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Curls May Come & Curls May Go: The 411 On Thermal Reconditioning


Curls may come and curls may go, but Thermal Reconditioning (known as TR) can always save the day for busy, unmanageable natural curly locks.

For many naturally curly folks, hot fashion trends touting masses of ringlet infused styles can be very traumatizing. Why? Because for years, people with ultra curls have been locked into a daily battle trying to manage their unruly strands. Regardless of sizzling hair trends, thermal reconditioning provides a blessed end to the trauma associated with constantly dealing with an unmanageable head of hair.

What Is Thermal Reconditioning?

Thermal Reconditioning is a chemical process that permanently alters the internal structure of the hair shaft rendering it totally straight. It will also remove a great deal of the fullness and the body from the hair giving it a sleeker look.

After Thermal Reconditioning, hair is unaffected by the ills caused by the elements including humidity, rain and steam-leaving hair sleek and free from frizz.

And, over time, repeated Thermals actually leave the hair in better condition than before the process due to the intense conditioning that the ends receive.

However, when performed incorrectly, it can severely damage the hair and scalp.

Curly Hair Saving Tips: Finding Experienced TR Experts

To avoid problems with the thermal reconditioning process, it is advisable to visit a salon for a consultation to learn more about their experience and to determine if you are a good candidate for thermal reconditioning.

Questions To Ask The TR Technician

Below are some questions that you should ask about Thermal Reconditioning from Vincent J, Owner of Vincent J Salon. Rated one of the country's top salons for thermal reconditioning, Vincent J also offers answers and additional tips on what to look for when considering Thermal Reconditioning.

1. What Type Of Training Do You Have? Look for a technician that has taken a course/seminar on Thermal Reconditioning and continues to take advanced courses on hair design and chemical services.

You should also look for a technician that has been doing Thermals for several years and has a comprehensive understanding of what the hair is capable of.

2. What Type Of Maintenance Will Be Required At Home? Some systems will leave your hair silky straight with little to no work required at home while others will remove a percentage of the curl from your hair and you will need to blow dry and iron using special blow dryer and irons to achieve a sleek look at home.

Vincent's suggests: make sure that you are completely clear as to what will be expected as to the at home care. It is important to find out if you will be able to wash and wear your hair and if you will be required to use a blow dryer and a flat iron at home.

3. How Often Will I Need To Retouch The New Growth? Most clients will not need to retouch a Thermal Reconditioning for at least 6-9 months. This can vary depending on how quickly your hair grows and how curly it is at the root area.

Vincent's rule of thumb: The closer to your scalp the curl starts the sooner you may need a touchup. Keep in mind that this varies for every individual that has Thermal Reconditioning.

4. Will Repeated Touch-ups Damage My Hair? A Thermal Reconditioning touchup requires great skill, much more than the initial process to insure that the hair is properly protected and conditioned. Make sure that your technician is familiar with the touch up process. Find out what steps they take to protect your hair. Repeated Thermals should leave your hair in better shape than before the process due to the intense conditioning the ends should be receiving.

5. Will I Be Able To Color My Hair After Thermal Reconditioning? After a period of two weeks it is safe to have your hair colored again? If you are coloring your hair at home it is advisable to have your hair professionally colored for the first touchup after your thermal. Special precautions will need to be taken for the first few times. It is best for a protein treatment to be applied to the hair before color to even out the porosity and insure great results.

6. If I Choose To Grow Out My Thermal Reconditioned Hair, What Are My Options? There is a process similar in application to a perm where the curl is put back into the previously Thermal Reconditioned hair in order to balance the look as the new hair grows out. THIS IS NOT A REGULAR PERM, it uses much milder chemicals.

Find out if your stylist is familiar with this process in case you want to go back to natural curls.

Vincent suggests: it is usually best to wait at least 3 months after your Thermal Recondition before attempting to reverse the process this will allow enough of the natural wave to return so the technician will be able to match your wave pattern.

Provide A Complete Hair History To The TR Expert Before The Treatment Is Begun

It is important to be completely honest with your TR technician about your following hair history events:

  • Are there previous relaxers or other chemicals on your hair? Be specific as to the type of chemicals and when they were applied.
  • Provide a complete hair color history including product information, if possible.

More On Vincent J

With over 25 years in the industry, Vincent J was educated in New York City while working with some of Europe's most elite design teams including master stylists Nicholas French and Brian Smith. His work has been profiled on NBC's TODAY SHOW as well as national consumer and trade publications including Allure, Elle, Bride's and Salon News.

Vincent J works at his own full service salon aptly named VINCENT J Salon in Fort Lauderdale, FL. To learn more about Vincent J services. product offerings and to visit his online thermal reconditioning message board, please visit or call (954) 566-6601.

For more information on Vincent J, contact Danna Can at 305-466-2820 or [email protected]

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