Reader Question : “I’m in the process of growing my perm out and my hair is in BAD shape. Most of the perm is still in. What products do you recommend?”
Answer : The first thing that needs to be figured out is how your hair came to be in BAD shape.
Four typical reasons a client’s hair is in poor condition :
a) Chemical over processing
b) Insufficient hair maintenance routine
c) Hair extensions, weave or braids style gone wrong
d) All of the above
In order to make the transition from relaxed hair back to your natural state here are my suggestions :
1. Gradually timming off previously permed or relaxed hair at some point. If your hair is damaged then that hair is slowing down your progress.
I recommend about every 8 weeks having a good professional hairstylist cut at least an inch of old hair off. (This is about the same interval of time you probably would have been going to get you relaxer touch up service.)
Note: Any hair that is relaxed is permanently and chemically straight. Your hair doesn’t “revert” back. Although this is a popular misconception among African-American women and even sad to say even among some stylists, it simply isn’t scientifically true. So if I were you, I’d get used to the idea of regular visits to your hairstylist for a trim.
2. Regular shampooing , at least once a week, with a moisturizing, hydrating type-shampoo . Follow with an intensive conditioning masque or deep penetrating treatment for softening and moisturizing . You should finish with a good leave-in conditioner for further detangling before styling.
3. Since you will be dealing with your naturally kinky, curly new growth at the roots and your old relaxed hair on the ends your hairstyling efforts will become increasingly more challenging. In the beginning stages, the first 1-2 inches of new growth, I recommend using a mini flat iron for straightening the egdes and roots.
4. As you start to have anywhere from 2 inches or more of new growth, I suggest wet sets or roller sets. By wearing your hair in a style with more volume or curls it camouflages the fact that your roots aren’t the same texture as your relaxed ends.
Finally, the process of “growing out” your relaxer will realistically and actually take at least 12 to 18 months. The process will be a lot less painful if after you achieved a new growth length that you feel comfortable with, just have your professional stylist cut off all the remaining relaxed hair at that point. Then you won’t have to deal with what I call the “battle of the two textures”.