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Does Japanese hair straightening work and is it safe for my hair?

By January 17, 2009 - 12:15pm
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I have heard a lot about Japanese hair straightening and since I have a head full of curls, I've been thinking about getting it done. We always want the opposite of what we have!

Does anyone know if this is damaging to hair? Could it fall out, the way African hair can fall out due to the harshness of some hair straightening products?

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EmpowHER Guest

I went back to my hairdresser and she admitted the process did not turn out the way it was supposed to. This happens in some cases, but to protect yourself, discuss it in advance and ask the hairdresser what to expect. If it doesn't turn out that way, will you get your money back.

My hair is dull and coarse and feel dry. I'm afraid to get my roots done and she said she would do this with a semi-permanent colour. I won't let her touch it but am working my way through a number of salons to see who can suggest what.

I'm really afraid of the growth period and if I had the balls, I'd cut it off and start again. I will eventually have to do that I think.

Waste of money and time. takes more effort than having frizzy hair. Never again for me.

In future, talk t

July 30, 2010 - 10:18am
EmpowHER Guest

I have been getting the Japanese straightening for more than five years. Over the years my hair is not damaged as much as you would think. I have noticed that my hair grows slower than it originally did before I began the straightening. I love the it though because my hair is always very straight for the next four or so months. Also since I have so much hair it usually takes 10+ hours to complete the straightening. I have super thick kinky curly hair and the straightening really does well. The only issue is, is that I wish I had never started straightening in the first place. The reason is because I have never been able to get back to my natural hair and I can not stand the growth period. This is when I have curly roots and the rest of your hair is straight. I HATE THIS. I am now trying the doing the Brazilian Boost Straightening, I would do that instead. There are no chemicals in this and it is not damaging.

July 30, 2010 - 9:52am
EmpowHER Guest

hi im 13 and i wanna get my hair permantly straightned b/c my hair is really thick!! Every day i straighten it .. almost and sometimes twice and it can burn my hair as i have read. I really want to get permantly straightned but i've heard some ppl say YOU GO BALD!!!! please someone help me !!!

July 24, 2010 - 6:58pm
EmpowHER Guest

I went to two hairdressers and they said that bleached hair can be straightened but the product needs to be left on the hair for a really short time and possibly selectively. So it is the skill of the hairdresser that matters.

This is good to know because the straightening process can be used on us not so natural blondes. One hairdresser said that in some cases it's a good idea to leave the top of the hair, where you can straighten it yourself, alone and just do the back and underside of the hair where it's hard to straighten it yourself.

Good luck everyone.

July 21, 2010 - 10:36am
EmpowHER Guest

Great link. Thank you.

July 21, 2010 - 5:34am
HERWriter Guide

You're very welcome. I had a disastrous color job once - purple hair! - and I found a wonderful, patient, skilled woman who helped me undo the damage and get my hair back to a normal color. I've seen various articles about the straightening process, mainly focused around the use of formaldehyde which is a carcinogen. http://www.safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=599
We deserve to get more complete information about these products, for the sake of our health, and get less hype.

July 20, 2010 - 6:45pm
EmpowHER Guest

Pat, thanks for your comments. I posted previously about the botched job.
I can vouch for this not being good for coloured hair.

The hairdresser did not do a strand test on my hair. What has happened is that I had to cut most of my hair off. Now I have somewhat straight hair on the top (a short bob) but the ends, when they get wet, get stick straight out. I am going back again after I check with another local hairdresser.

I couldn't find out what the process was but I'll try. I'm very upset and wouldn't have done this if I knew the problem I was going to have.

My hair is bleached and gray roots are growing in and I'm afraid to have my hair coloured because of the process.

Any suggestions? I was just going to get my roots done but maybe need to wait a month or so. Should look like a skunk by then.

July 20, 2010 - 6:18pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

A wig? :-)
Seriously, I would try to find someone who specializes in hard to do color applications, and then find out if he/she has any experience with a situation like yours. Most likely others have also had bad experiences and needed help. If you have a local hair dresser's association or salon professionals association (they have many names) they may be able to help you in finding the right person. You're smart to be cautious about this. You need someone who understands the chemical process of both the straightener and color so that more damage won't occur. I tried to find some resources online for you on this but had no luck. I hope you have more success in finding a great hair expert to help you and to start the process of looking like yourself again. Good luck!! Pat

July 20, 2010 - 6:32pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Pat Elliott)

Thank you Pat. I'll be the local expert by the time this is done.

Oh yes, and I would recommend that people who have had good and bad experiences to post comments on forums such as this or on yelp or other review sites. It helps others to be unbiased.

Thank you Pat for your help and for helping the rest of us out here.

July 20, 2010 - 6:37pm
HERWriter Guide

Anon - If you have doubts about the salon, then you need to check them out very, very thoroughly or find another salon that knows how to do this process safely and correctly. It's important to know the experience of the person who does this, and to see before and after photos of her work. Also, be aware that Japanese hair straightening is not recommended for delicate African hair; heavily treated, colored, or damaged hair; or hair that is thinning or falling out. The technician should provide a consultation to determine if it is safe to straighten your hair and do a strand test to ensure the product is safe for you.

If you do have this done I hope you will let us know all about your experience. Good luck! Pat

July 20, 2010 - 6:10pm
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