Lets Talk Curly Perms, Are They A Real Alternative To A Relaxer?

We are well into the year and now that the hangovers and questionable party hair are just a blurry memory, there is a subject that I would like to address that had very little column space last year. Curly Perms.

Before you run away from this post without reading I would just like to be clear that by curly perms, I don’t mean Jheri curl! I wasn’t around in the 70’s but like you I’ve watched Coming To America so I am well aware of the hilarity surrounding the upkeep of the style, I mean people seriously slept in shower caps to avoid staining their pillows?

I am in fact talking about the dry curls produced by Wave Noveau, Leisure Curl or other more modern processes. As a side note, the jheri curl was invented by hairstylist Robert William Redding (Jheri Redding) who later went on to co-found the Nexxus and Redken hair companies!

Now on to the ‘meat’ of the article. Well first off the permanent wave and relaxers are completely different chemical processes and you can’t switch between them. That’s to say that you can only ever do a curly perm on 100% virgin unprocessed hair (someone always asks this question!).

By now I’m sure you already know that relaxers are done with either lye (sodium hydroxide) or no lye (calcium hydroxide or guanidine hydroxide) and even though many people use the term ‘perm’ when we mean relaxers, they are very different processes. Curly perms are done using a chemical called ammonium thioglycolate often shortened to thio. Thio is gentler on hair than lye or no lye relaxers.

African american woman curly permUnlike permanent waving Caucasian or Asian hair, the process of waving Afro textured hair is twofold. First the thio based chemical is applied to remove the natural curl then rinsed off.


The damp hair is then set in perm rods and a waving solution also called a reshaping lotion is applied to set the hair in it’s new shape. This is then rinsed off and neutralized. Odd as it sounds, the neutralizer which works by a process called oxidation is actually the harshest phase of the process!

Because of the two distinct chemicals applied during permanent waving, it is often referred to as a double processed style. As such black hair tends to experience excessive breakage after a curly perm, although this depends a lot on the skill of your stylist and your commitment to properly moisturizing your hair daily.

A stylist called Gina Rivera from Connecticut seeing the shortfalls of the traditional route of waving black hair has come up with a way to avoid double processing the hair, a method that she’s dubbed ‘The Gina Curl’. She wraps damp Afro textured hair in perm rods and applies the perm as you would with Caucasian hair.

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About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

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debra

dont laugh , but back in the day jheri cure really grew my hair they still sell carefree curl ! i have texturizer in my hair . my hair grew really long back then . my question is can you switch from a texturizer to a jheri curl with out your hair falling out ? i dont want a drippy curl . but theres a way of doing a curl without jheri curl juice. the problem then was people made the curls to small I myself used big rods and very little oil. my hair was beatiful !! I want to know are the two simular as far as ingredients??? people who barrely had hair the curl really grew it or was it the curl activator that grew it ????

daryll

I have short have and I want a curly look what can I do because I want to go natural,I thought about trying the jherl curl for awhile to see would it grow

Rolanda Houston-Lewis

Wouldn’t that be a Jerry curl!

Devera Smith Robinson

The curl is coming back? It never left for my momma. She hasn’t stopped rocking hers since the 80s

Maya Dennies

It’s still a harsh chemical. Why leave one chemical for another?

Angela Kidd-Williams

But the cold wave perms grow hair.

Janice A Cooper-Windley

Would this be a good idea for a little girl hair??????

BlackHairInformation.com

I don’t think so. Children should be allowed to make their own decision on how to wear their hair when they are much older but otherwise when they are kids natural is best.

Renika Simpson-Smith

I would love to try this, but I don’t know of anyone near me that knows how to do a curly perm.

BritJam
BritJam

I have wave noveau in my hair. Can I use the texterizer the next time my hair is due for a retouch to perm my hair and wear it straight without curling it up with the rods

Kat
Kat

Hi alma do you know of any curly perm brands for african americans or 4a/4b hair? My hair is not ver resistant it can easily take chemicals.I have done many chemical treatments: Relaxer, now Texlaxed. I’m growing out my hair back to it’s natural state and as well trying to get to waist length. Then I will do a curly perm once I reach my goal. I’m following a very natural moisturizing regime. I wanted to also ask what are some good protective styles for texlaxed hair?

trish

Can I find your products in the Detroit michigan area?

Gina
Gina

Natural Hair Styling

The trend of switching from chemical to natural doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all! But are salons keeping up on their skills in maintaining those clients looking to make the transition? Clients want to try their hand at going natural but some do not realize the care they must take to ensure their hair remains healthy and strong. Some of the issues that come up are breakage, problem scalp and daily styling.

If you’re thinking of going natural, make sure you receive regular moisture treatments and protein treatments for the hair that still has chemical. Natural hair may mean more product to define curls and control frizz. More product usage means more cleansing. Product build up can lead to dry itchy scalps. Getting a thorough hair and scalp cleansing is a must.

All this work can seem daunting, especially for those clients who don’t know how to care for their hair and do not style much on their own. They like the idea of having their curls back but are afraid of being unable to manage it.

Now we have a solution to all the hard work needed in keeping up with natural tightly coiled hair, product costs, dry and sometimes a bad odored scalp cause by a rushed and improper shampoo.

The New and Improved Gina Curl
Easier to Manage Hair
Choose the Curl you are Looking For

The New and Improved Gina Curl is in the chemical family of the Japanese Straightening, but provides more freedom.

It’s a three-step process. The first step “Thioglycolate” softens the bonds of the hair.

The second step “rod set” puts the hair in the set pattern you are looking for and the third step is the “oxidizer” puts the bonds back together. The new and improved Gina Curl restructures the hair molecules to reduce frizzvolume, making the hair softer, smoother, shinier, with a curly that is more manageable and moisture balanced.

The New and Improved Gina Curl is an alternative to formaldehyde smoothing systems, sodium hydroxide relaxers and other harsh chemical services, allowing you to have a soft curl pattern. This is similar to a Thermal Reconditioning but requires a rod set instead of the use of blow dryer or flat iron during a Thermal Recondition process.

Eliminates overlapping when doing a retouch curl.
Helps the stylist to apply the best strength to the areas of the head that have uneven porosity or other chemicals present.
Does not burn.
Stylist can take their time applying the solution.
The shine and manageability is unbelievable.
Less time needed for styling.
Less product needed.
Hair will retain it’s elasticity

Like the Japanese Straightening, The New and Improved Gina Curl does require more time than the previous Gina Curl. It takes anywhere between 3-4 hours, which includes processing, drying time under a dryer and neutralizing.

Your hair will retain its elasticity, giving you more time for stretching out your chemical services. You would more than likely only need to have the roots touched up a maximum of three to four times a year.
Your new hair will grow in with your original texture, but the difference between your new growth and your treated hair will blend in and the good news is there will be no breakage as it’s growing out. It is safe to switch from The New and Improved Gina Curl and the Straight Variation method to a Thermal Reconditioning. Clients with relaxer won’t be able to obtain a full curl. The New and Improved Gina Curl will only be applied to new growth but this process will soften and curl the natural roots.

Msmary Johnson

I prefer them because you can go curly or straight, Without the trouble of all the curling irons and such your hair grows faster and much more easy to manage. ..

Emily
Emily

Beside carefree snap back is there any other product I could use to get curls back quickly after washing Please help. Carefree causes my scalp to itch and become sore.

CozyVon
CozyVon

Yeeeaahhh….that ain’t nuthin’ but a Jheri Curl, lol. Nice try, though…

Anonymous

No

PATRICIAJOSEPH
PATRICIAJOSEPH

I WOULD LIKE TO COME BACK TO THE CURL BUT I HAVE A PREM AND I BELEACH MY HAIR I HAVE PREM ON THE TOP AND ON THE ENDS OF MY HAIR WILL I HAVE TO CUT OFF ALL MY HAIR.

PATRICIAJOSEPH
PATRICIAJOSEPH

i Would like to go back to the curl but i bleach my hair and i have a prem on the ends of my hair what do i need to do to get my curl back my hair is going through the ugly stage.

Mary
Mary

The “Gina Curl” is not in it “infancy,” as she has been publishing videos since 2010, at least. Her technique has been around for so long that she refined the technique to use Japanese straightening solution to straighten or rearrange hair first. So, now, she is using a double processing method I’ve been watching Gina and her technique for some years now and I am impressed with the thickness and length achieved by her clients. Like the curls of old, I think Gina’s technique helps retain moisture and in that way, promotes growth, provided the client practices proper hair maintenance and hygeine. I would try the Gina curl but with prices starting at $450 (plus costs to travel to her salon- plane ticket, hotel, etc), I will have to pass, especially considering I am more than capable of rodding and perming my own hair. Gina recommends comining every six months but again, I can equalize and rod my own hair, plus, I don’t want to straighten first. Check out some of Gina’s latest videos. Her clients are very happy with her service and they seem to have great growth. If I didn’t have all the student loans, I may take her up on her offer but again, the $450 plus price is too much for me for hair. Thanks.

Gina

Hey Guys, so happy you all are discussing Gina’s GINACURL. There is one thing you should know, Gina is not double processing the hair like the old perms. There is no chemical applied to the rods other than the neutralizer . The hair can process up to one in a half hours which make is easy to isolate the previous chemical treated hair and customize the chemical strength to manage the different porosity levels down the hair shaft. Even durring the rinsing the previous chemical treated hair will not have enough time to soak up the chemical as with the other fast action perm solutions. This is what keeps the hair healthy and is able to retain the length. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to give the salon a call, Gina herself will love to chat with you