Monday, August 4, 2008

Hair Loss from Hair Straightening

Hair Loss from Hair Straightening

Hair rebonding, the latest hair trend among women, can lead to hair loss. It gives you a silky, super straight hair, the way the girls in hair commercials look, and the way Jennifer Lopez used to look, but it can also leave you bald.

In Singapore, a 14 year-old girl had big clumps of hair falling off in the shower a year after the process. Her hair started breaking 2 months after being rebounded.

In Manila, a woman is suing her hairdresser for bald patches on her head after a similar treatment. Her scalp started stinging during the process itself and hair fell off in clumps shortly after.

Hair rebonding is a process where the chemical bonds in your hair are broken, rearranged and bonded back again permanently using very strong chemicals. It is one of the most damaging things that you can do to your hair.

During rebonding, perming lotion is added to soften the hair and breakdown its bonds. After this is washed off, hair is placed between 2 metal plates of an electric styling device, which uses heat to pull the hair rod straight. A neutralizer is applied to reset the bonds and stabilize the hair.

Hair is irreversibly altered after the perming process. Chemically treated hair shafts are weaker and fracture more easily. This can lead to hair loss.

Hair becomes fragile and has to be handled with extreme care after treatment. A natural reflex, like tucking your hair behind your ears or tying your hair in the first month can be disastrous.

The process can also cause damage and burns to the skin and scalp. For example, hair can be damaged if the various chemicals are left on the hair for too long, or if ironing is done with an iron at higher than 180C.

Conventional methods of straightening hair use hair straightening lotions (like the relaxer, straightening cream and temporary straightening gel), which result in dry, brittle, and split ends prone hair.

Rebonding gives you softer hair and higher risks because it uses more toxic chemicals like sodium hydroxide, guanidine hydroxide. ammonium thioglycolate.

Sodium hydroxide is a caustic chemical that can burn the skin, and break or damage hair. The stronger the solution used (for better effects), the more potential damage can occur to the hair.

Guanidine hydroxide is less damaging than sodium hydroxide, but it may still damage hair and it can definitely de-fat the scalp. The treatment can cost up to over US $ 500, and lasts only 4-6 months.

Ammonium Thioglycolate is a known cause of irritant contact dermatitis in hairdressers and their clients.

Maintaining the rebonded look means continual touch-ups, at the least, every 6 months. This puts you at further risks of hair loss, eventually, and prematurely leaving your full head of hair nothing but a memory.