Top 10 Beauty Must-Haves: 6. Thermal Hair RelaxerMay 20, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Posted in Beauty Must-Haves, Hair | 2 Comments
Tags: hair relaxer, hair straightener, Japanese straightener, thermal relaxer
Today’s post is for the curly-haired girls. For me, my kinky curls are a challenge to style and I’ve often wished for silky straight strands. I started relaxing my hair as a kid (not too long after the photo on the left when I begged my mom to let my normally braided hair loose) using a traditional lye-type product with so-so results. It never did get fully straight and would still frizz like crazy.
A few years ago I discovered the thermal hair relaxer (also called Japanese straightener). It is amazing for both hair like mine (part African-American) and those with waves that want a permanently flat-ironed look.
Gone are the frizzy curls! At last, my treated hair is straight and stays that way (even in rainy Seattle). I only wish I had done it sooner. Especially since only virgin hair can be thermally relaxed, which means the journey is a several year process for longer locks (the top half of my length is thermally relaxed; lower half is traditionally relaxed). I still have to blow-dry and flat-iron after shampooing for a smooth look, but the time is minimal.
A thermal relaxer is multiple steps: cream is applied to straighten the hair and rinsed out; next, hair is flat-ironed, sealed, and rinsed again. Lastly, hair is styled. The process is long (4 hours for me to relax just the new growth, which is admittedly resistent) and expensive (about $75-$100 per hour). Though, I relax my hair only 1-2X per year, so over time the cost is comparable to getting a traditional relaxer every 2-3 months.
If you live in Seattle, I recommend Marquetta Riley at Salon Divas in downtown. She is ranked one the of the best local stylists and thermally relaxes her own hair.