Before learning to love curly hair and knowing how to manage it, straightening is an easy way out for most curly haired women; be it through a flat iron or through chemical relaxers. Though immediately after straightening, hair may look “healthy” and easier to manage, problem starts when your natural hair starts growing out of your roots and you have the awkward half curly-half straight crown. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here are 4 other reasons straightening is bad for your hair.
1) Weak hair – Chemical straighteners break the protein bonds in your hair that cause it to look curly. Your hair is thus left very very weak and fragile and susceptible to breaking. Flat irons at high temperatures can reduce the tensile strength of your strands causing them to break off halfway. What about heat protectant sprays? They are not elixirs. They do reduce the damage, but your hair will still be damaged nevertheless in the long run.
2) Hair loss – Slight mistiming with the relaxer can cause burns and scabs which can lead to bald spots on your scalp in the worst case. And if you keep your flat iron close to the scalp every time you straighten your hair, your hair follicles can get scarred from the excessive heat.
3) Split ends – The outer layer of protection of your hair strand is damaged by relaxers and heat causing your hair to split.
4) Dry frizzy hair – Chemicals and heat dry out hair. The cuticle is disrupted. Just because it is straight remember that it doesn’t mean it is silky soft. You have seen many around you who have straw or hay like hair after straightening, maybe yourself included. It’s a horrible cycle – You try to control frizz by straightening the hair, which dries and damages it further, causing more frizz, which requires more straightening and so on – Heat damage in curly hair
Look at this report from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (USA) – Chemical Hair Relaxers Have Adverse Effects
If after all this you have finally decided to put an end to the years of damaging your hair, head to this article to start loving your natural hair – How to transition from chemically straightened hair to your natural curly hair . Happy curl days ahead!