Japanese Hair Straightening - Is It Right for You?
By Mike Taylor
Japanese Hair Straightening, also known as Thermal Reconditioning, is one very popular hair straightening technique you just might want to think twice about before having done.
Originating in Japan in the late 90's the chemical products used in the process go by the names Liscio, Yuko and U.S. made Bio Ionics.
The treatment can take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours and involves numerous steps with costs ranging from $300 to $1,500 depending on the salon.
A cheaper price should raise some red flags as to the quality of the chemicals used or the expertise of the stylist according to the experts.
The result is permanently straight hair but after 4 to 6 months any new hair growth will need to be treated as well. This usually costs close to the same amount as the original treatment because it is a more time-consuming process involving straightening hair closer to the roots.
Because of the chemicals and techniques used you will not be able to curl the treated hair so you definitely want to take that into consideration beforehand.
There is also a growing concern from some stylists that thermal reconditioning may not be the perfect hair straightening solution after all.
First off, experts estimate that at least 80 percent of people that are having the treatment are not really good reconditioning candidates for several reasons:
Any recent chemical processes done to your hair such as hair coloring, bleaching or hair relaxing can cause serious problems including hair loss and breakage if you elect to have the treatment done. A hair strand test must be done first to determine whether your hair can accept the chemicals. If the salon does not offer a strand test you might want to reconsider who you trust your hair to.
It does not work on African hair because it is too fragile and can't take the heat required during the straightening process. It is not the same as a hair relaxer which is made especially for African hair.
In fact, a growing number of women are claiming serious hair breakage problems and it has been reported in the press that one of the top Hollywood celebrity hair stylists refuses to perform the treatment because she thinks it is too much of a risk to her client's hair.
Many women are led to believe that the process is actually good for your hair but there have been no clinical studies to prove this and by definition anything that physically alters the hair structure at the molecular level is damaging.
Even though many women have had the Japanese Hair Straightening process done to their hair with great success you should know that there can be some risk involved and if you decide to have it done to your hair be sure you use a reputable salon with properly trained stylists that will test your hair first.