How can I make my curly hair permanently straight for men?

Permanent hair straightening treatments are a form of chemical processing for your hair. Depending on which method of processing you use, hair that’s naturally curly or textured can be altered to lay flat and lose its curl.

These treatments work for several months or more, usually lasting until new hair grows in to replace the hair that was treated. For this reason, these processes are called permanent hair straightening.

The “permanent hair straightening” label can be used to refer to keratin treatments, Japanese thermal straightening, and “perm” straightening processes.

Self at-home treatments and salon treatments are both popular options. This article helps you be informed about the pros and cons of this kind of hair treatment.

There are several types of treatments that claim to make your hair straighter. Each relies on a different chemical formula and processing method.

Some of these treatments are sold in kits that you can do yourself at home, while others require salon-grade equipment to be done effectively.

Professional permanent straightening

A perm refers to a chemical process that permanently alters the hair follicle. Perms are sometimes associated with creating curls in hair that doesn’t naturally have it, but they can be used to make hair straight, too.

Perms are usually done in one salon appointment that takes a few hours. The cost of a perm can vary according to your salon and how long your hair is. Typically, prices start around $50.

At-home perms

Chemical relaxant kits can be purchased at pharmacies and beauty supply stores. These treatments claim to offer the same results as a perm from a salon.

Unless you have formal cosmetology training, it will be tricky to use these kits effectively. At-home perm options tend to start around $15.

Keratin straightening

Keratin hair treatments and Brazilian blowouts both refer to a method of treating your hair for a straight texture that lasts 3 to 5 months.

This method can take multiple salon appointments to finish the application, and it typically costs over $150.

Japanese thermal straightening

Japanese thermal hair straightening, also called an acid perm, is more similar to a traditional “straight” perm than it is to a keratin treatment.

This process might involve the longest time spent in a salon chair (5 to 6 hours), but it also claims to last up to 6 months. It also costs the most, ranging from $200 to $800.

Hair rebonding

Also called chemical straightening, hair rebonding is a process that converts someone’s wavy hair to straight. The cost can vary greatly depending on what salon you go to.

Usually, it costs between $250 and $1,000 and it takes 2 to 4 hours to complete.

All permanent hair straightening methods use a similar strategy:

  1. A chemical solution is applied to your hair. These chemicals change the way that the proteins in your hair are configured.
  2. With perms and Japanese thermal straightening procedures, a neutralizer is then applied to your hair. This neutralizer causes your hair to lock into its new shape, with new bonds forming between the protein molecules of your hair.
  3. You’ll wait several hours for the chemical solution to infuse in the hair, apply the neutralizer, and style your hair.

These chemical solutions often carry strong scents, and in many cases, you’re cautioned against getting your hair wet or even sweating too much in the days following the treatment.

This means you’re walking around inhaling the chemicals used to treat your hair, and you’re exposing everyone near you to them.

Hair breakage after a permanent hair straightening treatment is common. The chemical solution works by, in essence, damaging your hair so it lies flat or releases its natural curl.

One side effect of this damage is that your hair may be harder to style and take longer to dry until it grows out and new, untreated hair takes its place.

Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, is also in most straightening solutions. A 2021 study on hair straightening treatments found formaldehyde levels that were deemed high enough to pose a health hazard for consumers.

Applying formaldehyde to your hair and inhaling its fumes causes exposure strong enough for side effects, including:

  • respiratory difficulties
  • irritation to your nose and eyes
  • skin redness and irritation
  • increased risk of breast cancer

What about natural products?

Even “all-natural” or “formaldehyde-free” formulas of hair straighteners are often full of duplicate chemicals that become formaldehyde when they’re heated.

Of course, it’s better for your health to look for low-exposure options, but this is a case where reading the labels and asking questions won’t necessarily yield the truth about the product you’re using.

However, there are some alternatives. Chemical straighteners that are lye-free or alkaline sulfite-based are safer than other permanent hair straighteners.

Of course, the safest option of all is to avoid exposure to harmful chemicals that can absorb through your scalp and your nasal passages. Straightening your hair without heat is a great alternative when possible.

You shouldn’t get any of these permanent straightening treatments if you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

The pros and cons of each hair straightening depend on what method you’re considering.

Permanent hair straightening

At-home perms

Keratin treatments

Japanese thermal straightening

Hair rebonding

The length can vary based on the type of treatment you select:

  • Brazilian hair straightening lasts 3 to 4 months before your natural hair texture starts to reappear.
  • Home hair straightening kits don’t often last longer than 6 weeks.
  • Permanent hair straightening done in a salon lasts anywhere from 4 to 6 months.
  • Hair rebonding lasts about 5 to 7 months.
  • Japanese hair straightening lasts up to 6 months.

Once your roots start to grow in, you’ll usually need to decide if you’re going to repeat the treatment or wait for it to grow out completely.

Permanent hair straightening refers to treatments that make your hair straight beyond a wash or two. Beyond that vague definition, your results will vary widely according to your hair type, how quickly it grows, and the chemical method you use to straighten your hair.

Keep in mind that “permanent” doesn’t mean forever — it just refers to the duration of one life cycle of your hair. Speak to your hairstylist about your options, and what they think might be the best one for you.

How can I make my curly hair straight permanently for men?

To straighten men's hair, first rub argan or coconut oil from the roots to the tips of your damp hair. Then, comb through one section of your hair at a time as you use a blow dryer to dry and straighten that section. Finally, put a little smoothing serum on your hair to control frizz and make it shinier.

Can you make curly hair permanently straight?

Permanent hair straightening treatments are a form of chemical processing for your hair. Depending on which method of processing you use, hair that's naturally curly or textured can be altered to lay flat and lose its curl.

How do I stop my hair from curling men?

How to Keep Frizz at Bay.
Choose a moisturizing shampoo. Many shampoos can strip your hair of natural oils that coat and protest the strands of hair. ... .
Use a leave-in conditioner daily. ... .
Deep condition weekly. ... .
Let hair dry naturally. ... .
Style wisely. ... .
Toss your brush..