Permanent Hair Straightening Basics
Permanent Hair Straightening has become very popular as recent styles of pin straight hair are the in thing. This technology was developed in Japan where straight hair is desired by most women. This process is generally called Japanese Hair Straightening but in the US, Canada & UK it is also referred to as Ionic Retexturizing, Japanese Straight Perm, Thermal Reconstruction, and Rebonding. This is a very intensive process that leaves the hair completely straight, and feeling silky and smooth with a glossy appearance. It works by breaking down the hydrogen bonds in the hair's cortex to remove all curl and waves. Since this is a permanent restructuring of your hair, it will last until new hair growth, which will of course come in as normal.
Permanent Hair Straightening only works on Caucasian or Asian hair. It is not recommended for African hair which is considered more fragile. For African hair you are better of with relaxing which is especially made for African hair. If you have used a relaxer on your hair in the past you should not get your hair permanently straightener as these two processes are not compatible and you may see breakage or fall out. Also, be sure to inform your stylist about other processes like bleaching, color, highlights etc. that you have used in the recent past. The best way to make sure you are a good candidate for this process is to have your stylist do a strand test. Actually your stylist should be the one to suggest this if they are professional and and experienced and are looking to get you the best results. Although straightening can be done on colored hair, be sure to follow general guidelines of waiting two weeks or more before and after.
If you do decide to go ahead remember that hair straightened by this process will keep your hair looking smooth and shiny for six to nine months depending on your hair growth rate. Therefore the 4 to 6 hours (depending on hair length) it takes for the process is definitely worth it. You may also think that the cost of $500-$800 for a good experienced stylist is worth it as it will cut down on daily styling time for many months. I will caution you to use only shampoos and conditioners recommended for your new shiny mane. Primarily you will need deeper conditioning, maybe even leave-in conditioners, and styling products with sunscreen.
I have many friends that swear by Japanese Hair Straightening and have not personally heard any horror stories. I myself am considering it but am still mulling it over. One thing to remember is that permanent means that you will not be able to have any curls or waves - no curling iron will work. So it is a commitment for over six months so choose wisely.