I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve been seeing adverts for “thermal straightening” and “thermal retexturizing.” Seriously? Are we that gullible and naive, or so desperate for straight hair that we’ll buy whatever’s thrust in our faces without thinking twice about it?
A closer look at some of these, er, breakthrough hair systems or treatments make it sound so simple and easy that it could be done at home! Just pick up some of these special shampoos and conditioners, wash your hair, blow dry and flat iron and no more waves, kinks and curls…ever!
But, this is where “buyer beware” reigns supreme. Underneath the promise of straight, shiny glossy hair lies a culprit…lye. Yes, these thermal treatments contain some derivative of lye which when activated by heat, and lots of it, purport to get your hair sleek and straight.
Even I am guilty of falling into this trap, especially when I saw Garnier’s Blow Dry Perfector kit at the local drugstore. I’m terrible at blow drying, so I thought I might try this. But, when I looked at the ingredients, I saw that this product contains a little bit of lye. Imagine if I’d bought this and put it in my hair???!!!
While you might not be able to get your hands on product bottles, reading the ingredients of these treatments is crucial. Telltale verbiage such as “permanent,” “neutralizing,” “retouch,” etc. are a few suggestions letting you know that this is a chemical process. If you’re contemplating getting a treatment, do a Google search to see what the ingredients are. With the prevalence of so much information on the Internet, ignorance no longer is bliss! For example, I found a PDF document from one nationally-acclaimed salon’s smoothing treatment advising against using its treatment on people with porosity issues. Hmmm, porosity issues…now that’s something that seems to plague us brown-skinned folks…lye, porosity… Get it?
Yes your heart might pitter patter over some of the new smoothing treatments that have been busting onto the scene, but don’t even go there. It’s just the 21st century way of saying you’re getting a perm. Consider yourself warned. Peace!