After having written a series of articles on straighteners, over the years, particularly during the formaldehyde scandal, people contacting us these days still seem to need further clarification on different straightening methods.
Having moved on from Brazilian straightening, which contains formaldehyde and was banned by Health Canada due to the health risks it poses, we currently offer the choice between keratin treatments, relaxers, Japanese hair straightening and Korean hair straightening.
Relaxers: Perfect for relaxing curls?
Though they’re perfect for relaxing curls that are too tight, relaxers were designed to facilitate hair styling and reduce the impact of humidity on your hair, thus ensuring easier and less frequent blow dry sessions. So it’s an excellent choice if you don’t need to straighten your hair, but if you’re looking for a solution that will allow you to air dry your hair instead of blow drying it, you might not get the results you’re expecting if your hair is on the curlier side.
Keratin: Straightening or treatment?
What Europeans call keratin hair smoothing is called Korean hair straightening here, which can be quite confusing for the public and even for many professionals.
Keratin hair smoothing is considered a treatment in North America, referred to as “keratin treatment.” Though we often explain this nuance to clients, they tend to have unrealistic expectations when it comes to the treatment’s ability to straighten hair.
What keratin treatment does give is less frizzy, more supple and easier to style hair, but its short and long term straightening effects are very limited. You’ll still have to continue styling your hair with your usual equipment—thermal brush, flat iron or other—after and perhaps even between each wash.
My intent isn’t to write off this extremely effective treatment, but this is an article about hair straightening, after all.
Japanese hair straightening: Can this precursor really be forgotten?
Though very effective at straightening hair, the Japanese method has many drawbacks because it completely takes away hair’s flexibility. Your hair becomes poker straight, and when it starts to grow back, your choices are limited to straightening the new growth again, sacrificing the length by cutting off the straightened part or waiting for the hair to grow back while battling against the straight and curly sections for months, perhaps even years.
I therefore consider this technique to be outdated given that nowadays, hair is styled to be smooth, supple and wavy, but rarely poker straight.
Korean hair straightening: What does it have to offer?
This is a true straightening method that makes hair permanently straight while keeping ends supple enough to style hair effortlessly. Effective on any hair type, it will not damage your hair if you continue to adequately hydrate it in the weeks and months following the straightening.
According to our expert Léo, Korean hair straightening, despite its higher cost, is the most logical and lasting option for people who want to get rid of overly tight curls. If you keep using your favourite hair styling tools—and by this I mean thermal brushes, dryers, etc.—you will spend a lot less time getting ready, your arms will thank you for not having to stay up so long and most importantly, you’ll have nothing to fear from humidity and rainy days.
With many years of experience under our belts, we’ve succeeded, together with our expert Léo, in developing an exclusive Korean hair straightening technique that gives results we are truly proud of. Bridging the gap between the worlds of treatment and straightening, ICÔNE’s exclusive hair straightening treatment transforms unruly, curly or frizzy hair into smooth, marvellously silky and glossy locks for up to 6 months. Whether you want pin straight hair, supple and malleable tresses or are simply trying to tame the frizz, here at ICÔNE Coiffeurs-Visagistes, we’ve pushed the limits of hair straightening to provide treatments that are made-to-measure. From mild relaxers designed to reduce volume and frizz to a straightening treatment that will leave hair perfectly straight and smooth for months, our straightening experts can guide you to the best technique for your hair texture and desired results.