Chemical Permanent Straightening
Record show that personal hygiene and personal appearance was being practised as far back as
1500 BC. Mummified remains dating as far back as 2300 years ago, explorers found a mysterious fatty like substance in their hair. Egyptians would style their hair with a fat-based “gel” after using heated flat irons to straighten the hair. The fatty substance acted like a styling agent and would keep the style in for days, even weeks, keeping the hair smooth and taming unruly curls.
Improvements on the “flat iron” came around in the 1800’s, such as long tongs to the metal plates, making the device easier to hold and use. Although the device was still heated, generally in a fire, this stopped the user from getting burnt.
The first chemical hair relaxer was invented almost 150 years ago, changing the hair of many African American’s in the USA. Garret Augustus Morgan Sr. was born in 1877 in Paris, Kentucky USA. He like many African Americans of that day, had to quit school to get a job and started working but continued to study with the help of a tutor. Over the next few years he developed many new inventions including a belt fastener for sewing machines, a safety hood (gas mask), and traffic light signals.
It was his next inventions that would change the hairdressing world we now know today.
A chemical based liquid that coated the sewing machine needles giving them a high polish and also prevented the needle from scorching fabrics.
After wiping his liquid covered hands on a woolly fur like cloth, the next day Garret notice the normally curly texture was smooth and relatively straight. This gave him an idea and he tested this theory out on his next door neighbour’s dog. After a successful trial on the Airedale, a breed known to have unruly curly fur, he then tested it on himself.
In 1913 Garret founded the Garret Augustus Morgan Hair Refining Company. Inventing many hair products such as a black hair oil dye and a curved-tooth comb for hair straightening, it was his permanent relaxer that made the company famous. This was the first use of alkaline based chemicals to straighten hair.
In 1950 Morgan’s Hair Refining Cream was not only popular with the African American community but was highly used by men of all races, wanting the “greaser” look. (See Attached photos)
After using Morgan’s Hair Refining Cream and Lye Soap (commonly used for washing hair) people noticed the way their hair changed and in 1971 the first Lye Relaxer was officially produced.
Proline, the manufactures of Dark & Lovely fabricated and mass produced the first official Lye Relaxer consisting of sodium hydroxides, water, petroleum jelly, mineral oils and emulsifiers.
This relaxer worked by weakening the internal hair structure which loosened the curls.
In the late 1970’s people began to notice the constant use of Lye based Relaxers and the effects on their hair. Lye was stripping the natural proteins from hair leaving it dry, damaged and even broken, thinning out the hair.
In 1981 Johnson’s Product Company Inc. introduced gentle treatment. The first none Lye Hair Relaxer. Instead of using Lye, the Hair Relaxer used less harsh alkaline chemicals such as potassium hydroxide and lithium hydroxide. In the late 1980’s the term “Rebonding” became a popular term among hairdressers.
Over the years formulations have changed to ensure the hair is not damaged or burnt during the process, keeping hair as healthy, smooth and shiny as possible.
Japanese Hair Straightening originated in the early 2000’s. This process is sometimes known as Thermal Reconditioning, Magic Straight, Bio Ionic Straightening and Rebonding. The great benefit of this new revolutionary product was hair was left feeling silky soft, shiny and straight and the new process cut time down drastically.
Japanese Hair Straightening (Bio Ionic Hair Straightening) reduces frizz and is especially beneficial to those who have tight and unruly curls.
Fast forward to 2015 and there is a huge range of products using all sorts of technology’s and ingredients. Here at Marro’s Hair and Beauty we offer a few different options for those with different desires and needs.
Helps to repair any damaged hair, smoothing the cuticle layer and reduces frizz and volume but keeping intact the natural state of hair, i.e. straight, wavy or curly.
Designed to smooth out frizz and volume and reduces the curl, making the hair easier to wear and style. Can last between 3-6 months.
By breaking down the structural bonds, straightening the hair and re-bonding the hair with a neutralizer, hair is left dead straight, feeling silky smooth and shiny. This process will last forever and cannot be un-done. Every 6-12 months only the re-growth will need to be re-processed as the Straightening grows out.
Here at Marro’s Hair and Beauty in Firle, we also offer a range of temporary solutions from Blow-dry’s to Hair Straighteners with such brands like EVY’S and L’Oréal Steampods.