I have thick curly frizzy hair. For those who have similar hair to me, you will know how difficult it is to maintain. For years, I tried effortlessly to tame my hair, even taking an iron to it. It would take me an hour to straighten my hair yet it never looked smooth, always frizzy. And humid weather was my worst enemy.
Back in 2002, I was elated to learn that a product existed to permanently straighten hair. Known as Japanese Straightening, aka Thermal Ionic Hair Straightening. The product thermally restructures the hair from curly to permanently straight. The thermal ionic system actually flattens the hair cuticle layer to produce permanently straight hair. The hair remains straight until it is cut off.
Amazing results, my hair was dead straight with no frizz. I remember when I first got it done, I was ecstatic. My hair behaved as if I was born with straight hair. However, I could not curl it or add any body to it. The curl was gone. As my hair grew, the roots were curly even though the length of my hair was straight. This meant that I had to continuously straighten the roots which I did once a year.
The draw back with this treatment is that it is a very lengthy process, even when you get the regrowth done. As the hairdresser has to meticulously iron an inch of hair at a time, it can take anywhere between 4 to 6 hours and the cost ranges from $450 to $650. Although, I liked my hair straight, I wanted body in it. I also got tired of spending 4.5 hours in the salon only to straighten 4 inches of hair along with the inconvenience of not being able to tie or pin it up or wash it for 72 hours. And the not to mention the cost of getting this procedure done.
It was time for a change. Being a creature of habit, it took me awhile to grasp the concept of a Brazilian Keratin Straightening Treatment. Basically, it is a semi-permanent hair straightening method where they infuse liquid keratin and a preservative solution into the hair with a hair iron. It considerably relaxes the curl and eliminates frizz. Over a period of 3-6 months, the hair goes back to its original way.
I took the plunge a few months back. The hairdresser used Alfaparf Lisse design express formula. I was very skeptical of the results. It used a mousse type application and the processes was different to what I was used to. With the Thermal ionic, after thermally reconstructing the hair using an iron, a neutralizer is added to permanently lock the hair in a pin straight look. With the Brazilian treatment, once the product is ironed into your hair, it is done. It takes less time and a quarter of the cost.
With much apprehension, I washed my hair and hoped for the best. It was a different outcome to the thermal ionic straightening process. My hair was not dead straight but my curl definitely relaxed and the frizz disappeared. My hair had a nice shine through and it felt soft and conditioned. The advantages for me is that with the Brazilian treatment, my hair has body in it. And there is no curly regrowth, easy to straighten and no frizz.
The disadvantage for me is that because it is not straight I actually now have to take to the hair dryer and iron to straighten my hair. Whereas with the other treatment, no iron was required until the regrowth appeared.
The jury is still out on this one for me. Not sure which method of straightening treatment I prefer as the outcomes are completely different. For now, I will continue with the Brazilian Keratin Treatment as I like that I can add body and movement to my hair yet still be able to easily manage my curls.
In conclusion, for those who are skeptical like I was or considering this, my advice will be choose the treatment type that best suits your needs. Choosing the right hairdresser will also determine the result you get so don’t be afraid to ask questions.