Growing out permed hair is simple, but not always easy since you need to have patience and be willing to have a few bad hair days. Many women just give up and re-perm their hair over and over. But you can grow your hair back to its normal texture with a lot of styling products, conditioning and accessories.
Make a firm decision to grow out your natural hair. Hair grows ¼ inch a month and there's nothing that will make it grow much faster.
Use a deep conditioner after washing your hair and then a leave-in conditioner after that. Permed hair can be dry and damaged, so you want it in the best condition to blend in with your new hair that will have no damage.
Use styling accessories to get through the first stage. When you have an inch or two of natural length and then a curly perm below, you can style it with clips and pins to bring the curls up and over the new growth. You can also wear headbands to hide the new uncurled growth and have your permed curls go natural.
Use a curling iron when your hair becomes long enough so that your natural hair is visibly straight and then a few inches down is your curly perm. You can blend the new growth in with heat styled curl. You can also use a styling wax or gel to slick your new growth back into your curls.
Check into short styles when you new growth reaches your ear and neck level. This is the hardest time during a grow-out. If you have the facial features and body to wear a short style--go for it. Lose all the perm and grow your natural hair out from there. But if you want to keep length, think about a shoulder grazing bob where the old perm can be curled ends that flick this way and that.
Use a flat iron to blend the curls into your straight hair. Keep deep conditioning so that your healthy new growth doesn't suffer from too much heat styling damage.
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Rebecca Cioffi worked in the entertainment industry for almost 20 years and is currently living in Phoenix, Ariz., where she is working on a book. She is also a phlebotomist.