June 7, 2007

Ethnic Hair Care & The Curls That Love It


the problems of the ethnic hair crew
I have yet to meet a person who didn't want the kind of hair they didn't have

Just remember that the next time you get down on yourself and your hair... as I know everyone does.... Straight hairs wish they had curly, they really do and vice-versa. Its plain and simple human nature I have decided --to want, what you don't have. As you grow older, that will change and go away....you get comfortable in your own skin (and hair).

The challenges facing the Ethnic hair care client are different than their counterparts....but believe me BOTH have just the same amount of challenges - they are just 'different'.
The most common complaints:
  • dryness
  • fragility & breaking
  • styling options
  • proper products
Surveys indicate the ethnic hair clients seek professional services every 2-3 weeks while their counterparts regularly come every 6-7 weeks....so they do seek out help more. The most common treatment? Relaxers. Both at home versions as well as the Salon/Professional type. During my years in The Salon, there was no one doing relaxers and I just didn't understand 'why'... so I began the trait. Not a lot of Hair Stylists do them as they are also the most complicated procedure as well as the most critical, dangerous and challenging. 

They are the single Salon service where you make the absolute MOST difference in the hair for a client, and after you have completed a successful relaxer you have made a committed and dedicated client "for LIFE", I have never seen a happier more thrilled hair client than the successful hair Relaxer client. Every single one of them calls 2 days later when they shampoo for the first time literally blown away that after the shampoo the hair did not return to its curly frizzy stage - I have received many MANY fantastic thank you gifts for this service unlike any other service I had performed, it was the coolest thing to me. So, if you have curly hair and are super frustrated with it, seek out a Relaxer specialist.... there are many around the country. If you get stumped you are welcome to call us.

From my experience I would just never recommend this service for anyone to do at home... ever ..it is just too dangerous and the 'timing' aspect is too crucial. Having weak hair to begin with you just don't have the leeway for mistakes, besides the ingredients used in professional Relaxer products are simply better for the hair.

If you insist on getting one and cannot afford the Salon price (@ $150.00 to $500.00 per APP.  it comes in as the most expensive Salon procedure - it can take up to 7 hours to complete) the next best step: look into being a hair model for demonstrating its application, go to the local Beauty Academy and get in on their "model night" or their weekly hair model list. { does not mean you need to be model material all over - don't worry!} I know here in LA,many of you interested in this would be more than welcome at the Vidal Sassoon Academy in Santa Monica, and the Paul Mitchell Academy in Orange County...they are both always looking for hair models as are all good Salons and Beauty Schools they never have enough people to work on. 

The advantage to this option is:
  • have an instructor standing over their shoulders
  • before they ever put product on live model, spent weeks practicing on 'doll heads with shaving cream'
  • watch the procedure done by instructor on stage a few times...
  • reading on it...
  • studying on it....followed by 'written' testing of it
  • more doll head work..practicing the sectioning and application -- combing-- stretching and the speed needed to do it....
  • THEN they let the students work on real clients
Now I am talking the best Hair schools in the USA which are Vidal Sassoon and Paul Mitchell....the others will be run totally different - do some research. 

This can be a terrific and successful procedure.  When there is a will there is always a way. As this Blog goes on I am hoping more of you will submit questions and comments, I had a lovely girl suggest I write about ethnic hair...I am more than happy to write about every and any subject --- please - - -I look forward to your comments and requests.
Remember a Relaxer is the same exact chemical make-up as NAIR or NEET Or any hair remover....if left on the hair too long........what do you think will happen ? 
 Yes, the hair can be lifted right off the head....so it is imperative to find a professional to have tiit applied correctly. They do have straighteners now, but being out of the Salon I have not been able to try them myself.....so I will not give advice about something I have only heard "stories" about. I feel you come to me for the truth and I will not make things up.

The key to aceing a Relaxer is the "Timing" of it...The timing and the division of the application procedure. I had one Assistant that was trained in depth on Relaxer -application... so he knew {almost} as much as I did, I sent him to 3 different Relaxer Seminars, many stylists do not want to share the job like this...but it is the only way for it to be super successful for both the client AND the stylist. If its done on a man or a woman with a short cut, one can do it, any longer than chin length hair and it becomes the job of 

2. When booking one it always had to be on a day he was working because the key to the success is applying - pulling and stretching the hair flat with the Relaxer Creme on the hair and doing it fast....making small sections all around the head and being sure to coat > comb > & stretch...from the minute it has been applied to the minute you hit the shampoo bowl to rinse should be between 9 & 16 MINUTES only! That is not very long, even for the fastest stylists on the planet, doing this correctly at home would be impossible.
That is why you want to have a qualified practitioner perform the relaxer on your hair ~
18 comments on "Ethnic Hair Care & The Curls That Love It"
  1. I was wondering what you think of Bio Ionic Hair straightening. I have wavy unruly hair which never looks good if washed and left to dry on its own so I am considering this method.

  2. Marce,
    What is your location....? The most advanced and remarkeable treatment for your problem is what is called Brazilian Keratin Treatment....it began in Florida....it was brought in to the country from immigrants ...but lately has gone thru the FDA Regulations that I need to reccommend the procedure to others. I've been reading and studying about it for a while. Until this particular treatment, there was NO new treatment, the same RELAXER treatment only with different names.
    Personally that is the only one I have done and am very happy with the results. I use the brand made by Avlon Industries, called Affirm...you may go on their site and look for local distributors.

    If you can tell me more about where you live and what you have on your hair....but if I had the type of hair I would be taking the (very expensive) classes to learn how to apply the Brazilian Keratin...most likely. Research it and then let me know how you feel the first site with it here in this country was www.brazilian keratin.com. Go from there.

    Killer chemist

  3. Hey Dakota!

    I was wondering how relaxers would work on Asian hair. Have you ever done/heard of that? I was considering it... and there's a salon very close to me that does it too using Affirm by Avlon. :D And I colored my hair the beginning of this month too, so I guess colored hair is relaxed differently than virgin hair?

    I also went through the isles of Sally Beauty and found their line of "hair straighteners" is what they call it on the non-ethnic side. Have you ever tested or heard anything about them? I came along this one for color treated hair:


    Ever heard of it? How is it compared to a proffessional product? Same, different? What would be your suggestions?

    Hope you're having a great time and doing well. Take care and have fun!

    -Vang :D

  4. Hey Vang,

    Yeah that would be terrific and of course, I did relaxers on EVERY type of hair, I did them on guys hair just to get rid of the cowl lick....you can do them on just a 1 inch square if you want to fget rid of a "bump" in the hair. ( this is very very minute and intricate but doable) ...
    Done right they are truly remarkeable. I would suggest going to the Salon, the difference between Avlon and all other brands is HUGE in my eyes....
    No nothing at Sallys should even be considered. I use that store ONLY because it is the one and only nationwide beauty supply we have....so there is somehwere I can send you to get some of the supplies.
    The only company that is worth a damn is Wella and Clairol...everything else?: not my cup of tea.
    I would use their ethnic 'care' products but NOT their relaxer/ straighteners. Most of them don't work....as they are not professional strength... and to be perfectly honest even the professional strength versions are not quite strong enough for me...so using the others is a waste of time and is NOT going to do much to your hair at the end of the day.

    Book an appointment, go talk to them first. Find out how many they have done.

  5. Hey Dakota!

    Thanks! I will definately look into that... summer's about to be here, hahaha.

    When it says it lasts about 6 months, does it mean that the hair that is already relaxed will come out after 6 months and it needs to be redone, or do the roots have to be redone after 6 months? Or both? Is the relaxed hair going to be permanent forever? Any after care advice?

    Thank you so much! Take care and have fun!

    -Vang :D

  6. What about coloring my hair afterwards? How long should I wait?

    -Vang :D

  7. Hey Dakota!

    Have you done any more research about Japanese hair straightening? I've found that Liscio is the best. What do you think?

    -Vang :D

  8. Vang, I have a couple women that have recently written in about how damaged and destroyed their hair is after japanese straightening....I just wouldn't try anything that hasn't been around for years. Which is why I suggest the Relaxer that I was talking about ....its just a different name and they added a few dumb steps like flat ironing the product into the hair (totally idiotic) Don't fall for it...unless you have loads and loads of hair and don't mind loosing some ( there are plenty of people with this problem) if that is the case then I would say go ahead give it a go.
    Otherwise if you are looking for a permanent straightening method, which you can call Japanese straightening if you want...I know lets call it MALIBU Straightening. ...does that interest you more? I'm trying to show you that it is a marketing technique. PERIOD>
    Look here www.icreatemagic.com (they are a Korean company and they make a straightener & the best flat iron) or look here for straightener I use....www.Avlon.com ALL their products Rock and I sell them all.

  9. Alrighty Dakota!

    I've been also looking up the ingredients used in these straightening methods. Affirm uses Sodium Hydroxide as the main ingredient, and the Milbon Liscio Japanese hair straightening uses Ammonium Thioglycolate. I wikipedia them up and it just starts getting crazy knowing what these chemicals actually are, and what other uses they are for. I just don't know which is better or more damaging, or EQUALLY damaging.

    My FIRST goal is less style time. No frizz. And I like VOLUME! So that's one of the concerns about getting these relaxers, is getting straight hair, but as a result of that, it gets limp. I just wanna wash and go, or blow and go, and cut out the flat iron time. More manageability with less heat styling, hence, less damaged hair. Kinda makes sense, right?

    I'll trust it and go with Affirm. Also with humidity. I've never heard of an Asian who's had the Affirm relaxer done on them. After a rainy day, and it's all wet and hot and cold and moist, will my hair shrivel and puff back into frizz, or will it actually block out the humidity and stay sleek and straight? Does the relaxer do that? I'm gonna have to walk into a sauna and see if it was really worth getting the relaxer, hahaha... Hell, if push comes to shove, I'll personally FLY OVER to Malibu, and have YOU do my relaxer, hahaha. OR, I can donate me, and I can be your hair doll and have you bleach the real deal level one asian hair. :D Just a thought...

    Thank YOU for all of your help so far. My hair has never been so healthy because of you. You are doing great with everything so far. Have fun and take care!

    -Vang :D

  10. Hey!

    I just set up an appointment at a salon and uppercut them with questions and your suggested questions. They charge $65 and it'll take about an hour or so to get it done. You said and I've read that it can take up to 7 hours to do. Is that right? They condition the hair, put the relaxer in for about 15 minutes, apply the neutralizer, and all the other stuff... Seems like it'll take an hour, right? Or are we missing something?

    -Vang :D

  11. VANG , . . . .

    NO NO NO , they are using the kind they buy at Sally's . . . they are not using the proper kind....did you ask the brand?

    wait a minute...do I know how long your hair is???? If you have long thick hair, it should take a few hours...
    If you have a typical mans haircut....it won't take long at all.....does this place do lots of them and did you ask the brand of relaxer they use?
    IN LA you can't get a RElaxer for under $150., and that price is just for very short mens hair. I used to charge $300 - $500. many times it takes a whole day to do one girl.
    After its all done and then they blow dry very straight, then they should take small sections and flat iron the hell out of it using the proper serum to protect. Then it should be kept straight and not washed for 3 days. To prolong then length of the relaxer.
    Gosh, I hope I caught you!

    YOu need to be sleeping with THRIVEN in preparation for this!

  12. Hey Dakota!

    My Thriven came in the mail today. YAY!!! :D And YES, you caught me right on time. I actually called the "800" number on the Avlon site and they gave me a number to one of the stores in Minnesota that buys from them. I asked if they used Affirm. They said yes, so I just thought all was right. I'll call and ask again IN DEPTH and see how they do their relaxers, how long it'll take, and about the flat ironing.

    The flat ironing thing is new. I thought that was only for the Japanese hair straightening? The Affirm relaxer is washed out of the hair first, then blow dried, and then flat ironed? In Japanese hair straightening, they flat iron the relaxer INTO the hair? That's the difference? I'm guessing the flat ironing part takes up the rest of the hours? I ordered the STRAT PERM PERM WET/DRY flat iron from icreatemagic.com and should be coming in the mail soon. :D Is there a special flat iron that NEEDS to be used for relaxing, or can I bring my icreatemagic flat iron to the salon and have them use that? Would that be offensive? When you say "proper serum" what do you suggest?

    Alrighty... Thank you SO much for everything. I'm gonna go do my Thriven now. I can't wait to wake up with sexy hair, hahaha... Take care and have fun!!

    -Vang :D

  13. vang,
    ok ....cool, you did all of your homework....good job, I didn't realize you did all of that....That means they will have the best serum if they have all of Avlon's products...Its called Silken Seal, buy that, check out their flat iron and yes, take YOURS. Who cares if its polite or not, its YOUR HAIR...and you just bought the best flat iron in the biz. PERFECT.
    Yes, that is one of the differences...japanese they flat iron with the goop in the hair....the way I have semi refined the Avlon relaxers is by finishing in that manner. With my chemist background I know that hair has memory. So if you have just taken it through this complicated and upsetting procedure of rearranging the molecules in the hair ---- those molecules are still not sure of where they should be or stay...so after the chemical procedure. . . . I added this: section the hair in small sections and spray with Silken Seal, then flat iron each section using a comb, combing thru the section after running the iron. lay down carefully and let cool. When done...do not wash, wear in ponytail, wear in hat or clip in any way for at least 2 prefer 3 DAYS. That "memory work" is the key to my straighteners. Just ask that they do that please, the difference in price must just be the cities and area....I guess I am in the cool area of the country. it doesn't seem like it when you're born here. Just seems like any old dumb place. But the pricing difference makes that crystal clear!
    hows the thriven?
    how long is your hair,?? is it long and thick???

  14. Hey Dakota!

    I haven't gotten the chance to call back the salon yet, been SO busy, but WILL definately DO. But after the relaxer, I'll request that my hair be carefully flat ironed afterwards. Or, I can do it at home??? I'm guessing that doing the relaxer costs $65, but flat ironing might be an added cost as well. I still don't GET how it can take all day to do the relaxer... The only concern I have is my hair resting on my shoulders or conforming to the bends of my back and shoulders. Know what I mean? I've sheduled the relaxer for next week... gives me time for my shiny new flat iron to get to me. SO excited!! And gives me more time to prepare and use Thriven as well. :D

    I wear my hair in a ponytail with gel 5 days out of the week for at least 8 hours a day. (I detail cars for a living, remember?) Would that be bad for the relaxer after the 3 day period?

    My hair is long and thick. It's layered and the longest part reaches my middle back. The Thriven is AMAZING!!! Just smelling it makes my hair FEEL like it's already working, hahaha. Is it ok if it doesn't dry under the shower cap? After I put on Thriven, I clip hair up, and put the cap on right away. With all the heat from my head and the moisture building up, I'm guessing it keeps it from drying. Before hopping in to bed and before showering in the morning I take the blow dryer to the shower cap full of hair for a few minutes too. It just felt so good washing it outta my hair. All moisturized, slick, slippery, smooth, conditioned, nutritioned... almost wanted to eat my hair it felt so good afterwards, hahaha... After blow drying, and styling with the flat iron, it LITERALLY felt like the 100% human hair found at the beauty store, hahaha. SO AMAZING!!!

    Thanks again so much! Lemme know if there's anything else I need to know... Wish me tons of luck! Take care and have fun!!

    -Vang :D

  15. hey! ive recently found your blog and has been reading it obsessively :D

    i have thick, below the shoulder, layered, medium-curly, dark brown hair and I have been tempted to apply a brazilian keratin treatment on it.

    i've been weary because of the formaldehyde content, but I found a salon in miami beach (hometown) that charges about $250 for the specialized Coppola treatment (.2% formaldehyde). id like to have it done asap because i leave to school next week.

    even so, i have read a few stories of people's hair falling out and other horrifying incidents that have still kept me away.

    any suggestions/experience with it? i choose to have this done over the japanese straightening because it is not permanent.

  16. hey reggie,
    I'm still not sold on these treatments although they have me intrigued...I contacted 2 companies to see if they would send me some of the product to test....told them I would give them a good review IF it worked.

    If it was bad I just wouldn't say anything (unless asked). Gave them my back ground, who I knew- yada yada....
    oh sure they were all hyped on it...then I never heard back from them.

    Which concerns me. if its a great product - let people test it so you get free advertising and word of mouth. But they changed their minds..

    You know there is one technology that I believe in and have used for years....that I do swear by and feel strongly about.
    Its funny, I think they should take the Straightener I use from Avlon --- drop their dumb name which is Kera Care or FIBERGUARD

    call it:
    Lanai Liquid Glass SMOOTHing Creme
    straight from the ISLANDS . . .
    BOOM, i bet it would sell like crazy

    Its the technology, NOT the name...we have no rules or regulations for straighteners...its just a free for all out there...
    how do you know what technology is in there? I'd be terrifed of it - if it was my hair..
    What we do with new products is give them a try on mannequin heads.I'm just not into frying off people's real hair...

    They could be making up the ingredient list, I know there have been a anumber of cases againt this product, which is fairly normal . .

    if it was me or my clients..
    I would stick with Fiberguard from Avlon Industries.. you cannot beat the quality . . . it gradually comes out of the hair and grows out vewry nicely

  17. Hi Dakota, I tried to find a salon that used Avlon from their site and it came up with nothing. I am in Denver Colorado. I am having hair issues, and want a change. My hair is really curly (spirals) after the first 4 inches of my hair (which is rather straight) and I would like to loosen the curls. I was pretty set on trying One N Only Curl Remover from Sally's until I found your site today. There is no way I can afford hundreds of dollars... any advice? Oh, another thing I thought was strange perhaps one of your articles touched on is that those first 4 inches of my hair I mentioned that are rather straight (somewhat wavy) are new growth (not colored) and the rest is colored. I am 22 years old. Is there something that could be causing this change in my hair? (I first got curls when I was 12 and they were very tight, they are loosening now?) Thanks! Your articles are so informing!!! Truly appreciate it!

  18. Thanks for posting this. My hair is thick and unruly. I went natural for a long time to grow out my hair... But while natural hair has its perks, I really missed the versatility of relaxed hair. I was going to go to a hair stylist but my mom offered to do it for me for free.... ~_~ I lost soo much hair. My mom's been doing it for years, but of course that doesn't mean she necessarily know how to handle my hair.
    Reading this post gave me the push I needed to keep searching for a good stylist in Chicago. It's really, really expensive but hair can really make a person. Just because I have ethnic hair doesn't mean my hair is bad... so I'm going to try to treat it better. Hopefully, I won't end up like those elderly black women who're going bald...


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