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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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(reply to Anonymous)


How old are you? And how long is your hair?

Have you tried using some straightening or curl-managing hair products with a flat iron?

If you are not sure, I would tell you to go for a temporary treatment instead of a permanent one. It's always better to be sure that you're going to like something before it's there for good.

November 24, 2009 - 9:43am
EmpowHER Guest

I am 15 years old.
My hair is sometimes curly or straight and puffy...Always frizzy..
I walk to school my hair ends up being all wavy and puffy..and i hate it..
I thinking about a Japanesse Straightening, but what are the things I have to be aware of????
I dont want my hair to be ruin...Would it be bad if i got it done every few months??

I highley not reccomend a 11 year old have her hair straighet permanent...to young

September 15, 2009 - 3:20pm
(reply to Anonymous)


At 15, I totally understand how you feel. My hair was also either curly or straight and puffy, always frizzy. Always. And if it was a humid day? Or I had gym glass? Just forget it!!

Japanese hair straightening is very safe when you do it at a professional salon that has done it for a long time. They will have certification from the hair straightening products companies that say they know how to use the products.

Things to be aware of:

1. You'll probably have to leave a depost when you make your appointment. Japanese hair straightening takes 4 to 5 hours depending on how long your hair is, and they won't set aside that much time without a deposit.

2. It can cost anywhere between $350 and $600 for your first time. And touchups for new growth (say, maybe twice a year?) can cost about $300-$450 depending on how long your hair is (and what part of the country you're in, too.)

3. Your hair wouldn't be ruined. In fact, you might love it. But you really have to realize that it's permanent, and that if you ever want to go back to your curly self, you have only one alternative: grow out the straight part and cut it off. This is hard to do for someone who loves their long hair!!

Have you tried some of the products for curly hair that help to straighten it and make it shiny? They can cut the frizz and the puff on a bad-humidity day especially. I like the Bedhead products and I love the Phyto products. Best product I've ever found, hands down? Phyto Phytodefrisant. It costs $20ish for a 3 oz tube or $30ish for a 5.7 oz tube, but the product lasts forever. And it works like a dream.

November 24, 2009 - 9:42am
EmpowHER Guest

um i am 13 and i have naturally curly hair. it is a bit past my shoulders and it takes like an hour to straighten. i want to try japanese hair straightening so i can have soft, pin straight hair permanently, but i am not sure if i should get it or not because if i regret it the only solution would be to cut if off. also i don't want to ruin my hair. any suggestions, please?

September 1, 2009 - 2:51pm
(reply to Anonymous)


If you get a good salon -- one that is established and that has a track record with Japanese hair straightening -- it won't ruin your hair. HOWEVER, you are right in saying that if you do it permanently and decide you don't like it, the only way to undo it is to let it grow out and then cut it off.

Since you are unsure, the best thing to do would be to try a straightening method that is not permanent. Many salons offer hair straightening that lasts about 4 or 5 months. It slowly wears off, so there is no sudden change between the hair you had straightened and your new growth.

One of the things you should know is that us curly girls (and I am one, too) get really used to having a little bit of shape around our faces. We just don't want too much!! Once we go totally straight, we can sometimes feel like wow, it seems like there's no hair there, because it's SO flat and just lies there. So if you do ok with hair products and a flatiron, that might still be your best bet for now.

November 24, 2009 - 9:33am
EmpowHER Guest

IM NOT SURE IF i WANT IT DONE OR NOT !!! But Im eleven and I have curly meduim lenth hair. My mom has always loved my curls, BUT sadly my friends and I agree that when my hair is straight - it's way more pretty. So i kinda needed to know if it's permanent. Or if there is a better way to get my hair professionly straightened

August 17, 2009 - 1:30pm
(reply to Anonymous)


At age 11, your hair still does have plenty of time to change. As you go through adolescence and get your period, the new hormones in your body may change your hair to be thicker, thinner, have a different texture, be oiler or drier, or, yes, have less curl.

At this age, your best bet is to find some GREAT haircare products that help by smoothing your curls out a little bit and making your hair shiny. There's a great website -- naturallycurly.com -- that talks about all the products out there and what they do.

Wait a little longer before you do anything permanent to your hair like Japanese hair straightening, and here's why: if you do permanent hair straightening, you have to do the new growth every few months, because it grows out curly and looks funny on top of the straight hair! So it's a really expensive and time-consuming habit to start so young. (A touch-up can be more than $300!)

November 24, 2009 - 9:27am
EmpowHER Guest

hi im turning 13 and i am planning to japanese straighten my hair. my hair has amazing curls and like anon. my family rather me not do it . i already reserved a date at the salon to do my hair, but im concerned i dont want to ruin my hair. what things should i ask before i get my hair done? instead of getting touch ups at the salon can i just straighten my own roots? also how will the roots look when they start to grow in? please im kind of worried but i want to straighten my hair because personally i think i look better with straight hair and it makes life easier. so please i need some advice.

July 14, 2009 - 2:32pm
(reply to Anonymous)

We always want the opposite of what we have!

As a child, I had very curly hair. The longer it grew, the straighter it got, probably because it was so heavy. Now, you'd never guess it has a natural wave, unless you saw me coming out of water.

My daughter also has very curly hair and sometimes uses a hair iron. However, that is very drying and she has to use a certain hair treatment when she irons her hair. While smooth looks very nice and professional, a good hair cut achieves an attractive result.

So, the point is that, a good haircut and taking good care of your hair - and overall health - is, in my opinion, the better way to go. It's also easier, and less expensive, to care for.

July 14, 2009 - 4:10pm

Hi anon, I'm sorry you are so upset. Like you, naturally, I have sorta curly, sorta frizzy hair and used to be one of those women who religiously took a straight iron to her hair every day. And we are like millions of women -- who have cried over straightening, perms, short haircuts and bad dye jobs that turned our beautiful natural color into something that nature would never create. Is there a way to revisit your hairdresser to find out how you can restyle it or restore some of its suppleness? Maybe you can call her to have her recommend products? Hang in there. I hate to say this because my mother used to say it to me -- but it will grow out and you will have your curly hair back and appreciate it more than ever.

July 5, 2009 - 2:32pm
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