From: Gina Rivera (gina.lamasbeauty.com)
Thermal Reconditioning / African American
Thermal Reconditioning / African American textured hair
Curly hair clients have been battling their hair since the beginning of time
Like all other products, different manufacturers have come up with their own formulas. Liscio and Yuko were the first to come here from Japan and introduce our country this wonderful tool. When the American companies got wind of this, they decided to try to imitate their product. But, there were problems, their educators were not experienced enough. These same educators went into salons that had never before touched a relaxer, never mind, an extremely curly head of hair. Nor using a straightening iron/ Marcel straightening comb. (I still use my Marcel irons). It is the use of the straightening irons that makes Thermal Reconditioning radically different from past straightening services. The sectioning of the hair and the amount of time the iron is left on the hair is a very important factor as well for a successful TR.
The salon owners were also told they can make $100 an hour to do this process, but were never told how extremely damaging the process can be if done improperly. The educators didn't know themselves. They were taught only how to do the first initial TR and not how to follow with the retouch in 6 months. The retouch is more intense than the first TR. Many of these salons stopped servicing TR. They felt they wanted to be paid for the aggravation they endured, they over charged clients and ended up doing only a few TRs a year. And by doing this they didn't get enough hands on experience they needed. They didnít continue advance classes or take the time to research and learn that a one-day TR seminar just isnít enough education on this titius process. When I was in training, I not only attended a Liscio Class, I also went to Yuko, Bio ionic, I Straight, and Crystalizing Straight. Watch the CDís on Rusk, Chi, and the Brazilian Straightening. I met Jason Chung from Kim Sung Young (at the time). He was the TR Master. We became friends and he offered to come into my salon in New Haven to work with me one day a week. I assisted him as he trained me on all hair textures . Because of this experience I understand the importance of hands-on education and now this is how I train my stylist before they start their first TR. I first teach them how to do a retouch and then a full TR,, since the retouch is so much more intense.
Please keep in mind that the success or failure of any chemical straightening is related to the knowledge and skills of the professional stylist that applies the product.
I have always been the client with the opposite problem. I have naturally straight hair and I have been curling, teasing, drying it in braids to get that wild frizzy look, spraying with hair sprays, volumizors, and root lifters for years. When I started hairdressing I just loved working with curly hair, I loved the challenge. Back 20 something years ago, African American clients were a little nervous when they met me to be their new hairdresser. They would give me that look, and I knew they were thinking that I could not possibly do their hair because I was this disco white girl. But to their surprise I had worked miracles. Of course I would always have to start off the conversation with ďIf you donít like what I do, you won't have to pay, and seeing that I get paid when you pay the cashier, that would be a big waste of time for me and for you.Ē Needless to say that would always work. From then on, I was chemically relaxing, straightening with Marcel irons and combs, conditioning treatments, cutting and styling African American Textured Hair. I was always considered the hair doctor. My clients had gorgeous long hair! I was determined that AATH can grow and be healthy. Unfortunally, scrunches, finger waves and the big gelled up doís came in style in the early 90ís. I refused to do them because I knew these styles would reverse everything I worked so hard to achieve. The gel was so damaging on the relaxed hair. Clients that styled their hair this way didnít wash their hair for weeks to leave the style in for as long as they can, because they thought they could. But can you imagine sleeping on all this gel,when they finally washed their hair there was so much breakage. But, at that time little did I know that when the clients hair did brake off, they would go and throw in some weave. That was another process that I refuse to do because of the damage. For me, it was to important to have healthy hair. So at that time my clients left and went into other salons to get these new styles that I refused to do and when they were ready for their healthy hair, they came back to me and I would work my miracles.
In the past we have usually used a chemical solution, which had the chemical "Thioglycolate" (Thio), as it's base ingredient. This is the main chemical found in Permanent Wave solution; you know the one that smells like rotten eggs. The Thio separates the Sulfur bonds (the bonds which control the hairs shape) in the hair allowing the hair to take on a new shape, usually a perm rod. Later in the neutralizing phase of the procedure the Sulfur bonds are reconnected into this new shape and we then have curly hair. It works great when we want to make straight hair curly because we use the perm rod, which creates tension and a new shape for the hair to reform on. Originally Thio based products were only found in a liquid form thus making them not very practical to be used for hair straightening. The liquid would run all over the place creating a mess and would not allow the correct tension to be applied to the hair for straightening. This is still used today to remove or loosen permanent waves but is usually not very successful in straightening naturally curly hair.
In the 1970's a cream based Thio became popular and were used mainly on AATH to get what has popularly been called "The Jheri Curl". The cream based Thio allowed the hair designer to control the application and to later apply tension to relax the hair. However, keep in mind that even with the Jheri Curl the hair was placed on perm rods to get the tension and have a firm base for the hair to reform on. Nevertheless, this was a major breakthrough for the hair industry and added a very valuable salon service, which could be offered to the client with African type hair. And need I tell you, I loved to do Jheri Curls and I still do them today with my own formula. "THE GINA CURL."
Back when I first researched TR and began to work with this process I was told that TR is not recommended on African American Textured hair nor is it recommended on hair that has been relaxed. I later realized that the reason this was told to us by our educators was because the Thermal Reconditioning companies did not want to be responsible if the stylist were to serviced TR on AATH or relaxed hair and had problems.
Keep in mind that the success or failure of any chemical straightening is related to the knowledge and skills of the professional stylist that applies the product.
I have found GREAT success doing Thermal Reconditioning on African American hair ( Black Hair.) There are times I just want to tell everyone. Although it is very important that you come in for a visual consultation, because the condition of the hair determines if you are a candidate or not. I have also, on many occasions done a Thermal Recondition over relaxed hair as well. These are the conditions:
Hair has to be healthy and strong.
What happens when I have to let my relaxer grow out, wonít I get breakage?
Thatís when it is very important to get PPTís, also, you have to keep the roots straight. So you may have to wash and blow-dry your hair professional or if you need to do it, do it more then once or twice a week. You want to be very gentle with your hair at this point. The best time to do this would be during the winter, of course,and then have your TR during springtime. Thermal Reconditioning can be done!
I have also done many TRís on biracial children.The momís are amazed of the difference in their child's attitude and confidence and how much easier it is to do their hair after they have TR. The moms that have straight hair have no idea how much curly hair controls lives.
We also service TR on a lot of men.
A lot of my male clients have told me that all their lives they wanted long hair, wanted to be able to style their hair differently, but because of the curly strong texture, they had to wear their hair in the same style all their lives. Itís funny when a male client first come in the salon they are so quiet, they think Iím going to say they canít have Thermal Reconditioning done. Most of the time I will give them a blow dry to prove how straight I can get their hair and that will do it, they then trust me.
Please always feel free to email me or call me with any questions you have.