Relax Grey Curls

Woman with curly grey hair
Q: I am 42 and my grey hair is mostly around my face. It is very curly (some pieces look like a spiral perm.) the rest of my hair is fine to course and only a little wavy.
I've been having it straightened and colored to try to relax the gray curls. What would you recommend? Just perm and color the rest of my hair? Or keep straightening it and coloring it? Which process would be the least harmful to my hair? I need help!

A: Well, the big question is: what you want your hair's style to be? Do you want your hair curly? Do you want the hair straighter/wavy?
As I see it, you have a couple of options, if your goal is a more uniform color and texture on your head as a whole:
First, you can have your hair permed to match the curl around the face, which will give you uniform wave. Then you can have it colored to cover the gray. (Be sure to schedule your color service for after the perm, to prevent fading the color.)
Or, you can have the hair at the front relaxed using a thio-based relaxer/straightener to tame the curl down into a wave that matches the rest of your hair's texture. Then you can have the gray hair colored to match as above. (Again, chemical straightening services should be performed before color in order to avoid fading the color.)
The benefit here is by giving uniform texture to the hair you can make styling much easier and make life more convenient. Plus, if you choose to relax the hair around the face, you will only need to use the chemical straightening on a smaller portion of the hair and therefore expose less of your hair to chemical processing.
The color can be accomplished using a gentle, deposit-only color process.
Photo: Phovoir/Shutterstock
See also:
Perms and perming hair
How to cover gray hair
Hair straightening and relaxing Q&A