Hair Straightening Shampoos: Benefits and Limitations

Last Updated on January 3, 2023 by Gaga

There are several methods to straighten your hair and obtain a sleek look and easy-to-style locks. Heat-based styling tools temporarily break down hydrogen bonds in the hair to make your lock look shiny and elegant. Flat ironing and blow-drying with a round brush are the most common ways to get smooth and lustrous hair without the use of chemicals. Heat-styling tools only temporarily change hair texture, and you need to style your hair after each shampooing.

Hair relaxing treatment and Japanese Hair Straightening are chemical straightening techniques that permanently break the bonds in the hair, leaving your locks looking straight and sleek until your hair grows out. Brazilian keratin treatment is a semi-permanent hair straightening treatment that gradually fades over time, lasting approximately about three months.

But what about hair straightening shampoos? Can shampoos straighten hair?

 a beautiful young woman straightening her hair after using a straightening shampoo

Can Shampoo Make Your Hair Straight?

There are many shampoos on the market that are claimed to have a straightening effect on the hair. Such claims may encourage unreal expectations about what the product can provide. This post is written to explain what hair-straightening shampoos can do for your hair and what makes them different from ordinary shampoos. With this information, you can decide easily if you want to include them in your hair care regimen or not.

Do Straightening Shampoos Straighten Hair?

No, they don’t!

There are some limitations to what rinse-out products such as hair shampoos can do for your hair:

  1. A straightening shampoo or conditioner can’t straighten hair. To transform your curls into straight hair, you’ll still need to use a flat iron.
  2. Straightening shampoos cannot replace flat iron, hot brush, or other heat straighteners.
  3. Straightening shampoos are not nearly as effective as chemical straighteners.
Joyful european woman laughing

Is there a Straightening Shampoo that Makes Hair Straighter?

Yes. But this is an exception.

The First Straightening Shampoo by Sweet Hair is a hair straightening product that has the term “straightening shampoo” in its name.

This professional beauty product is created and patented by “Sweet Hair Professional”. The company took 2 and a half years to develop the technology.

The First is actually a naturally based semi-permanent, amino acid smoothing treatment that is meant to be applied by a hair professional. The stylist applies the product to towel-dried hair and then massages the hair to create rich foam. The product is supposed to sit in the hair for about 20 minutes. The hair is then divided into thin sections and flat ironed. The temperature should be set between 375ºF and 450ºF. A heat-activated blend of organic acids in the shampoo creates chemical bonds in the hair, generating hair straightening. The result is frizz-free, smooth, and manageable hair with reduced volume. Straightened hair can be washed, colored, lightened, or toned on the same day.

Now that we understand what The First Straightening Shampoo by Sweet Hair is we will continue our story about so-called “straightening shampoos” with this exception in mind. Our further information doesn’t apply to The First Straightening Shampoo by Sweet Hair.

Does Hair-Straightening Shampoo Work?

Yes, it works for what it is formulated for. But this is not to make your hair straight. Hair straightening shampoos can assist in preparing your hair for straight hairstyles. So, your hair can be more manageable, less coarse, and easier to straighten by using traditional hair straightening tools. Let’s go deeper into what hair-straightening shampoos can do for you.

What Are Potential Benefits of Using Hair Straightening Shampoos

Here’s what you can expect from using a hair straightening shampoo:

  • Your hair will be shinier and less prone to frizz.
  • Your curls or waves will be more defined, softer, and shinier.
  • Your hair will be easier to comb and less prone to tangles.
  • It will take less time to style your hair by using heat-based tools.
  • Less heat will be required to get the desired straight look.
  • Your straight hairstyle may last longer.

Basically, hair straightening shampoos are supposed to support the heat styling process and make it easier for you to maintain your hairstyle. They can also be used to wash chemically straightened hair as long as they don’t have harsh sulfates and sodium chloride in their formulas.

What Are the Differences Between Straightening Shampoos and Regular Shampoos?

Straightening shampoos contain higher levels of conditioning agents like silicones and polymers that can stick to your hair. These ingredients stay in the hair, reduce porosity, and work against the hair’s natural tendency to get poofy and frizzy.

Straightening shampoos should be used similarly to your regular shampoo. To get maximum results, distribute the product evenly throughout your hair with a wide-tooth comb. Leave it to sit in the hair for a few minutes. A straightening shampoo works best when paired with a hair straightening conditioner and followed up with a leave-in conditioner or a smoothing serum.

a woman in a robe blow drying her hair

Silicones in Hair Straightening Shampoos

Silicones are very effective smoothing ingredients that make hair sleek, more manageable, and frizz-free. Many hair-smoothing shampoos contain silicones in their formula.

Silicones in hair products form a thin, waterproof coating around the hair shaft. This microfilm around hair helps reduce porosity and prevents hair from absorbing moisture from the air, making your locks more resistant to humidity. Silicones smooth the hair’s cuticle, which adds some extra shine and luster to your hair. They also reduce surface friction, making combing and detangling hair easier.

Silicone ingredients in hair products can be identified by the suffix -cone, -conol, or -xane at the end of the chemical name on the ingredient panel.

Unwanted Effects of Silicones in Hair Shampoos

  1. Silicone coats the hair shaft creating smooth and shiny hair. But this protective coating prevents moisture and nutrients from penetrating the hair shaft.
  2. This fine silicone coating on the hair prevents other hair treatments from working and also prevents hair dye from entering the hair shaft.
  3. Products containing silicone can leave a residue that builds up in the hair, making it look dull, lifeless, and greasy over time.
  4. Some silicone deposits are difficult to wash out from the hair. To get rid of them you have to use a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos commonly contain sulfates and can be harsh on your hair if your hair is on the dry side.
happy young woman with long straight hair

About the author

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Gaga is a blogger and founder of the Softer Hair website. She often says that insomnia is to blame for her first blogging attempts. Being the night owl, she hated the morning alarm. She left her office job and returned to what she loved most - writing.