Like make-up, hair styling has become a specialised profession, because there are so many different hair styling procedures available now a days. Hair colouring, for example, has become very popular over the last few years, with various kinds of colouring products in the market. Similarly, perming and straightening are different styling procedures, which became popular according to the latest fashion.
Perming: Perming is a procedure that makes the hair curly or wavy. That is why it is called ‘permanent wave.’ To perm the hair, a chemical lotion is used that changes the structure of the hair. The lotion penetrates the inner layer of each hair and softens it. The hair is then set into curls and waves. Afterwards an oxidizing agent is used to harden the hair, setting the curls. Most people do not realise that these procedures cause a lot of hair damage. If you want to get your hair permed, you should go to a good and reputed hairdresser. It is a good idea to also read the instructions on the permanent wave lotions, so that you know what the hairdresser is doing. After perming, give the hair regular care, by way of hot oil treatments and conditioning.
Straightening: The hair can also be straightened with the use of chemical hair straighteners. The different procedures are relaxing, re-bonding and ironing. In relaxing also, the chemicals enter each hair shaft and change the structure of the inner layers of the hair, by which the hair becomes straight. The effects of a strong relaxing procedure may last up to six months.
In re-bonding, a chemical solution is applied, which breaks down the hair’s disulfide bonds. Hair is made up of a protein matter called keratin and has a lot of disulfide bonds. The breaking of the bonds makes the hair more flexible. The solution is applied for duration of time decided by the stylist. Then the solution is rinsed off and the hair is partially blow-dried, so that it is still damp. A hair straightening thermal iron is then used and small sections of the hair are taken and straightened with it. When the entire hair is straightened in this manner, another solution is applied, which helps to re-form or ‘rebond’ the broken disulphide bonds. The effect of rebonding is said to last for a year.
In ironing, direct heat is applied on the hair. Hair straightening irons are also available for straightening the hair. In these, the hair is straightened by applying heat directly to the hair. After-care is extremely important with permed and straightened hair. It is important to give your hair regular care to limit the damage. Avoid repeated touching up. Use mild shampoos and extra-rich conditioners. Chemically treated hair should get deep conditioning treatments once or twice a week. The use of hair serums helps to give shine and added protection too. Once a week, give your hair hot oil therapy.
Colouring: Colouring of the hair has been in fashion for some time now. But colouring is not really new. Since ancient times, Henna, Walnuts and Indigo have been used to colour the hair and add shine. However glamorous it may look, chemical hair colourants and dyes can cause a lot of hair damage. Once the colour wears off, one wants to have it coloured again. It is this kind of repeated colouring, which damages the hair, making it dry and brittle. Moreover if dark hair is coloured to a lighter colour, a bleaching process is also used. And then the hair is coloured. This means added damage. Apart from that you need to protect it from the sun. Try the shampoos which are specifically for coloured hair. These have a Sun Protection Filter (SPF) too. Beware of anti-dandruff shampoos though, because they strip the colour off. Permanent dyes and colours work by changing the structure of the hair. They actually strip off the outermost layer, the cuticle, in an uneven manner, in order to penetrate the inner layer. It is the cuticle which protects the hair and contributes to its shine. Temporary colours made from vegetable dyes are also available, in the form of ‘hair mascaras’. Hair mascaras are somewhat like crayons, which are used to ‘streak’ strands of the hair. They can disguise strands of gray hair quite effectively. They also help to add glamour to the hair, by colouring strands a different colour from the normal hair colour. Hair mascaras are temporary methods of colouring the hair. They are easier to use and remove and the effect lasts till the next shampoo.
New Trends in Colouring: Natural colours are currently in vogue. Different shades of brown, honey, copper, chocolate brown, reddish brown are in fashion. Browns can be highlighted with bronze or reddish tints. In fashion: curls and waves are coming back in fashion. For long hair, a layered cut, with curls and waves at the ends is the current trend. The more natural look will be back, with plenty of movement, more flowing, with a look of ease. It is predicted that the softer look will be in, with natural waves and curls, but in the lower half of the hair. For short hair, the slightly tousled look is predicted. Not, harsh or obviously structured, but rather a careless and casual look. The uniform curls, or straight cuts will be out and the softly and naturally layered look will be trendy.