Chemical straightening is a cosmetic process used to permanently alter the texture of your hair. Chemically straightened hair remains straight forever because the composition of the hair has been permanently altered. People like to chemically straighten their hair because it lowers styling time and lets them look their best at a moment's notice.
Chemically straightened hair is hair that has been deliberately damaged. Chemical straighteners break the bonds in the hair so that it is no longer curly or wavy. Instead, it will lie smooth and straight. Chemical straighteners do not wear off, but as your hair grows out the effect will appear to be eroding.
Chemically straightened hair may appear to be finer and slightly lighter than it was previously. This is because the chemicals in the treatment may "strip" hair as they change it. Most chemically straightened hair is also extremely smooth because of the restorative treatments that accompany the harsh chemicals.
Permanent chemical straightening lasts from 4 to 6 weeks. If your hair grows extemely slowly, you might even get 2 months out of a treatment. The process itselt can take from 2 to 6 hours, depending on how much hair you have and whether or not you are having additional things done at the same time. For example, if you are getting your hair straightened and colored, it will take much longer because your stylist will need to do some serious prep work on your hair to prevent serious damage from these harsh chemical treatments.
Chemically straightened hair can take hours off of your morning beauty routine. If you straighten your hair every day using a flat iron or curling iron, chemical straightening can even improve the health of your hair because you will not be attacking it with high heat every day. Chemically straightened hair also tends to look more natural than blown-out or flat-ironed hair.
Before you have your hair chemically straightened, be sure to have your stylist do a strand test; this will insure that you do not accidentally perform a treatment on your hair that your hair cannot take. Some people's hair cannot withstand the harsh chemicals involved in the process and the hair either bleaches out or breaks completely.
Chemical straightening should always be done by a trained professional. While there are kits for at-home chemical straightening, they are often extremely harsh on the hair and scalp, and they do not come with the conditioning and strengthening treatments that professionals add to the equation. You can burn your scalp and even cause your hair to fall out if you do not know what you are doing.