While you battle tangles and try to tame the frizz, regular brushing and using a billion different leave-in serums don’t always seem to do the trick. Having smooth hair may start to seem likely only in dreams. However, smooth hair without tangles or frizz is not unattainable.
There are two ways in which you can attain smooth hair – the natural way, using certain ingredients, tips, and tricks that promote smoothness, and the chemical way. While natural smoothing is temporary, the effect it has on your hair is more on the positive side. Chemical smoothing is permanent, and lasts for about four to eight months. But, it tends to have a damaging effect on your hair if it’s not cared for properly.
Read on to know more about these two smoothing methods, and decide which one would be the ideal choice for you.
While these methods are temporary, natural smoothing is likely to improve the health of your hair in the long run, making it smooth and shiny.
Use cold water to rinse your hair as it will seal the upper layer of your hair shaft, making it smooth and shiny. While developing an aversion towards cold water during winters is completely normal, using warm or hot water will lift your cuticles and cause your to hair frizz. If you cannot stand the thought of using cold water to shower, wash your hair using the bend-and-wash method. Keep a bucket of cold water next to you and using a jug, bend forward and start pouring the water through your hair. Shampoo, condition, and rinse your hair in this manner.
2. Aloe Vera Gel
You would be surprised to know that aloe vera is a powerhouse of 75 known nutrients (1). It contains enzymes that lead to healthy hair growth and make it smooth and soft. Aloe vera gel has the same chemical composition as that of keratin – the protein that makes up a large majority of our hair’s build-up. Thus, the gel easily penetrates the hair shafts and provides the required moisturization.
You Will Need
Aloe vera stem
- Cut a few pieces of the aloe vera stem to extract fresh gel.
- Dilute it with water and apply it on your hair.
- Let it sit for 30 minutes and then wash off with a mild shampoo.
3. Egg Pack
You must be familiar with the wonders of the egg pack. Whether your hair is dry and damaged, or oily and limp, the egg hair pack is the instant solution for it all. It contains a high concentration of proteins and nutrients, which help to make your hair shiny and bouncy. Here’s how you can use eggs to make your hair smooth:
You Will Need
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon cream
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Beat an egg in a small bowl and then add a teaspoon each of honey, cream, and olive oil.
- Mix well to form a smooth paste and apply it all over the hair.
- Leave it on until it dries. Wash it off with cool water and shampoo as usual.
4. Banana Pack
Banana is rich in carbohydrates, vitamins, natural oils, and potassium. It is a well known antioxidant that helps fight free radicals (2). Using banana in a hair pack will make your hair feel nourished and moisturized. It reduces frizz and soothes an irritated scalp with the regular use. The benefits of banana can be enhanced by adding yogurt to it, which is also a great hair moisturizer.
You Will Need
- 1 ripe banana
- 2 teaspoons yogurt
- Mash a ripe banana and add two teaspoons of yogurt to it.
- Blend it to get a smooth paste so that no chunks of the banana remain.
- Apply this all over the hair, starting from the tips and work up till the crown.
- Rinse off after 45 minutes with a shampoo.
5. Vinegar Rinse
Apple cider vinegar has been in use as a natural hair rinse for a long time now. Our hair has a pH of 5.5, but the shampoos and conditioners we use are strongly alkaline. Apple cider vinegar helps maintain the pH balance of our scalp while cleaning the build-up that might have formed from the excessive use of products. Rinsing your hair with the vinegar will close the cuticles of your hair and make it smoother, softer, and shinier.
You Will Need
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1 cup water
- Dilute ¼ cup of vinegar with a cup of water.
- Use this as the final rinse after washing your hair and leave it on.
6. Hot Oil Treatment
A hot oil massage once a week will not only give you healthy and smooth hair, but it will also help you de-stress. Use oils such as coconut, olive, sweet almond, jojoba, castor, lavender, rosemary, and thyme to massage your hair. You can also use the combination of these oils for better results.
You Will Need
2-3 tablespoons of oil, depending on the length of your hair
- Massage your scalp with the oil and apply it to all of your hair.
- After massaging your scalp, wrap your head with a warm towel. This creates an environment that allows for maximum penetration of the oil.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash off the oil with shampoo.
A shampoo cleanses your scalp and also makes your hair smooth and soft. However, you should always use a shampoo that is suited to your hair.
The best shampoos for smooth hair that are available in the Indian market are:
- Sunsilk Perfect Straight Shampoo
This shampoo from Sunsilk incorporates a straight-lock technology which controls and holds every strand perfectly aligned as it dries. It penetrates through the hair fiber, reducing frizz and giving you super smooth hair.
- Tresseme Smooth And Shine Shampoo
This shampoo contains vitamin H and silk protein, both of which intensely moisturize dry, rough hair and make it smooth and soft. It is used by professionals and is great for making your hair smooth and frizz-free.
Another safe idea to cleanse your hair is to use natural ingredients.
- Make your own natural shampoo by boiling dried Indian gooseberry (amla), shikakai and reetha.
- Let it boil until you get a soapy solution.
- Use this to wash your hair at least twice a week to get shiny and smooth hair.
8. Careful Combing
Go easy on the brushing. Combing or brushing your hair too much will cause friction, which will make your hair frizzy. Restrict combing your hair to a bare minimum, and never do it when your hair is wet. Wet hair is more prone to breakage. A good combing schedule involves detangling your hair before a shower with a wide toothed wooden comb, and then combing it once or twice a day to style and get rid of tangles.
9. Proper Conditioning
The right conditioning treatment can work wonders for your hair and make it smooth and silky. Make it a point to deep condition your hair at least once a week. Leaving a little conditioner behind on your hair can make it appear smooth. This is completely harmless as long as the conditioner is not in contact with your scalp.
You can also use leave-in conditioners and serums, which are very useful to achieve that smooth and frizz-free look. Leave-in conditioners are especially beneficial for people with curly hair.
10. Take A Break From Heat
Straighteners, curling irons, and blow dryers may be the best solution for instant styling to make your hair appear smooth. But, the regular use of these hot styling tools is extremely harmful to your hair. The heat from these tools damages your hair, making it coarse and frizzy and stripping off the natural sheen from your hair (3).
However, if there are days when you cannot do without styling, remember to use a heat protecting spray or serum. It will help reduce the damage from the heat by forming a protective shield around your hair.
11. Blow Drying Techniques
Always try to dry your hair naturally. But, if you are in a hurry, you can blow dry your hair. However, make it a point to use a good quality big-toothed round brush with a ceramic base. Use the cool settings of your blow dryer as this leads to less damage. Hold the blow dryer 15 centimeters away from your hair and move it constantly so that it doesn’t blow at one section of hair for too long (3).
12. Say No To Chemicals
Do not use products which contain sodium lauryl sulfate or ammonium laureth sulfate as both of them are industrial cleansers and very harsh on your hair. These are ingredients that most shampoos contain. Research has shown that these chemicals cause heavy hair fall and thinning of hair.
Instead of sulfate shampoos, use shampoos with natural and organic ingredients, which are not harsh on your hair. They lock in the moisture, thus giving you smooth and soft hair.
13. Trimming Is Important
Trimming is the most important thing to do if you want to maintain hair that is healthy and smooth. It helps remove split ends and damage that would otherwise spread up the hair shaft, causing frizz and dryness. Trim your hair in every four to six weeks.
14. Mayonnaise Mask
Treat your hair by giving it a deep conditioning treatment once a week. Mayonnaise is a rich source of L-cysteine, which is an amino acid and a powerful antioxidant, which is also found in eggs. Using this hair pack regularly stimulates healthy hair growth.
You Will Need
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons mashed avocado
- Mix the mayonnaise and avocado until the mixture becomes fluffy.
- Apply the mixture to your hair from the roots through the length of your hair.
- Once you’ve applied the mixture, pull your hair to the crown and cover your head with a shower cap.
- Keep it on for an hour and rinse off with shampoo.
Chemical Smoothing Hair Tips
You can also smoothen your hair with chemicals. However, this method is expensive and can have damaging side effects on your hair. If you want to smoothen your hair chemically, ensure that your hair is healthy and not over processed. It is always a good idea to consult a stylist before you get a treatment done. Pre and post care is crucial for healthy smoothened hair.
15. Traditional Relaxers
Relaxers are used to soften and calm the natural texture of the hair. They are suitable for people with wavy or slightly curly hair. However, they do not work well with extremely curly hair. Relaxers fix frizzy textures and smoothen the hair shafts. The effect loses out once the chemicals fade out in four to six months.
16. Chemical Smoothing
This technique uses a lot of chemicals to break the natural bonds of your hair. The hair is then washed with a smoothing solution and straightened. This procedure takes four to five hours and the effects last for about three months. Regular touch-ups are required to maintain the smooth and straight look of your hair. It is not meant for colored hair.
17. Thermal Reconditioning
Also known as Japanese straightening, this technique is suitable for bulky, loose to medium curls, but not for very tight curls. The hair is repeatedly washed with a chemical solution, which helps break the inner bonds. Then, each strand is reshaped. Finally, the neutralizer is applied to achieve a smooth, silky, and straight look. This technique permanently changes the structure of your hair, and regular touch-ups are required every five to six months, depending on the growth rate of your hair. It is not suitable for colored or processed hair. Here is a detailed post on Japanese straightening.
18. Brazilian Keratin Treatment
This technique has widely gained popularity due to the use of keratin, which is less harsh on hair. It smoothes the surface of the hair, but does not permanently break the bonds. This treatment controls frizz by maintaining the volume and texture of the hair. It is safe for colored hair and is suitable for all hair types from waves to tight curls. Here is a detailed post on Brazilian Keratin treatment.
Follow these natural methods or choose any chemical treatments to get smoother and shinier hair.