My initial advice is for you to begin a regimen of deep-conditioning for your hair at least once a
week. I recommend you use a moisture-rich cream conditioner (there are a variety newly available from all the most popular makers).
This should be applied to damp hair, covered with a plastic cap and heated with warm towels or a hair-dryer for 20 minutes. Then rinse
the deep-conditioner with cool water.
Furthermore, I advise you to begin conditioning your hair every day, even if you don’t shampoo. You
can either use a rinse-through conditioner at night and wear your hair turbaned in a towel for a while to allow it to dry as much as
possible, or you can use a spray-on, leave-in conditioner before you style the hair, and again at night before bed. After applying the
leave-in conditioner, carefully comb it through the hair to distribute it using a large-tooth comb.
If you want to return your hair to a look similar to your “Shirley Temple” days, you may be able to
get a perm to emulate the curly look you seek. It depends, however, on the process used to straighten your hair. If the hair was
straightened using thio straightener, you will have no problem, if a hydroxide-based ‘relaxer’ was used, you cannot do anything but cut
the hair off and wait for virgin hair to regrow. (Trying to perm hydroxide-straightened hair will destroy the hair completely.)
You will need to see a professional for this service, and preferably the same stylist who performed
the straightening processes, since he/she will know best what products were used.