Permanent Wave & Straightening

Long hair with tight curls
Photo: Mimagephotography/Shutterstock
Q: I'm Black & Latin with really tight curls with soft, fine Latin texture. I used a permanent wave product to restructure my curls by just combing it through for a few minutes (to loosen them). This kind of worked but after a few months my curls were just too limp and lifeless. I waited six months and then tried to get my hair re-permed, but it wouldn't take.
I couldn't think of anything to do with my hair (wasn't worthy of wearing down) and my stylist suggested straightening it. We straightened it without any disaster, but daily straightening damages my hair very easily and I miss having curls.
Do I really have to wait for my hair to completely grow out again (virgin) before I re-attempt the style of loose curls via a permanent wave? And if so, which method/type is best for regular maintenance?

A: If you used the permanent wave product correctly and neutralized the waving lotion properly, then it should not be the cause of your hair’s unresponsiveness to the “re-curling” attempts. I do wonder what “straightening” process your stylist used (given that you don’t specify) and if that is the source of your presumption as to why the hair needs to be allowed to regrow to virgin status.
As long as your stylist didn’t use a hydroxide-based straightening product, you should be able to use a permanent wave formula to restore the curl to your hair. The level of success (or lack of success) you’ve had with trying to re-perm your hair in the past may be a matter of poor condition.
I recommend giving your hair a series of deep conditioning treatments using a protein-rich conditioning cream and making sure you are following a healthy “DAILY” conditioning regimen. Remember, that while you only need to shampoo your hair when it becomes dirty, you should condition your hair every day.
Once you’re restored your hair’s level of condition to a healthy status, you should be able to get the hair re-permed to restore the curliness you want.
If, however, your stylist DID use a hydroxide straightener, you will not be able to perm your hair again until all of the hair that was treated with the hydroxide formula has been grown out and trimmed away.
See also:
Hair straightening