In the world of hair straightening, the two heavyweight treatments are the Brazilian blow out and Japanese hair straightening. Though they have their own characteristics, recognizable to the trained eye, both treatments leave you with smooth, straight hair that lasts for months. The treatments are also known to cost quite a bit and take several hours to complete in a salon.
Being someone who has worked at straightening my hair for years, I have gone to parlors to try both the Brazilian blow out and Japanese hair straightening. Personally, I am a bigger fan of the Brazilian blow out because I feel it looks more natural on me. I've never liked the way pin-straight hair looks on me, which is what you get when you use a Japanese hair straightener. However, I will admit that it does look good on other people.
Because I don't particularly like the results of a Japanese hair straightener, I never bothered to look at the do-it-yourself products that promise these results. It wasn't until a friend of mine asked me to help her straighten her hair did I hear about Matrix Opti Smooth Japanese Hair Straightener, a home straightening system that promises to give the same results of professional Japanese hair straightening.
The Matrix system is designed for normal virgin hair, that means those who have dyed their hair or whose hair has gone through other chemical treatments cannot use the system till their hair has grown out. If they do, the risk the chance of frying their hair, making it frizzy and dry looking. When used correctly on virgin hair, however, the system protects the hair during and after the smoothening process, and results in shiny, smooth, healthy looking straight hair!
Users of this system have an option to go with the cold process option or the hot process option. The cold process reduces the hair's volume, smooths and manages or “tames” curly hair, and it eliminates frizz. The hot process results in pin-straight hair. Each box of this product comes with pre-treatment spray, smoothing cream, conditioning neutralizer, post-treatment crème, and instructions, which come in written form and include photos or sometimes a DVD. Each box is good for two applications, depending on the length of the hair.
Understanding how frustrating having curly and frizzy hair is, I was more than willing to help my friend and we set aside one whole Saturday to do the Matrix Opti Smooth treatment. Based on one of the reviews we found on Amazon.com, she deep conditioned her hair four times before that Saturday with a protein product. This way, we were assured that her hair was very well conditioned and would be able to stand the chemical onslaught.
Come that Saturday, we applied a lot of the pre-treatment spray to her hair. Then we applied the smoothing cream in small sections, combing it into her hair and smoothening it out with gloved hands. Once done, we blotted the bottoms so that the ends wouldn't be over-processed. It is very important to note that the hair has to stay as straight as possible, even when washing it. When the time came to use a ceramic iron, I used the highest setting and ran through each section of her hair three times.
At the end of the process, my friend was in heaven! She had straight, smooth, shiny hair, and I have to admit she looked great! She made me want to try the product on myself! It wasn't exactly salon-looking hair, but neither of us are professionals, and this product is nowhere near as expensive as what a salon treatment would cost anyway! What's amazing, though, is now, my friend lives off air-drying her hair! That's how straight it is! There's just a bit of frizz on humid days, but it's straight!
The only downside to this Japanese hair straightener is that entire process took us four hours, but I'm sure the total time actually depends on the length of the hair. Also, I think this is the type of product you really need help with. I'm sure my friend could have done it on her own, but having me help her do the back portion and areas she couldn't access well helped the entire thing come out better. So we both recommend that the product be used with the help of a friend or a hairdresser and that it be used on virgin hair that has been conditioned well so as to avoid frying. Also, it is important to pick the right formula type. For example, thin virgin hair will need the sensitive formula while coarse hair will need the normal formula.
It's been two years and my friend continues to use the Matrix Opti Smooth Japanese Hair Straightener. Her hair is pin-straight, smooth, and silky. Exactly what she wanted! And all for the price of a nice blouse! Oh, it also costs her a box of brownies, which is what she gets me every time we do this system together!
Can't believe you can get a Japanese hair straightener in your home? Click here to find out more about the product!