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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

Monday, December 19, 2005

Hello again everyone, I know it has been a while since my last post. Since Christmas is this weekend I have been busy these past few week preparing for it, which means shopping (oh how I love to shop!) and of course with school it means exams. I've also been busy catching up on reading my hair book (I swear the book should have had a glossary) right now I'm on "reducing human hair" it's about altering the hair during chemical services such as perms/relaxers, too much focus on perms, but chapter 8 is about straightening! So tonight my hair is co-operating, yah! Did I ever mention how much fun it is? Flipping and having movement in your hair is so cool! Okay so tonight what's the topic you ask, well I thought I'd talk about chemical technician's implementing the iron during a vertical smoothing(relaxer) service, so here goes.....
I've read alot of questions on websites that seem to pose the question "can a vertical smoothing service implement the iron?"
I wonder why the iron for vertical smoothing? Why not use the TR service? Let me again make clear the difference shall I?
TR (thermal reconditioning) is meant to permanently straighten the hair, and remove frizz and excess volume. Therefore, no curls, no frizz, no excess volume (ah my dream right there!) The TR process uses the heat from the flat iron to permanently straighten the hair. The iron is used twice, once after solution #1 (the reforming solution) has been rinsed out of the hair and the hair has been dried approximately 80% and then again at the end of the service.
Vertical smoothing is a "curl reducer" or "relaxer" it's meant to reduce the curls or loosen them so that they are like a soft S shape, it also reduces frizz and excess volume, note I said REDUCES. There is no ironing step here.
Now I've heard and read that some technicians are implementing the use of the iron in the vertical smoothing service (at the same point in the process as in TR, after solution #1 has been rinsed and the hair has been dried approx. 80%) and I do not understand why? It just makes me think and wonder why? I've heard some reasons, as ridiculous as they might sound, some say that it gives them "volume" or "body"....I don't get it though, how exactly it does that. With TR after the completion of the service the hair can lack body but will regain it after approximately two weeks. You have to remember with any chemical service such as TR or vertical smoothing or even a perm you have just opened the cuticle and altered the cortex (the interior structure of the hair) you have softened the glue that hold the hair together to change its shape and then closed up the cuticle, the cortex and the hair needs time to recover and the glue that was softened needs time to harden (approx. 72 hours, that's why you don't wash for 72 hours )
The question still remains, what does happen if the iron is implemented during a vertical smoothing process....answer....I don't really know, I assume it works however, but it makes me wonder about the damage factor. If you think about it though what I say next will make perfect sense....
Vertical smoothing products were not made to be used with the iron, they were meant to be used without heat, thus some call these "cold" relaxers/straighteners. Also the ingredients in these chemicals were not meant to break down the hair completely or as much as TR indredients would because the point of the relaxer/vertical smoothing service is to smooth the hair, not straighten it. TR products were made to be used with heat (ceramic flat irons) and therefore would be formulated to be used as such. There is no research as to the affects of using the iron on hair that is undergoing a vertical smoothing/relaxer service, but it seems logical that if it was made to be used with the iron the ingredients and chemical composition of the formula would be prepared in a way as to use the iron, whereas those formulate to be used without the iron would be formulated differently. If you call up L'oreal for example and ask them if you should use the iron during the X-tenso (smoothing service) they will tell you not to use it! That it wasn't made to be used with a flat iron.
It doesn't make sense why a technician would choose to use vertical smoothing chemicals instead of using TR products. Think about it, if a product was made to be used in a certain way then why use it in another way if you are not sure of the affects? I'd stay away from any technician that tells you they will use a vertical smoother to perform at TR....oh and the whole "mini -TR" thing is probably some implication of this. If you want straight hair go for the TR service, want a relaxer/smoother hair/curls go for the vertical smoothing, have it done right the first time.
Remember "It's your hair, who are you going to trust?"

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