Straight, smooth, frizz-free hair is the goal of many women who style their hair daily. Straightening and smoothening treatments help achieve this look.
However, subjecting hair to high-heat styling every day can be damaging. Is daily straightening bad for your hair and does it lead to increased hair fall? How does it compare with smoothening treatments? Let’s understand the pros and cons.
Does Daily Straightening Cause Hair Fall?
Using hot tools like flat irons or blow dryers to straighten hair daily can indeed damage hair over time and cause excessive hair fall.
◼ The high heat applied directly dehydrates and weakens hair strands, causing breakage-prone hair. The protective outer cuticle layer gets disrupted.
◼ Heat styling leaches out moisture and natural oils, making hair dry, brittle, and lifeless. Lack of moisture and protein causes hair fall.
◼ Frequent heating causes the sulfur bonds in hair keratin to break down, damaging the hair structure. This manifests as frizz and eventual hair breakage.
◼ Rough brushing or handling when hair is straight and taut also makes strands more prone to friction damage and split ends, which can worsen hair fall if not trimmed.
◼ Heat exposure activates the catagen phase prematurely, shortening the active hair growth stage, limiting growth, and increasing shedding.
However, the extent of damage depends on your hair type and texture, the temperature used, and styling habits. Thick, coarse hair can withstand more occasional heat styling than fine, thin hair.
Causes of Daily Straightening
The reasons people straighten their hair daily include:
◼ To achieve a smooth, straight, sleek hairstyle for school, work, or social events
◼ To manage thick, curly, coarse, or naturally frizzy hair textures
◼ Getting rid of hair volume for a thinner hair look
◼ Mimicking celebrity hairstyles seen on media
◼ Catering to social perceptions of straight hair being superior or more professional
◼ Dealing with humid weather where hair tends to frizz and curl more
Comparison Between Straightening and Smoothening
Straightening focuses on temporarily removing the curl pattern and making the hair straight under tension using flat irons at approx. 180°C-230°C. Smoothening permanently restructures the hair strands to make them smoother and less frizzy using chemicals at higher temperatures of 200°C-450°C.
While daily straightening damages hair over time, occasional keratin smoothening causes less cumulative damage. Smoothening lasts 2-5 months so doesn’t need daily repeating. The keratin treatment also strengthens hair strands and boosts elasticity while providing straightening effects.
Benefits Of Daily Straightening
◼ Gives temporarily straight, frizz-free, silky hair quickly
◼ Manages thicker, coarser hair textures better
◼ More affordable, convenient option
◼ Allows changing look for events without long-term effects
Which is Better – Straightening or Smoothening?
For hair health and reduced damage over time, professional keratin smoothening every few months is better than daily styling. However, straightening may suit those wanting to switch styles day-to-day or cautious about keratin treatments.
Smoothening requires avoiding washing for 3-4 days initially. Those with very damaged, fragile hair should avoid both or minimize frequency.
Precautions for Daily Straightening
If daily straightening is a must, undertake precautions:
◼ Apply a heat protectant product before using any hot tool
◼ Invest in temperature-controlled, ceramic-plated styling tools
◼ Use the lowest effective temperature. Don’t exceed 180°C.
◼ Avoid brushing or styling when hair is hot
◼ Deep condition hair weekly and use leave-in treatments
◼ Get regular trims to remove split ends
◼ Let hair rest occasionally sans heat styling
While daily straightening gives temporarily smooth, straight hair, the cumulative high heat damage does make hair prone to increased frizz, breakage, and hair fall over time by disrupting hair structure.
Transitioning to less frequent keratin smoothening is advisable for hair health. But limiting heat, using protective products and getting trims can help reduce damage if daily straightening is a must. Ultimately, embracing your natural hair texture optimizes its health and minimizes styling damage.
1. Does daily straightening cause permanent hair loss?
Daily harsh straightening can potentially cause scarring alopecia if hair follicles get severely damaged. But in most cases, hair fall from straightening is reversible by avoiding heat styling for some months.
2. Is daily straightening worse than curling or blow drying?
Daily straightening tends to apply higher, direct heat on each section consistently. This causes more damage than occasional blow drying or random curls.
3. Can you straighten hair every day without damage?
Some damage is inevitable with daily use of flat irons or blow dryers at high temperatures. But using heat protectants, the lowest temperature, and gentle styling can reduce it. Some hair types tolerate daily straightening better.
4. Is occasional smoothening better than daily straightening?
Yes. Occasional smoothening every few months causes less cumulative damage than daily application of direct high heat during straightening. The keratin also strengthens hair strands.
5. What home remedies repair hair damaged by daily straightening?
Regular oiling, masks with nourishing ingredients like eggs, yogurt and olive oil, avoiding brushing wet hair, silk pillowcases, and reducing other chemical treatments can help hydrate and minimize damage from daily straightening.