That being said, I've developed this extreme phobia where I hate going to salons just because if anything goes wrong, I'm stuck with it FOR ALL ETERNITY.
With the history of what I've put my hair through, I'm surprised I still have any left on my head. Bleaching, straight perms, hair extensions, constant dyeing, daily flat ironing, curling.. I've committed almost every major hair sin! Although dyeing my hair has become now somewhat of a routine, it has taken a HUGE toll on the health of my hair. That on top of the fact that I have Asian hair that refuses to be straight. That's right, Asian hair that isn't straight. So what do wavy haired girls dream of? Beautiful straight, glossy hair! All those with beautiful straight hair are probably shaking their heads at me thinking they'd die for voluminous, curly, wavy hair. But hey, you want what you can't have!
Based on my previous experiences in getting straight perms, I was accustomed to a chemical process that took approximately spending 6 hours in the salon with a good majority of that time under those hot heat lamps. Afterwards, although my hair would finally be straight... It would also take a LOT of noticeable damage. Therefore, a good portion of my hair would be frizzy, and I would go back to the sinful routine of daily flat ironing the ends of my hair.
A couple years ago, I had hair extensions put in (yet again for the 3rd consecutive year..) but the salon refused to do the straightening perm on my hair because it was already way too damaged. Imagine, straight virgin Asian hair attached to my wavy afro...Why, oh WHY???
So after a couple years of weekly deep conditioning masks, once a week flat ironing, and reduced dyeing.. I was in search of a place that would magically make my hair straight so that at first glance, maybe I could cheat people into thinking I had healthy hair too!
I finally came across Koreana Salon on Yelp and was sold the minute I saw the pictures of the results. The salon is run by a mother and daughter in a small space with maybe 3 seats. They only work on one client at a time, and you can tell immediately that they are masters at their trade. Their phone was ringing non-stop, but they didn't leave my side the whole time unless my hair was processing to pick up a call.
Oh and just my luck, the day I had my appointment for the Japanese straightening perm, my debit card number was stolen and used in 3 states in the same day. Wtf.
After evaluating the condition of my hair, Esther (the daughter) asked me if I had gotten a digital perm before (since my hair is naturally REALLY wavy) and was surprised it was my natural hair. She told me I would be able to get it done, but the ends of my hair were already damaged beyond repair. There was no guarantee that it could take the chemicals and I would either have to cut the ends off or she could preform the keratin treatment at the ends of my hair (which isn't permanent) and I could decide after seeing how my hair fared after the procedure. I was desperate enough in my journey for manageable straight hair so I decided to just go for it. After starting the procedure went somewhat like this:
- Wash hair
- Blow dry
- Apply 1st chemical
- Flat iron whole head
- Apply 2nd chemical
- Wash & deep condition
- Blow dry
- Cut & style
Unfortunately, if you have bleached your hair, it doesn't work well with the chemical. I wasn't sure which areas of my hair have been bleached before, but Esther left the products on my hair only as long as they needed to be and checked every couple minutes to see the rates they were processing at. What's even better is the whole procedure plus haircut only took about 3 hours!
In the end, very bottom tips of my hair were slightly frizzed up, but in surprisingly good condition. There was no need for the keratin treatment and I opted for a trim instead. The ends of my hair is quite dry because it's received the most abuse, but a lot more manageable than prior to the treatment.
After everything is done, you can't let your hair touch water or tie it up for 72 hours. I have to say, this wasn't as easy at it sounded when I first left the salon because the following days were major storm weather in my area. By the second day I was dying to wash my hair, but waited patiently till my 3 days were up. Can you curl your hair after Japanese straightening perm with a curling iron? Yes! You can curl your hair after waiting a recommended 7-10 days and after you wash your hair, it will dry straight again.
Now onto some pictures.. I apologize in advance for the crappy iPhone quality as I didn't want to be obnoxious and bring out the big camera. I was also quite self-conscious of my natural curly mess of a hair so bear with me.
|Before: My natural curly frizzed up wavy hair|
|Hair slicked back in Milbon Liscio! Gangster, not?|
|Left: Milbon Liscio on the head, Right: Halfway through hot ironing|
The final result...? I think the pictures kind of speak for themselves.
|Right after the procedure!|
|1 week after with curled ends. Sick of my face yet? Moohaha|
I highly recommend getting Japanese hair straightening if your hair is unmanageable and curly and are looking for a way to avoid flat ironing everyday. I'm now in love with my hair again for the first time in many, many years!♡