TR Consultation


TR is a method we use to transform our artistic visions into striking straight, frizz-free hair design. As TR stylists, we are artists who use hair as our medium, we TR it to give it light and movement and to make it respond to our imagination.

You’ve no doubt had heard of TR. You know that it involves using chemical solutions to change the hair’s inner shape to put movement, de-frizz and make the hair more pliable. You may also know some of the science behind TR – thio, disulfide bonds, neutralizer and thermal process using a ceramic flat iron at 180°C. And you may be a bit wary of the process because of all the horror TR stories.

These step by step series is your sourcebook, a tool you can use to gain confidence and learn how to interview the TR stylist and to help preserve your hair and TR horror accidents. It is designed to take you through the TR process step by step, to supplement – NOT replace the importance of choosing the TR stylist doing the TR process. After all, when your TR expert/stylist knows the science behind his/her art, your hair will come looking relatively great. Otherwise, it is not worth it.

The client asks the TR stylist: “I am considering getting TR. Do you have any advice? My hair is just to my shoulders, medium coarse texture, thick and medium curly and in good condition. Mostly acts up in humidity! Thanks for any advice you can give me”.

TR stylist answers by saying: “Send me a PIC so that I could evaluate your hair better”.

Unfortunately, TR doesn’t work that way! A close up picture of the client’s hair while wet and while it is dry may be a good preliminary evaluation.

While the TR process provides great results, not every head of hair is a good candidate for the treatment. All prospective clients are strongly encouraged to schedule a pre TR in-salon consultation to determine the probable results. This should take approximately 30 to 45 minutes.

The consultation and hair analysis procedure will reveal the condition of your hair to some extent. Such evaluation will determine the structural competency of the hair and help interpret the TR stylist’s findings before making your decision for Japanese Thermal Reconditioning/TR.

A professional TR expert will have a questionnaire which is usually divided into two major sections, “Client” section and “Professional” section. By completing the client section, the TR stylist will obtain important information about the client’s general health and habits and hair treatments and care. It is essential to carefully complete the client questionnaire.

For example, the scalp, skin, nails, gives the TR stylist some clues to the client’s overall health condition. Below-average health or being on a crash diet may adversely affect the hair. It is important to remember that healthy hair begins with a healthy body and good nutrition.

Grooming products used on the hair are an important indicator as to whether the client is using properly formulated products of a proper pH value. Certain types of formulations or products of highly alkaline pH may cause chemical damage to the hair when used over a period of time.

Implements used on the hair are important factors when chemical/mechanical damage has been noted. The client may be shown the proper way to utilize home styling implements, such as flat irons, blow-dryers, including the use of thermal protection Leave-In treatments. Bobbie pins, etc, may cause pinch marks, rubbing the hair and causing friction damage to the cuticle. In such a case, the client is advised to discontinue use of the damaging implement.

Additional client comments are important to bring forth any underlying problems in related areas that the TR stylist did not uncover.

Hair distribution, hair shape and hair condition enables the TR stylist to have a visual picture of the hair.

Hair length tells the TR stylist approximately how old the hair is, and how much damage may be observed. Therefore, recent reactive salon services, such as bleaching, coloring and permanent hair straightening/TR done on the hair may have a major impact on the condition of the hair.

Manageability can tell a great deal about what some of the hair problems may be. Wiry and frizzy hair might indicate a lack of flexibility, possibly caused by over-neutralizing a TR. Limp hair would indicate it will not hold a style. This type of hair may be difficult to TR. The degree to which the hair holds a set would indicate the degree of flexibility, as in hair that will hold a hairstyle for only a short while.

The scalp condition gives a general overview of the scalp condition. If a client has problems with eczema, seborheic dermatitis (oily, flaking, raised reddened areas) or with psoriasis (dry, flaking, flattened redden areas), it is recommended that no major salon services, such as TR be given until the condition has been corrected and controlled by a physician.

Next in the questionnaire is a number of questions on major salon services such as, hair coloring, bleach, highlights and chemical hair straightening/TR. These questions must be answered in detail. The more information you give, the easier it will be to assist you.

It is important that you provide additional information which you feel may relate to your hair’s problem. This information, no matter how minute, is a tremendous help to an evaluation and may give the TR expert additional insight into your hair’s problem.

Consultation is a total procedure that involves conveying to clients that the stylist performing the TR process is an expert, making the necessary examinations and tests, determining the hair’s structural competency, educating the client, recommending the proper reconditioning treatment, carrying it out, showing the client the improvement, and pleasing the client with continual and positive results. There are a number of detailed steps that are to be followed to ensure that the client receives the full range.

To visually examine and testing the mechanical strength of the hair fiber and make any necessary preliminary evaluation, taking hair tests is extremely important in the overall results. The hair tests taken must be representative of the entire head of hair.

Hair samples

  1. It is necessary to test the hairs from each area of the head (left, right, crown. nape). Additional tests should be taken from any problem areas.

  2. Tests should never be taken from an area which will be cut or trimmed, no matter how damaged the hair may be. In such a case, the TR stylist would be analyzing damage that no longer remains a problem to the overall condition of your hair, thus receiving useless results.

  3. If you have a problem area where a) Color fades more rapidly. b) Areas that do not hold a set or style. c) Areas that are unmanageable or reveal breakage. Always ask for extra hair tests from any problem areas which you may complain of. Generally speaking, where there are problems of this nature, the condition of the hair is very much in question.

  4. Is your TR stylist taking representative samples? Always keep in mind that the TR stylist is selecting a very small group of hairs to represent a very large group of hairs, and for all results to be valid, the hair test must be representative.

Some of the important questions your TR stylist should ask before you proceed with the TR service:

  • Do you take medications? If so, type of medication taken.
  • Was medication removal formula used? If so, how long before the TR process.
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Termination date of last pregnancy.
  • Nails: healthy - dry - splitting – soft.
  • Manageability: Easy - Average – Tough
  • Body: Limp - Normal - Curly or Springy
  • Sheen and Luster: Dull – Normal
  • Do styles last?
  • General health: above average - average - below average – poor
  • Hair condition: Breaking – oily – dry.
  • Hair distribution: Thick – thin – falling.
  • Do you swim in chlorinated swimming pools?
  • Is your hair Henna treated?
  • Hair coloring: Tinted – highlighted.
  • Is your hair chemically Straightened? If so, what is the active ingredient used.
  • Is your hair TRd? If so, how long was step #1 reforming solution processed?
  • How long was step #1 rinsed?
  • Was there noticeable scalp or skin irritation?
  • How long step #2 neutralizing solution processed?
  • How long was step #2, the neutralizing solution rinsed?


Hair analysis is a step by step process

Porosity test:

Porosity refers to the ability of hair to absorb the chemical solution. Hence, over-process/under-process. The processing time for any chemical/TR service depends much more on hair porosity than on any other factor. The more porous the hair, the less processing time it takes, and a milder solution is required. Hair porosity is affected by excessive exposure to mechanical abuse such as blow-dryers, hot irons, sun, chlorine and continued use of harsh shampoos, colors, highlights and straightener/relaxers. Hair that’s over-porous should not receive a chemical straightening/TR treatment until the hair has been reconditioned, or removed by cutting.

Elasticity test:

Elasticity refers to the ability of the hair to stretch beyond its normal length and then spring back. Normal hair when wet can be stretched to about 40 to 50% of its normal length and return. Dry hair is not so elastic, it will stretch about 20 percent of its length and return to its normal position. When elasticity damage occurs, the cortex have been seriously disrupted or even destroyed.

Hair will change its elasticity from time to time. Usually, porous hair loses its elasticity faster than non-porous hair. This change may be temporary due to humidity and temperature, the type of shampoo used, the amount of hair spray/gels used, and drying action of wind and sun.

Signs of poor elasticity:

When the hair is wet, it feels spongy, limp, tangles easily and stretches excessively without returning to its normal position. The most common cause of this serious condition is chemical services such as color, highlight, permanent straightening/TR either given improperly or too often, or both. Elasticity damage can also be caused by brushing wet hair—stretching the hair beyond its limit. The elasticity qualities of hair will determine the rate of success in permanent hair straightening/TR.

Your TR stylist should do the following elasticity test: Take a single dry hair and hold it between your thumb and forefinger of the other hand. Slowly stretch it between them. The further it can be stretched without breaking, the more elastic is the hair. If elasticity is good, the hair slowly contracts after stretching. Hair with poor elasticity will break quickly and easily when stretched. Note: DO NOT wet or shampoo the hair for at least 12 hours before running this test.

Your TR stylist should do the following structural test to determine the condition of your hair.


  1. Select a strand of hair without stretching it from the side of your head above the ears (make sure it represents the general condition of your hair).

  2. Hold it between the thumb and forefinger. With the thumbnail and index finger of the other hand, run the distance of hair rapidly as you would curl a ribbon with scissors. This will create a series of small curls.

  3. Then gently hold the hair straight for 10 seconds and release.

  4. If the hair completely or almost completely returns to the curl pattern, it is in good condition. If it returns only 50% or less, the hair is structurally weak and will require reconditioning. —Under NO circumstances should TR be given when the hair is in this range. It needs proper hair care and a network of protein and moisturizing treatments to build strength and flexibility into hair to give it substance and resilience.

  5. Finally, to complete the consultation, the TR stylist will take two hairs from the head and wrap them around one finger, pulling them with the other hand to test the texture of the hair. If the hairs break, it is not strong enough for straightening service. If they don’t, the hair is durable and ready for service. We have to do it in different places, let’s say we have highlighted hair we have to do it here too the same way.

Getting there is easy.

Take a moment and ascertain of what you’d like your hair to be like…dream a little…then let Science and an advanced TR stylist take you there.  

Pre-Plan. Pre-Determine and ask questions.

The choice is yours – Finally! The Scientific Approach to Japanese Hair Straightening/Thermal Reconditioning/TR by Steve Tcherkezian. Helping you get to the next level..."

Armed with the language, we educate ourselves on certain subjects where we learn the fundamentals and disciplines related to hair. When we find a subject appealing, we want to learn more than just the basics, more than the fundamentals. We learn the disciplines – the proper mechanics. And we discipline ourselves to do it correctly. In essence, in order to master the subject, we do whatever it takes to own the information.

So, you say to yourself: “Where do I go from here?” I understand the language, and now I know how to take better care and to create beautiful hair, based on hair that is in optimum condition…simple, isn’t it?