Although I am all for loving your natural looks and embracing everything you are born with, I am also a supporter of presenting yourself however you want because life is short. So with this life motto I have fully embraced the fact that I was born with curly hair that I cannot handle. My mom really deserves an award for managing my hair up until my middle school years. When I was forced to take over the job myself, I had a rough few years until I discovered the Japanese Hair Treatment. I have been regularly getting the Japanese Hair Treatment done for the past nine years, and even though it is a long process (anywhere from 3-6 hours each time), and even though it can cost a nice chunk of change (depending on the salon and type of hair somewhere between $300-$700), I have never regretted it one bit. I also do not color my hair, and rarely get it cut, so I think this helps balance out the cost.
Now there are multiple hair treatments that can “relax” your curls, ease hair frizz, or make waves more manageable. I would NOT recommend this treatment for people who have wavy hair or just want to tame their frizz because this will ensure that you will never have a curl or wave in your hair ever. It will make it waaaay too straight. For those interested in less dramatic treatments, you should look into the Keratin and Brazilian treatments (I have not personally tried either of these, but have heard great things).
The two big things to note about the Japanese Treatment is that it straightens out thick, curly hair and it is permanent (which means the hair strands will permanently be straight until your hair grows back out). So, when I go to get the treatment done every six to seven months, I am really only getting a touch-up on my roots, similar to having highlights you need to maintain.
Since starting this treatment, I never took a proper before and after photograph because it was in eighth grade and I was not very much into taking photographs of my appearance in middle school, but here is a younger photo of myself to reference just how curly my curls are on my head.
Below is a step-by-step process of this hair treatment for those interested in having it done, or for those randomly into the long torturous processes people will go through for their hair.
Step 1: You start the process by having your hair washed like any other hair appointment, except they usually shampoo your hair twice or maybe even three times. You should already get the hint that this might take a while.
Step 2: The first product is layered on strands of your curly hair, similar to putting on hair color when you are getting highlights. This is the point of the process that really increases in time if you are getting your full head of hair straightened for the first time. Since I only get root touch-ups now, the product only goes on the top of my head.
Step 3: The product is left to sit on your hair for about thirty to forty minutes until it starts to straighten out. Depending on your hair stylist, they choose to make you look silly for this period in various ways such as wrapping your head in salon Saran Wrap, or just clip a towel on your head as seen below.
Step 4: Time to wash your hair again, and blow dry out your hair until it is straight. At this point you would think you are almost done, but now it is time to start over again.
Step 5: A second product is put over the same hair strands that are being straightened. This acts as a protectant to lock in the straightening product. This needs to set on your hair for around thirty minutes. At this point I obviously look thrilled to be there.
Step 6: Time to wash your hair AGAIN. This should be the last time. To speed up the process a bit, you may sit under a hair dryer. This may also be a way to give your poor hair stylist a moment to rest their arms. At this point I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel and it shows.
Step 7: Time to blow dry your hair again, and flatiron it until it can not possibly get any straighter. This is a really important step of the process as the treatment molds to the shape of your hair, so any kinks left in your hair will be stuck there permanently.
Step 8: You are finally released from the salon! Now you need to keep your hair nice and straight for the next three days. This means no rain, getting it wet in the shower, sweating, braiding, hair ties, headbands, and you get to sleep at a weird angle to avoid creating any kinks.
Step 9: Wash your hair and enjoy the next six months.
A few additional tips. Make sure to bring snacks and some good reading material for the long day. Before sitting down for the treatment, make sure to shop around and get a quote, especially for a full head of hair. I spent a few years going to the same salon that was overcharging me before I compared prices with a different salon. Lastly, there are plenty of salons and hair stylists that are talented in applying the Japanese Hair Treatment, but I would confirm that they specifically use Yukon hair products, instead of just generally listing a Japanese Treatment. This way you know the correct products are being used on your hair.