Japanese hair straightening (also known as thermal reconditioning) is a popular method of permanently flattening one’s tresses. Invented in 1996 by Yuko Yamashita, the treatment aims to make life easier for those who want to ditch their curls.
Here’s what you need to know about the process:
How it works
The stylist begins by applying a chemical solution to the locks; this breaks down the bond that gives the curls their shape. The solution is then rinsed off and the tresses are dried using a blowdryer. A flat iron is then used to flatten the locks in small sections. Once this is done, a neutraliser will be applied in order to maintain the style.
The whole process of Japanese hair straightening is quite time-consuming; you could be in the salon for up to 8 hours depending on how thick and long your tresses are. Once it’s complete, however, the style should last for around 6 months, or until it grows out.
After treatment, it’s important not to wash it or wear it up for at least three days in order to allow the style to set.
How much it costs
The price of Japanese hair straightening depends on your location and salon of choice. In a competitive city or a lower quality salon you may only pay $120, while other places may charge upwards of $400. The cost of the procedure may be a good indication of how skilled the salon is.
The (obvious) main benefit of getting a Japanese hair straightening treatment is that it gives people who are frustrated with their curly or wavy locks the opportunity to have flat, easy-to-manage tresses on a daily basis. For people who are tired of spending an hour every morning using their flat-iron, this method can make life much easier and save them a lot of time.
There are other benefits, too:
- Unlike the Brazilian method, Japanese hair straightening doesn’t use the carcinogenic compound formaldehyde. This may make it less damaging to your locks, skin and body.
- It lasts twice as long as the Brazilian method (6 months instead of 3 months)
- Having easy-to-manage, cooperative tresses that look great can boost your confidence on dates, at work and in front of the camera
- The procedure can help you save money; you no longer have to buy as many products (like sprays, smoothing serums, clips etc.) or spend money on new flat-irons
- You can go out in the rain without worrying about your locks going frizzy. Humid days are no longer an issue!
- The process is time-consuming and can be painful
- The procedure weakens your locks and can damage them to the point where they are (and look) dried out and unhealthy – make sure you go to a reputable, high-quality salon to minimise this.
- Once you’ve had the treatment, you won’t be able to use any more chemicals on your tresses until it has fully grown out. That means dying your mane or getting a perm isn’t an option (lest you completely damage your tresses beyond repair).
- You may have to flat-iron your locks more often as it starts to grow out (or cut it shorter) – you don’t want half of your mane looking sleek and the other half curly!
- Naturally curly or wavy locks look great, so why get rid of them?
In our fast-paced, quick fix society, Japanese hair straightening can seem to be a tempting solution to our frizziness woes. However, it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons in order to avoid potential damage to your locks.