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My hair journey: From curly, to frizzy, to permanently straight with Japanese straightening

Tuesday 24 July 2018

If someone were to ask, what is one thing you could change about your body, it would be immediately my hair.

My hair has been the bane of my life for as long as I can remember. Whilst my friends had lovely silky smooth hair, mine was a mass of voluminous curls. Sure, on paper this sounds wonderful. Images of AnnaLynn McCord or Taylor Swift (pre mega star days) probably come to mind, but that wasn't quite what the hair gods had in mind for me. Think more Kate Bush and you get the idea. 

But it wasn't always like that. Oh no. In fact, looking back at photos, I had rather cute hair, and with hindsight, if I had looked after it properly, it could have been really long and beautiful when I was older, but hey, hindsight is a wonderful thing right?

Looking at this photo, my curls look quite nice don't they. The only problem I found was that as the first in my family to not have straight hair texture, no one knew what to do it with it. It got dry and brittle so easily, it tangled so much and puffed up with the slightest moisture in the air. Running a brush through it proved a no no and blow drying it like my mum did with her straight hair also was a big no. See you have to remember this was the days before YouTube tutorials. Hell we didn't even have a computer in my house until I was in year 6 let alone the internet!

And so the quality of my hair deteriorated over time; becoming more and more frizzy.

But that was nothing really, until I discovered hair straighteners. Like most teenage girls, I just wanted to fit in and so I started straightening my hair. 

Again, I regret it now, but I didn't carefully look after straigneing my hair. Instead I'd rag it through my curls, trying desperately to straighten them, whilst using £20 hair straighteners from Argos.

Long story short, my hair became so week and frizzy that it stopped growing and huge amounts of breakage would occur. This photo below when I was 18 starts to show the signs of damage. 

And so the first big change I made was getting extensions. As a poor student, these were clip ins, which I would go on to wear every single day for years and years.

I had some misses at first, and learning to blend took some getting used to. What on earth are those curls?

But actually they worked surprisingly well for a while. I took them them to professionally coloured at a hairdressers and she cut them to give them some shape. Eventually though I grew tired of clipping them in everyday and wanted something that looked a bit more real. So when I graduated university I decided to get micro ring extensions. 

For a while my hair was amazing. I got my very first salon blow dry, and my hair looked the best it ever had. I finally felt like one of those women out of glossy magazines. I went to Vixen and Blush, and still go to this day.

However, I'll be honest, I continued to not look after my hair properly as I was straightening it every day, dragging the straighteners through, and really not properly moisturising it for my hair texture. I'd let it dry naturally, then have to really battle to get the straightener through the next day. I'm nearly 27 and I first started straightening my hair at 17, so after 10 years of this, the damage was catching up. The slightest bit of moisture in the air would cause it to puff up, and I seriously do mean slightest. I was finding that I couldn't properly straighten it anymore, and no matter how much I pulled, it would still be kinky. 

It was driving me insane, and it looked awful. But I didn't know how bad until I saw these photos.

My hair had become so damaged, this is what it looked like even after straightening it. I think my extensions make a stark contrast of what healthy hair and damaged hair looks like. This is 4 years after that photo with me in the pink top. It's not that long really but enough time had passed for damage to really set in.

I'd had enough. I hated my hair, and seriously considered chopping it all off and starting again. I was embarrassed to be seen without my hair scrapped back in a tight bun, out of the way.

Thats when I remembered years ago my hairdressers saying why didn't I consider the Brazilian Blow-dry- a semi permanent smoothing treatment. I had a Google and thats when I came across Japanese Straightening. 

Japanese Straightening uses a round of chemicals to breakdown your hair actual bonds, which when followed by heat straightening, changed the bond structure taking curly hair strands to pin straight ones. 

After doing a lot of research I decided to take the plunge.

First I had my extensions removed and then I decided to go with Zoltan Hair for the actual straightening after reading great reviews of his work in magazines such as Tatler and newspapers like The Guardian. The process took around 3 and a half hours to do and thats on my quite short hair, so you can expect longer times for thicker hair.

However I think the results speak for themselves. This is my hair after washing! Seriously! My hair was now poker straight! It honestly was such a shock and amazing to see how dramatic the results were.

A week later I decided to go back to get micro bond extensions, but this time on straight hair.

For the first time ever, my hair is now completely manageable. When I wash it, all I have to do is rough blow dry it and it's poker straight. In a morning, I simply get up, give it a comb and out I go. In this heat wave we've been having, my hair has held up like a trooper, with no puffiness whatsoever. If it rains, I don't panic like crazy anymore as it still remains straight! Honestly getting Japanese Straightening has been the best decision I ever made.

2 and a half months later, what is it like? Well my roots are growing, so that means I'm getting curly, frizzy hair on top of my head, so eventually I will need to go back for a top up, like you do with colouring your hair, however the rest of my hair is still lovely and smooth. I don't fear washing my hair anymore because of the battle that ensues.

With modern technology, there is always something you can do about your hair, so don't despair. But my advice would really to understand your hair texture, I've since been studying videos on YouTube (ah the modern world) so I can really take care of it from now on. The biggest thing for me at this moment is to try and get my hair healthy again.

Since having the treatment I haven't straightened my hair once with straighteners! So fingers crossed this is the start of a new healthy hair journey. 


  1. the look is lovely

    Thank you for this lovely post my dear
    New post

  2. Wow what a hair journey you have been through, it looks absolutely stunning now

  3. Growing up with straight hair all my life, I've always wished I had curly hair! You are so right when you say you can do anything with it. It takes work to get my straight hair to curl and then it never holds. I'd do anything for some natural waves and rock it like nobodies business! I love your hair!. For more info click here.