Funny that I stumbled upon this thread. I literally JUST left another site (http://hairshow.us/index.php?id=arti...&refFrom=right
) that had info on thermal hair straightening. I'm actually transitioning from relaxers (10 mos and counting! and I LOVE the journey), but curiosity made me read on. Here's what it said:
Pros: Lowest pH, least damaging. “This is a great hair re-texturizer should a client want to simply relax curls into waves, cut out frizz, or maintain the versatility to blow it straight or wear it wavy,” reports Jesse Briggs who swears by this technique. It can be overlapped with otherprocesses and used on color-treated hair. Cons: Can have slight odor. The process lasts from one to three hours and can cost hundreds of dollars depending upon hair length. 'Brazilian' Keratin Straighteners Pros: Does not chemically alter the bonds inside the hair. Provides great frizz control and silky shiny, straight hair. Cons: Time-consuming, expensive. “It’s not the keratin that makes it work,” reports Kingsley, “it’s the formaldehyde, a common chemical used in adhesives and building products, that helps it adhere to the hair shaft.” The process is demi-permanent, lasting only 3–4 months. The heat of the hot-iron and the formaldehyde seal the keratin onto the hair shaft which is responsible for the chemical off-gassing concern in the news. “I use a portable fume extractor from Sentry Air systems (www.sentryair.com
) to avoid this problem."
How do I know what’s really in a product?
Many straightener companies have responded by introducing “formaldehyde- free” varieties, but beware, advise experienced stylists, they have replaced them with other “aldehydes”, ethers, and sometimes they just conform to the allowable FDA limit of .2 percent. Remember, there’s always going to be a chemical that makes it work so ask your distributor for the ingredient list if it’s not on the container. Research the ingredients yourself by ‘Googling,’ as Jesse Briggs advises, or by searching them on the Environmental Working Group’s SkinDeep database at www.ewg.org
. This way you can find a chemical’s scientific classification, the material safety data sheets on it, the OSHA standards relating to it, any toxicity recorded and tested as well as what other stylists and clients have said about it as a process. Once you know what you’re using, then you can make the educated choice for your client.
How do I choose which one to use?
Well, that comes with experience agree all stylists, and education. Post this list until you understand it. “Here’s the basic way I make my decision depending on the fabric, or hair type, I’m working with,” explains Carmine Minardi. “I ask myself, ‘How much damage has this hair been through already? Is it colored?’ The less color, the more room for sodium hydroxide. If I see a single process ammonia color one or two levels, then I can use a sodium hydroxide or a thio. If the hair is very fine or delicate, damaged, or has three to four levels of lightening, I’ll choose cysteamine for its lower pH. You can only expose hair to a certain amount more before breakage is an issue.” Denise Kingsley agrees, “The secret is not in the products, it’s in the hands of who is doing it.”