Frequently Asked Questions


Q. My hair is not very curly but it is definitely not straight, would TR be worth it or not?
A. People with curly hair think they want straight hair, but they don't. With straight, flat hair, they wouldn't know what to do with it. Straight, means stick straight! If you have difficult to manage hair, start with “Vertical Smoothing” (conventional method). If your hair is structurally competent you can always shift to TR.

Q. My hairdresser said I should just let my hair sit for 6 months (no blow drying, no color, no processing at all) before TR. He said I'll be much happier with the result if I wait. Thoughts anyone?
A. You will be much happier and your hair will be really shiny and really softer.

Q. Will my hair require any special treatment?
A. The answer is a definite yes. The primary component of hair is protein, accounting for over 85 percent of its structure. Any chemical service that alters the cortex may cause protein loss. Hair that is lacking protein will break easily. Natural color will look dull and lifeless and appear lighter in spots. The primary culprit in protein loss is chemical services. Protein damage almost never occurs without moisture loss.

After Thermal Reconditioning the hair will be chemically altered and in a softened condition and it can easily be damaged. It needs a network of complex reinforcement formulas that can build strength and flexibility to give hair substance and resilience so it can bounce back. This empowers the chemically TRd hair’s inner structure and dramatically improve its outer appearance. Without an intensive at-home care follow-up reconditioning treatments, you cannot expect successful results.

Q. Is it possible to reverse the TR process by using a wave procedure?
A. The process can be reversed by using a wave procedure. For a natural look, what you have to do now is to get a perm by using the right size of roller sets that matches your natural curl/wave pattern. Perform a test curl first, because preliminary results show more cysteic acid in the hair than is usually found when the TR service is oxidized, therefore, it can be tricky. You need a stylist who is skilled in permanent wave procedure.

Q. Is there another process other than TR that can straighten hair safely, and with minimum amount of damage?
A. Yes there is. Go with the conventional thioglycolate hair straightening method. I refer to this service as “Vertical Smoothing”. Remember, with any chemical hair straightening service, it is very important to have structurally competent hair.

Q. Can I get TR just once, and then have curls grow back? What does hair look like in transition?
A. Yes you can get TR once and have your curls grow back. But keep in mind that as the new growth emerges you’ll notice a contrast between the TRd hair and your natural re-growth. At this point you have a multiple choice:

  • You can let it grow naturally
  • Switch to Vertical Smoothing,
  • Cut off the TRd part of your hair.

Q. I had the Yuko TR done on my hair; can I switch to Liscio or any other TR brand?
A. Yes. The chemical ingredient in all TR products is thioglycolate or a derivative of glycolate. Therefore, you can switch back and forth to any TR brand.

Q. How long after the last conventional/curl reducer thioglycolate hair straightening must I wait before treating with TR?
A. Two weeks, if you are looking for straighter results. Remember, with any chemical hair straightening service, it is very important to have structurally competent hair.

Q. Is wash and go hair just a fantasy or is it actually achievable with TR?
A. Wash and go is “wash and go” and not “wash and styled”. Your hair will still need blow-drying, and sometimes flat-ironing as well. This also depends on the texture, and the condition of your hair. Highlighted or color treated hair may not look as soft, silky and shiny, and, may require more time to achieve a styled look.
Q. Do I need to avoid all types of moisture for 48-72 hours? Steam rooms, Hot tubs, Gym, perspiration?
A. Yes. Although this makes bathing difficult, the long-term results will be the client's reward.

Q. What about layers in the hair?
A. It is okay; nonetheless, this procedure looks the best on one length hair. Consider growing out your layers.

Q. Will the hair revert back to expose previous curl?

A. In some situations, with very strong resistant hair, some of the wave may revert. In this case the reforming solution step #1 may need to be applied through the ends when it is time for a retouch.

Q. How is it possible to avoid bends from the iron?

A. By holding and ironing the hair at 90 degrees straight out from the head and using a continuous motion while working toward the ends of the hair. Also, avoid holding the iron in one place for any length of time.

Q. How is it possible to avoid having the ends of the hair look frayed?

A. When ironing through the distal ends of the hair gently reduce the pressure and bevel the ends under with the Iron. Be careful not to bend the hair with the iron.

Q. Is Japanese hair straightening and thermal reconditioning the same treatments?

A. Yes. The hair is permanently straightened and reconditioned/repaired simultaneously through compressed thermal heat generated from a flat iron. The compression and heat transforms the hair into a straight configuration. The ironing process, which can take several hours, also seals previously applied proteins and conditioners into the hair, leaving the hair, soft and glossy.

Q. Will TR fade color-treated hair?

A. Yes, artificial color may fade somewhat with this process. Redken’s Shades EQ no lift, demi-permanent hair color can be used to complement your natural base color without damage.

Q. Does TR affect the color of virgin hair?

A. Yes. Virgin hair may lift one shade or less.

Q. I have color in my hair, will that matter?

A. Tints and semi-permanent hair color that deposit color are not usually any problem at all.

Q. Can I get Thermal Reconditioning if I have highlights?

A. Highlights can be very tricky to work with. The highlighted sections are usually treated differently from the non-highlighted sections. For example, the highlighted areas might require a milder processing solution, shorter processing time, additional proteins/conditioners to repair/protect the strands, and a cooler temperature applied during the ironing process than would be required for non-highlighted areas. This makes the timing very difficult because some hair is lightened right next to hair that is not lightened. A prior consultation with your stylist is necessary to determine if Thermal Reconditioning will be a good choice for those with highlighted hair.

Q. What about bleach? Is this O.K.?

A. Not usually. Highlights often contain bleach so it is imperative you see your stylist before the treatment. They may want to cut some hair and test it to make sure there are no surprises.

Q. Can clients use TR on hair previously treated with relaxer products containing Sodium Hydroxide?

A. No. The chemical ingredient in all TR products is thioglycolate or a derivative of glycolate. Sodium hydroxide and thioglycolate do not mix. I heard some stylists doing it for whatever reason, but I do NOT recommend it. Ask any chemist and they’ll tell you it is a no go.

Q. How long do I need to wait before coloring the hair?

A. Fourteen days for all types of color, including demi-permanent. You will want to keep the hair as straight as possible throughout and after the TR service. You risk the chance of the hair slightly reverting if the hair is colored too soon after this service.

Q. Explain the thermal reconditioning process. What does it entail?

A. Thermal reconditioning includes a four-step process, a flat-ironing segment and continual infusion of proteins/conditioners into the hair. First, straightening solution is applied and removed when the hair reaches its optimal elastic state. Second, quarter-inch sections of hair are meticulously flat-ironed throughout the head. This process simultaneously straightens and repairs each hair. Third, a chemical neutralizer is applied to "set" the hair in its straight configuration. Fourth, the hair is rinsed, blown dry and flat-ironed to a straight, glossy finish. The entire process can take an average of 5 hours. Extremely tenacious, thick, long hair could take longer to complete.

Q. How long can I expect this service to last?

A. Thermal Reconditioning/TR is a permanent straightening service. The hair will remain straight until it grows out.

Q. How long should I wait to shampoo or color my hair after a Thermal Reconditioning treatment?

A. Wait 48-72 hours to shampoo or wet your hair. Wait two weeks to color or highlight your hair. Because the hair will become more structurally porous-not visually porous-following thermal reconditioning, I recommend using a lower volume peroxide to touch-up previously thermal/highlighted hair, and using 1-2 shades lighter than before when choosing an all-over color. Inform your stylist about the structural change in your hair so he or she can compensate for this when you have your color touched up. Also, the hair should not be bound, clipped, pinned or in any way crimped for any prolonged period of time after the TR process. It is not recommended to wear a hat or tuck your hair behind your ears for 72 hours. This may create a permanent crease in the hair.

Q. Will I need to use special shampoos and conditioners following this process?

A. I always advise my clients to use quality products on their hair. Following a Thermal Reconditioning treatment, I recommend using acid balanced products.

Q. Can I let my hair naturally dry after the TR Straightening?

A. Naturally drying the hair is actually more damaging to the hair than applying heat after the TR process. The hair retains a "Heat Memory" after the TR process. When heat is applied by either a blow dryer or flat iron, the hair immediately responds by softening and smoothing leaving the hair cuticle flat and extremely shiny. You can naturally dry the hair but without the same degree of smoothness.

Q. Can TR system be used on African Canadian Hair?

A. The TR System is not recommended to use on Afro-Canadian Hair. The straightening system is not strong enough to relax Afro-Canadian Hair.
Q. What will my hair look like after the treatment?

A. Your hair will be straight and will feel incredibly soft and silky with more shine.

Q. Will I still need to blow-dry my hair after the treatment?

A. Sometimes yes, but just tussling the hair to get the moisture out. This usually takes about 4 to 5 minutes instead of 45 minutes! Some people will not need to blow-dry at all. In most cases you will not need any kind of brush.

Q. Can TR be safely used on clients who have chlorine, well water or salt water in the hair?

A. I recommend conducting a preliminary strand test first, especially if you have blonde hair and swim in chlorinated pool; your hair may have a green cast after a TR service. Or, have your stylist use a clarifying shampoo and treatments for a few weeks before receiving TR.

Q. Will I get any breakage as a result of a bad treatment?

A. It is possible. If the stylist does not know what they are doing, you could get breakage from the service, although it almost never happens with a trained and competent Hairstylist.

Q. How long will the TR last?

A. Touch ups vary depending on the intensity of the curl at the scalp and the texture of the hair. In most cases touchups are needed four to seven months.

Q. How long do I have to wait for a retouch?

A. There must be a minimum of 3 to 4 inches of re-growth to perform a retouch. This may be four to seven months of new growth.

Q. When I get the new growth re-touched, do they do all the hair again?

A. No, just the new growth is treated. The other hair is usually protected by using oil or conditioner so the solution will not saturate into the previously treated hair. If there is still curl or wave in the previously treated hair, the solution can be applied, but for a shorter period of time.

Q. When I go back for the re-growth, does it cost less?

A. Not usually. The retouch is often more difficult, more delicate and there is more time involved to perform the retouch. Often the cost will be the same or more than the first treatment. All the hair still has to be ironed even though the solution is applied mainly on the roots. It is strongly recommended that you go back to the same stylist as before or find someone better!

Q. I'm confused. I'm having TR next week. After years and years of blow drying and ironing, I thought after TR I wouldn't have to use an iron again. But it sounds from a lot of you that I do! Can someone please explain this? I thought the hair comes out very straight and you just wash and go!! Thanks ahead!
How your hair comes out post-TR depends a lot on the condition of your hair pre-TR, and the experience of your stylist. If you have "virgin" hair (no highlights, previous relaxers, etc) then you have a better chance of winding up with "wash and go" hair... that is if you go to a good stylist. However, if you've had chemical processes done to your hair in the past and that hair hasn't grown out yet, you may need to do more post-TR ironing to get that straight sleek look.

Q. My hair has been colored and highlighted. Will thermal reconditioning work on my hair?

A. Yes. However, the highlighted sections are treated differently from the non-highlighted sections. For example, the highlighted areas might require a milder processing solution, shorter processing time, additional proteins/conditioners to repair/protect the strands, and a cooler temperature applied during the ironing process than would be required for non-highlighted areas.

What I tell my clients is that the further away the hair is from being virgin, the further away the hair is from potentially going straight. Hi-lutes really make the process very difficult and sometimes the hair has to be left a little wavy to preserve the hair's strength. Taking it totally straight could ruin hair that has a blown cuticle. If you have soft fuzz, it is slightly under processed. If you have hard fuzz, then the hair may be over processed.

Q. Can I TR my hair at-home?

A. I do not recommend ever doing your hair at home. Home-jobs are usually done by people without the ability to troubleshoot, especially with hair that has been TRd. People doing their own hair lack the physical perspective which can make all the difference in the outcome. I think that you need to take the time to find a stylist during a time when you are not in an emergency situation. There are many ways to find a great person. Go conduct interviews. There are many ways to find a skilled TR technician.

Q. What should I expect to look-like after TR?

A. If you go in with curly fried hair, you’ll leave with straight fried hair. The hair will feel very conditioned for a while after the straightening, but the added proteins will eventually wear off, and you’ll be left with "straight" and "whatever condition you had before." There are no miracles.

Q. What’s the best protection for ironing my hair?

A. Best protection against the iron is NOT to iron! If you have to iron, paper your iron. They are cotton, white, soft cloth-like paper towel. The papers are wrapped around the irons so the hair does not come into contact with direct heat. Heat is heat, whether it's passing through a ceramic plate or metal plate. If it can burn your skin, it is burning your hair. The papers soften the blow to the hair. Other than that, my advice is to keep the ironing to minimal, maybe a couple times a month for the optimum hair, or for if you want to continuously use the iron, set at lower temperature.

Q. Some stylists recommend the Ionic Treatment immediately after TR. Do I need this Treatment?

A. The TR used to straighten your hair already "conditioned" your hair, therefore it doesn't require conditioning treatment on same day as TR. Your hair should already be silky, glossy and smooth. If using a silicone based TR...The silicone wears off in a short amount of time which results in the hair feeling not as it did as the day of service. If this is the can use Redken or the ID CARE treatment. Consult with your TR stylist as to which hair care products to use and how to use them.

Q. Which TR system is the best?

A. Don't think about the TR solution. The stylist is the most important thing. Yuko is first TR solution in the world. I like STRAIGHT TIO a lot because it is the most versatile TR product on the market. Liscio, iStraight, Rusk STR8, I think they are great as well. Not a big difference. It all depends on the stylist's experience. Each stylist has different experience with their TR system. But nobody can say that their system is best. There is no master of TR and the best one is just a little more experienced.

Q. I requested the stylist to leave a little volume and a slight curl under at the bottom. When I get my touchup would I be able to curl the ends under again?

A. We can control a slight under with flat-ironing, but it all depends on the customer’s hair condition, texture, and hair length and hair cut. With the first TR it is possible, but the second TR is not possible to do an under curl because we are not going to apply the TR solution to the previously TRd parts. If you want to slightly curl the ends, we have to apply the solution on your old-TR and there are some risks involved.