Hair Smoothing: All You Must Know About It

Let’s get to the point. All of us want silky hair. Period.

How do you find a quick, easy, and lasting solution? Try hair smoothing products.

But don’t panic. Hair smoothing treatments may be able to grant your shiny and smooth hair. They can also have long-term effects on hair health. Before the session, here are some things you need to know.

What the Expert Says

Smoothening involves breaking hair bonds and restructuring them. If your hair is dry, damaged, or brittle, avoiding smoothening is best.

What is Hair Smoothing?

Smoothening, also known as hair smoothing, is a temporary chemical treatment that treats unruly, curly, and difficult-to-manage hair. The procedure involves using formaldehyde [1] solution on your hair strands. After that, it is dried out and straightened with a flat iron. This procedure smoothens hair and eliminates dryness and frizz. This is an easy fix for anyone who wants to straighten their hair.

Hair smoothing is not like hair straightening. It doesn’t change the hair’s structure; It removes frizz and dryness and smoothens hair. This can last up to six months, depending on how you care for your hair. This is an easy fix for anyone who wants to straighten their hair. It won’t give you poker-straight hair.

What are the Different Hair Smoothening Methods?

In-Salon Methods

  • Blow Drying

Blowing dry is best if you run late to a party or meeting and want your hair smooth immediately. You get soft, manageable hair, which will last until you rewash your hair. This works well with curly and wavy hair. Before you start, use a heat protector spray.

  • Straightening

Flat irons are the best choice for straightening hair. The results can last up to a day. Straight hair can be achieved with a flat iron. You can achieve super soft and straight hair using a heat protector spray.

  • Traditional Relaxers for Hair

This treatment smoothens hair and removes frizz. This treatment is best for curly and wavy hair; The effects can last up to 6 months. You can use relaxers such as calcium hydroxide or guanidine hydroxide if you have a sensitive scalp.

  • Keratin Treatments

Keratin is a protein that gives hair strength. There are three Keratin treatments: Brazilian blowout (keratin treatment), keratin treatment, and cysteine treatment.

Brazilian blowout [ 2] is very popular. It can be used with bleached hair. It gives hair a shiny, smooth finish that is impossible with chemical relaxers.

The hair is then treated with formaldehyde and dried. Finally, it is straightened with a flat iron. The solution dissolves the hydrogen bonds within the hair’s keratin molecules. The keratin [ 3] filaments are disrupted. When the hair is flat ironed, the strands will fit perfectly and look shiny and smooth. The entire process takes about 3-5 hours.

Cysteine treatment uses formaldehyde-free keratin treatments, free from side effects and high heat hazards.

  • Thermal Reconditioning or Japanese Straightening

This treatment uses a chemical solution to break the hair’s bonds. With a flat iron, the hair can be reshaped. To seal the hair, a neutralizer is applied at the ends. This is necessary for medium to loose curls.

Word Of Caution

Discuss with your stylist if there are any allergies to chemicals or concerns about hair loss. If you have any problems, consider a hair test at the salon.

Hair Smoothing

Process Of Hair Smoothening

  1. Your stylist will prepare your hair to receive the treatment. Your stylist will wash and condition your hair and then use a blow dryer for drying it.
  2. The next step is to apply a cream/ straightening product to your hair. Leave it on for between 20 and 30 minutes. This cream allows for the breaking down of hair’s keratin bonds.
  3. After that, rinse off the cream/solution. Your stylist will then blow-dry your hair again.
  4. The flat iron will be used to straighten your hair at high heat.
  5. A neutralizer cream can be applied for an additional 20-30 minutes to seal the ironing effect.
  6. After another 30 minutes, the cream can be washed off.
  7. The hair is then sealed with a neutralizer cream and washed for another 30 minutes.


Many hair smoothing creams on the market can give you healthy hair quickly. Here are some ingredients that such products might contain:

  • Biotin
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B5
  • Moringa seed oil
  • Amino acids
  • Moroccan argan oil
  • Avocado oil

Treatments at-Home

  • Hot Oil Treatment

This age-old method is excellent for smoothening hair. This deep nourishes your hair and penetrates the roots and strands to give strength, shine, and manageability. Apply the oil to your scalp and hair strands. Massage with hot oil increases blood circulation, strengthens hair, and smoothens hair.

To carrier oils such as coconut oil, add essential oils such as rosemary, thyme, or lavender after soaking your hair for 30 minutes in oil, shampoo, and condition your hair.

  • Banana Mask

Bananas are good for hair and your body. It’s rich in vitamins, carbohydrates, potassium, and natural oils. Apply a banana, olive oil, and curd to your hair. Leave it on for 20 minutes, then wash it off with mild shampoo. This reduces frizz and smoothens hair.

  • Mayonnaise Mask

Mayonnaise is rich in amino acids and an antioxidant. Apply a mixture of 1 cup mayonnaise and two tablespoons mashed avocado to your hair. After an hour, wash your hair.

  • Apple cider vinegar rinse

Apple cider vinegar is a quick and easy way to get shiny, smooth hair at home without chemicals. It balances your scalp’s pH and removes product buildup.

Apply apple cider vinegar to your hair after shampooing and conditioning it. Let it sit for about a minute, then rinse it with cold water.

Hair Smoothing

Things to do before your hair smoothing session

  1. Research the salon, the stylists, and the products they use.
  2. Know what hair type. Your hair type may dictate the treatment method you choose.
  3. Do not fall for low-cost deals. They might not be using top-quality products.
  4. Know your products. What brands salons use to smoothen hair speaks volumes about their credibility, certifications, and reputation.
  5. If you have had a hair-smoothing procedure before, talk to your stylist.
  6. After you’ve booked your appointment, talk to your stylist about your hair type and texture. You should ensure that the results of the treatment are in line with your expectations.
  7. You should ensure that your salon is well-ventilated. Side effects may occur when hair smoothening treatments use formaldehyde.

Tips for Smoothening Your Hair

  • Protect your hair shaft with haircare products. Your best option is silicone-based products; Wash your hair with sulfate-free shampoos.
  • To avoid damaging your hair, don’t tie your hair in tight buns for more than two days.
  • For at least 15 days, do not oil your hair. After this, you can massage your scalp and hair with coconut, olive, or almond oil. Coconut oil can restore the lost protein in damaged hair [ 4].
  • Hair masks can be used occasionally to strengthen and hydrate your hair.
  • To prevent hair damage from heat, limit the use of styling tools. Use the cold setting if you want to dry your hair.
  • After your hair smoothening treatment, do not wet your hair for at least three days.
  • Make sure your hair is straight when you go to bed.
  • Hot water should not be used to wash your hair. You could lose moisture.
  • For the next six months, avoid coloring or highlighting hair.
  • Do not use a hairbrush. Use a wide-toothed comb instead.
  • After a few days, apply hair serum to protect your hair against the sun, dirt, and dust.

What is the average lifespan of smoothing treatments?

The hair smoothening process is temporary. The results can last between 2-5 months. It all depends on how your hair grows and how well you care for it.

Who can do hair smoothening?

Hair smoothening is an excellent option for those with curly or wavy hair. This helps to smoothen frizziness and gives straight, shiny hair. Hair smoothening is also available for those with fragile hair. However, this treatment may be less effective for those with extremely curly or thick hair.


Hair smoothing treatments should be limited to three times a year. Excessive use can cause hair to become brittle. Avoid hair smoothening treatments if you have very thin or fragile hair.

The disadvantages of hair smoothening treatment

Initial use of formaldehyde would cause a pungent smell, burning eyes, and burning noses [ 5]. Make sure you choose a salon with good ventilation and a professional stylist.

Formaldehyde can be toxic. It can irritate the eyes, skin, respiratory tract, and skin. It is also a carcinogen (cancer-causing compound) [ 6]. A study [ 7] has shown that formaldehyde may increase the risk of developing asthma. Excessive heat caused by flat irons can also damage hair.

Smoothening is best avoided if your hair is damaged, brittle, or excessively dry. “Smoothening involves breaking hair bonds and restructuring them,” Prutha Nawale (Product Development Executive at SkinKraft) explains.

She adds that there is no long-lasting alternative to chemical hair smoothening. A keratin-rich hair mask can moisturize the hair and improve its texture.

Hair Straightening vs. Hair Smoothening

Smoothening your hair will give you smoother hair. Hair straightening will provide you with soft, poker-straight hair.

Smoothening is temporary and best for slightly curly or wavy hair. Straightening is permanent and can be used to treat curly hair.

Smoothening is less harmful than straightening.


Today’s hair smoothing treatments are hugely popular. We all know that not everyone has time to use regular oils and masks. These treatments are worth the cost, especially in a well-ventilated and professional salon. Regular maintenance is essential if you want to smoothen your hair.