By now, I'm sure you've heard of the hair straightening process invented in Japan that has swept America and made countless women forever grateful to it's hair-transforming powers. It goes by several different names - Japanese Straightening, Thermal Reconditioning, Straight Perm, and Japanese Straight Perm. So, what exactly can you expect after a thermal reconditioning service? Well, it's actually nothing short of miraculous, if you choose the right product and stylist.
I had my treatment done at a Japanese salon in Ohio that specializes in this service. After about six hours of sitting in the salon, being alternately shampooed, heated under intense heat lamps, blown out, flat ironed, and then going through the entire process again, I emerged from the salon with a completely retexturized, smooth and sleek head of hair. All together, the straightening process cost about $750, including a VERY generous tip and a large bottle of shampoo and conditioner specially formulated for my new tresses. The hourly rate for the service was $80, which is actually below most others that charge about $100 an hour. I was under strict instuctions to guard my hair from water or any type of moisture for the next 72 hours.
I was completely thrilled with my new hair. The light reflected off of it like crazy, and it blew naturally in the breeze, not at all dried out or artificial, like you might expect after a chemical treatment. It actually was in the best condition ever, which seemed counterintuitive since it had esentially just been through six hours of chemical and heat treatment. Nevertheless, it was absolutely and undeniably true.
I was told I would need to come back for a touch up on the new growth anywhere from 6 months to a year, depending on how straight I wanted it to stay and the rate of hair growth. It is now six months later, and even though it has more body, it is still shiny and smooth. I actually like it a little more with some body at the roots. It gives it a little extra lift, and the remaining hair is still straight and manageable.
There are some things you want to look out for when searching for a salon that offers thermal reconditioning. First, find out which straightening product they use. The best Japanese Straightening System is Liscio, and the second is Yuko. Both are made in Japan. Any others are to be cautiously researched. Liscio has produced the best results on clients, and if you've read about it anywhere, there is nothing negative to be reported. This is the system the salon I went to used, and my results were healthy and beautiful. Second, make sure the technician performing the service has plenty of experience in the process. Any good salon will provide you with before and after pictures of their work.
Third, be sure to be open and honest with the stylist about any prior haircoloring or processing, so they can adjust the treatment accordingly for the best results. Don't fall in to the trap of buying expensive shampoos and conditioners like I did (I spent about $85 on shampoo and conditioner).