Learn more about Texture!, a collaboration between CurlStylist, NaturallyCurly and Modern Salon
There was a time when the only option for temporarily changing curly hair to straight or straight hair to curly—or to go from long to short and back—was a wig or a chemical treatment.
These days, there are numerous ways that stylists and consumers can temporarily change the look of hair, without chemicals. They range from innovative new styling products to natural-looking extensions.
Toronto stylist Jonathan Torch, creator of the Curly hair Solutions line of products, wanted to create a product that could temporarily loosen curls without chemicals. He spent years trying to find the ideal ingredient that could smooth the curls and keep the hair shiny and soft.
The answer, he says, was lecithin.
“It as a complete 'aha' moment," Torch says. “It’s in all of my conditioners; it’s thick as tar and it makes the hair shiny."
Curly Hair Solutions is launching Extenzz this fall, which pushes water into the hair and uses the weight of the wet hair to straighten or loosen curl by using the product in conjunction with different brushing techniques.
While Curly Hair Solutions discovered a creative way to relax curls by using eggs (which contain lecithin), many of the most exciting advances have come in the laboratory, where chemists have concocted new formulations of polymers and silicones that help straighten and defrizz hair.
Living Proof, which has stormed onto the beauty scene, developed a new technology called polyfluoroEster—a smaller molecule than the traditional materials used for frizz control. Due to its chemical nature, the formulation adheres tightly to the hair, which allows for long-lasting moisture resistance and rebalancing of the hair fiber's interaction with the atmosphere, even after extreme humidity.
“It helps prevent friction that causes hair to frizz," says Eric Spengler, senior vice president of research and development for Living Proof, a line sold in both professional and consumer outlets. The Living Proof No Frizz Straight Styling line is designed to make it easier to and faster to blow out hair, while the Wave collection helps define curls.
“These products provide an alternative to silicone and more permanent chemical treatments," Spengler says.
Stay tuned for several new products in the coming months that will be able to give people a straighter, smoother look for several days without using chemicals.
With hair extensions, a client can go from curly to straight, straight to curly and from long to short. They can even get bangs, without the long-term commitment. Extensions are available in clip-ons, which can be put on for a quick change, to strand-by-strand extensions that can last several months.
“Extensions are a great option to chemicals, whether it be texture or color,” says Kimberly Castagna, public relations assistant at SO.CAP USA Hair Extensions, a leader in the world market of producing natural and synthetic hair.
“With our extensions, people have found they can create texture that feels better and looks more natural than their own hair."
Curly hair can get a smooth, elegant look by pulling the hair back and adding straight extensions. Wavy and curly extensions can be added to straighter hair for a completely different look. You can also add volume without length by putting in strand-by-strand extensions, Castagna says. Extensions are being used in place of wigs by some women who have undergone chemotherapy.
“It gives them the option of looking like its their own hair," she says.