Hair Smoothening Guide - Pros, Cons And Cost (2023 Updated)

Shalu Bhati

Updated At  26 Aug 23

Do you have frizzy and unmanageable hair? Are you tired of the daily struggle you have to go through to tame your unruly mane? Say no more to these daily struggles with the help of the hair smoothening treatment. This treatment will leave you with silky smooth and shiny hair which is as manageable as you had always dreamed of.

Find out more about what is hair smoothening and how it works with our guide on the same. We have covered everything that is to cover to help you make an informed and intelligent decision before going forward with this procedure.

In this article we have specifically covered:

  • What Is Hair Smoothening
  • Hair Smoothening Process
  • Hair Smoothening Cost
  • Hair Smoothening Pros And Cons
  • Hair Smoothening Side Effects
  • How Is Hair Smoothening Different From Other Procedures
  • FAQs on Hair Smoothening



What Is Hair Smoothening?

Straight hair has always been in trend. We are almost obsessed with it and it is this obsession of women with straight hair which has led to the introduction of multiple hair procedures that lead to straight looking hair. And hair smoothening is one such treatment. But there’s more to it than just making hair straight as a result.


Hair smoothening is a chemical-based treatment meant to treat unruly and unmanageable hair. It uses a formaldehyde-based cream to smoothen and straighten hair. It is perfectly capable of making dull hair look shiny and gets rid of frizziness.


Do note hair smoothening is different from other hair treatments like cysteine and keratin. Do check our detaled guides on Cysteine hair treatment and Keratin treatment pros and cons to find out the comparison, costs, details of each hair treatment.




The Hair Smoothening Process: How Is It Done?

The hair smoothening process takes about three to four hours depending upon the length and texture of your hair. This procedure has the following steps:


Step 1. Preparation

The first step is where your hair is prepped for the hair smoothening treatment. The stylist will give your hair and scalp a thorough wash to remove dirt, grime, and product build-up. It will be followed by a hair conditioner. Hair is then dried with the help of a blow drier to move on to the next stage.


Step 2. Product Application (Smoothening Cream)

Hair is divided into various small sections and a smoothening cream is applied all over your precious strands. This cream contains formaldehyde which transforms curly and wavy hair by aligning the hair structure.

Since it contains formaldehyde, this cream is kept away from the roots at all costs. If the scalp is exposed to formaldehyde it can lead to an excessive dry, itchy and flaky scalp that ultimately results in hair fall.

This cream is then allowed to sit in your hair for about 30 minutes to ensure a thorough absorption after which it is rinsed off.


Step 3. Blow Dry

After another blow dry, your hair will be straightened using a hair straightening iron.

Formaldehyde has already aligned the hair bonds and structure to transform curly and wavy hair into their much straighter versions. But it is the exposure to heat which sets this new alignment and seals it.


Step 4. Product Application (Mask, Shampoo) + Blow Dry 

Another cream is applied on hair to replenish the nourishment to the strands. This mask is left on for another 20 minutes after which your hair will be rinsed with a mild shampoo and conditioner followed by a blow-dry.

After having finished the procedure you will see a visible difference in your hair. No more frizzy and unmanageable hair. Only soft, smooth, shiny and straighter hair.


Also check out guide on Rebonding hair to find out all the details of what exactly is hair rebonding, its pros and cons, price details, precautions one needs to take post treatment alongwith all FAQs to clarify your doubts.





Is It Worth It?  Pros, Cons And Hair Smoothening Side Effects

Before you rush to make an appointment with your stylist, wait a minute and read about the pros, cons and side effects of hair smoothening.


  • Mild treatment
  • Does not alter hair structure
  • Tames frizziness
  • Gives life to dull hair
  • No permanent damage caused to hair
  • Gives a subtle natural look


  • Not for extremely curly hair
  • Does not give perfectly straight hair
  • Effects are temporary
  • Uses formaldehyde-based cream which can irritate eyes and skin


Hair Smoothening Side Effects

Following are some of the common hair smoothening side effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Teary eyes
  • Skin rashes
  • Can lead to dryness, dandruff, split ends and hair fall


Hair Smoothening Cost

Hair smoothening cost depends on your salon, its geographical location, qualifications of the stylist, types of product used, and the length and texture of your hair among other factors. However, on average, the hair smoothening price can be anywhere between $100 and $1000.


Who Can Get Hair Smoothening?

If you have curly or wavy hair with unmanageable frizziness, then this is the procedure for you. The hair smoothening procedure is a perfect fit for those with thin hair. It tames the frizziness to give smooth hair which is free from frizz and is straighter than before.



How Long Does It Last?

Hair smoothening is a temporary procedure and can last anywhere from two to five months. It will also depend on the rate at which your hair grows.


hair smoothening precautions


Precautions - Smoothening Hair Care

Following are some precautions you must take before and after your hair smoothening procedure as part of smoothening hair care:


  • Do your research. Go online and search for reviews. Ask your friends
  • Do your homework about the salons you like, the stylists and the products used by them
  • Go to a reputed salon with qualified experts. Do not hesitate to ask about their qualifications and experience
  • You should know about your hair type and its needs before going for their smoothening
  • Once you have finalized a salon, have a good discussion with your stylist regarding your hair type and texture, the treatment which will suit you best. Ensure that the results given out by the procedure are the same as you desire
  • Make sure that the products used by your stylist are of good quality                        
  • The salon must be well ventilated as hair smoothening involves the use of formaldehyde whose fumes can cause side effects

After Care

  • Do not tie, pin or tuck your hair for at least three days after the procedure
  • Avoid getting hair wet till three days after treatment
  • Ensure that your hair stays straight while you sleep
  • Do not oil hair for at least 15 days
  • Use gentle SLS-free hair products
  • Indulge in a hair mask every week
  • Avoid hairbrush and instead, use a wide-toothed comb
  • Use hair serum regularly
  • Do not use any sort of heat styling on your hair. If you want to blow dry, use the cold setting
  • Avoid any kind of coloring or highlights on your hair for the next 6 months


If you are looking for natural treatments for treating your hair check out the best treatment for damaged hair to naturally streghthen your hair.


Hair Smoothening Vs straightening


How Is Hair Smoothening Different From Similar Treatments And Procedures?

Even though the results of hair smoothening, straightening and keratin treatment are quite similar, these are all very different processes. Let’s find out how exactly are they different from each other.


Hair Smoothening Vs Keratin Treatment

  • Keratin treatment is a type of hair smoothening
  • Hair smoothening is a chemical-based procedure whereas keratin treatment merely replenishes the keratin protein in the hair
  • Hair smoothening gives smooth, shiny and frizz-free hair while keratin treatment goes a step further and enhances the hair health
  • Keratin treatment requires more aftercare and frequent touch-ups as compared to hair smoothening


Hair Smoothening Vs Hair Straightening

  • Hair smoothening tames frizz to give smooth hair that is straighter than before. The main aim of hair straightening is to get poker straight hair and smoothness comes as an added benefit.
  • Smoothening is a temporary process whereas straightening is a permanent procedure and is also called thermal hair reconditioning
  • Hair smoothening is best for thin hair which is wavy or has up to medium curls. Hair straightening, on the other hand, can treat even the curliest of curls
  • Hair smoothening merely aligns the hair while straightening breaks down the hair bonds to permanently change its natural texture
  • Hair smoothening is considered to be less damaging than hair straightening   

You can refer to our hair guide to find out everything about Hair Smoothening Vs Hair Straightening.


Frequently Asked Questions



Q. Is hair smoothening for thin hair effective?

Yes, hair smoothening is very effective on thin hair.


Q. Hair smoothening vs hair rebonding, what is the difference?

Hair rebonding breaks hair bonds and alters them permanently to change hair’s natural texture. On the other hand, smoothening is a temporary and less damaging process that merely aligns the hair structure to tame frizziness.


Q. Is hair smoothening at home possible? If yes, how can one do it?

Hair smoothening is a chemical-based treatment and is best done at a salon by trained professionals. However, you can do hair smoothening at home by using alternative ingredients like coconut milk, eggs, banana, avocado, and honey among others.


Q. Is hair smoothening for curly hair effective?

Hair smoothening is effective for curly hair as long as they are medium curls. It is not for extremely curly hair.


Q. Can one get thin hair after smoothening?

Thinning hair is one of the side effects of smoothening which can be avoided by going to a reputed salon and having a trained stylist who knows how to handle the chemicals on your hair.


Q. Is permanent hair smoothening possible?

Hair smoothening is a temporary procedure that can last up to 6 months.


Q. What is natural hair smoothening?

Natural hair smoothening can be done at home by using natural ingredients such as honey, aloe vera, egg, banana, avocado among others. Such ingredients are whipped into a mask and applied on hair to get rid of frizz and achieve smooth, shiny and bouncy hair.


Q- Is smoothening good for thin hair?

Yes, you can go for hair smoothening in case you have thin air as its effective.


Q- Will hair smoothening damage hair?

If you are doing it in moderation, then it won't harm the hair however, repeated smoothening will damage the hair. Hair smoothening is a chemical-based treatment and uses formaldehyde which is not good for your hair in the long term. Additionally, excessive usage of heat is harmful for the hair.


Q- Does smoothening cause hair fall?

One of the side effects of Hair smoothening is that it can lead to dryness, dandruff, split ends and hair fall. In a few cases, one can also get teary eyes and skin rashes.