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From: Janina (68.146.119.246)
Subject: Re: ISO Maintamer REVIEW
Date: December 26, 2009 at 2:33 pm PST

In Reply to: ISO Maintamer posted by allison on August 4, 2006 at 3:16 am:

My review:

I have totally random hair, its curly on the back of my head, and a tiny bit wavy everywhere else (resulting in weird cowlicks everywhere). This product worked exactly the way it said it would.
I believe that most people don't have a good experience because they didn't follow the steps properly (ie, not doing the strand test throughout to see if it is processed enough, going over the 30 minute maximum treatment time for step 1, or going over the 5 minute time of step 2, not rinsing enough (10 minutes) for step 1 or (5 minutes) for step 2).
First what i did (suggested from someone else, to make the application easier. Instructions don't suggest this), was I straightened my hair with a straightening iron, which I'm really glad I did, I can't imagine applying step 1 evenly with curly hair, It gets very tangled during this step and you'd probably end up pulling a lot of your hair out.
So then what I did, is I separated my hair into 4 quadrants like it said to do. I think this allows you to maintain the one inch distance from the scalp that was required (I read about a person's hairdresser who put it against her scalp and her hair fell out there). I decided to make the quadrants the back (most curly), the other two quadrants the sides (wavy), and the top (the most straight part of my hair). I applied step 1 carefully (no rubbing, just smoothing through hair), first to the back of my head (which I needed the most processing time for), the sides, then the top. It took me about 10 minutes to apply step 1 by myself. This resulted in a processing time of about 20 minutes for the back, 15 minutes for the sides and 10 minutes for the top. I did the strand test every 5 min throughout (lift the hair, and if it falls back down and is not still straight, keep processing). Once all my hair had stayed straight, I washed it out for the FULL 10 MINUTES, which I think is essential (I don't think step 2 will work properly if there is any step 1 coating the hair, since step 1 is meant to break the bonds in your hair) and people must get lazy with this (step 1 smells terrible, so by the time you are completely finished with the full system, your hair should barely smell, if it still smells unbearable you didn't rinse enough in this step). Then I towel dried my hair until I could no longer squeeze water out of it. This is really important, because if you didn't dry it enough, water will of course collect near the ends of your hair and the neutralizer in step 2 will get dilute and not neutralize properly there (resulting in breakage, since the purpose of step 2 is to reform the bonds in your hair). I applied step 2 as quick as possible (took about 30 seconds) I left this step in my hair for EXACTLY 5 MIN like it said to do (counting from the time I finished applying it). I worked the wide tooth comb through my hair and kept it straight with the comb and my fingers like the instructions said (essential in this step to keep hair straight). Then I washed my hair for the FULL 5 MINUTES. I did not condition my hair after this step, because it didn't say to (I've seen reviews where people have used conditioner after this step, I'll tell you why I didn't think it was a good I idea a little later). I then blow dried my hair and straightened it with a straightening iron to make my hair more permanently extra straight (I then noticed that the last 3 inches still had some curl to them, and I remembered I was focusing more on the middle and top of my hair then the ends in step 2). I washed it after about 44 hours (it said you could wash it after 24 hours, but I'm always told to wait a longer time when I get a perm or colour my hair because it lasts longer). So I didn't condition my hair after step 2 was rinsed out because this would likely reform many of the hair bonds (if the conditioner is slightly acidic, which they commonly are), that the neutralizer missed, and strengthen the rest of the reformed bonds. I wanted to straighten my hair with an iron and leave it for a couple days to make my hair extra straight. And what do you know, after I washed my hair for the first time, the last 3 inches of curl that was there before was gone, and I just had a slight curve at the ends of my hair (which is exactly what I wanted, I didn't want it stick straight, because that makes the hair limp and flat).

My hair barely tangles anymore, feels very smooth and now I can just wash it and go, my hair is still really straight even when it air dries. No more straightening for me! I heard that over time, every time you wash your hair, it reverts more and more back to it's original curly state. I cannot attest to this since I've only washed it 5 times. I'll review again in a few months

I would suggest that anyone who is planning to do this, that they get someone to help them. If my hair was the same curliness all over, I would have needed to finish applying step 1 very quickly to get an equal processing time thoughout my hair. It's very very very difficult to apply step one, because it tangles the hair SO much. It was especially difficult to do the back of my head, and I did miss a couple places there.


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