-round.

I don’t know a lot about the science of the process, but it basically involves a professional stylist using intense chemicals for several hours to permanently change the structure of the hair shaft. Once applied and processed, it doesn’t wash out and will last until the hair grows out. Because it’s an intense (and irreversible) process, it’s a very good idea to do your research ahead of time. A good stylist will do a stand test to start with, in order to get a sense of how your hair takes to the chemicals. (I get mine done at Jason’s Hair Studio on Granville and Broadway and they are always meticulous and thorough. It costs around $120.) You’ll get one solution applied to your hair, then it’s slowly dried, then washed, blow-dried and straightened. After that, you’ll get a serum put on and the whole process is repeated. It takes about 4 hours, depending on the length of your hair. But once that’s done, so are all your hairstyling hassles!

Here are some tips and points to consider:
  • Your freshly-straightened hair will need 3 days of preservation to set properly. This means no washing, no sweating at the gym, and no going out in the rain! But you’ll be absolutely amazed when you wash it for the first time after and then sit back and let it dry… You don’t need to do a thing and you’ll end up with glossy, straight tresses. It’s rather amazing because it feels and looks like someone else’s photoshoot hair.
  • I’m really not sure how damaging these chemicals are. They sting if they touch your skin and they smell strong during the 3 days of non-washing. Whatever they are, they make my hair damn shiny, so I’m personally not too bothered. But they definitely do change the texture of your hair. I find mine airdries much quicker than it used to and I think it might actually be finer. It doesn’t grow back any differently, though (unfortunately).
  • Comb a good leave-in conditioner through your hair when it’s wet to get the best results. It’ll be super soft and shiny.
  • You’re not stuck with straight hair if you get bored with it. You can still curl and style it any way you normally would.
  • Give this A LOT of thought if you have curly hair. If you use a straightening iron regularly, this process will probably make your life a lot easier. HOWEVER, remember, your hair will grow back in its natural state. This means you’ll end up with what my sister calls the “slouch sock effect” when it’s half grown in… puffy on top and straight at the end. I know curly-haired girls who have gone ahead with it, but that’s because they were so committed to straight hair, it was worth the hassle once it started growing back. But think this one through if you have curly or wavy locks.
Hope this helps! Feel free to send any queries to Christina at cmwolthers@gmail.com if you have any questions for me.

2 comments:

  1. I'm proud to say I turned Nav onto Jason's straightening. Jason is really good and costs half of what I've seen in just about every other salon that does straightening. In fact, most of the time it costs twice or three times as much.

    However, given my recent switch from all things too-chemical-y, I found out that the salon I now go to for less-toxic colour (Luxe Hair Salon Port Moody) also does straightening using what's supposed to be a better combination of chemicals. The whole salon is dedicated to using healthier and more environmentally-friendly alternatives to hair care. It is, however, about twice what Jason charges, depending on the length of your hair.

    Nav is right when she describes how straightening affects your hair and how little maintenance it is. People with either curly or straight hair have little idea how high maintenance fluffy hair can be.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much Laura for your words of wisdom. When it comes to my hair, I am definitely drawn to the "environmentally-friendly", even if it costs more. Thanks again for your comment!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for the love!...XO Christina

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