“The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry” said John Steinbeck quoting a poem by Robert Burns in his classic novel, Of Mice and Men. What’s true of mice and men can also be true of Japanese Hair Straightening. Just check out these words from a review posted on Yelp from a procedure gone wrong:

My hair has always been very long (well below my shoulders) and it began to break the next day.  I experienced not just a split end here or there, but complete breakage on chuncks fo my hair from right below my ear.  If hair did not completely break off, it turned into a brittle mess, either tightly spinning into teeny curls that would go every whch way (even on the same strand), to strands that would literally zig zag in harsh patterns.

You can view the full review here. (Just keep in mind that this salon has many more 5 star reviews!)

Typical Issues

Scalp Tightness

Chemicals which are applied too close to the scalp may also result in a feeling of tightness. The alkaline element included in the products can dry out your pores and cause the skin to contract. This typically goes away in a few days.

Hair Loss

Even when a Japanese hair straightening procedure has gone perfectly, your hair will feel thinner. This is because all the curl has been removed through the straightening process. It’s only natural that it will feel thinner.

If, however, your hair starts falling out in significant amounts, it’s likely that something went wrong. This is often caused by the chemical being applied too closely to the scalp.

Breakage and Wiry Hair

If the activator is left on your hair for too long, it can become over processed. This leads to hair that breaks off or, rather than laying straight, becomes wiry and bunched up. This is likely what happened to our unlucky friend above. Protein treatments may be of some help in restoring over processed hair.

Bends in the Hair

Bends in the hair resulting from thermal reconditioning come about in two ways. A chemical bend occurs when the activator chemicals are applied to closely to the scalp. As the hair grows out, the discrepancy between the treated hair and the untreated new growth is clearly visible because of the bend.

A mechanical bend results from poor ironing of the hair during a procedure. Trying to iron too large of a section of hair, uneven tension, or ironing hair with the wrong amount of moisture can all lead to a mechanical bend.

Bends can sometimes be corrected, but it is not advisable to straighten them in the first few days after the procedure. You don’t want your hair to be bent back and forth too much during those crucial early days since it can tend to break at the point of bending.

Once your hair has had time to recover from the reconditioning process, you’ll want to use protein treatments before trying to straighten the bend.

What Can You Do?

So, you were unlucky enough to be stuck with a poor stylist or a good stylist who just had a bad day. Unfortunately, there’s no way to reverse the process and return your hair to the way it was. But there are some things you can do.

Broken hair obviously cannot be fixed, but bent hair can sometimes be straightened. Tightness in the scalp will eventually go away. The best thing you can do for damaged or over processed hair is to use a protein treatment. These will help your hair recover its strength and elasticity.

The other obvious recourse that you have is to ask for your money back from the salon. Of course this is dependent on you not having signed your rights away before receiving the Japanese hair straightening procedure. Most salons will work with you to do their best to remedy the situation as they value their customers’ experiences and their own reputation.

Choose Wisely and You Won’t Regret It

Prevention is always better than a cure. Salons may offer lower rates, but remember seasoned professionals are the way to go if you want a hassle-free, results-oriented session. That’s why we offer suggestions on questions you should ask a stylist beforehand. Do your homework, ask tough questions, and look for honest reviews and you’ll be much happier with the results!