View Full Version : Straightening Hair Topic

September 28th, 2013, 02:28 AM
I think i'm going to get beat up for posting this on this forum but hey, here goes...

I've always been a massive fan of virgin hair, no heat, etc and never visited a hair-dresser taking care of everything myself. As i've gotten older, my hair has become coarser and the texture is very mixed, the top layers are straight and the underneath layers are very curly, into ringlets, think and very coarse. When it is very long, it's quite easy to style as the weight holds it down, but in the middling lengths (shoulder length-ish and shorter) it becomes very hard to manage. In all cases, it is a nightmare to brush and it used to get matted frequently.

I found that i was losing patience and falling out of love with my hair and yanking the brush through it everyday, damaging it and making things worse. I know it's taboo to hate your own hair texture and we are meant to love ourselves as we are; but the truth is i didn't.

I NEVER go to hairdressers, but i caved. With no patience for using hair straighteners, i went for chemical hair straightening ( Yuko method ).

I was expecting to get a lot of damage and perhaps sacrifice on my hair growth. And, i did get a little, a few weeks after the treatment i found i needed to trim around half an inch from all my hair. But, the benefits were much bigger than the sacrifice, with pin-straight hair, i could wake up in the mornings and hardly have to brush at all, it seemed to just fall in place, and i spent hours just swishing my hair back and forth as i wasn't used to the feeling of movement.

I had this treatment exactly 12 months ago. A single treatment, and my hair is still as good as ever. Yes, i have a lot of regrowth by now and when i lift my hair up i can see the curls coming through, but generally, my hair weighs it down and it appears as straight as ever. The best thing is that i no longer yank out brushfulls of hair every day and my length has really come on, i'm now at waist length and past that awkward mid-length phase, and i don't have damaged ends at all, no splits or anything just an occasional S&D session.

It was a super harsh thing to do to my hair, i get that. I have very strong hair generally so wouldn't suggest folk with fine hair do this, but for me, it's been well worth it... i was unhappy with my hair as it was and the only other option would have been to blow dry and straighten it with straighteners frequently, and i'd question which is more damaging, one day of treatment or years of blowdry/straightening?

I didn't want to cause a huge debate and argument here but i do know other folk on the forum who DO use treatments / straightening on their hair, so wanted to share on this topic my thoughts and perhaps hear other people's in a similar position to me.

About straightening methods - as with anything like this, research is key. I considered many different treatments before i chose the one i had. It was very expensive (and time consuming, i was there 8 hours!) and i went to the most experienced hairdresser i could find who would treat my hair carefully. They did recommend me to have it redone at 3 to 6 months. I disagree - as much as i loved it i don't want to repeat it too soon, i'm at 12 months and going strong and i think i'll get at least another 12 months out of it before considering again. That's one treatment every 2 years (and they said they would be able to only treat new growth) - for me it's a gamble worth taking, the half inch of damage i had to cut was well worth it and probably less damage overall than most people do to their hair with all the ongoing heat styling.

Anyway, this got a bit long but i just wanted to create a topic for any of us who are thinking of, or who currently straighten their hair, to discuss it. Anyone else out there like me?

September 28th, 2013, 04:06 AM
I always blow-dry my hair straight after washing... which I know on here is classed as a deadly sin! My hair is layered and the opposite to yours as the curly bits are at the top.. I just feel that we sometimes take 'damage' a bit too seriously.. I want to wear my hair down and show it off, and for that I need to commit a few sins.. It's about the balance :) Your hair sounds lovely :)

September 28th, 2013, 07:12 AM
If you ever want to go back to your natural texture consider the Curly Girl method and NOT brushing your hair.

September 28th, 2013, 08:16 AM
I don't exactly blow dry my hair, but I do blast it with the blowdryer on the warm setting when I wash it in the cold weather.

I think all this loving yourself as you are is nonsense personally. If there's something you don't like, especially if it's really bothering you, why not change it if the means are available? :)

My hair texture has also changed, not through age, but because of a thyroid imbalance (from everything I've read, this produces similar effects on the hair as the menopause does, so I'm getting that downside around 25 years early) If I wanted it straighter again though, I'd get out the GHDs!
It used to be much straighter and silkier, and now feels drier, a bit coarser and is pretty wavy. I actually rather like it though, I'd always braided it for braid waves anyway.

September 28th, 2013, 08:16 AM
I'm actually curious about this. I try to treat my hair properly. It's getting healthier but sometimes I want my hair to look a certain way. I have fuzzballs of waves and it's hard to manage, especially when dry.

I've actually been considering doing this for a while, just for my own sake considering how much I spend trying to tame my hair with organic stuff. The cost actually seems like it's worth it.

Just curious, what's the upkeep like? Is there anything special you need to do afterwards or is it just like the hairdresser does it and bam! your good to go?

September 28th, 2013, 08:27 AM
I straighten my hair!

(I use a hairwrap around the head method thou. And let it air dry with the hair stretched out) But yeah, it sounds nice to say accept yourself with all your imperfections, but it does not really happen in real life. Nothing wrong with changing a few things for your happiness.

I must say thou, a one time in two years chemical treatment is still healthier than a one time a day straightener. Now a one time a month chemical treatment is hairicide. So you still in the clear. Don't feel guilt. The hair is relatively alright still.

Me personally thou.... I don't mind the unpredictability of my hair. Sure all the curls cause some problems for when I want my hair a certain way. But I don't mind compromising to meet my hair half way.

September 28th, 2013, 09:18 AM
I think it's really interesting that it worked for you for so long

do you have before/after pictures?

September 28th, 2013, 09:43 AM
I second Marbid in saying that a once a year treatment is better than constant straightening. If it works for you, go for it!

chen bao jun
September 28th, 2013, 09:50 AM
I just wonder if this treatment is at all related to the brazilian keratin or japanese straightening techniques that work well the first time or two but lead in the long run to massive hair loss?

living in the black community where over 40 years I have seen people run after one holy grail after another so far as hair straightening treatments, I'm rather cynical about them--I believe that those with strong coarse hair can take the damage for a time but that they all, especially the chemical ones are damaging and not at all conducive to growing/keeping long hair

chen bao jun
September 28th, 2013, 09:51 AM
I just wonder if this treatment is at all related to the brazilian keratin or japanese straightening techniques that work well the first time or two but lead in the long run to massive hair loss?

living in the black community where over 40 years I have seen people run after one holy grail after another so far as hair straightening treatments, I'm rather cynical about them--I believe that those with strong coarse hair can take the damage for a time but that they all, especially the chemical ones are damaging and not at all conducive to growing/keeping long hair

September 28th, 2013, 12:35 PM
I've had straight hair all my life except when I permed. I wanted flat ironed hair with out the flat iron. I found my shine spray to be the best it gives my shine and stick straight hair.

September 29th, 2013, 02:08 AM
I'm surprised to come back here and read all the 'love' - was expecting to get a bashing for posting about this.

The treatment i had was the japanese straightening one, called Yuko. I wouldn't believe all the marketing claims about it making your hair even healthier than ever, etc, simply not true, the fact is i DID have some damage, and i have very strong hair. In my case it was only a half inch on my ends that went all frizzy / bent weird shapes which became apparent after a couple of weeks following the treatment. I cut it off right away myself. Since then, 12 months on and it's all good. I did research hairdressers for a LONG time before taking the plunge and actually went to meet and interview a couple before deciding where to go - i noticed on the forum others talking about this, many hairdressers don't seem to have a good attitude towards hair and treat it like it's disposable.

I'll try and get some photos up on here to show you, might have trouble finding a 'before' shot but i'll have a hunt around my pics later.

re. aftercare... with the treatment i had i can honestly say it got better with time. I wasn't allowed to wash my hair for 2 days after the treatment which is the hardest part because my hair felt *too* flat and lifeless. A couple of washes later and my hair felt amazing and is the same texture and look as oriental type hair, pin straight and silky. And it is definitely permanent. There hasn't been any upkeep involved for me, i don't buy all the special shampoos they recommend for yuko, absolutely no need in my opinion - more likely to help the company earn money than give you great hair, lol. The upkeep on my hair now is way less than i had before - can wash and airdry it and it looks perfect, minimal brushing, etc, for me = less damage overall.

Biggest downside = cost. For me to get an experienced hairdresser to do this treatment on my hair which was long-ish at the time (according to them, VERY long... it was just below my bra straps in length, and because i have thick hair it took 8 hours), it cost me 450GBP ($700). For me it was worth it, every penny. I told a couple of friends about it and they near enough fainted at the cost, but they don't seem to realise that i spend a lot less on hairdressing than they do having to go back every 6 weeks to maintain their cute pixie/bob/highlights, etc.

I'm so glad i'm not alone in treating my hair. I totally agree that if you need to use heat/colour/treatments to be happy with your hair, then why not go for it... you can still have the best of both worlds as long as you chose your routine very carefully, it's possible to be both very long AND use hair treatments :). My hair is currently @ waist level 1 year after the treatment so growing long and strong with thick ends - ultimate goal = classic length.

September 29th, 2013, 03:37 AM
If doing this makes your happy with your hair, good for you. Like you said, there are probably people for whom it wouldn't be a good choice, but I think we're really about doing things that make us enjoy our hair. You get more enjoyment this way, more power to you.

I do think that if you decide to give unstraightened hair another chance, you might be happier if you for example did your detangling in the shower while your hair was saturated with conditioner - that seems to be the most common way of managing curly tangles. The other thing is that wavy and curly hair does and should be allowed to clump - otherwise, you break up the pattern. It's just not supposed to have the same perfectly detangled, not one little snarl styling that straight hair gets. And it's weird to adjust to. I'm only moderately wavy, and I still feel weird on the rare occasions when I don't brush out my hair so that my waves stay around longer, even though I've been doing that now and again for over 2 years.

Personally, I'd never do serious straightening on my hair, but that's because I'm pretty happy with it the way it grows out of my head. Shoot, I don't even blow it out except when I'm getting a cut. But that's what works for ME with MY hair, and it'd be pretty silly dictating that all people should treat their hair the way I do mine. Right up there with expecting everyone to wear the same colors as I do because I love them and they look great on me. My poor mom would look ridiculous in the colors I wear, they just don't suit her. And the way I prefer to treat my hair sounds like it'd be just as silly for you to try. While there are certainly purists around here, I'm not one of them. Live and let live, etc. (besides, I have this itch to dye my hair a vivid color, which would mean bleaching first, so I don't exactly have much of a high horse to get on even if I wanted to.)

Oh, and hey, it looks like you're new around here. Welcome to LHC!

September 29th, 2013, 08:19 AM
Thanks for the welcome :).

I really struggle with not detangling my hair when it was curly. I just can't hack having my hair even slightly tangled, it bugs me no end, becomes a bit of an obsession. I think it's tricky too because the top layer is straight and the underneath very curly, so naturally it looks neither curly nor straight, you cannot see my curls because they are under the straight layer, but to look at it looks as though i have a head full of knots underneath my top layer just because of the way my hair lies. My mum always used to say to me "you are not brushing your hair properly" and i WAS it was just the curly underneath bit.

Anyway, now my hair is getting long i think it'll be much more manageable natural if i decide not to have any further treatments, i'm hoping the weight will help even out the texture and make it wavy instead of curly... or at least mean i can wait longer and longer before getting it done.

September 29th, 2013, 04:27 PM
I have naturally strait hair and I have to put on in a braid over night to give it any texture.

September 29th, 2013, 04:28 PM
*straight, sprry.

September 29th, 2013, 04:28 PM
*sorry. I am just having a bad spelling day today, aren't I.

September 29th, 2013, 05:11 PM
i straighten it too, first with chi transformation it went great then the regrowth with l'oreal xtenso, the regrowth are fine but the old straightened hair got very weak, need to ask the dresser for a way to protect my length the next time

September 29th, 2013, 05:26 PM
*sorry. I am just having a bad spelling day today, aren't I.

Take a deep breath and read over your posts before you hit 'Post Quick Reply'. Don't worry, once you hit a certain number (25? 100?), you'll be able to edit your posts to fix spelling. I also often have a facepalm moment after I've posted and run to fix it before anyone notices.

September 29th, 2013, 06:09 PM
I use chemical straighteners in my hair its pretty healthy and feels really good so it all just depends on how you treat your hair and the hairdresser

September 29th, 2013, 10:56 PM
Wow, I think I might consider the Yuko treatment in the future so that I don't have to flat iron my hair so much (even though I don't do it nearly as often anymore since I joined LHC :) ).

I once had a friend whose hair texture was very similar to mine, and she got a Brazilian blowout (or was it keratin treatment?) and her hair became straight, but itwas still able to frizz if it was humid or air drying from the shower. I'm scared that this might happen to me, since I won't do it unless it makes my hair straight, smooth, AND frizz-free. Did you have a problem with this?

September 30th, 2013, 02:53 AM
My mum had the Brazilian blowout treatment, she liked it and it did look good. It wasn't as permanent as the Yuko though, it gradually got frizzier and frizzier over time and only looked great for about 3 weeks, i think you are meant to repeat it every 3 months...? I probably would have had a Brazilian treatment if i was on a tight budget and was going through one of those "i want to chop it all off" moments just to do something to make me feel good about my hair while it is growing, i don't think it is that expensive or involved compared to yuko. After yuko, it really felt like i had someone else's hair when i was done and took me weeks to get used to how it felt. Yuko is permanent too no need to repeat unless you want the regrowth done, and they have some protector the hairdresser can use to cover up the already straightened hair, or so i'm told, so it doesn't get fried. I never blow dry my hair now and it just lies flat like Japanese/Chinese style hair, no frizz, all with air-drying. Sounds sad but it was 'life changing' for me, but i guess many of us here can understand that as we all love hair! I think a lot of the outcome will depend on having a skilled hairdresser too, someone who REALLY gets your goals and will treat your hair special and who 'gets' how much we care about long hair.

September 30th, 2013, 03:33 AM
OK got a couple of pics for you...

Here is a pic my hairdresser took before i had the treatment... this is after a really thorough brushing, it doesn't look curly so much as super frizzy, due to the amount of brushing that went into it. As you can see, it's all bush and very thick.. lol. I can't find a more accurate picture of how my hair was because i've got it scraped back into a ponytail in all my pics, although bushy the way i normally left it was without so much brushing and it had more defined curls and *slightly* less bush.. .

http://i1296.photobucket.com/albums/ag5/donnalouiseapb/hairbefore_zps8c67292d.jpg (http://s1296.photobucket.com/user/donnalouiseapb/media/hairbefore_zps8c67292d.jpg.html)

Here is a shot of my today, 12 months after treatment and about 6 inches longer... looking much more sleek.

http://i1296.photobucket.com/albums/ag5/donnalouiseapb/20130930_100824_zps819806dd.jpg (http://s1296.photobucket.com/user/donnalouiseapb/media/20130930_100824_zps819806dd.jpg.html)

Sorry about all the mirrors! I'm at 31 inches. There is a very slight wave as i had my hair braided all day yesterday and overnight, so this is what 'braid waves' look like on me. As you can see my hair barely holds them at all. Without being braided, my hair is pin-straight as i said, which you can see from the pic isn't much different to how this one is.

Here is a shot of my new growth since the treatment 12 months ago. It's the underneath bit that's curly on me, and the bottom of my hair pulls it down so the curls don't spiral, if i lift my hair up these will go into big spirals. I couldn't photograph it very easily not sure if you can see even... but trust me, if i cut my hair to shoulder length and left it natural it'd be both very curly and very frizzy!

http://i1296.photobucket.com/albums/ag5/donnalouiseapb/20130930_101029_zps7b67c9d6.jpg (http://s1296.photobucket.com/user/donnalouiseapb/media/20130930_101029_zps7b67c9d6.jpg.html)

September 30th, 2013, 10:29 PM
Wow! That before and after is a huge difference! I'm so surprised that the effect has lasted that well after 12 months - definitely sounds like it was a good investment for you. Your hair looks so healthy too - thanks for sharing!

September 30th, 2013, 10:48 PM
Take a deep breath and read over your posts before you hit 'Post Quick Reply'. Don't worry, once you hit a certain number (25? 100?), you'll be able to edit your posts to fix spelling. I also often have a facepalm moment after I've posted and run to fix it before anyone notices.

Thank you! I have to check and see if I have that feature yet.

October 1st, 2013, 04:22 AM
I was one of those anti-treatment people but now I've come to realise that you should do whatever is easier for you to handle. Undoubtedly chemical treatments cause damage but you can always minimise that with moisture treatments and cutting out heat. Heat over chemicals is really overdoing it if you ask me.
While I really admire the beautiful waves and curls our LHCers here have I know I couldn't have handled them myself.

October 1st, 2013, 11:13 AM
Unlike you, I did not have the choice. My mother permed my hair when I was only in third grade, thinking it would be easier to manage than my thick, natural hair. But it was still thick and hard to manage. But now, she could kind of just ignore it. Perms are harsh and I was on the swimming team at once point so not taking care of it lead to a lot of hair loss. Like your hair, mine managed to stay thick through it all. When I began taking care of my permed hair, I realize that people are wrong when they say it's damaged, non-repairable and can't grow long. As long as I keep it moisturized, stretch the time in between my perms, and cater to both textures in the way that they need, my hair is growing and as healthy as it can be. Knowledge takes you way farther than you think. Even when I think I have it all together, I'm constantly researching.
One day, though, I think I'll end up sporting my natural hair. I just want to get to my goal length to show some people that permed hair can grow. :p