Derived from a Japanese straightening technique, the Farouk Chi Straightening system is the American version of thermal reconditioning. Chi combines silk, keratin, ionic and ceramic technology to straighten hair permanently. The expensive and lengthy process is done in a salon and claims to save you time in the long term.
Also known as Japanese hair straightening, thermal reconditioning uses high heat and chemicals to break the hair's natural disulfide bonds. The number of disulfide bonds dictates hair's curliness. These bonds hold together the hair's main protein called keratin.
The Chi thermal reconditioning process consists of spraying clean hair with the Chi Keratin mist and applying the silk infusion serum, drying the hair, applying the chemical solution which breaks the disulfide bonds, then rinsing it out. Another silk infusion and Chi conditioner is added to the hair and followed by a blow dry. The last steps include straightening at high heat (above 350 degrees) with the Chi flat iron, applying neutralizer, then washing, conditioning, drying and ironing again.
If you only want temporarily straight hair, you can opt for the at-home treatment using the Chi Thermal Protection Spray, silk infusion and flat iron. Other Chi thermal products include a conditioner and polisher, and the line contains various products that you can combine.
Because the chemical treatment has broken and rearranged the hair's chemical bonds, hair remains straight for several months. Some clients require less daily maintenance with blow drying and flat irons after the lengthy (more than 5 hour) process.
Japanese thermal reconditioning can't be used on color treated, chemically relaxed or permed hair. New root growth requires touch ups with the same process. Because chemicals and high heat are used, hair damage may ensue, especially with repeated treatments.
Karina C. Hernandez is a real estate agent in San Diego since 2004. She has a background in mortgage finance and cosmetics and has written home & garden, housing and beauty articles for multiple internet channels over the past 10 years. She has a B.A. in English from UCLA.