Go Smooth and Straight

Smooth hair is high on everyone’s beauty covet list. But with so many hair straightening treatments out there, choosing the right method that is suitable for your hair and its needs, can be overwhelming. So we’re here to break down the difference, and help you decide which straightening strategy is best for you.

Which straightening treatment should I go for?



Types of Straightening Treatments

Damage-O-Meter Level: 5 – Chemical Straightening

What it is: Not so common in Asia, but the most permanent and damaging of all of the smoothing methods. A chemical cream, often an alkali, is applied to “relax” the curls, breaking hair’s protein bonds.

Good for: Anyone with tightly coiled, curly hair, as seen on women of African descent.

Administered by: A stylist only. Trained professionals are best equipped to determine which process is best for your specific hair type.

Lasts for: Until the hair grows out.

Damage-O-Meter Level: 4 – Rebonding

What it is: This popular straightening method relies on ammonium thioglycolate to break down hair’s protein bonds, changing the structure and texture of hair. Hair is then painstakingly flat-ironed straight, and a neutralizer is applied to reform the bonds and “lock in” hair’s new smooth shape. For 48 hours post-treatment, you’re forbidden from getting hair wet, pinning it or even tucking it behind your ears to avoid damaging the shape.

Good for: Virgin hair that has not been color-treated, and for women who don’t want to curl their hair again afterward (because it won’t hold). 

Administered by: A stylist only. Trained professionals are best equipped to determine which process is best for your specific hair type.

Lasts for: 4-6 months

Damage-O-Meter Level: 3 – Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy

What it is: Made popular in recent times, this treatment smoothens out the hair without breaking any of the chemical bonds, so it will eventually return to its original texture. The cost of this frizz-free freedom is the use of formaldehyde, which has been linked to serious overall health issues. But the immediate danger is in the intense and prolonged heat on your hair. Like rebonding, Keratin Treatments require longer periods of non-washing after treatment.

Good for: Slightly wavy, frizzy, or previously processed hair. Not for excessive curls. Women who want their hair to be re-curled afterward.

Administered by: A stylist only. Trained professionals are best equipped to determine which process is best for your specific hair type. TIP: Ask for formaldehyde-free options which may be available at some salons.

Lasts for: Around 3 months 

Types of Straightening Treatments

Damage-O-Meter Level: 2-1 – Blow Dry + Smoothing Serum

What it is: This easy, quick-fix method removes water from hair via heat styling and resets it straight. “Make sure to use a heat protecting serum to help seal the hair, and use a lower heat setting while blow-drying,” says Dr. Jennifer Marsh, Pantene Research Fellow and expert in damaged hair. 

Good for: Women who want to maintain the fundamental structure of their hair.

Administered by: You, or a stylist if desired. As there are no harmful chemical processes involved, a do-it-yourself approach is welcome.

Lasts for: 1-2 days, and has to be redone after every wash. Nothing’s perfect, after all.

Damage-O-Meter Level: 0 – Air Dry + Smoothing Serum

What it is: Finally, choosing the least damaging option is never a bad idea, as premature breakage can cause those dreaded flyaways, and make growing hair out more difficult. Though it may take a little more time than blow-drying, sealing your strands with serum after letting them air-dry, makes it simple and safe for your hair - not to mention cost-friendly. 

Good for: Women who want the least damaging option for their hair.

Administered by: You. Nothing could be easier.

Lasts for: 1 day.


Recommended Product: 

When it comes to hair styling, use Pantene 3 Minute Miracle conditioner after every wash. Unlike other ordinary products* that work on the surface, Pantene's Pro-V formula goes deep into the core and helps repair 3 months of damage in 3 minutes. So hair is stronger, softer and shinier inside out.

*With regular Pantene system vs. non-conditioning shampoo.