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Supplement CURL POWER

Publication THE MIRROR

Date18 07 2002 Page no 36

Section M HEALTH

Edition 3 Star
Section M Health

Before styling; WAVE

Picture Caption GOODBYE: After the treatment;
TIME AND LOTION: Miracle crea

WHEN I was asked to try a brand new straightening treatment, I jumped a t the chance. No more serum, blow dryers or straightening irons for me.

The new Japanese treatment offers permanent straight, well-conditioned hair which doesn't fizz up every time it rains.

It seems strange that the Japanese would need to straighten their hair, but Ionic Hair
Retexturising has caught on because it tames their thick coarse hair, leaving it fine and glossy.

The treatment has just been introduced in the West and celebs - including Jennifer Aniston and Samantha Mumba - are big fans.

It's been so popular, staff at a hair salon in London do up to 40 treatments a week. It's suitable for European naturally wavy, curly, frizzy or dehydrated hair, and even permed looks. It can be done on Afro-Caribbean hair although it tends to grow out faster.

What separates this straightening treatment from others is that the process actually locks moisture in rather than leaving hair dry and brittle. It does this by breaking down clusters of water molecules to allow individual molecules to penetrate the hair shaft. This means it will be in better condition than before, helping make it smooth and sleek.

The hair remains straight, until it grows out four to six months later.

But you have to suffer to be beautiful - the treatment costs £250 and takes four hours.

After the treatment, my hair looked smooth and salon-styled. But it itched and smelt of chemicals. I wasn't allowed to wash it for two days and it was only then that I was finally convinced that this treatment is fabulous.

I felt wary the first time I washed it. Not bothering with my usual serums and styling products, I simply gave it a quick blast with the hair dryer. I was convinced it would go back to the usual
wavy mop. So when it dried looking as though I'd just stepped out of the salon I could hardly believe it. It had only taken 10 minutes.

Over the next two weeks, my hair looked better and better as it got more body and felt softer and glossier.

I haven't had a bad hair day for weeks. When I wake up it looks exactly the same as when I went to bed, not a hair out of place.

Gone are the straightening irons, paddle brush, clips and serum. Now I can just wash and go. Why the treatment takes four hours..5 minutes

Technician Jake Fugler began my treatment by applying a protection spray. This helps preserve my hair colour as I've had it dyed. The treatment can be used on semi-permanent coloured hair. Although it can lift the colour slightly.

15 minutes

He then covered my hair with a nasty smelling chemical paste, Ionic Formula number one which allows water to penetrate into the core of the hair. It also opens the cuticles ready for the straightening irons to do their work.

30 minutes

The formula is left to work. My head was covered in a big plastic bag which puffs up to keep the warm air in.

25 minutes

Jake rinses and blow dries my hair.

100 minutes

Next he divided my hair into tiny half a centimetre thick sections. Each one is painstakingly straightened five times with ceramic straightening tongs. It takes an hour and a half. The combination of the chemicals and the tongs re-educates the hair strands from wavy to straight. I had to hold my ears back and I'm a bit worried he'll slip up as these tongs are 180 degrees hot. The straightening takes ages, over an hour and a half.

5 minutes

Afterwards Jake applies a neutralising gel. This formula is what makes the process permanent and without it my hair would be wavy again.

30 minutes

It's left in for a further half an hour.

15 minutes

Next my hair is rinsed once again and a conditioning treatment is applied.

10 minutes

Jake then lightly finger dries my hair without using any products. It does look perfectly straight and very stylish but I'm a bit alarmed as it feels flat against my face. But within a few days it looked fab -natural and glossy..

Total minutes: 240 - that's 4 hours