Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Multi-ethnic Hair & Thermal Straightening

Q: I have been reading about the new Japanese thermal relaxers. I am interested in this procedure. The problem with this is the same problem I have had with all other hair care products my entire life. I am multi-ethnic, giving me "multi-ethnic" hair. I am African American, Caucasian, and American Indian, so my hair doesn't necessarily fit into any category.
My hair is curly and fine, it can get relatively dry without conditioning cream, but African hair care products are sometimes too heavy and others are too light. The common no lye relaxers only work in my hair for a few months and that's only when I am getting it straightened at the salon weekly. So back to my question, I understand the Japanese thermal relaxer is not recommended for African hair, but what about "in-between" hair? Is this an option for me?

A: After speaking with a representative at Yuko Systems, Inc. about the Thermal Straightening Procedure, it was confirmed that indeed the process was not suited for use on African hair types. The representative specified that Thermal Reconditioning was not for "very kinky hair types".
Since you are multi-ethnic and your hair doesn't conform strictly to the typical characteristics of African hair, but still has some of the traits, it will be necessary to schedule a visit to a qualified salon where you can have your hair evaluated by a stylist who is trained and experienced in the Thermal Reconditioning service.
It's important to have someone who is experienced with the system since you'll need to have someone who can gauge how your hair will respond to the system by comparing it to similar hair textures and wave types. Be prepared however, to be disappointed, since even with the additional ethnic influences, your hair may still be too much like typical African-ethnic hair to be compatible with the Thermal Straightening.
{Update- February 2011: In previous articles and question responses, we have stated that Yuko Systems did not consider the Thermal Restructuring Service to be suited to African-Ethnic hair types. This information came directly from the Yuko Systems website. In addition, a call placed to a Customer Service professional at the Yuko Systems Training Academy where they teach the process, confirmed and clarified the restriction. Specific wave patterns found in African-Ethnic hair are not suited to the Thermal Restructuring Process and can be damaged by the service if attempted.
However, a recent reader questioned the validity of this statement since the Yuko Systems website no longer restricts African-Ethnic hair and says that the process is suitable to any hair type. I have once again spoken to a representative of the Yuko System Training Academy and once more verified that while their website has removed a statement that they felt was unfairly restrictive (given the wide range of wave patterns found in African-Ethnic hair) the problems with very tightly coiled and very kinky hair types is still at issue.
It is important that you see a professionally trained provider of these services to ensure that you do not damage your hair. Part of the Yuko Systems training is to teach stylists who perform the process how to properly determine which hair types are suited to the process, and which are at risk for damage. For more information or to contact Yuko Systems you can go to}