Q: Is it true that permed hair is always greasy and oily and you have to put some liquid in it every time it gets wet to keep it curly, or does it just bounce back into place?
A: Actually, it is far more common to find that permed hair is dry and rough (and brittle) rather than “greasy” or “oily”. The reason most people have to use extra product is to seal in moisture to combat the dryness.
However, when the hair is healthy and the perm is processed properly, the hair responds to light conditioners and the curl results are soft, bouncy and attractive.
The “perm” you may be thinking of was referred to as a “Jheri-Curl” named for the creator of the process, Jheri Redding. Redding was an innovator and inventor in the hair and
beauty field, and is the creator of not only the Jheri-Curl process, but of staples like “cream rinse” products.
The Jheri-Curl was designed as an alternative for African-Americans to the traditional relaxer process. The Jheri-Curl was a perm process that took the tightly-kinked hair of the
African-ethnic individuals and reshaped it into smooth curls. Because the African-ethnic hair was so coarse, the issue of dryness and brittleness was increased, and therefore the Jheri-Curl formula included an
“activator” which was a thick, spray-in conditioning agent that saturated the hair and kept the curls moist and shiny-looking. Of course, the always-damp hair was prone to leaving residue and stains wherever it
contacted fabrics, or absorptive material.