Japanese Hair Straightening: Sorting Through The Fog
Complete Beginner’s Guide to Japanese Hair Straightening
It’s easy to get confused with hair straightening options, Japanese Hair Straightening or Thermal Reconditioning. Both procedures are pretty much the same and differ only in minor ways. In researching these new innovative hair straightening services, I’ve come to understand the most important consideration . . . an experienced professional. Like any chemical hair treatment, Japanese hair straightening takes some time to get the experience of how different hair types will react any chemical treatment. A hairdressers past experience with perms, hair straighteners and hair dyes gives them a leg up in being able to identify a number of critical issues that need attention when considering hair straightening.
An experienced hairdresser can assess if your hair can handle Japanese hair straightening. They also will know, from experience, just when your hair has been relaxed enough to stop the processing.
Seek out a SPECIALIST because Japanese hair straightening requires special training. A good personality type to seek out is . . . a meticulous, anal-retentive type who is well-informed and keen on detail.
How do you find this person? Japanese hair straightening is still fairly new in America so it may take work on your part. Ask around and get referrals if you can. Check well established, credible salons, including high-profile chain salons. In the consultation, ask lots of questions, ask for before and after pictures and references. The more informed you are, the better you will be able to assess their know-how. If you question their confidence and ability, hold off and consult with someone else. Tell them you need to think it over if you aren’t sure. A consultation is a two-way street, so follow your intuition.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
On average about $500.00 but it can go from $200.00 to $800.00 depending on how long it takes. Basically, you’ll be charged by the hour.
WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE?
A ceramic flat iron is used in the process to create pressure with extreme heat.
WHY DID THE JAPANESE, WHO HAVE STRAIGHT HAIR, COME UP WITH THIS METHOD?
With this hair straightening method, the Japanese discovered a way to “soften” strong-minded hair, as well as curly hair. Softening the hair gives it more movement or body and a healthier look!
DO I NEED A CONSULTATION?
A preliminary consultation is a must! A qualified specialist needs to check the condition of your hair to evaluate if it will hold up to the chemical process. You need to be very clear about any chemicals that you have used in the past that may still remain on your hair. You may be sent home with a hair care regime to follow before your scheduled appointment. Some red flags to having this done may be:
- Pre-lightened hair
- Some residual colored hair
- Strong African hair types
- Hair straightened with lye type or sodium relaxers
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE?
Simplified, it looks like this;
- A straightening solution is applied and rinsed when your hair has reached the correct stage of relaxation
- Sections of (approximately 1/4 inch) throughout the head are blow dried and flat-ironed . . . meticulously
- A neutralizer solution is applied and watched as it “sets in” the new form of the relaxed hair
- Rinse, blow-dried and flat-ironed again
This procedure may need to be repeated and seems to take on average 5 to 8 hours. Some people may require a second day appointment.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Your natural hair type will make the difference on how well the new growth can blend with the straightened hair.
From those I’ve talked to in the hair industry, sounds like when this is done right the results are spectacular, straight hair, incredibly soft and silky, shiny hair with no frizz! If it’s not done right, major breakage can happen! (Maybe you want to think about investing in a high quality flat-iron instead?)
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