Hair smoothening vs Hair straightening: What’s The Difference?

Most women like to have straight and smooth hair because it’s easy to manage. There are hair treatments where you can permanently or semi-permanently straighten your hair. But when you are given two options, it becomes hard to pick the right one. It’s the same for hair smoothening vs straightening challenge. 

Both straightening and smoothening hair treatment gives similar results, but that’s not the complete truth. There are some significant differences between smoothening and straightening, which affect the results. Both the treatments are for different types of hair. If you do the wrong hair treatment, it may affect your hair and end up with disappointing results. 

So in this article, we are going to discuss the difference between hair straightening and hair smoothening. Before that, you need to know what is hair smoothening? And what is hair straightening? So keep reading to find out more.

What is Hair Smoothening?

What is Hair Smoothening?

Hair smoothening is a short-term chemical treatment that includes soaking the hair in a formaldehyde solution. After that, the hair is dehydrated and straightened with a flat iron.

This procedure intends to make your tresses smooth, velvety, slick, and healthy, as well as manageable. The chemicals used in the smoothing process are not as harsh as those used in permanent hair straightening. As a result, there is less risk of hair damage in this situation.

1. Benefits of Hair Smoothening 

The most significant advantage of hair smoothing is that you are not limited to a single hairstyle for the longest time. The smoothing effect of hair only lasts two to five months. Furthermore, it does not use harsh chemicals, and the likelihood of severe hair damage is low. The smoothing process has little effect on the structure of your hair. You have the option to change your haircut at any time.

2. Side Effects of Hair Smoothening

Smoothing hair does not last as long as straightening hair. Depending on how well you care for your hair after hair smoothening, it can last up to 5 months. Formaldehyde, a common chemical used in hair smoothing, can cause a burning sensation in the eyes, nose, face, and other health problems. Excessive use of heat for hair smoothing can also severely damage your hair. As a result, if you want a hair smoothening treatment for your hair, you must be informed of these issues.

What is Hair Straightening?

What is Hair Straightening?

Straightening your hair is a permanent hair styling method that has been used to give your hair a smooth, streamlined, pin-straight look. This styling technique uses chemicals and heat to change the actual texture of your hair strands, giving them an elegant appearance.

The chemicals used in this straightening procedure help in the permanent breakage of bonds in your hair strand. Then, heat is applied to reshape your tresses for a flattened, straighter result using a flat iron. It can permanently straighten even the most complex and curly hair types and hold the straightening effect until new hair comes back.

1. Types of Hair Straightening

There are different types of hair straightening methods. Among them, 3 are the most popular ones and are widely accepted. They are discussed below.

I. Hair Rebonding

Hair rebonding is a procedure that uses chemicals and heat to make your hair smooth and straight. It accomplishes this by first breaking the bonds in your hair shaft and then rebonding them in a more straight texture. The procedure is semi-permanent and can last between 6 and 12 months, depending on your actual hair texture and post straightening care.

II. Keratin Treatment

Keratin treatment, also known as ‘protein treatment,’ intends to make your hair frizz-free and straight. After applying a keratin solution, the hair is blow-dried and straightened with a straightener to hold in the product. It does not break the hair bonds to reshape them but instead smoothes down the cells that overlap to form hair strands, making them shiny and smooth.

III. Hair Relaxing

Extreme heat and chemicals are used in a hair relaxing treatment to give you poker-straight hair. Chemical relaxers break your hair’s hydrogen and disulfide bonds. Then, using a hair straightener, your hair is reconfigured into a super straight texture. A hair relaxing treatment is permanent, and it will last for more than three months before your hair grows back.

2. Benefits of Hair Straightening 

The greatest feature about hair straightening is that it is suitable for people with all types of hair. The process may need to be redone depending on the texture of the hair. Depending on how well you take care of your treated hair, it can last up to 12 weeks. The only thing you should be aware of is that the permanent hair straightening treatment uses hydroxides and thioglycolate, which are harmful to bleached hair.

3. Side Effects of Hair Straightening

When applying the chemicals, your hairstylist should take care not to make contact with your scalp. It has the potential to cause burns and severe hair damage. As potential side effects, some people may experience hair loss, frizziness, and dandruff. In the case of permanent straightening, you may not be able to reverse your look if you use the incorrect hair straightening technique. If you want to read more about the effects of hair straightening, you might want to read our article on it.

Difference between Smoothing and Straightening

Hair StraighteningHair smoothening
It is a permanent hair straightening treatment and lasts until new hair grows out.Hair smoothening is a semi-permanent hair straightening treatment that lasts only for 3 to 6 months.
Hair straightening is also known as Japanese Straightening treatmentHair smoothening is also called Brazilian Blowout, Keratin Treatment or Protein Treatment
It is harsher on hair.It’s less harsh than hair straightening treatment
This treatment must have formaldehyde for perfect results.Meanwhile you may or may not add formaldehyde and still get the best result
Hair straightening gives a very unrealistic and artificial look to hair.Hair smoothening makes the hair look more natural.

Smoothing vs Straightening: Which is Better?

We always prefer the hair smoothing treatment for our hair on any given day because of its less damaging side effects on delicate hair locks. However, the final decision is yours. It all depends on your hair type, treatment history, and hair goals. Straightening your hair is a better option if you have curly and unmanageable hair.

And if you have curly or wavy hair, a hair smoothening treatment is for you. There are always some differences between hair straightening and smoothening. Straightening your hair, for example, lasts longer, but it requires regular touch-ups to keep it straight. Hair smoothing may not result in the desired straightness, but it will not result in frizz. As a result, before undergoing the treatment, you should consult with your hairstylist.

FAQs

Get trims regularly to get rid of dry ends before they split and cause further damage. As much as possible, avoid using heat to style your hair.

Since your hair is already vulnerable, use gentle hair products.

Avoid using hot water to wash your hair and stay out in the sun for a long time. Deep condition it at least once a week, and use hair masks to keep your hair and scalp hydrated if possible.

Straightening your hair frequently can cause severe damage to your hair. Styling your hair once or twice a week is the most you should do. Styling hair often can strip off the protective layer of the hair strands. It will eventually thin down and will be more prone to breakage. However, it’s advisable to avoid heat styling your hair as much as possible.

Normal shampoos contain an excessive amount of sulfate. Furthermore, sulfate can be damaging to hair after straightening or smoothing treatment. Because the chemical treatment affects the health and texture of your hair, it is best to use a gentle shampoo. Reduce using excessive heat for hairstyling for a few days after having hair smoothing or straightening treatment.

  • There are a few methods for reversing and repairing the damage caused by hair smoothing. 
  • To revitalize your hair, use silicone-based hair care products. They are meant to protect the hair cuticle from damage and also to thicken it.
  • To hydrate and strengthen your hair, use leave-in conditioners and hair masks.
  • Avoid heat styling tools on your hair for the first few weeks until it restores its moisture and strength.
  • Maintain a regular hair-trimming schedule. Remove all the split ends.

Smoothing is always preferable to rebonding. Rebonding hair lasts a long time, but it requires frequent touch-ups to stay straight. Smoothing makes hair appear naturally soft instead of straightening, giving the hair pin-straight tips, contributing to a fake appearance. Smoothing is also more and less expensive than rebonding. Moreover, hair smoothing is less damaging to the hair than hair rebonding.

The smoothing treatment has a 2 to 5 duration. It is commonly used on wavy or curly hair. On the other hand, a hair straightening treatment implies that the treated hair will remain straight until your natural hair grows back. However, it can straighten even the curliest hair. It is permanent, and hair straightening is more damaging than hair smoothening.