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Thermal reconditioning (also called Japanese straightening) is best for bulky, loose to medium—but not kinky—curls. The hair is saturated with a solution containing a chemical that breaks the bonds that give each strand its shape; it is then rinsed, blow-dried, and meticulously flatironed.  Once a neutralizer is applied, the hair is locked into this new, straight configuration. The process can take up to 5 hours the first time (depending on length and thickness); touch-ups require three to four hours. For three days after the treatment, you can't get your hair wet or do anything kink inducing (like wear a ponytail).  Your hair will now be sleek and shiny (even after air drying).

Brazilian and Global Keratin Straightening, smoothes the surface of the hair but don't permanently break bonds, so your natural texture gradually returns after a few months.   After the product is applied, the hair is blow-dried, then flatironed; the solution stays in the hair until you shampoo up to 2 days later. These treatments can be done on color-treated hair and are actually repairing to the hair like a conditioning treatment.  Treatments are effective on everything from waves to tight curls; they control frizz but maintain some texture and volume. Though you'll still need to blow-dry hair straight, the process will require less effort.