Perm Straightended Hair Back

Woman with long straightened hair
Photo: Jeanette Dietl/Shutterstock
Q: I thermally straightened my hair with the Japanese method. My regrowth is about 4 inches and I generally flat iron it. Is it safe to perm my hair back to wavy/curly? What is your recommendation?
A: According to all I've learned about the Japanese Thermal Restructuring system, you can easily style the hair as you wish after the hair has been straightened. What this means is, yes, it is safe to perm your hair back to whatever wave pattern you want.
The chemical processes used with Thermal Restructuring do not conflict with Permanent Waving the way Hydroxide Relaxers do. Many of the chemicals used are the same, in fact. The main thing to consider is the current condition of your hair. Be sure to examine the hair carefully for signs of damage: dryness, split-ends, roughness, dullness, etc.
Before perming the hair, make sure to condition it thoroughly to ensure the best possible condition and to help protect the hair against damage. This should be done over the course of a week prior to the perm service, since the hair needs to be shampooed without conditioner (and preferably using a clarifying shampoo) prior to performing the perm service.
If you are concerned about the condition of your hair, and/or simply want to make sure that the perm formula you have selected is safe, perform a test curl. Wrap a segment of hair on a perm rod in an inconspicuous location and apply the perming formula and process the test as if you were performing the whole head perm.
Use the waving lotion first, then rinse the curl, use the neutralizer and perform the final rinse. Carefully examine the hair after the test and see how it has responded. This will allow you to adjust the processing time as needed.
See also:
Permanent hair straightening
What is Japanese Thermal Straightening?
Can I perm my chemically straightened hair after 6 months?