Having your hair professionally straightened through Japanese straightening is a detailed and time consuming process. Here’s an overview taken step by step.

Step 1 – Hair Analysis & Consultation

Before the straightening technique can be applied, it is essential that a potential candidate be vetted to ensure that their hair is suitable.

Chemical treatment history, dryness and damage levels as well as hair types are discussed to determine whether the process should follow through or not. Also, identifying underlying hair damage and possible adverse effects from prior treatments is crucial as these interfere with the process.

Moreover, the candidate must be made aware of the procedure’s results beforehand in order to avoid any future misunderstandings.

Common questions that stylists ask include:

  • Have you had a perm before?
  • Have you ever undergone chemical treatments?
  • Have you used colorings before?
  • Do you use relaxers?
  • Do you consider your hair to be dry?

Step 2 – Shampooing

japanese straightening preparationShampooing is integral to the technique’s success and requires a gentle wash to ensure that the hair strands are primed and ready. A soft touch will be used to massage your scalp and rinsing with warm water to avoid any unnecessary damage.

Step 3 – Pre-Treatment

This phase helps to protect and prepare the hair to receive the straightening solution depending on its porosity. Water with a high mineral content is sprayed on the hair and a heat resistive that ensures that neither scalp nor the hair gets chemically burned is used.

The heat resistive gel is applied carefully to small locks of hair at a time. Although time consuming, it is a necessary precaution that ensures accurate results especially if there are many damaged areas of your hair.

Step 4 – Applying the Activator

This step is where the magic starts! The solution or gel that actively breaks down the protein bonds in your hair which will help it to become perfectly straight.

The solution will be applied as quickly and evenly as possible so that your hair is exposed to its effects as uniformly as possible. Once the solution is in applied, a plastic wrap is gently placed at the roots so that they can be separated from the rest of the hair strands.

Depending on the strength of your hair’s curl, the solution may need to sit for anywhere from five minutes to an hour. A test, known as a strand test, may be done to determine if you are ready to proceed.

Step 5 – Rinse

With the solution working its magic, the next step is to rinse it out gently and prepare hair for straightening. Extra care is applied and even combing is done gently to avoid hair damage. While drying hair with a towel, avoid any sort of scrubbing which can lead to breakage.

Step 6 – Ironing

thermal reconditioning flat ironFollowing the rinse, the hair is blown with a dryer without completely drying it. It is
important that some moisture be left in the hair during the ironing process. Ironing is done by professional level flat irons set to a temperature upwards of 350 degrees (F).

This is one of the most time consuming parts of the process, taking up to an hour and a half. Your stylist may even recruit a assistant to move things along.

Step 7 – Applying the Neutralizer

Once the hair has been straightened out by the iron, a neutralizer is applied to balance the pH of your hair. It will sit for only about five minutes.

Step 8 – Rinsing the Neutralizer

The neutralizer is then rinsed out, and a treatment conditioner that meets the specific needs of your hair will be applied. Treatments could include conditioner to repair damage or even lock in color.

Step 9 – Blow Drying

With the hair all set, it is permeated with mineral water and controller cream, before being dried. Blow drying is done in the direction of the cuticles, otherwise it could distort the shape and loose the new shine.

Step 10 – Finishing Iron

Finally, the hair is ironed where needed to so that it is completely straight.

The process isn’t done just because the procedure is completed. You must avoid getting your hair wet for the next 48 to 72 hours.

Learn more on caring for your newly straightened hair.