Sneaky ways you might be damaging your hair at the salon

You might be doing everything right: eating well, using the right products and doing a hair mask every once in a while.


But if your hair is still looking unhealthy, chemical damage might be to blame. Even if you have treatments just a few times a year, your highlights or perm might be sneakily damaging your hair.


What is chemical damage?


Chemical damage occurs with some common hairstyling procedures. The chemicals manipulate the hair shaft to change its natural disposition–e.g. straight to wavy with a perm, curly to straight with relaxing–or strip the shaft, such as with bleaching.


Dryness, dullness, frizz and fallout can occur if your hair is chemically damaged.


The processes should last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Damage will re-occur when you redo the process to take care of new growth at the roots.






A traditional perm uses ammonium thioglycolate to bloat the hair and prep it for curls. A woman with wet hair in rollers? That’s the traditional perm. On the other hand, a digital perm is done on dry hair.


There are also specific types of perms such as Japanese and Korean perms that give a certain look.


Ionic straightening


This treatment originally started in Japan. The treatment lasts about three to six months and uses a solution to straighten hair. It’s later rinsed out, hair is flat-ironed and covered with another cream to seal the process.


Don’t get done dirty by an inexperienced stylist! Shop around and look at a portfolio before committing!




To relax the hair, a lotion or cream is used to straighten the hair. It’s typically used to straighten very curly hair.


Unlike ionic straightening, relaxing can be done at home or at the salon.


There are a few different chemicals that you can use to relax your hair: lye, no-lye and ammonium thioglycolate. Beyond the common consequences of chemical damage, relaxing can cause scalp burns. Alopecia can also be a side effect of excessive relaxing.


Hair smoothing treatments


Brazilian Blowouts and other keratin treatments use formaldehyde or alternative chemicals to break hair bonds and straighten. To finish, hair is blow dried and flat ironed. The treatment lasts for at least three months.


Hair smoothing keratin treatments require a heat set, so while the chemicals may not damage your hair, the high heat might damage your hair over time.




Hair tools can create the look, without creating the long-term hair damage caused by chemicals. Look for hair tools with materials that will curl your hair and distribute heat evenly.


Our cordless curling iron/wand and styler+ are both made with titanium, a material that conducts heat efficiently. They both heat up to 450ºF which is hot enough for most hair textures and types and will set styles quickly. And it’s a one-time purchase, as opposed to salon visits!


If you’re still set on visiting the salon, stretch out your visits. Your hair and wallet thank you in advance!

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

Today was great and the Lunata was such a great addition to my kit!! It was the perfect size and the zero cord was the best!!

— Clariss Rubenstein, Celebrity Stylist