Thermal RestructuringQ: What is Thermal Restructuring?
A: Thermal Restructuring is a process for straightening curly or wavy hair created in 1996 in Japan by Yuko Systems. This process has become increasingly popular in the intervening years and is known by a number of names: Japanese Hair Straightening, Ionic Retexturizing, Thermal Restructuring, Thermal Reconstruction, and Rebonding.
This is a very intensive process that leaves the hair completely straight, and feeling silky and smooth. The creator company, Yuko Systems, calls their process Repair because it does seem to actually leave the hair in better condition than it was prior to treatment.
The thermal restructuring procedure takes an average of 3-4 hours to complete (both for initial hair straightening and later for retouching the new hair growth) and can cost from $300-$1000 or more depending on the length of the hair, the amount of chemical processing present in the hair, the stylist's experience and where you receive the procedure (costs are generally higher in large cities where the market will bear the higher prices).
The process is as follows: The hair is shampooed and then treated to nourish it and protect it from potential harm from the straightening chemicals. Straightening chemicals are then applied and allowed time to process. The hair is rinsed (and sometimes washed again) and treated again with moisturizers and proteins to nourish and protect the hair. The hair is then passed through thermal irons at very high temperatures (over 300-degrees) in very thin slices to ensure even heating and thorough straightening. Next the fixative chemical is applied to lock in the straightness and is allowed to process. The fixative chemical is rinsed from the hair and the hair is conditioned using a moisture-balancing formula. Special protective products are applied to protect the hair while drying it and the hair is dried using a blow drying appliance. A final protective product is applied to protect the hair for the final ironing. Finally, the hair is passed once more through the heated iron to ensure that the hair stays straight.
Thermal restructuring permanently straightens the hair, and the treatment only needs to be repeated to treat new hair growth, which will be of the same texture as the hair is naturally.
Permanent hair straightening
Thermal hair restructuring during pregnancy
Thermal restructuring aftercare
Thermal restructuring and coloring hair
African American hair and Japanese thermal straightening