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Monday, December 20, 2010

Thermal Reconditioning

Thermal reconditioning as a hair straightening procedure is not new. However, it has become relatively popular in recent times. What is thermal reconditioning exactly? It is a type of Japanese hair straightening procedure that gives you absolutely straight hair, without the need to redo it unless the hair grows out. This means, your hair will remain permanently straight, unless you decide to chop it off. As the hair grows, it needs to be touched up, and the frequency of touching up really depends on how curly/wavy/frizzy your hair was before you underwent thermal reconditioning. Here, we will provide you with an overview of this process, and some important aspects to consider before you go for this treatment, based on which you can decide whether or not you want to opt for it.

Should You Opt for the Thermal Reconditioning Treatment?

Based on what is known as the Yuko system, the process of thermal reconditioning alters the natural hair bonds, and restructures them to make the hair straight, glossy, and smooth. The prime element here is heat, that does the trick and allows you to straighten hair permanently. Now, your suitability for this procedure depends on a lot of factors. For one, the natural texture of your hair is important. Further, whether your hair has been chemically treated in the past is a huge factor that will determine the effectiveness of hair thermal reconditioning for you. It is believed that virgin hair (or hair that has never been treated chemically - coloring/bleaching, straightening, perming, etc.) will respond better to this treatment.

Before you choose to go for this procedure, talk to your stylist, who will be able to tell you how effective it will be based on the information you give her/him about your hair. No matter what the thermal reconditioning reviews tell you, the effect of this process is going to be different on different hair types. You don't want to end up with hair worse than you think you already had. The effectiveness of this procedure also depends on the efficiency of the stylist, and it is not true that the more money you spend, the better the effect of hair thermal reconditioning will be on you. This is why, going for a consultation before you sit to get your hair chemically straightened, is very important. It is likely that some of you may be advised against this procedure altogether. Ensure you follow this advice because your hair can indeed get worse after you go for it. You may find places that tell you the procedure to carry out thermal reconditioning at home. However, do not, under any circumstance, try it. Without special consultation, taking a risk as huge as this is inadvisable.

Thermal Reconditioning: The Process

After your consultation, if you are deemed fit to go for this procedure, the following steps are taken to straighten your hair.
  • The first step involves shampooing the hair, followed by the application of a protein conditioner, in order to protect it from the effect of the harsh chemicals that will be used later.
  • The next step involves the application of a solution that will help first break, then restructure the hair bonds. For it to work, you will be made to sit under an ionic blow dryer for a minimum of forty minutes.
  • After the hair dries, a ceramic flat iron at a temperature of 170-230 degrees Celsius is used to straighten the hair, a process known as thermal reconstruction. This will be done by individually straightening 1/8 inch sections of your hair. It is a long procedure, and in effect, its duration will depend on the length and thickness of your hair.
  • Once your hair has been straightened, a neutralizer will be applied to your hair, and the hair will be stretched to maintain its straightness.
  • Next, your hair will be shampooed yet again, followed by a blow dry. A trim may also be required to get rid of split ends, and give your hair a defined appearance.
You may have to touch up the new hair growth depending on how fast your hair grows. Usually, the period is around 6 months.

Thermal Reconditioning Aftercare

As is the case with any hair straightening technique and procedure, the aftercare of this process requires you to avoid shampooing your hair for a minimum of 72 hours. The basic idea is to keep the hair free of moisture, which means you also cannot exercise, sweat, or swim for 72 hours. Further, you are not permitted to put your hair behind your ears, wear glasses, or use any accessories that may cause kinks on it and reverse the entire hair straightening process.

Because the process of permanent hair straightening by means of thermal reconditioning involves the use of very harsh chemicals, it is important that you take good care of it after the procedure. Deep conditioning is very important process in hair care, and while you may resort to the use of more chemicals for this process, you may also opt for a scalp massage with warm oil to ensure that your hair does not become dry. Further, only use a wide toothed comb to comb your hair, to prevent it from breaking.

Finally, as much as you are tempted to have your hair straightened permanently, do know that the intensity of the chemicals in the products used is very high, and has the ability to alter the quality of your hair once it starts growing back. Chemically straightened hair requires the use a lot of hair care products to ensure that the hair retains its natural strength and quality. Having said this, the final decision regarding whether or not you want to undergo thermal reconditioning procedure should be based only on expert opinion.

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