Hair care: What is japanes hair straightening?
Japanese hair straightening is quite a new techniques in professional hair care. It is also known as thermal reconditioning and is used to straighten frizzy, wavy or curly hair. What’s different about this process is that the hair remains healthy, perhaps, even improved in condition. Upon processing, the hair is shiny, soft to the touch and quite manageable taking much less time to do on a daily basis. The process, however, can be quite expensive, between $400 and $1,000. It requires two stylists and can take up to five hours to complete. If you’re squeamish about sitting in the salon chair for a long time, this process is not for you! Before venturing into this process, a hair technician having experience performing it should be sought out. As with everything, the longer the experience the better the results.
First the hair is evaluated to determine its type and condition. It is then washed and a protein conditioner is applied. A solution is then used to break the cystine bond in the hair. This bond is what determines the natural hair texture whether it is wavy or curly or just plain frizzy. The hair is then periodically tested for progress to see when the bonds are properly cut and ready to be rinsed. A protective protein solution is subsequently applied and the hair is dried to remove excess moisture. The hair is then ironed with a special thermal iron on high heat in extremely small sections. Once ironing is completed a neutralizer is applied to “seal” in the process and the hair is again rinsed and conditioned. Finally, the hair is dried and flat ironed again.
What types of hair will work with Japanese hair straightening? All types except for African hair as it is too delicate to withstand the heat used in this process. Hair that has been bleached, streaked or highlighted, should be evaluated by a technician as these types of processes tend to weaken the hair shaft and it may not be strong enough to withstand the straightening process. Test strands should be taken. Deposit only hair color and tints will work.
The thermal reconditioning can be expected to last up to about nine months at the longest depending on how fast one’s hair grows. After that partial treatments to redo the hairline around the face and the part line where the hair is parted are applicable usually around four to six months later. Depending on the hair subsequent full treatments can be done.
What makes Japanese hair straightening different from the old type of hair relaxers? First, they are less damaging. They do not contain the caustic, corrosive ingredients of relaxers that can leave it feeling like straw and prone to breakage. Also, with these types of relaxers the curl comes back after a shorter period of time. With thermal relaxing the results are more permanent.
They say a woman’s hair can be her crowning glory. If straight hair, rather than wavy or curly, is glorious to you, then Japanese hair straightening is the method for you if you have the money and the time.