Sunday, January 12, 2014

JHS (touch-up) before & after care

Posted by Yahya at 8:18 PM
There are a set of rules one should follow before getting their hair Japanese straightened.
  • do not swim for 72 hours
  • do not drink caffeine for at least a few hours before the service (not sure why)
  • do not exercise or wear a style that creates tension on the scalp for 12-24 hours. 
  • do not use any oily conditioners for 2-3 days
Most of these rules are easy, but for drier haired girls like me that last rule can be pretty hard to follow, especially when dealing with at least 3 inches of new growth. The reason it's recommended you refrain from applying anything oily in your hair is because oils will prevent the Japanese straightening solution from penetrating your strand, which can result in under processing. If you're looking to use Japanese straightening as a texturizer, feel free to ignore this rule. Most of us afro textured girls moisturize our hair every or every other day. Keep in mind, it's the parts of the hair that's going to be treated that can't be moisturized, not the already chemically treated hair. Before I would just give my new growth a thorough moisturizing the last day I could, and endure not doing anything to it for 2-3 days.

Are there any conditioners without an oil out there? I couldn't think of one. it was only after this recent touch up it came to me: aloe vera juice! I moisturized my new growth with it until the day of the touch-up and my japanese straightening took fine. I finally found an exception to the rule.

An extra thing I do to prep for a touch-up is to do a henna gloss on my already chemically-treated hair to prevent over processing. Henna makes it harder for the Japanese straightener solution to penetrate the hair strand and adds strength. When I found out I'd be doing a JBS treatment instead of a JHS, I got kinda nervous because I had already did my henna gloss. Was a 9ish day gap between a henna and a brazilian keratin going to cause protein overload? I started doing thorough moisture cowashes in between and my hair loved it. Everything turned out fine.

There is also a longer set of follow-up rules for after Japanese straightening.
  • for 48-72 hours avoid humid environments, keep the hair down (no clips, tying, behind ears), do not wet hair, try not to sleep on sides of head, don't sweat, avoid hats and scarves. 
  • for 7 days continue to keep hair down, avoid hats and scarves, avoid sea or chlorine water. 
  • for two weeks, just avoid sea and chlorine water. 
  • always avoid sulfur shampoos and water that is too hot or too cold.
After you get your touch-up at the salon, the Japanese straightening process is still taking place. Many of us know that it's a myth that hair can revert after a relaxer, when the process is done at the salon it's done. With Japanese straightening the hair is absorbing oxygen and still taking in its new shape, this is why there are more, stricter follow-up instructions. If you clip your just treated hair, a dent from the clip will be left behind when you remove it. If you sleep on the side of your head, in the morning you might find that your hair has take the shape of your ear. If any mistakes do occur, you must quickly flat-iron the part that's been misshapen.

Different hair dressers will give you different time restrictions for doing this and that. For example, one stylist might say you can wet your hair after 3 days, another will say 7 days. The rule of thumb is that the longer you wait the better the results. So this time, that's a plus for those who don't have oily scalps or hair and can easily go 1-2 weeks without washing. The down side is that not being able to wet your hair means no moisturizer again, and this time aloe vera isn't an exception to the rule. Your now straightened hair probably won't feel like it needs anything, but then again, it depends on your hair's condition and your stylist's Japanese straightening technique. You can now, however, use oils. In fact, using oil is very beneficial, smoothing the hair, and helping the japanese straightener takes in it's shape. I like to use penetrating oils on my just processed hair, like coconut and olive oil.

Extra things I usually do following a touch-up includes the split-ender. The split-ender only works on straight hair, not relaxer straight hair. The only times the ends of my hair get flat-ironed is touch-up day. So it's really the only time I can use my split-ender. Maybe that's why I have yet to be wowed by it? Now that my hair has also been Brazilian Keratin straightened, I should be able to use it more often. Another thing I do my first wash following a touch-up is a porosity treatment, Roux Ph Corrector and an apple cider vinegar rinse.


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