Q: Hi, Iím 18 and have about 2 inches longer than shoulder-length natural blonde hair. Naturally itís wavy, but not really a
pretty wave. When I try to 'scrunch' it or just wear it natural it doesn't look very good. I straighten my hair with a CHI iron more
than 4 times a week, and I use serums and products to protect my hair, but I still see the dead ends and tons of 'fly away' pieces around my part.
I would love to be able to shower and scrunch my hair and have it have more waves in it. Not spiral curls, but just
tighter waves. I have been looking at perms, and the questions from your site, but I have no idea where to start, and if I could
actually achieve what I want with a perm.
Does a perm make your hair all poofy and have the look of being permed? Like, with African-American
permed curly hair you can tell itís not real. Would that same look happen with thick blonde hair? And when people get perms can you
tell? Is it obvious that it isn't natural? And are perms just for older women? Could I get the same scrunched look with permed hair
as people do with natural hair? And if I did get it permed, what do I tell the stylist, and should I get it cut before or after it?
Do you have any other ideas besides perms? Iím sorry about the very, very long question, but it
would be awesome if you could help me out! Thanks!
A: Okay, perms are designed to add curl to the hair, and adding curl as a result will add volume. However, ďpoofyĒ is not generally a
desired trait for hairstyles, and so you really need to speak to a stylist about the options that are best suited to your hair. The
stylist needs to be able to visually inspect your hairís condition, length, density, texture, porosity, and current wave pattern in
order to make an educated assessment of options available in getting you the results you desire.
Your job is going to be to be clear with the stylist about what you want. Donít simply walk in
and say I want my hair to be more wavy and easy to style. Search curly celebrity hairstyles, magazines, tabloids and newspapers for photos of the type of style
you want for your hair, and take as many different photos as you can find of similar styles. Your stylist, if he or she is any good
at all, will be able to talk with you and use the photos to determine the best type of perm for you.
Of course, I realize that you are only 18 and you may not have the budget for a high-maintenance
salon service. If all you want is more, uniform waviness to your hair, then you might try enlisting a friendís help if needed and
braid your hair. Start with damp hair and lightly spray the hair with leave-in conditioner. Then braid the hair using segments of
hair that are about 2 inches wide by Ĺ deep, and braid them in a standard three-strand braid. Secure the ends of the braids with
snag-safe elastic bands and allow the hair to dry fully before taking the braids down.
Once youíve taken the dry hair out of the braids, you can dip your fingertips in warm water and
massage the scalp to remove the partings if any are visible. Use a small amount of styling product spread evenly over your fingers to
comb through the waves and give some definition. It is generally best to limit styling the hair to using only your fingers as combs
and brushes can tend to create the ďpoofyĒ look you are trying to avoid.