Today I’m going to tell you a story:
Once upon a time, I had curly hair. No, not beautiful flowing waves, not even Sarah Jessica Parker spirals.. I had extremely poofy, tight spirals and FRIZZ that would literally grow bigger in humid weather. This was the hair I was born with. My head looked like a lion’s mane – big blonde and out of control. You could see me and my hair coming from a block away. It was a big, crazy, hot mess!
This is me with my curls! :-)
*Now don't get me wrong, I LOVED being different! And, if I grew up in the 80s, it probably would’ve been very cool - but unfortunately for me, having big curly hair during high school was a major beauty faux-pas. (Atleast in my head it was!) While the other girls in school had beautiful silky locks that they could throw into a ponytail and put up in hot rollers, my only option was to control frizz with a giant glob of mousse and try to rock the “lion’s mane” look.
*Although my curls were awesome at times, I only had one option for styling my hair - and every girl wants to be able to play around with different styles, right?!
After moving to Los Angeles, I realized that great hairstylists could change my look - atleast for a day. So I spent most of my hard-earned cash getting blow-outs once a week and steering clear of swimming pools and rain. I loved having straight hair! I could finally run my fingers through it and curl it. But, eventually the damage of blow-outs and flat ironing on top of coloring started making my hair problems worse. My once, long healthy (although curly) hair was suffering from damage and breakage from all the heat-styling. I had to find a permanent solution!
Then one day, I heard about a straightening process that claimed to straighten your hair permanently. Yes PERMANENTLY!! Like plastic surgery for your hair!
Japanese straightening, -also known as iStraight, Magic Straight and others - are all a thermal reconditioning treatment that sort of changes the hair’s DNA from big and frizzy to silky straight YUM! – I HAD to have it!
So I started to do my research. If I’m going to change my hair forever I better read all the pros and cons. (you should always do research before doing anything so drastic.) I scoured message boards and websites to find out all I could.. Turns out, Japanese straightening isn’t for everyone. It can be a long, pricey, and Scary process if you don’t have the right stylist. And, if you have bleached or damaged hair (I had both) it’s especially dangerous for your hair. So, finding the right stylist for the job is the #1 priority! I can’t stress this enough. (If you were having surgery, you’d want the best surgeon right?!)
So, I decided to have some “test-strands” done to see if my hair could handle it.
After visiting expensive salons in Beverly Hills -and actually having some of my hair break off– I decided to hit the internet again for recommendations. That’s when I found Robin Lee! Her name kept coming up in blogs and message boards about straightening with rave reviews. The Queen of Straightening! I had to meet her!
When I met with Robin at Kim Sun Young Salon in Koreatown she was very informative. It’s obvious she knows what she’s talking about. But, she is also very straight forward. This is so great because if you’re hair can’t handle the process, she won’t do it –much better than damaging your hair just to make some money! She also uses various strengths of solution, depending on the condition of your hair for those of us with highlights.
Of course, I ended up doing the straightening with Robin Lee and my life is forever changed! I now have silky hair I can run my fingers through and style however I like! I can literally air-dry my hair if I want, but if I choose, I can also get it as curly as before! LOVE it!
Besides the benefit of easy styling, my hair is now sooo much healthier and grows quickly – it’s really long now! I just go in about every 4-6 months to get my roots straightened and I can skip the damaging flat irons for good!
*If you’re in or near Los Angeles, I HIGHLY recommend you go to Robin Lee at Kim Sun Young Salon in Koreatown. In fact, this is such a specialty process I recommend flying in from wherever you live to go to Robin if you decide to do it.
I’m really happy with my decision. It was definitely a transformation. My new friends in L.A. don’t believe me when I tell them how curly my hair used to be. If the big hair from the eighties makes a comeback, I may wish my old hair were back, but until then, I couldn’t be happier!
So, the moral of the story is: Japanese straightening is not for everyone. It's a big decision, you need the right person to do the job, but well worth the time and money if you’re miserable with problem hair.
And finally, I say don’t do it if your hair is just wavy and somewhat easy to manage or you're rocking those super tight curls. The only way to get back your waves or curls would be to get a perm or wait until all your roots grow out!
Ok dolls, hope you enjoyed the story and learned some things along the way. Here’s how you can get in touch with Robin Lee: (She’s also a great stylist and colorist!)
Kim Sun Young Salon
306 North Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Check back often for all my beauty tips, tricks, and stories!
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Peace, Love, and Sexiness!