Q: I am a 14 year old girl and really sick of my current hair. Right now it's about 4 inches past my shoulders, kind of
straight, but not pin straight, thin, and light brown. I straighten it sometimes to get out all the frizzy weird waves, or I put
tons of gel in it and try to scrunch it. My hair is not naturally curly so it doesn't scrunch that well. I really want to be able
to just get up in the morning and have nice wavy hair. Do you have any great ideas on how to scrunch my hair? Or do you think I
should get like a perm or body wave? I don't know what to do?
A: I just recently had another reader ask me how old a girl should be before she gets her first perm. My recommendation was that she
be at least 16 years old. The reason for this is that all of the biochemical changes going on in a young woman’s body during puberty
can result in unusual reactions and sensitivities to perm chemicals. Every part of your body is changing, even your hair. Some young
women find that their hair becomes curlier during puberty, while others find their curls loosening. Some experience an increase in
texture, while others find their hair becoming finer and silkier. It’s generally best to let the body’s chemistry settle before exposing it to foreign chemical substances.
For this reason, I don’t recommend that you get a body wave or perm just yet. My advice is to
get some “rag rollers” or sponge rollers and try using them overnight. The rag rollers especially are designed to be comfortable
and wearable in bed. They are made of wire with a center cushion of foam and are covered in a soft fabric. You simply wrap the hair
around the foam cushion, roll the hair onto it and bend the ends in to hold it in place. You can then wrap your “rolled” head of
hair with a silk or satin scarf to hold in the heat from your scalp and sleep overnight. In the morning, remove the scarf and take
down the rollers. You’ll have soft curls that should make you happy.
You might have to practice with the rollers a bit to get the amount of curl you want. You can
use a light misting of styling product to get more hold, or wrap thicker locks of hair around a roller to get looser curls.
Eventually, you’ll get the hang of it, and will be able to “set your hair for bed” in a matter of minutes. This method also gives
you the option to have straight hair one day, and curly the next with minimal fuss.