I have terrible hair. Thick, coarse, and wavy, it’s every stylist’s nightmare. In fact just about the only local stylist who didn’t flinch and was able to give me a good cut was Alex Carbonell, formerly of Propaganda, but has now moved on to be the head honcho at Bench Fix in Glorietta 5. Every day is a bad hair day if I don’t pull my hair back into a ponytail.
For many years I’ve gone back and forth researching and observing various hair straightening techniques. I underwent milk rebonding at Ricky Reyes several years ago. I was at the salon by 10am, and I went out nearly 6pm. It was okay, except that when the roots grew out, I was stuck with very awkward hair. Milk rebonding dries your hair out severely too, so you can’t really do anything with it afterwards. Several months after milk rebonding, you are left with what I refer to as “crunchy” hair. It isn’t even touchable anymore. I swear it makes breaking sounds when I try to bend the strands.
I’ve been going without any form of straightening for the last 4 years or so. I let my whole head of hair grow out so I can start anew. For my next experiment I considered L’oreal Xtenso and Shuji Kida’s Japanese Magnetic Hair Straightening. I stalked a few nearby salons looking at the before and after condition of their clients’ hair after the said procedures. I wasn’t happy with how Xtenso looked. It seemed as if all your hair was stuck on your head — stick-straight and non-moving. I wanted my hair to still look and feel like hair, with body, bounce, and so forth. Was I asking for too much?
As you can see from my before photo above, my hair is really close to impossible to style or manage without a ton of effort. I met a girl who underwent Shuji Kida’s magnetic hair straightening and I really liked what I saw. Her hair looked very natural. Root problems are also minimized since the hair retains its natural body. So after years of research and observation, I finally went for it.
The procedure started at about 9:45am. I was shampooed and then my hair was saturated in a solution which I was told is seaweed-based. There was no strong chemical odor, and Japanese stylist Shigeki Ogaki used his bare hands to work it in my hair. For milk rebonding at Ricky Reyes and L’oreal Xtenso at Piandre Salon, the staff had to wear thick gloves so their hands would not get in contact with the chemicals. This is a good indication that the solution Shuji Kida Hair Salon uses is a lot milder compared to others. My hair was wrapped in clear cellophane and subjected to a heating machine at some point (pictured above left).
I went through the usual ironing (pictured above right) and blow-drying, after which a neutralizer was applied all over my hair. After 10 minutes, the neutralizer was rinsed off and my hair was blow-dried for the last time. I was instructed by Shigeki not to tie my hair, not to use clips, and not to wash it for two days. By the time I was done it was 1:45pm. The process took four hours to complete.
I love the results of Shuji Kida Hair Salon’s Japanese Magnetic Hair Straightening. My hair is soft, shiny, plus it looks and feels natural. It has body and bounce. It doesn’t just lie there flat and unmoving. There’s no overpowering chemical odor afterwards too. What’s more, I was told I can actually color my hair a week after whereas for L’oreal Xtenso, hair coloring is a no-no and the closest thing you can go for is a cellophane treatment. I have a lot of white strands so coloring is a must hehe…
Shuji Kida Hair Salon
Ground Level, City Center Bldg.
338 Ortigas Ave., San Juan City
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