Japanese hair straightening, also known as thermal reconditioning looks hot but you are not entirely certain that it is safe or healthy for your hair. You may have heard stories about recent trends for chemical hair treatments that turned out to be bad for your health, bad for the environment, or just bad for your hair. Unlike a deep conditioning treatment, Japanese hair straightening is a chemical process that is meant to last forever. It will cost you a few, and in some cases several, hundred dollars and it may take hours to do. On the other hand, you love the idea of having smooth, silky, easy to control hair. This treatment is especially enticing to people who normally have frizzy locks. You need to get all the facts on this process before you decide to go through with a Japanese hair straightening treatment, though.
You may see products advertised as Japanese hair straightening treatments on the shelves at your local beauty supply store, but these products are not actually the same thing as the thermal reconditioning that you are hearing so much about. Thermal reconditioning, the real Japanese hair straightening, is a process that can only be done by a professional hair stylist at a salon. The treatment involves applying a special chemical to your hair, then slowly, bit by bit, ironing the chemical into your hair with a very hot iron. The iron seals the chemical in and leaves your hair straight. If you have long hair, it could take up to eight hours.
You may have heard that Japanese hair straightening is supposed to heal your hair or somehow make it more healthy, but trichology’s Tina Cassaday says that there is absolutely no proof that this process is healthy or even safe and it could actually damage your hair. Some women who have already undergone this process report that their hair began to break off or even fall out in clumps immediately following the process. Cassaday says that if you have fine, weak hair or your hair has already undergone lots of chemical treatments such as dyes or other types of straightening, then you should forget the Japanese treatment. Cassaday also says that many African American people have hair that is too delicate for this chemical process. If you do decide to get the treatment, you should make absolutely certain that the person who does your treatment has lots of experience doing it and wants to consult with you before agreeing to straighten your hair. Check sites like Yelp for salon reviews.
Lots of women think they want Japanese hair straightening because they are under the impression that sleek, straight hair is much less work than curly hair. While this may be true in some cases, it is not for thermal reconditioning. First, after you get this treatment, your hair won't hold any curl at all, even if you use a curling iron. You need to want to have very sleek hair at all times, because you won't be able to style it any other way. Second, as your hair grows out, you will need to repeat the process with all new growth, just like you would for dye. It is probably going to cost you a few hundred dollars every three months. When you don't want to straighten your hair any more, you will have to cut it all off.