Perm to Restore Curl

Long hair with curl
Photo: Andriano/Shutterstock
Q: I straightened (permanent) my hair 8 months back [and not the Japanese Method but by using L'Oréal Products (Extenso)]. I got touch-ups done for the new hair growth. However, I faced hair loss problems and was under medication. Now it seems to be controlled.
I had this touch ups done in the month of November, and now my front forehead seems quite natural with those curls. However, the length is still straight and it's flat.
I would now wish to get back my curls and so a salon female suggested I perm my hair only for the length so that it gets wavy without touching my scalp so that it doesn't damage the roots which I'm very concerned about.
Would you please suggest if it's fine for me to get only the length permed so that it looks wavy as the top of 1/4 is already curly due to the hair growth? Also, please let me know some tips that I need to follow before getting it done.

A: From what I have been able to find, this relatively new product by L'Oréal is becoming immensely popular. The good news for you (at least as far as your question is concerned) is that the X-Tenso product uses thioglycolate as a main ingredient, which means that there will be no compatibility issues for you as far as getting your hair permed to restore your curl.
That being said, you will want the stylist to be sure to perform a strand test to make sure that your hair will respond properly to the perming process and to find out the timing of the perm on your already chemically treated hair. The condition of your hair is going to be important in determining the results of the perm service. At least, if your hair is in questionable condition prior to perming, it will be in worse condition afterward.
I would recommend that you spend some time prior to getting the perm giving your hair some deep conditioning treatments. Simply use your favorite conditioner and leave it on the hair for 20-30 minutes, cover the conditioner-coated hair in a plastic cap, and wrap the head with heated towels or sit under a bonnet dryer while the conditioner is on the hair. Rinse the conditioner from the hair using cool water to help seal the cuticle layer.
When you visit the salon for the perm service, they will likely use a clarifying shampoo to remove residual styling products and deposits left by hard water or some medications. Because the clarifying shampoo is very strong, it's always good to make sure the hair is as well-conditioned as possible before you go in for a perm service.
Afterward, the hair will have been doubly processed, and may need extra care to keep it hydrated and conditioned. Be sure to pay close attention to the hair's condition at different points in your day and keep a leave-in spray conditioner with you to help re-hydrate the hair whenever possible.
See also:
Perms and perming
How to perform a strand test
What is X-tenso hair straightening?
How to care for chemically treated hair