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The Girl ...
Tigi girl, 21.
Dedicated to Andrew Kalapaca & Steve Tcherkezian

Andrew at Toni & Guy
180 Bloor Street West
Steve at Other sites

Sunday, January 02, 2005

It's time to address some issues about thermal reconditioning aka TR. This article is for technicians out there, but especially for clients considering a TR service, this will guide you through some important information. All the information here is correct, I have learned all I have learned from a great TR technician, Steve Tcherkezian, who is considered the best in the business of chemical hair straightening! There are many so called technicians misinforming the public and their clients about the precautions associated with this procedure. The question is why? Well it is due to one of two things, first either the technician does not know much about the precautions associated with the procedure, thus lack of training. The training is partially the technicians responsibility, they need to understand that TR is a delicate procedure that requires alot of knowledge and that they as a technician need to go out there and learn all the possibly can about it and practise on mannequin's before attempting this on a human. Those who teach TR are also at fault because they make it look so easy, and tell the technician that it is easy. They need to see that this procedure can create wonderful results when done properly but can yield the most horrid of results when done incorrectly. They need to enforce stricter training and make sure that the technician truly understands what they are doing and what the procedure entails. Another reason why clients are missinformed, simply because the technician and or salon wants to make money, they have to know that they are not adequatley trained after a two day seminar to do this procedure, they need to practice, but the pressure from the managers or owners of the salon can be great, so they are pushed into it. Although I feel the greatest reason is that the technician simply does not understand it all, they have little knowledge about the procedure, that is in part due to the product educators because they really teach the most basic things because they want the technician to see it's easy so they will buy it for the salon, thus giving manufacturer's money. So it's time to address some of these issues that are important when it comes to having a great result with TR
1- Previous relaxers- here is the deal if the client had a previous relaxer that contained lye, or sodium hydroxide or guadium hydroxide (lye free relaxers) then the client cannot have TR! Fact -Until all the hair that has been treated with the hydroxide relaxers has been cut off then no TR for them! Plain and simple!
Fiction- No matter what sort of protectant the technician claims to use the result will always be breakage!
Why? Simply put the two chemicals hydroxide (lye, sodium hydroxide or gaudium hydroxide) and thioglycolate (TR and X-tenso main ingredient) create the compound that we know as Nair, seriously go look at what Nair contains. When the two chemicals hydroxide and thioglycolate meet the hair will be dissolved, it may not be immediately it may be over a week or two, that is why clients with previous relaxers get massive breakage!
Best Bet- Wait until all the hair that has been relaxed with hydroxide has been cut out! You will be much happier
Again no protectant will prevent the two chemicals from colliding! The protectant is simply a topical, the relaxers penetrate into the inner part of the hair, and cannot be removed in any way other than a hair cut. Once you put chemicals into your hair they are always there until they are cut away.

2-Bleached Hair - here is the deal best bet is to not have the hair TR'd if the hair has been bleached
Fact - Bleaching the hair removes 25% of the cystine bonds, which are very important when doing a TR service, therefore since TR involves about 50% of the cystine bonds half may be gone before the process
FYI- Cystine bonds are bonds that in simple terms hold the hair together....I do not want to go into too much detail as I am afraid I will confuse you....think of them as links that hold a chain together, without the links the chain becomes weak.
Fiction- Again protectants and deep conditioning do nothing! Once the bonds are gone they are gone.
Why? Too many cystine bonds are gone after one bleaches their hair, since the TR solution temporarily breaks those bonds and after the hair is straightened they are reconnected. There needs to be enough cystine bonds there to hold the hair together during the process and to withstand the procedure itself. It can also be difficult to reconnect the bonds, since half may be gone...think of it as trying to complete a puzzle if half the pieces are gone it will never be completed.
Best Bet- If you intend to have your hair TR'd do not bleach your hair, again the cystine bonds are important to the procedure. Smart technicians simply tell their clients that if their hair is bleached the service cannot be done, this way there are no surprise, such as breakage. Some technicians however do the process over bleached hair, many if them with a negative outcome that is noticed weeks later. If you simply must have your hair TR'd and cannot wait to grow it out or cut it off then allow the technician to do a strand test, this can help you see what the potential results would be.

3- Waiting period - How long should one wait to wash their hair after a TR service?
Fact- Most technicians tell their client to wait 72 hours this way the hair has completely oxidized (or hardened) You see once you have your hair TR'd the hair has been altered and it takes approximately 48-72 hours for the hair to harden again. During TR the hair's bonds are softened and re-ordered and the hair (bonds)needs time to harden, and it takes about 48-72 hours for the hair to do this. Since no technician can truly predict how long it takes for a persons hair bonds to re-harden they recommend waiting 72 hours this way the client will have no possibility of reversion. If the hair is wet before the 72 hours you run the risk of having it revert back to it's curly state, not all of the hair will do this but areas may do this if not all of the hair. It's also important to avoid humidity and steam from hot showers and also working out for 72 hours since they can cause the hair to revert
Fiction- There is no way to speed up the hair's rehardening process, it's a natural occurance that will happen within 72 hours
Best Bet- Wait 72 hours this way there is no chance for reversion caused by wetting the hair. If your technician says 48 hours then disregard that and wait the full 72 hours

4- Hair with colour or highlights - yes you can have your hair TR'd but the solutions need to be different
Virgin Hair with Highlights- The virgin hair will need a stronger solution than the higlighted parts of the hair, the highlight parts of the hair will have a weaker solution. Yes this is a bit of a tricky thing to accomplish. The reason is that the timing may be different for the highlighted parts of the hair than for the virgin hair, the solution usually stays on virgin hair for a longer period of time than it would if the hair is coloured. Therefore the timing will be difficult for the techinician, if the highlighted parts need to be rinsed before the virgin hair has processed the virgin hair can come out underprocessed, therefore the results will not be what you expected. Also most times highlights contain bleach so it may not be a good idea to have the TR either. Best bet is to talk with the technician and see what they tell you.
Coloured hair- I'm talking about hair that is coloured with a single colour all over. This can be done all the technician needs to do is choose the appropriate strength of the solution, no problemns with this one. Only thing that differs this from a virgin application is the strength of the solution for coloured hair is weaker.
Coloured and highlighted hair- If you have your hair coloured all over with single colour and highlights then this is most likely okay to do since the techncian can use the weaker solution all over the hair since it has all been coloured. Again I recommend talking to your technician about this as well since highlights often contain bleach.

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