I Hitoshi am from Japan and I am the distributor of ID CARE hair care collection products and STRAIGHT TIO Japanese TR system; #1 seller in Japan. I learned from Master TR technician Mr. Kumagai about hair and Japanese TR in Japan.
TR (Thermal Reconditioning), a.k.a. Japanese Hair Straightening. Its original is Japan. About 6 years ago they developed it in Japan. In Far East Asia (Japan & Korea) they have been doing lots of TR (Japanese Hair Straightening) what is called "Magic Straight" since its development. But in North America they have started just recently as far as I know.
TR must not be done by an amateur, because it requires skilled technique. If a hairstylist is not well trained she/she is apt to make mistakes. If it is done by an amateur hair might be damaged a lot and it looks dry and frizzy. They have to know how to test when it is relaxed and many more.
The hairstylist must have essential knowledge about hair and chemical process (cystine bond, hydrogen bond, ionic bond, opening cuticle, closing cuticle, what is thioglycolate, what is sodium hydroxide, what is neutralizer, heat oxidation, breaking cystine bond, re-connecting cystine bond etc. there are many to know about in TR). The more knowledge he has, the better TR works out.
In Japan hairstylists who want to learn TR take a really hard training. But here in North America, I am afraid many people, not all, think it’s too easy. In a sense they are messing around. So I have been reading on the internet and hearing many bad experiences out there.
Frankly TR is not easy. It requires a lot of details. When it comes to TR we can't emphasize too much the importance of knowledge about hair. Otherwise TR technicians are apt to make mistakes and ruin hair.
I got training from Master TR technician, KUMAGAI in Takigawa Training Centre in Japan. He is one of the most famous TR masters in Japan. Everybody in beauty industry in Japan knows him.
But don't worry there is one Canadian KUMAGAI here in Toronto. You can never find such a knowledgeable TR technician and TR Master who has many experiences in TR in North America. He is now turning out a lot of TR technicians in Toronto. His name is Steve Tcherkezian (phone: 416-669-9118).
Is there anybody who is looking for the best TR teacher and/or the best TR technician in Toronto, even in North America? I highly recommend you to go to see Steve Tcherkezian. He has produced a lot of TR technicians who are doing now excellent job in Toronto. For example, Salon Fiorio: It is one of the best hair salons in Canada. All the TR technicians there learned about Japanese Thermal Reconditioning procedure from Master TR technician Steve Tcherkezian. You can never find such wonderful teacher as Steve who has many years of experiences in hair straightening and abundant knowledge about hair and TR.
Before meeting Steve I thought of me (Hitoshi) as KNOW-IT- ALL about hair. But I found it was not true. There was Steve. He knows from A to Z about Japanese Hair Straightening System. I highly recommend you to talk to Steve first if you want to get TR. For further info about TR just feel free to
This feedback was left on the message board for others to see.
That Steve guy is good!
I had done some research about TR recently and decided to check it out. I saw some detailed remarks from Steve on a number of forums so I figured I'd drop him a line. What do you know; got a response within the hour with some detailed questions about my hair. Instead of answering via email I just called him and we ended up talking for about a half hour.
The impression I got from the conversation was that this guy is really interested in what he is doing. He not only asked me tons of questions, but gave me more information in that half hour conversation than I've ever received about hair. He seemed to genuinely care about what he was discussing. I made an appointment for a 'no obligation' consultation.
Boy, what a consultation. I felt like royalty. He spent about an hour with me, shampooing, treating, testing and talking about my hair. This had never happened to me before. I went home thoroughly impressed and a day or two later decided to try the process.
Well, I tell you what. This is a long process and it requires a lot of patience for both parties. One thing I noticed during this time was that the usually talkative guy that he is; he was totally oblivious to everything while he was doing his work. So it finally finished and when he was done, he looked at me, smiled confidently and said, "when you shampoo in three days, I guarantee you, you'll be happy."
To be completely honest, I wasn't too sure. The hair looked, well, a little phony. It was straight, yes, but too straight and it was like doll hair. "We'll see", I thought to myself. What's done is done. Besides, I had talked with Steve a few times so I kind of trusted his judgment. He also hadn't promised anything during the consultation so this confidence after the work was done seemed auspicious. If it’s too bad, I thought to myself, I could always go back to the buzz cut I’d had for the last five years (more on that later).
Three days were sort of weird, because I had oily, limp straight, doll hair that didn’t quite suit me. Then I shampooed my hair and WOW! He was right. I was completely blown away! My hair was completely straight, bouncy, and had a sheen that I had only seen in models’ hair. I was actually a little ticked off because I waited so long to try this thing. Now, I think I’ll have this for as long as I decide to keep my hair long.
I’ve seen Steve’s name mentioned on this forum a few times, and I took his name off this forum to talk to him, so I just thought I’d drop some feedback on this for him. Talk about a satisfied customer.
Oh I failed to mention, I’m a guy. So I presented some unique challenges for Steve. First off, I didn’t know anything about chemical treatments. So I had to be explained everything from scratch. I don’t have the patience of the usual woman, who has been through treatments, which presented another unique challenge because I was one of those “difficult” clients. Also, my hair is only 3 – 5 inches long which was probably the biggest challenge, now that I know what the process is. So, in many ways this was a first for Steve.
I’m a guy, so hair is usually not a subject me and my buddies talk about. I used to get bad haircuts and my hair was so wiry and curly that five years ago I just said the heck with it, and bought a Wahl clipper and chopped my hair to about a half inch length. Kept it for five years. I decided to grow it out and see if I could have the new long hair styles that are in these days. I couldn’t have done it with my curly, unruly hair, but with this treatment, I don’t even comb my hair. It’s just amazing. I imagine if I as a man like it so much how good would women feel about their hair after this treatment.
My fiancé loves it, and now I’m convincing her to get TR. Whether she does it or not is up to her, but I know one thing. I am a very satisfied customer, and plan to keep my hair like this for the next few years. It’s great!
As I said to Steve in my follow up email after my first shampoo. “Take a bow Steve, You done good!”"aasem"
Jennifer Aniston would be Jealous
Japanese Thermal Reconditioning in Toronto. Also left on a message board for Steve.For all of you out there looking for a TR Specialist in Toronto, look no further. If you're in the U.S, consider taking a shopping trip to Toronto and take advantage of the exchange rate by getting your hair straightened by a specialist.
His name is Steve Tcherkezian and he turned my pathetic, frizzy, wavy, poor excuse for hair into a silky-smooth, comeback Demi Moore, knockout of a mane. I heard and read a lot of the TR horror stories on numerous websites (including this one) and I wanted to make sure that whoever touched my hair was a real professional. Eventually, after reading and reading, I found Steve and emailed him some of my questions. What I got back was a detailed explanation of the entire process, not to mention total confidence that I had found the right man for the job.
Steve has been straightening hair for 25 years and has studied all over the world. He's mastered the TR system and mentors the professionals that actually trained the "expensive Yorkville stylists."
Steve explained to me that hair should not break off when this system is done correctly, that the professional and not the salon creates good results; a cheaper salon with a more experienced stylist will achieve better results than a pricier salon with an inexperience person.
Most importantly, Steve actually, (get this) ENJOYS HIS JOB. How refreshing to find someone with a passion for creating the results that you are looking for. When you meet him you’ll know exactly what I mean. It's important that the person doing your hair recognizes the limits of the product. Before even touching your hair, Steve will first put your hair through a strand test. Only if your hair "passes" his tests, will he even consider performing TR. It's his care, experience and cautiousness that will ensure that you get the results you want.
Steve told me that breakage is NOT normal with this process: Anyone who has hair breaking off has been treated by an inexperienced stylist.
My results: Contrary to popular belief, TR does not make your hair fall flat and lifeless. When done correctly, after two weeks, your hair regains its life, sans frizz and out of control curls. If I want it flat like silk, I use a straightening iron; if I want it straight with volume, I blow dry it for 5 minutes; if I want it loose and wavy like Giselle (without frizz) I let it air dry.
Someone who didn’t know what he was doing couldn’t have achieved these results. I'm so happy and so surprised with my hair that I had to think of a way to thank Steve.
So, if you want great results like mine, here is his email:
Feedback and Logs of happy clientsSteve Fri 7/11/2003 11:50 PM
I managed to get through today without getting it wet. Will sleep in an air conditioned room tonight, Sat & Sun, to avoid getting it sweaty!
I will let you know how it turns out after its first wash. But I'm sure it will be great. My friends were impressed tonight!!! Have e-mailed the photo to some other friends...
Thank you so much for doing my hair! You did a super job and I will certainly tell my friends all about how good you are.
Hey Steve Sun 7/13/2003 8:51 AMDay 2 and so far so good! I really do appreciate your work. I checked out other stylists (who would blindly go with the first person to offer salvation ;-) to see what they would do with my unruly mop, but they had no clue even though they claimed to be "experts"!
The cost was worth it!!! My hair feels fantastic ... and I fully trust you with my hair. Hope you are having a great weekend and I'll be in touch next week.
Hi SteveJust thought I'd give you my weekly update - the hair so far is great - I can't believe how straight it is!!!! I even went to bed with it damp yesterday and it woke up in a perfectly straight state. I can't thank you enough!!! I have all the products but one - the All Soft Soft Ends - I was told that that product doesn't exist for the all soft line...is it under another name? I will be back in Toronto tomorrow so I will look for it then. Otherwise everything is great so far. I'll write you next week.
Have a good weekend. Caroline
STEVE, Sun 7/13/2003 9:48 PMThank you very much for such a job well done. All is still well and the results are amazing. My hair withstood the stormy weather today and I couldn't be more pleased. My hair looks amazing and I'm getting compliments from everyone. I couldn't have asked for a better treatment. I shampooed and conditioned yesterday and it looks fantastic. Again thank you and I'll let you know in the next couple of weeks of my progress. Vicky
Follow up Re-touch TreatmentSaturday January 3, 2004
I just wanted to update you on the retouch treatment on my hair. I wanted to give it a few days before reporting on it. Well, it looks EXACTLY as I wanted! As we had discussed, I didn't know what to expect in the first treatment. After spending some time with it I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted my hair to look like. It was straight, but "too straight". So this time, just as we discussed - and as you told me it would happen - the hair is straight, relaxed and bouncy, but has a very slight wave that makes it look very natural.
After my first TR I remember thinking that maybe I would get a treatment that would put my hair in between what it looked with the X-Tenso treatment and the TR, so I could have relaxed hair, but still keep some of the wave that looks natural. I remember suggesting to you to just do the X-Tenso and leave it in for a longer time. You said that would be bad for the hair. So with your suggestion we agreed to use the 'ridged' irons and a lower temperature... And Voila! Just as you said; beautiful results!
Now as I told you I'm visiting back home and it has been pretty surprising. Everyone has noticed the hair. All but one with positive remarks. The only person that didn't like it was my mom who prefers seeing me in curly hair. However, even she likes the way the hair flows and bounces (she just doesn't like it on me). I even got some compliments from total strangers, and everyone else who is seeing me after a little while has said it suits me.
I am glad that you not only know how to do a wonderful job at TR, but also have the know-how to figure out some variations to fit a person's needs precisely. Way to go!
For anyone considering Thermal Reconditioning, you absolutely OWE IT TO YOURSELF to visit www.verticalsinhair.com You need to arm yourself with the knowledge to ask the right questions as you seek a competent and expert TR professional. If you don't, the results could be disastrous.
Further down I will give you my honest opinion on the TR specialist who I decided to go with.
There are several systems, the most popular being Straight Tio, Yuko, Liscio, Bio Ionics and Rusk, and in my opinion and experience (having had both American and Japanese systems done), the Japanese systems are superior. Not surprisingly, TR was created in Japan. The system I have had the best result with personally is STRAIGHT TIO. However, more important than perhaps the actual system is the skill of the TR technician. Lets face it…Picasso could do more with 3 broken crayons than the average man could with a palate of the finest paint.
I have personally interviewed over 15 TR techs/salons in my area and found that while many may be adept at coloring, perming or styling hair, they scored relatively low when it came to TR knowledge. Some of the consultations were a huge waste of time with the tech giving just a cursory touch to my hair, asking a few basic questions and then trying to nail down a time when I would want to come in.
TR is much more than just applying chemicals and solutions to your hair and hoping that it comes out well. TR is a very detailed oriented procedure and requires a very thorough knowledge of how the chemical and the hair interact. Believe me, just read some of the horror story posts on any TR forum. Many of the techs out there take a 1 day training and think that they can just follow the step by step and perform a beautiful TR every time. Sometimes they may get lucky and it works out well. However, do you want to be the chemistry experiment that didn't turn out well? It is not a cookie cutter operation.
My frustration after interviewing these salons in my area (Chicago) almost caused me to give up on the whole process. Throughout this time I had been emailing Steve T, the owner of www.verticalsinhair.com He generously and freely gave me great advice and feedback. I realized that this guy really knew what he was talking about…hair straightening is ALL he does. He never solicited me as a client, knowing that I lived in Chicago and he was in Toronto. It was so refreshing to speak to someone who actually gave advice because he truly wanted to help. Most of the TR techs I visited with only had dollar signs in their eyes as I eased into their chairs. As it turned out, I decided that Steve was the best choice for me and I flew to Toronto to get my TR done.
Prior to going, Steve sent me a very detailed questionnaire and had me send him some hair samples to test the strength and condition of my hair to make sure I was a good candidate for hair. He uses both his fingers to test and a very sophisticated machine to test the hair strand. NOTE: None of the salons/Techs that I had interviewed even remotely approached the kind of questioning or detail that Steve did.
Anyone who meets Steve will learn very quickly that he is a very good natured, genuine and talkative person. This guy likes to have fun. However, as soon as we started the TR, he became extremely focused and quiet as he expertly took me through the process, also explaining what he was doing and why. What became apparent is TR is as much a technical process as it is an art where the results are just as dependent on the chemicals as the artistry of the professional.
The result? This guy is Picasso! My hair came out exceptional. Steve used STRAIGHT TIO and my hair is straight and soft, it is not fried or damaged. It's been over a week now and I have not seen any breakage or hair loss. Steve sent me home with a very comprehensive hair care regimen that will help ensure the results.
As a sales professional, I understand the importance of doing a good job for the client. It is the lifeblood of all business. If my experience was a negative one, I would be posting a much different message. Steve did not ask me to post this message. I'm posting for several reasons. First, he is damn good and deserves every compliment that I or any other one of his satisfied clients writes. Second, I think that more of us should be educating ourselves to better interview TR techs. After all, we are the ones who will either leave the salons as a satisfied client or as a TR victim. Third, I know I'm not the only one to have searched and searched for an excellent TR professional. If you are geographically able to, Steve is worth the trip. In my opinion, the cost of a bad TR outweighs the expense of getting to Toronto.
I'm sure there are other good TR techs out there, but for my money, I have found the professional who will get my business. Look at it this way: If you needed heart surgery, who would you go to? The guy who just got out of med school or the best surgeon at the Mayo Clinic? Steve definitely falls under the latter. In my opinion, he is in the top of his profession.
Having met Steve and having had my TR done so expertly, I am absolutely enraged when I read some of the posts that try to slam Steve. I have no financial gain by promoting him. I just really believe in what he stands for and the results that is on my head should convince anyone.
Anyone wanting to see before and after pictures of my TR done by Steve, please post to me your email and I will be happy to answer back.