TheBeautyCat begs to know…I was looking at the ingredients in the CHI Enviro American Smoothing System and I’m not understanding how it smooths the hair since it says that no bonds are being broken. It says it’s “formulated with amino acids, proteins, silk and pearl. The combining of cysteine can synergize with hair’s natural cysteine, thus rearranging cysteine proteins in the hair’s natural fiber. There is no bond breaking with this invention, only rearranging.” What do they mean by “rearranging”? Is this even possible? And if so, are the ingredients in there to do that? And what is “cysteine”?
The Beauty Brains respond:
Essentially this CHI product works the same way that formaldehyde does: As you apply pressure and heat to straighten the hair, the product creates cross linked bonds within the hair that cause it to remain straight. The ingredient responsible for reforming hair bonds is Glyoxylol Carbocysteine which is very effective in straightening European and Hispanic hair. (Since it doesn’t break bond like a relaxer does it won’t work as well on African hair.)
According to the technical data on this ingredient, it provides better straightening than formaldehyde products but the elasticity of the hair is not as good. It does provide good ease of combing and improves hair shine compared formaldehyde treated hair. Even better, hair treated with Glyoxylol Carbocysteine is more humidity resistant so there should be less reversion.
The downside? It does release small amounts of formaldehyde. The amount is so low that it’s not detected in the bulk sample of the product and the amount of formaldehyde gas released during hair treatment is well within OSHA guidelines.
While results will differ from person to person, the Glyoxylol Carbocysteine technology used in this CHI product is a safe, effective way to straighten hair.