Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

How to Take Care of Permed Hair

Q: I recently had my hair permed for the first time and would like to know how best to take care of my hair to keep it strong, growing and healthy. I seem to be having a lot of problems with dry itchy scalp since having my hair done, and would like to know what product you would recommend to oil my scalp with? I have also noticed that when I'm styling my hair in the mornings, I have a lot of hair coming out in my comb. I use a wide tooth comb, which I was told was best to use.
I'm not sure why this is happening since I do use a satin sleep cap, which is supposed to keep the hair from breaking. Could you please give me advice on correcting this, or is this normal? I do use a ceramic flat iron-once or twice a week, but I keep the setting between 1 and 5. And, I use a product that protects against heat, so I don't think that's the problem. Please help! Thank you for your response.

A: You must remember that when the hair is permed, the cuticle layer is raised to allow deeper penetration of the perming chemicals. Even after the neutralizing process, the cuticle layer can still be raised and therefore is susceptible to loss of moisture and damage. Think of this, the dry, itchy feeling on your scalp is caused by the same chemicals that permed your hair. The uppermost layers of the skin were damaged by the chemicals, and the itch and scaly-flaky look is because of these damaged and dead cells.
Make sure to be using a smoothing serum or leave-in conditioner on your hair before combing it, as the raised cuticle layer of a hair shaft can catch on the cuticle layer of another hair and lead to snarls, snags and hair breakage, or pulling hair out of the scalp.
What I recommend is that every week you use your favorite conditioner to give yourself a deep conditioning treatment. Apply your favorite conditioner to your hair, gently and carefully comb it through the hair to distribute it evenly. Cover the hair with a plastic cap, and wrap the head in a warm towel for 20 minutes. Between conditioning treatments (each night) use a greaseless, quick-absorption lotion on your scalp, applying the lotion using your fingertips or a cotton swab to combat the dryness and the itch.
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