The term pin straight hair refers to hair that is completely free of any waves, curls, frizz, or fly-aways, and consequently hangs completely straight. Generally, pin straight hair can be achieved only through the use of a heated straightening tool or with a chemical straightening agent. It should be noted that frequent use of heated straightening tools can damage the hair and that certain chemical straightening agents may be harmful to one’s health.
Pin straight hair is hair free of volume, waves, curls, and puffiness. The absence of these factors causes the hair to hang down from the head in a very straight fashion. Often, pin straight hair appears very shiny and sleek, effects which are frequently heightened by the use of straightening balms, sprays, mousses, and so on.
In general, pin straight hair does not occur naturally. Even hair that is considered to be straight tends to have some natural puffiness or even a small amount of waviness to it. Whether one’s hair is curly or straight, achieving hair that can be regarded as pin straight is usually possible only with the use of heated styling tools or chemical treatments.
A straightening iron is perhaps the heated styling tool most commonly used by those who wish to make their hair very straight. This type of tool consists of two metal or ceramic plates attached to a wand-like device. After its plates have been heated to a very high temperature, it is clamped around sections of the hair at the root and run down each section to its tip, effectively “ironing” curls and waves from the hair. This straightness generally lasts until the hair is washed.
It may also be possible to achieve pin straight hair using a blow dryer and a hairbrush. In this method, the hairbrush is slowly run through sections of damp hair from root to tip while the blow dryer “follows” the brush, blasting each section of hair with hot air until it is dry. After this procedure, the hair typically remains straight until it is washed again. Many people find that a blow dryer cannot produce the same level of straightness as a straightening iron.
Some achieve pin straight hair through the application of solutions which change the chemical bonds of each hair shaft, causing once-wavy or curly hair to become very flat. Depending on the type of solution used, this effect can last anywhere from a few weeks to more than six months. To avoid damage to the hair or the scalp, chemical straightening generally must be performed by a professional hair stylist.
While there may be many routes to achieving pin straight hair, some stylists and health experts caution that this look is not worth the complications it may cause. Firstly, frequent use of heated styling tools can damage the hair, causing it to become extremely brittle and dry. Further, certain chemical straightening agents may emit carcinogenic fumes when exposed to heat, and therefore might have the potential to make their user seriously ill.