Never before have we had so many questions on a particular type of product. But it's official! The word is out that there is a revolutionary new way to straighten your hair permanently but not many people know about it yet so hopefully we can shed some light on the process.
Often referred to as "Japanese style straightening" or "Thermal straightening" because a flat iron is used and the hair is super heated as part of the process, the revolution is not so much in being able to get your hair straight but the amazing condition it leaves your hair in. Having seen this process done and checked out some of the results I'm definately impressed, something not so easily done as I've seen just about everything there is to see in the world of hair care.
Curly, wavy or frizzy hair is left looking healthy and your hair stays smooth and needs little or no blow-drying. Of course, like with anything the actual results you get are still about the skill of the person performing the straightening.
Who can have it?
- Almost anyone with curly, wavy or frizzy hair who wants it straight (but Afro hair is too strong a curl for this type of product at the moment but I have been told that they are working on a formula for this hair type too).
- Even if your hair has previously been coloured, highlighted, bleached or permed it is still possible as long as the condition is good. If you are not sure as to what constitutes good then make sure the hairdresser does a strand test first.
Who can't have it?
- Those of you with afro hair as mentioned or extremely curly hair which you cannot garanteed to get perfectly straight.
- Japanese style straighteners can't be used over the top of previous straighteners that are sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide based or chemical relaxers. In general you are not going to know whether your last straightener was of this type but if you can remember back to having it done a tell tale sign is if your hair was shampooed twice at the time. Basically sodium hydroxide straighteners require you to shampoo your hair and then have a lotion applied then have it shampooed again. They are also often referred to as 'lye' straighteners.
- A test strand should be performed prior to trying this so that the hairdresser can see how your hair will respond. If they turn around and say it won't work for you or the condition of your hair is not up to it, then it's best to believe them!
- 3 to 5 hours of your time! To see whether it is worth spending this long in a salon, ask yourself how long it takes you to blow-dry your hair straight and do the maths.
- $AU200 to $AU800!! Yes, it is expensive mainly because of the labour involved. Shop around for best prices and make sure what is included in the price you are quoted, sometimes there are add ons that should be included i.e. a treatment or the cut. Some salons offer all the home care products and a follow up blowdry free as part of the initial cost, so shop around.
- The process involves the initial use of a lotion applied to your shampooed and treated hair, followed by hours of perfect flat ironing with special, very hot irons and finally a naturalising stage where your hair is rinsed or air oxidation as mentioned. I've never been a fan of the smell of straighteners but these have little or no smell to speak of.
Things to consider.
- If you colour your hair you will experience a small degree of fade.
- You can't shampoo your hair for 48 to 72 hours and should avoid any humidity i.e. steamy showers or exercise.
- If once you have straight hair and you hate it, you can perm after 7 to 14 days to make it curly again (but permed hair is not the same as naturally curly hair).
- You must follow the after-care advice and use recommended products to maintain the condition of your hair.
- If you have very curly hair, your new growth will need to be done quite frequently (every 4 months) and you should budget for this cost (generally less than initial charge). If your hair is only a little wavy you can go between applications for far greater lengths of time.