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Japanese Hair Straightening
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MystyPines
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Tue Nov 07, 2006 7:53 am      Reply with quote
Has anyone had Japanese Hair Straightening or Thermal Reconditioning as it is also called? I am thinking of having it done. I am tired of having wavy/curly frizzy thick hair that I can't tame. Can anyone tell me about the results they got from it? And, how long it lasted? Thanks!

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Tue Nov 07, 2006 7:59 am      Reply with quote
MistyPines-

I havent done it myself but I have friends who have, it grows off like a perm so I guess it lasts a while. Be warned that when you first get it done you hair will be EXTREMELY flat. There isnt a lot of volume at first. All in all my friends were happy with the results and the touch ups were not that big of a hassle. Big bonus-you really can just roll out of bed and go! Very Happy

ETA: You will also have to wait to color your hair, just like with a perm.
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Tue Nov 07, 2006 7:48 pm      Reply with quote
Like vonstella, I have not done it but many of my friends and sister have been doing it for years.

- It takes 2 - 4 hrs to complete the whole process (dependent on your stylist's experience and your hair length & thickness)

- The first 48 to 72 hours after procedure are critical. You will have to keep your hair 100% dry (no washing, swimming or standing in the rain). Also, don't use rubber bands, hair clips, crimp the hair in any way or tuck it behind your ears. This is to allow the chemical process to be stablized/neutralized.

- Regardless what they claimed, as long as it's chemically treated, it will be drying. Thus, pls use the appropriate shampoo and good conditioner Exclamation .

- Any new hair growth will of course be in your natural hair state. Dependent on the hair, some may be able to get away with it for awhile before a hair straightening retouch is required.

Many of my friends who have regular hair (just some slight waves and not much frizz) loved the result - really glossy straight hair ( their new hair growth didn't post a problem). It generally lasted 6mth to a year, dependent on the quality of the stylist and the chemical used. Most people go for touch up due to new growth, and not because it's no longer straight. Virgin hairs (not chemically processed) will get the best result!

I would like to share two of my friends' experience:

Case 1:
She has naturally very wavy and fizzy hair. She was very very happy with the procedure till her new growth got obvious. Imagine, the top was wavy while the rest was real straight. She needed to wait for the new growth to be at certain length before she could go for touch up. In between touch ups, she had to use straight iron everyday (which is very drying on her already weak hair) before she goes out, if not, it can be very weird looking. She is the wash and go kind of gal and it became too time-consuming. At the end, she cut her hair real short.

IMO, for the wash and go type of gal who has really curly hair, this may not be the best option. Of the few curly hair friends who tried this, only one went back for more as she doesn't mind the level of maintenance required.

Case 2:
In the spur of the moment, she walked into a salon that she had never patronized nor researched on. At the end of the procedure, she had one small patch of hair ripped from her scalp and hair was badly damaged. In the following months, she noticed alot of breakage and with the new growth, we all could see some hairs with 90 degree angle due to improper use the straighten iron properly).

IMO: Go for the really experienced stylist who has done this procedure million times. Good stylist will first do a consultation and evaluate if your hair is suitable for this procedure. My friend's hair was damaged to start with and was handled by newbies which resulted in a bald patch and damaged hair.

I hope I'm didn't scared you off with the above two cases. Just want to highlight the challenges/dangers. Look on the bright side, 8 out of 10 friends are happy with the result! Very Happy

Goodluck!

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Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:08 pm      Reply with quote
wow Goofygal, I'm impressed with your post...it should be very useful for those who are curious about Japanese Hair Straightening.

MystyPines, I have naturally wavy hair and it's not quite managable especially during humid seasons. I have Japanese Hair Straightening by the salon once a year because it saves me a lot of time in blow drying. I agreed with Goofygal, the result very much depends on the skill of the stylist and the quality of the straightening product. That's why there is a huge price difference among salons. Moreover, I found that those with big head and thick hair look better because it will make your hair very flat.
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Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:32 pm      Reply with quote
maybe you should look at this thread I started at the beginning of the summer.

http://www.essentialdayspa.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=13508&highlight=hair

Now after 7 months, the new growth is just my usual hair, but my ends certanly are still straight and non-frizzy. With curly hair, it does look a little wierd where new hair comes out all curly!....But I had very pleasant summer, hair-wise atleast.....I will do it again next summer Razz
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Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:56 pm      Reply with quote
Hey, I actually had it done twice. In the firs month my hair was REALLY flat and since my hair is pretty thin it wasn't that nice. But my natural hair texture is very voluminous so when the roots grew out some more, I liked it a lot. I mainly liked it just because it made my hair look nice with little maintenance. however, straight perm is like one of the worst things you can do to your hair and if you plan to dye it or wahtever else.. then i suggest you don't get it done because your hair will just become unbearable after awhile.
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Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:30 pm      Reply with quote
My sister has thinner top and her natural curls are mostly near to the bottom half of the head. Thus, her stylist did the straightening about 2 inches from the scalp so that it will not be so flat on top. It didn't look weird as my sister's new growth are naturally straight as well. This will achieve the 2nd month effect described by monappetit. HTH!

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Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:40 pm      Reply with quote
I just got it done today Laughing The whole process took 3 hours and I was told not to wash or clip up my hair for 2 days. Right now now my hair is very very straight and flat. As the roots grow out a bit, I am hoping for some poof.

I have thick course asian hair enough for 3 people. While my hair is naturally straight but it has some natural curl/kinks in the back of my head. My hair tend to be frizzy and very dry looking.

Hope I will like more results after I wash my hair in a few days. Oh, my hair is about 2 inches below my shoulder and I paid $200.

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MystyPines
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Wed Nov 08, 2006 7:05 am      Reply with quote
Wow, thanks for all the replies. All my life I dreamed of soft thinner smooth hair. Always trying to straighten it with a blowdryer only to end up with a bigger mop of hair. My hairdresser suggested the Japanese Hair straightening and suggested someone out of the salon that could do it (Because the salon charges around $1,000 to start depending on hair length, and well, I have long hair. I attach a recent pic of my hair. I don't have many pics of myself, like to avoid the camera as much as possible. I am on the left side of the pic with the large head of hair (ignore the graveyard, he he he!):

Image

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lulumylovely
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Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:01 am      Reply with quote
Wow that is some Halloween set up! It took me awhile to find your hair. I have thick asian hair that became kinky as I got older, I had this process done and it was as slick as glass, my hair was long and didn't require a touch up, maybe the weight of hair kept it straight enough? It is drying but with good conditioning you should be okay, If you live near an asian community I would look into salons there, just make sure it is the real process. They do lots of procedures and they charge way way less than other salons.
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Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:26 am      Reply with quote
My mom and I had this done years back when we went to Korea probably back in 98'-99' or so? I absolutely loved it when I got it...what stick straight hair? Could this be? I'm asian and had the long, straight, silky hair when I was younger, but as the years progressed somehow I have frizzy, course, thick curly hair..go figure.

Anyhow, Yes the process was long and tedious and loved the results when I got it done, my hair actually felt healthy too if you can believe that, it was straight, silky and soft. This all stopped as soon as the roots started to grow in. Also I noticed that my hair was breaking off by the root where they placed the chemical and then ran the straight iron because it was so damaged. I had spots where my hair looked spiked because I would just keep picking at it and breaking my hair off. I thought it was a fluke and it was just me, but my moms hair was like that too.

Nothing to be alarmed about, my hair wasn't falling out and it wasn't even noticeable. It just made me realize how much it REALLY damaged my hair. Now no more, I just embrace my curly hair and if I feel like straightening it I'll use a flat iron. I now like the fact that I have the option to wear it both ways.

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MystyPines
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Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:08 pm      Reply with quote
I am surprised you couldn't see my hair in that pic, my hair is as wide as my body Laughing

I really want to get the process done so badly. But, I don't want my hair to breakoff or get damaged. As it is, it is a bit on the dry side and I always use hair products for dry damaged hair even though I don't use a blowdryer or any heated irons or appliances and haven't in 15 years. I was going to have it done at a reputable upscale salon in Connecticut, I know the people who will do it. If I do it and it ruins my hair, can I get my hair back to where it was before the process?

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ariesxtreme
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Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:19 pm      Reply with quote
I didn't mean to post this to ward you off from doing it. Like I said, I did love the results...geeze wish I could post a pic of my hair when it's curly, but basically its huge! LOL

I'm sure if you go to a reputable place they'll take great care of you, not sure if it's something you can take back though. Might be one of those things where you just have to grow it out like I did. I'm sure you'll love it though, it's different and if you've always wanted straight silky hair where you just wash and go try it out. I couldn't believe that I could literally wash and go when I got it done. I thought it was a dream come true. I never could do that without it started to frizz and poof out. Now I've learned to handle/manage my hair where I can do that with my natural hair.

Good luck and post pics!!! Would love to see the results!

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Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:05 pm      Reply with quote
Hi everyone!

i am a thermal hair straightening "veteran"--i have been doing it for about 5 years now... anyways the first time i did it i was terrified about breakage and hair loss, however i was so tired of battling my hair everyday--(my hair is medium size curls that tends to mostly frizz) but i had a excellent salon in key west and they were really patient with me explaining how it works and showing me examples. so i did it and LOVED the results. They only used BioIonics system and my hair felt like silk with NO breakage--i was very surprised considering that i also color my hair so it was not "virgin" hair. They were extremely careful to make sure the product did not touch my scalp and to explain every step. I asked them about other systems (there are a few popular ones on the market) and they said that this was far and away the best one. It is permanent and I only needed to go back for another treatment when the regrowth became more than 3-4 inches--for me once every six months. I did it about 4 times--always with Bioionics and never with a problem.

Then i moved to Europe where they do not have Bioionics--just the Rusk Str8t system. I like other Rusk products and knew the name--i even called the company in new york for more info. i was desperate for a straightening session so i decided to try it, and it was the WORST thing i ever did--dry brittle hair, alot of breaking off about 1 cm above the scalp and worst of all--about 40% of my hair had this permanent 90 degree angle so i literally had a sharp crease to my hair that slowly grew out! it was just awful and i was so upset. The Rusk system was so much more chemically stronger--it ruined my hair--and i would never use it again.

what also helps is if you use an ionic hair dryer--it is not hype and really makes a huge difference IMO. First i used the bioionics one, which i loved, but gave to my sister because it had the wrong plug for europe. now i use the T3 that you can buy at sephora-- it has an international setting--and this one works just as well. They are not cheap, both over $100, but well worth it as they do not dry out your hair nearly as much, and give it shine.

so my opinion is--find and experienced person who can tell you about the process, and the products are NOT all the same!!

hope this helps!
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Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:15 am      Reply with quote
Hello! I got a Japanese Magic Straight Perm in Los Angeles in Koreatown at "Hair Day". Before I got it done, about 6 months prior, I got the WORST -ABSOLUTE WORST- perm in my entire life. I had really long hair, and I ended up with Shirley Temple type curls when I just wanted a slight wave to give my hair some body. Anyways, I waited a painful 6 months just dying to get my hair straightened and when I did, boy was it STRAIGHT. Even though my hair was damaged already the Japanese Magic Straight Perm didn't really damage my hair at all. In fact, I'm almost positive it at least appeared to be more healthy. Furthermore, she did a hair color "coating" on top of my straight perm at the same time since the bad perm messed with my hair color. I went in about a month later for some deep conditioning and haven't been back for a long time now. This was in the beginning of the year and my hair is still really straight. I wouldn't worry about it totally damaging your hair if it's good quality genuine Japanese Magic Straight Perm chems. If you're in the LA area I can recommend some places for you to go. The only thing is that it takes FOREVER. I was there from 9:30-4:00pm! Be sure to bring a good book Very Happy
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Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:23 am      Reply with quote
Sorry, I forgot to tell you a couple of things. First is that it was really expensive. The coating and straight perm ran me about $400 because my hair is so long. I know other places now though that do just the straightening and just as well for about $150-200. It's not as popular among asians right now which I heard is a factor. Secondly, this isn't the first time I got a straight perm. I think that was around the third time getting my hair straightened, and the second time getting the japanese magic straight perm. Finally, it was actually called a "Japanese Magic Straight Perm". There are a few types of straight perms. I was just going to get the regular one but my stylist told me that it wouldn't be able to calm the behemoth curls amassed on my head. So basically, it has to be Japanese and it has to be Magic Wink HTH!
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Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:54 am      Reply with quote
Wow, I just want to thank all of you for all the information. I have been reading and re-reading through this thread.

I expect I will pay close to $1,000, but hey after a lifetime of a frizzy bush head, I deserve it! I probably could go to China Town in New York City, but I rather stick with the salon that I go to here in Connecticut.

I am so ready for this! I lost 30 lbs. the last 3 months and this is part of my big makeover. I have 35 lbs. more to go, but I just want something to help keep me motivated and feeling good about myself. Very Happy

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Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:58 am      Reply with quote
That's awesome! Congratulations and I hope it turns out just the way you wanted!
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Fri Nov 10, 2006 7:20 pm      Reply with quote
Don't go to Chinatown! go to a Korean hair salon or a Japanese one

http://hidyhair.com/aboutus.htm

this one is Korean, I didn't do it here but a friend of mine did and had good results. They really seem to know what they are doing. IMO it should not cost $1000.
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Fri Nov 10, 2006 8:36 pm      Reply with quote
I did mine two years ago in Chinatown, NY around Pell St/Mott St. There are some good ones in Chinatown. I have long hair. It costs me only 190 (including tips). It lasts me more than a year. Pretty happy with the result.

Recently, I moved from CT to NJ and there are some Korean or Japanese hair stylist that will do the straightening for 300 + tips. I haven't tried yet. Check on area in Fort Lee and Palisade Park in NJ. Those are Korean and Japanese town in NJ. Good luck!
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Sun Nov 12, 2006 4:37 am      Reply with quote
My natural hair is frizzy, wavy, and ridiculous-looking unless I spend hours styling it. I've had the straight perm now for about 5-6 years and I swear it's one of the best decisions I've ever made.

What is it called? I once made a terrible mistake and got the wrong kind of perm, so just in case, the perm you want is called Magic Straight Perm, the Japanese formula.

How much does it cost? If you go to a Korean or Japanese salon, it will cost 200$-450$, depending on salon fancyness and hair length. My hair is well below my shoulders, but not to my waist and I pay about 300$ on average.

Other than cost, what are the downsides?
    - Well, as with any perm, there is some damage to your hair. I have to get my split ends trimmed often. Other than that, my hair has never appeared healthier.
    - Your hair will be very flat at first. It will look amazing about a week or two afterwards, though.
    - You can't wash your hair or let water touch it in any way for 2 days after you get it done, which means walking around with dirty hair for a day or more. Crying or Very sad You also can't tie it back during that time.

- It will be hard to curl your hair. I can still put curlers in it or use the curling iron with great results, but as soon as water or humidity touch it, the hair will straighten out again. Kind of the opposite of what my hair did before -- it would curl up on contact with water or humidity, after I'd spent hours straightening it. Laughing

How long does the procedure take? For up to shoulder-length hair, 2-4 hours. For long hair, 4-6 hours.

How long does the perm last? Until your hair grows out. I get one every 6-8 months.

What hair length and types works best? Asian hair works best (after all, that was the target hair audience), but if you have thick hair that is not too curly, it'll work great. It also worked very well for my friend who had very thin, long hair. People will tell you that you shouldn't do it on short hair, because the weight of the hair might not be enough to hold the straightness, but it worked very well for me when I had slightly shorter-than-shoulder hair.

What precautions do you have to take? The chemical process has to stablize, so your hair cannot touch water for the next 48 hours after you get the perm (preferably longer, if you can wait). You also mustn't put anything on the hair that would bend it in any way (hair clips, ties, etc). I recommend washing your face with witch hazel for those two+ days, so that water doesn't touch the hair around your face.

Salon Recommendations:

I moved to San Francisco from NJ 4 years ago and have had my hair straight-permed (Magic Straight Perm) 4 times at this great Korean salon in NJ and at least thrice here in San Francisco (2 different Japanese salons and 1 mediocre Korean one).

NJ - Hair Contour
201-363-8800
503 Broad Ave, Palisades Park, NJ 07650

San Francisco, CA - Glam-Up Beauty Salon
415-441-2484
Miyako Mall in Japan Center

Here are the deetz:
(great Korean place in NJ)
Hair Contour
201-363-8800
503 Broad Ave, Palisades Park, NJ 07650


I lucked out with this one, because I was good friends with my Korean co-worker, who first clued me in on the Magic Straight perm and got the nice owner to give me a discount (not sure that it will be this cheap for anyone else Crying or Very sad). I paid 150$+tip (short hair at the time) and got:
    - Awesome free haircut from the owner, who really knows how to cut straight hair
    - Perm
    - Hair Manicure, which is a Japanese(?) hair dying process that simply coats the hair without harsh agents, making it incredibly shiny and healthy-looking. The downside is that they only offered it in 3 colors -- black, dark brown, light brown(or something to that effect).

Duration: at least 4 hours

I cannot say enough about what this did for my hair, which had been bleached and dyed pink for a while to the point of a straw-like consistency. I could finally run my fingers through it! Right out of the shower, my hair straightened to a perfect coif. I didn't have to so much as blowdry it.

My hair grows really fast and comes in wavy, though, so I had to go back not too long afterwards (4 months!) and get it straightened once again. As my hair grew longer, the duration of the process went up by at least an hour. They were very thorough and straightened my hair after every conceivable procedure that involved it touching water (this takes forever, btw, as they straighten every tiny strand on your head).

When I arrived in San Francisco and it came time to straighten it again, I went to this place:
(good Japanese place)
Glam-Up Beauty Salon
415-441-2484
Miyako Mall in Japan Center

I got:
- Free trim
- Straight perm

Price: $270+tip
Duration: 4 hours for what took Hair Contour 6 hours

The girl did a great job, was faster than the Korean salon and the perm worked very well. My wallet, though, suddenly felt pangs for the Korean place in NJ -- seemed like I got so much less out of Glam Up for the money.

Later on, I came back to Hair Contour, who sadly informed me that my hair was now so long that they had to charge me 200$+tip.

Some time later, I wanted to try the more popular salon in San Francisco's Japantown:
Japan Center Beauty Clinic
Kinokuniya Bldg.
415-921-0135

I paid ~350$+tip for this and the perm did not work!! I had to come back in to get it fixed and my hair received quite bit of damage doing this procedure twice in 1 week. Crying or Very sad Overall, I like this salon, but with perms, it's one strike and they're out. So expensive and it can really damage your hair if they get it wrong! If you're in San Francisco, go to Glam Up.

The Korean place I went to in San Francisco was pretty unremarkable -- it got the job done, but the perm quality wasn't as good as what I was used to. (Mainly, I've forgotten their name and address. Laughing)

Anyway, hope this helps!
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Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:20 am      Reply with quote
Hi Annachka:

Thanks for the info. I did a test run yesterday and used a flat iron (maxiglide) which I never used before. I also had my haircut with long layers in front and had highlighgts put in. I used maxiglide and wow, do I look different with straight hair. It feels so much softer when straight and I am actually able to run my fingers through it, which I was not able to do before. My husband came home and said he didn't recognize me, he he he! He thought the straight look was great!

I really look forward to have the Japenese Hair Straightening done (but not looking forward to not being able to wash my hair for a few days after since I work in an office). I will try to schedule it for the weekend).

Thanks again Annachka!

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Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:27 pm      Reply with quote
Yeah, let me know how it turns out! I think you'll be really happy with it, once the temporary flatness goes away. Best invention ever.
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Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:29 pm      Reply with quote
I had it 4 times and the results are always great. Remember, only do it once a year because it still causes demage your hair and that's why usually the salon will include a hair treatment in the package. And you may try to find out if they are using high quality products.
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Sun Nov 26, 2006 6:04 pm      Reply with quote
Hello!

Just wanted to give an update. I went to have the Japanese Hair Straightening today. It took 5 hours and 2 people. It would have cost me $900 if I had it done at the Salon, but the 2 ladies were nice enough to do it for me for $400 at their home. I can't believe how straight and smooth my hair is. It actually is silky and moves. I am not sure which brand straightening product they used, but I noticed "Chi" products were on the table. I was told that it is okay to wash my hair tomorrow (I was under the impression that the hair should not get wet for 2 days, but they told me that was not the case). They told me that I would probably get 10 months out of it until I needed a touchup. I am so thrilled with the way my hair turned out. They told me that I don't have to blow dry or flat iron or anything, just wash and go! This is the best $400 I ever spent!

Just wanted to thank all of you for all the info.!

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