Saturday, December 28, 2013

hair ib club (salon review)

Posted by Yahya at 11:23 PM
I hope everyone had a merry Christmas! I'm so glad to finally be on break, and all the hustle preparing for the holidays are over. Last time I announced I would finally be getting my new growth done at a new salon: Hair IB in New York. I also said I would be trying their unique Japanese Brazilian straightening treatment. So how did it go? Here is the long awaited review and my touch up results.

I set my appointment Wednesday morning so there'd be less people and better focus on my hair. But then my driver came late... and then there was unexpected traffic, even though it wasn't rush hour... I ended up getting there, about an hour late? Luckily they didn't mind and there was only two other clients there. If I came in the evening or on a weekend it might not have been the same story. So the first thing they did was look at my hair, asked questions about my lye relaxed length, and showed me a chart to decide what strength of Brazilian keratin they'll use. Here's how the chart looked like:

Type A 
  • brand: Hair Go Straight 
  • price: $100 (any hair length) 
  • formaldehyde: yes 
  • straightens: 50% 
  • maintenance: must wait 3 days to wash 
  Type B 
  • brand: Lasio and Coppola 
  • price: $140-$160 
  • formaldehyde: yes 
  • straightens: 50-70% (don't remember, and it's not on the site) 
  • maintenance: must wait 3 days to wash 
Type C 
  • brand: Salon Tech Straightening System 
  • price: $160-180 
  • formaldehyde: no 
  • straightens: 90% & up, a lot more shine compared to type A & B 
  • maintenance: can wash right away 
Type D 
  • brand: Brazilian Blow Out 
  • price: $180-$200 
  • formaldehyde: no 
  • straightens: 95% & up, shine is similar to type C
  • maintenance: can wash right away
They recommended that I get type D because of the extremity of my curls, but to me that would have been too much. My ends are already relaxed, why did the extremity of my natural curls matter? I understand type D was also the best quality, but did I really need a 95% curl reduction? I saw from the start they did consider health, but were looking to make my hair stick straight (something I don't particularly like). I might have considered it, but then it cost $20-30 extra, while the other Brazilian keratin types had the fixed JBS price. So I decided to get type 3, the best bang for my buck, and apparently no formaldehyde.

There were only two fluent English speakers, which made it a little hard to ask questions, but they did answer all of them. Most of them do understand English, but are not fluent. Of the two English speakers was an young Asian girl and a Caribbean-Hispanic wash girl. So for the first step, I got my hair thoroughly washed and detangled. One big concern of mine is having my hair detangled by people not use to kinky curly hair. Plus with Japanese straightening the hair has to be detangled to the point of a fine tooth comb. But they did a decent job, there wasn't much breakage. There could have been less breakage if they started using the fine tooth comb from the ends up and not the middle up, but I was satisfied. Their success was not so much in their technique, but it looked like their tools. They used a brush that looked similar to a tangle teezer.

After detangling the smelly Japanese straightening solution was applied to my new growth. Did I ever mention Japanese straightening smells like rotten alien eggs? They also corrected the parts of my hair that were under processed from last time. But then they wanted to wash out the solution. (Wait, huh? Weren't they going to put the Brazilian keratin on my previously treated length, too?) Turns out the process was different from what I imagined. The Brazilian keratin is applied on the entire head after the Japanese straightening is rinsed. The Brazilian acts as a neutralizer, strengthening treatment, and gives the processing roots straighter results. With this process the hair also only needs to be flat-ironed once, not twice. 

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Remember, Japanese straightening doesn't break the hair the same as relaxers do. If you need a little recap or if this is your first time hearing this, visit here and here. With the relaxing process, the sulfur bonds are broken and turned into lanthionine bonds. The hair is neutralized and that's the end of the straightening process, the hair has taken a new permanent form. With Japanese straightening the sulfur bonds are only temporarily broken, or rather separated. The neutralizer's purpose is only to help stabilize the hair's new shape, not to wash out the solution. This is why using the Brazilian Keratin as a substitute for a neutralizer is safe, and a pretty smart idea they came up with. Before becoming popular in the natural hair world, the Brazilian keratin was intended to be used on chemically treated hair, for straightening and strengthening, but relaxed heads didn't want to spend so much money to straighten their already practically straight hair.

The last thing I'll say before continuing with my salon day story is that this process, JBS, sounds like a better option for super kinky haired girls looking for definite straight results when they Japanese straighten.
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I quickly juggled the pros and cons of the process and realized the only, but serious bad part was that I was going to be rinsed off with no protection. They said online that they'd apply protection cream if they thought my hair needed it, I reminded them that, but they said my hair didn't need it. (Wait, what??) I've been dusting more often, didn't have many split-ends, but my ends did have noticeable wear at the time. I mean, relaxed and Japanese straightened is one of the worst combinations. The two don't go together. I was still trying to process everything when I was getting rinsed. I asked the wash girl to (at least) lift my relaxed length and first focus on rinsing out the Japanese straightening solution, but she said she can only follow orders and I had to ask a higher up. Hard to do that with your hair already soaked in the sink. At the time I didn't worry too much about it though.

They did a great job with processing my new growth. The woman had been checking often to make sure I wasn't over processing. After coming out of the sink my hair was already straight, but not over processed. The Brazilian keratin was then applied throughout my hair, from my just processed roots to my relaxed tips. This was my first Brazilian keratin, and I wasn't expecting my scalp to start burning like a lye relaxer. It wasn't burning that much but I forgot how a burning scalp felt. I got so spoiled on Japanese straightening that I forgot chemical straightening can even burn. She took me to a corner of the salon behind a curtain and opened the back door that was there. She also gave me a cloth to breath in. I knew Brazilian keratins had smoke, but wow, I really forgot how intense chemical straightening can be. You might be thinking, well Japanese straightening is a long complicated process, but it's not intense in the same way. There is no smoke or burning to remind you you're working with chemicals. I kept my face under the cloth for protective measures, but there really wasn't a smell or eye burning or anything. just some smoke. There are many Brazilian keratin brands that lie about not having formaldehyde, but I think the absence of eye irritation confirmed it was formaldehyde free.

The blow dryer setting wasn't too high, it felt between medium and hot, but the blow drying process was long, about a half an hour. Again, this was my first Brazilian keratin, so if something was amiss, do comment and tell me. After that my hair was flat-ironed, and I was impressed with their technique. Two different flat-irons were used, one on high heat and a healthier paneled one with lower heat. The first one was used on my just processed roots and the other one on my previously treated hair with one pass.

And then, I was done!

Thew~ this post turned out much longer than intended, but I didn't want to leave anything out. The whole visit took about 4-5 hours. (Near the end I was starving and thought I smelled fried chicken... turned out it was the flat-iron emphasizing and mixing with the extraterrestrial egg scent, lol >_ _<)

Now I have, give or take, 10 inches of Japanese straightened hair. Some areas were longer, I really should have measured my new growth before the touch up. So is Hair IB club a keeper? I think so, but their only but fatal flaw was, again, not caring enough about my relaxed ends. I fell like I shouldn't have told them my last relaxer was a year and a half ago and that I had usually relaxed 3-4 times a year. It might have given them the wrong idea. If I go there next time, and probably will, I'll make sure they take better protective measures.

My hair was very dull in the shine department coming out of the salon, at first I was disappointed I didn't get that Hair's Talent shine. At home, however, after just applying a little oil, there it was! It was just hiding, since there was no product in my hair. And then after my first wash, a simple shampoo and conditioning, the shine really kicked in. I don't think my hair has ever had this kind of shine. I don't think the picture does the shine justice.


runningnatural on December 30, 2013 at 10:19 AM said...

Love the long post! Great details! Stuff we need to know! I'm thinking of the getting the gina curl/thio perm. would you recommend going to hairstalent vs. hair ib for the first time. I have completely natural hair and am looking to debulk my hair and make it easier to straighten not necessarily looking for bone straight hair.

KLP on December 30, 2013 at 7:05 PM said...

I love the long post too! Thanks for the thoroughness of your review!

KLP | SavingOurStrands

Yahya on December 31, 2013 at 7:04 AM said...

@runningnatural, if you don't want bone straight hair, I would say hair's talent would be a better bet and give you the results you're looking for. gina knows how to adjust chemicals to give the desired curl, wave, etc. hair ib's specialty seems to only be straightening, not sure if they even do curly perms.
@klp, thank you! ^^

Lisa Kothari on February 14, 2014 at 6:38 PM said...

Hello, I was wondering how close to the scalp/ or far into the roots can you go with both the Japanese thermal straightening crème (solution) & the Brazilian? They both seem to advise applying the solutions 1cm away from your scalp. As a black girl I'm a little wary of not getting as much of the roots as possible. P.S. You have a southern African name (Khaya), are you from there?

Yahya on February 18, 2014 at 10:22 AM said...

@Lisa, it is recommended to leave a gap when applying the japanese straightening, the reason that I know is so the new growth comes in better and so there is a stronger line of demarcation. it doesn't seem to be a necessary step though. I've seen another girl skip it, and hair ib didn't leave much of a gap. I'm not as knowledgable with the brazilian keratin, but unless you're use to burning sensations on your scalp I would highly recommend a gap.

no, I'm American with Trinidadian and Jamaican heritage, sorry to disappoint. my name has so many meanings and origins, Japanese, Native, African, Jamacian, Rastafarian, Indian, etc. so many I can't remember all of them. I have a list with about 20, the only similarity between some of their meanings is coconut references.

Danielle Persich on May 3, 2014 at 11:21 AM said...

I love this post! Thank you so much for all the helpful information. I want to get the Japanese Hair Straightening here as I've heard they do it really well.

I do have one question, though (I have virgin hair) - will my hair take damage from getting the JHS? I plan on cutting about two inches off the end of my hair anyways to finally get rid of the layers I've been growing out for 9 months, and I have really healthy hair to begin with, so I'm just wondering to be safe! This'll be the first time I'm getting the JHS on my hair.

My hair is mostly straight with a few waves here and there, it's just frizzy ALL the time, and that's a pain-in-the-ass to manage. I actually don't have many split ends, but because my hair is frizzy, my hair always looks like it's in bad condition >,<

Sorry this came out a bit long - do you think I'll take (a lot?) of damage to my hair if I get it done? And if I don't speak with one of the fluent English speakers regarding what I'd like done on my hair, etc. will communication still be manageable, and will the process go smoothly and come out correctly?

John Dudley on May 27, 2014 at 1:42 AM said...

Thanks for distribute this Details,hair fall treatment gurgaon your blog is really very informative

Yahya on June 30, 2014 at 3:44 AM said...

@Danielle, I'm sorry I took so long to reply! you probably already decided to go through with it or not, but I'll still answer. any type of chemical you put in your hair will damage it to an extent, but jhs is the healthiest permanent option. the damage shouldn't be noticeable. also the less curly the hair is the less damaging the process will be, and from how you described your hair, it sounds like a good candidate. if you do experience problems you can contact me and we can try to fix it. and from my experiences with the salon, the stylist really try to respond to all questions despite the language barrier.

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