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

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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

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
Pat Elliott 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.
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
Pat Elliott 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
Pat Elliott 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
EmpowHER Guest

I'm eighteen years old and I am highly considering it now. Though I live in West Virginia and I'm not sure if the hair salon is....good at it.
My hair is to my shoulders and straightening it is the worst feeling ever. I truly hate it with a passion.
Would it ruin my hair?

July 20, 2010 - 3:26pm
EmpowHER Guest

I'm so glad I found this thread.
I am 53 years old and had my colored hair straightened last week. However, it did not go straight. I don't know if it was a bad product or not on long enough but now it is quite puffy and when it gets wet, it gets really kinky. Right now my bangs got wet from the rain and they are all frizzy.

I paid 500 for this and complained. I have not seen many comments on botched jobs so if anyone else has a problem like this please let me know.

My hair is already damaged so going back for more is not a good idea. But now I will HAVE to straighten my hair because it's not frizzy like it was before but kinky and very damaged.

Should I try something else. I can't really leave it the way it is. Thanks.

July 11, 2010 - 4:05pm
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