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Chemistry in Hair Treatments

Nowadays, hair straightening and curling have become popular among women and men alike. Salons around the world offer various kinds of hair treatment guaranteeing customers better looking hair. Some of the most common hair treatments available are: hair rebonding, hair relaxing, and perming (permanent curls). In reality, Chemistry play a major role in these hair restructuring treatments. Hair straightening (rebonding and relaxing) and curling actually follow the same process—(1) unzipping, (2) reshaping, and (3) zipping up. The first step in straightening or curling your hair is the unzipping of the chemical bonds. Hydrogen bonds are easily broken by wetting your hair or using heat resulting to temporary hair straightening or curling. On the other hand, for permanent hair straightening and curling, we need to break the disulfide bonds within our hair strands. These disulfide bonds are broken with the use of chemicals. Disulfide bonds can be broken apart by applying strong reducing agents, which are bases. Some common reducing agents used are: (1) Alkaline hydroxides- harshest and most rapid agents (ex. Sodium hydroxide or lye), and (2) Thioglycolateunpleasant odor; less harsh than alkaline hydroxides; more popular. Basic reducing substances reduce and rupture the disulfide cross-links.

After unzipping the bonds, the next step is the restructuring. This is the step which decides the final form of your hair—straight or wavy. With the three bonds forming the cross linkages broken, the hair can now be reconfigured. If you desire to have straight hair, you can choose to use a comb or your fingers to massage your hair into straightening it. However, if you want a wavy hair, you may use rollers or rods of various sizes, depending on your choice, to create gentle waves on your hair. After reshaping your hair, you can then rinse your hair with water to remove the chemicals (reducing agent). After rinsing, your hair is now ready for the last step in the process—zipping up. This step is the reversal of the chemical reaction. In order for us to seal again the broken and restructured bonds, we need to apply a neutralizer—oxidizing agent (hydrogen peroxide). The acid neutralizes the base, stopping the disulphide bond cleavage reaction and allowing the disulphide bonds to reform in new positions. The oxygen of hydrogen peroxide removes the hydrogen atoms that were added to the sulfur atoms of the cysteine residues, forming water. The sulfur atoms, now free of hydrogen, connect with each other, to form disulfide bonds. These new disulfide bonds lock the keratin chains in the new "curly" or “straight”position. 2e - + H 2O 2 + 2H + -> 2H 2O

Hair rebonding functions the same as hair relaxing but claims to provide the added benefit of shine and texture along with the new shape. The hair is strong again.acs. Hair relaxing breaks the hair’s disulfide bonds to loosen or “relax” the curls of your hair. rinse hair with water to wash the neutralizing agent out of the hair and then dry.html . hair rebonding is safer to use for those people with colortreated or highlighted hair as hair relaxing may cause increase damage to the said type of hair. Hair relaxing take less time compared to rebonding and don't require thermal heat tools to accomplish the straightening effect. As the hair dries. It usually uses sodium hydroxide or ammonium thioglycolate for its reducing agent. However. hair rebonding uses formaldehyde as its reducing agent.To complete your hair makeover. II. Sources:   http://cen. there are still few notable differences between them. Rebonding Relaxing The two most common hair straightening treatment are relaxing and rebonding.html  http://www. the hydrogen bonds and ionic bonds re-form. Unlike relaxing. but with a different shape imposed on it because of bonds in different places. Although both result to straightened