Q: Is it okay to have your hair straightened with the Japanese System if one has Thyroid Disease? I'm on Synthroid Hormone
Replacement, but one salon said they wouldn’t do the service on anyone with Thyroid Disease. The stylist was all set to do it until I
told her, "My hair has always been dry, perhaps from Thyroid Disease". My sisters all have the disease and have had curly perms several
times without difficulty. Do you see this as a problem? Should I not do? Any help would be appreciated.
A: Well, I personally wouldn’t perform the Japanese Straightening process on you either. Thyroid Disease can cause developmental
problems with hair, leaving it weakened, dry and damaged, and can cause hair loss. The Japanese Straightening process is a very
intensive process and can have bad results for hair that is in a weakened state. It is both a matter of risk vs. result and one of
liability. For a salon to perform a service on a client with a known medical condition (in some cases even with a waiver/release form)
they can often be held liable for bad results.
Even if there is no danger of liability, you would still be a bad risk, because of the possibility
that the process could further damage the hair or lead to hair loss. The perms that your sisters have undergone are not as intensive or
as potentially harmful to the hair as the Japanese Straightening. There are very gentle permanent wave formulas designed for use on
“at risk” hair. Since the Japanese Straightening process is still so new, there hasn’t been enough time for the kind of evolution that has been done with perms.