Thanks to hair relaxers, you can walk into a salon curly and leave straight. Zoom in on the chemistry of your curls with Groupon?s introduction.
Human hair is flexible enough to run wild as a mountain stream one day and fall as straight as water over the Hoover Dam the next. But to make lasting changes to its texture, you need to go beyond the reach of styling tools down to the chemical level. All hair is made of keratin, a hard protein that?s also central to our skin, nails, and exoskeletons. To form a single hair, keratin molecules link together in different patterns with the help of three types of chemical bonds: hydrogen bonds and salt bonds, both of which break easily in water and reform when dry, and disulphide bonds, which can only be broken by certain chemicals. In straight hair, the disulphide bonds are evenly aligned. In curly hair, however, the bonds occur irregularly and at odd angles, causing the hair to twist and kink on its way down.
When you style your hair with heat or water alone, you break the weaker hydrogen and salt bonds to allow your do to take a new shape. Once water touches your hair, however, the bonds reform in their customary way, and you?re back where you started. Chemical relaxers, therefore, work by dissolving the hair's tough, waterproof disulphide bonds and preventing them from reforming in their normal pattern.
The most powerful hair relaxers contain sodium hydroxide, otherwise known as lye. Given lye?s presence in drain openers and oven cleaners, you might guess that it can be quite harsh on human skin, which is why no-lye relaxers made from guanidine hydroxide are also common. There is a trade-off, however: some find that lye relaxers are harder on the scalp but gentler on hair, and work more quickly so that you can get back to staring at your hair in the mirror sooner. An experienced stylist can recommend the best method for your hair.
Owners and principal members of the stylist team Emilio and Gino corral their decades of experience to create two distinct spaces where clients revel in personalized services. They staff more than 60 aesthetes, each of whom receives focused training on adjusting hair, skin, nail, and massage services to clients’ stated preferences and lifestyle. During and after haircuts, the team uses a house brand of products to style strands and address specific hair problems such as color fading, excessive oil, or naturally occurring pipe cleaners. During facials, the aestheticians home in on what lies below bangs by cleansing, toning, exfoliating, and moisturizing skin, and tension dissipates during therapists' restful massage sessions. The downtown Pittsburgh location also plays host to an elegant serata—a private, chandelier-lit escape where bridal parties can enjoy ultimate relaxation before addressing the fact that their friend is marrying a panda bear.
While some spas claim to be relaxing, Spa Jema goes above and beyond, aiming to become a tranquil urban oasis for its clients. Sleek hardwood floors fill the 5,000-square-foot space, through the lounge and treatment rooms equipped with brick fireplaces, candles, and couches, which give off a homey vibe not unlike that of grandma’s Ouija board. Their services augment the calming atmosphere and include fruit-filled facials, deep-tissue massages, and pampering spa packages.
Premier Salon and Spa's stylists have studied hair and beauty in New York City, London, and Paris, but clients don't just come for the team's worldly talents?they also come for the view. Perched 11 stories high inside Macy's Department Store, the space features private styling rooms that offer exclusive peeks at the cityscape and the bald spots of passing pedestrians.
Wielding products from Aveda, Pureology, and Goldwell, the stylists fashion bold cuts and brilliant highlights?services that earned the salon multiple awards from Citysearch. Meanwhile, soothing ambient music fills private suites during massages, waxing services, and customized Dermalogica facials.
A chic spot just for guys, Take 5 invites gentlemen to sit back and crack open a cold one while the stylists make them look dapper. To that end, the stylists snip sharp cuts, lather up faces for straight-razor shaves, or incite relaxation during scalp massages. Guys can opt in for monthly memberships, which include multiple haircut and shave visits with hot-towel treatments, mini-manicures, and mustache and beard trims, all enhanced by complimentary snacks and drinks. And while guys wait, they can entertain themselves with the free WiFi or Xbox, instead just counting each hair on their head.
At New York Salon & Spa, hairstylists tend to tresses amid sleek, white decor accented by light hardwood floors and other modern design touches. They create new looks for guests that range from basic haircuts to formal updos or highlights.