Chemical Curls for African Americans

by Christell York

Chemical curl products are designed to soften and add a curly or wavy texture to hair that has not been chemically treated. These styles gained popularity as men and women began to look for alternatives to the harsh chemicals found in chemical relaxers. The most popular of these products was the Jheri curl, which faded off in popularity in the early 1990s. Other products like the Wave Nouveau Coiffure and the SCurl use chemicals to soften the natural curl of African American hair and create a textured curl look.

Jheri Curl

The Jheri curl gained popularity in the early 1980s and was most famously worn by Michael Jackson. The hair style featured a two part application process including softening cream designed to loosen the natural curl of African American hair. The second step involved curling the loosened hair with small rollers called perm rollers until the hair was curly. Jheri curls required maintenance with hair spray and a hair gel known as activator. The style required constant moisturizing with the spray or activator and had to be softened and curled as new hair began to grow.

SCurl Texturizer

SCurl texturizer is a chemical treatment that was originally designed for African American men. It uses the same technique for softening hair as the Jheri curl but does not use the rollers to curl the hair. SCurl texturizers are used by men and women in recent years to create curly or wavy styles in African American hair. The product requires maintenance using styling spray to keep the hair moisturized and styling gel to keep the desired style in place.

Wave Nouveau Coiffure

The Wave Nouveau Coiffure is a chemical treatment system designed to create a curl pattern or a texture in the hair. There are three parts to the treatment including the Phase 1 shape releaser, Phase 2 shape transformer and Phase 3. The manufacturer suggests the product be applied to the hair by a professional and maintained with Wave Nouveau Coiffure products in home. Hair maintenance products include a moisturizing foam, styling spray and pomade.

About the Author

Christell York has been writing professionally since 2008 for various websites and offline for "The Houston Press." She specializes in technical, automotive, travel, personal finance and food articles. York has a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Phoenix and is currently seeking an associate degree in baking and pastries at the Art Institute of Houston.