Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Back to Looser Curls

Q: For years I have chemically straightened my naturally-tight, curly hair, but after I had my two children, my tight curls became looser and more manageable. Therefore, I stopped chemically straightening my hair, cut out the damaged areas and grew my hair back to a healthy state. It's been 18 months since my last child was born and my new hair growth is back to tight curls. Therefore the roots of my hair are tight and unruly while the rest of my medium length hair has looser curls.
Every day is a bad hair day. Should I perm my hair using bigger rods to put my hair back to the looser curls I loved wearing? I've also contemplated asking my stylist to cut my hair for a straight hair style and buying a straightening iron to style my hair. I would like to stay away from the chemicals but am at a loss to get my hair looking good again. Please help.

A: The shift back to tighter curls is a prime example of the changes that can occur to a woman's hair growth because of the hormonal changes of pregnancy and nursing. Many women are unaware of how dramatic these changes can be. And dealing with the issues can present interesting challenges.
Using a straightening iron would certainly be an option, but you would run the risk of ultimately damaging your hair through excessive use of heat styling appliances. However, you can usually help to mitigate the potential damage by using protective products and maintaining a good conditioning routine.
I personally would advocate the large curl perm option, since that would give you manageable curls and would require less in the way of daily maintenance styling. If you plan to use a salon professional for the service, you may want to inquire about the Xtenso line of product services. The Xtenso line has curl recontructors that offer looser, smoother curl results from hair that is normally very curly and often frizzed.
The key is going to be after care. Be sure to use a gentle shampoo and good moisturizing conditioner to keep the hair hydrated. Doing so can make sure you have a great looking style that you can maintain easily.
Related posts:
Hair and pregnancy
How to use a straightening iron
X-tenso hair straightening cream by L'Oréal
Can hormonal changes make your curls go away?