Going Straight: Japanese YUKO hair straightening

going straight

A few weeks back, I looked in the mirror and thought: that’s it, I’ve had it with all this kinkyness, I’m going straight! Permanently!….With my hair that is! We’ve all heard about the 12 week blowdry, were even gotten used to the organic 16 week blowdry. Which are semi permanent smoothing treatments, that are weak enough to still let you curl your hair if you want, but strong enough to harness frizz and curl by 50%.

But you probably haven’t yet heard of Japanese YUKO straightening. It’s actually been around in Japan for over 10 years, but it’s only come to Ireland in the past year or two. Unlike the 12 and 16 week blowdrys, YUKO is a 100% permanent chemical straightening treatment. This means that it cannot be curled no matter what you try, and if you don’t like it you cant reverse it, you just have to wait for it to grow out like a bad dye job. And just like hair dye, you will need to top up the roots as they grow out.

But on the plus side, you can just wash your hair in the morning, point the dryer at it, and your hair will look as straight and frizz free as it does after a good GHDing. Which is almost like a dream for most working women.

So what exactly does it involve and how much is it? Well, to be honest it is very similar to the process involved in the 12 and 16 week blowdrys. The folks at Brown Sugar on number 50 South William street Dublin tell me that it involves four steps, first: the spray in a primer The primer replenishes your hair with essential nutrients and prepares the hair for processing. Secondly, they begin the processing stage by spraying in the straightening solution, this completely restructures your hair by breaking down the protein bonds in it that make it curly. Thirdly They go over the hair while the solution is still init with a specially designed straightener. This not only straightens but also revives the tresses. Finally they wash out the first treatment, and apply another called a neutraliser, which stops the first treatment in its tracks (if you let it keep going your hair would eventually just fall out) and then they rinse it out, and blowdry your hair which conditions and cements the straight shape for the future.

How long it will take to do depends completely on how curly and thick your hair is to begin with, but the folks at Brown Sugar say that 3-4 hours is the average. But they have had people there for 6-7 hours before, so that’s why they ask you to come in for a free consultation beforehand to assess how long it’s going to take. They usually like to schedule chemical treatments for as early in the morning as possible so that they aren’t up all night doing your hair.

They also say that there starting price for YUKO straightening is €105 but this could be more depending on the type of hair/how long it will require to do/whether it’s done by a senior stylist or junior etc. Cowbows and Angels South William street, start at €300 with the same considerations, as does Salon19, But Foxy Brown on Grafton street charge just €35 for long hair and €25 for short hair.

There are a few drawbacks to YUKO treatment, you cant wash your hair or get it wet at all (not even a little bit of drizzle) for two days after the treatment or it will deactivate and your hair will go back to being curly. And you cant tie up your hair or even tuck it behind your ears for two days, as it will permanently kink. I also recommend bringing food with you when you go because when I got it a little while ago, it took 4 hours and I was starving by the end of it cos I went in at 11am and had to wait til nearly 4pm before they finished blowdrying and everything. I admit at around 2:30 I was wondering could I get away with getting up and walking to the corner shop to buy a hot chicken roll, with all the stuff still in my hair and the hairdressing cape desperate skouse-wives stylie…but unfortunately guys, I cant quite pull off that look, so I stayed put and dreamt of an eddie rockets chicken burger, and going straight…

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