I’m a proud biracial woman, and even though I love my curly hair sometimes I’d like to switch things up and go straight. My hair is actually pretty thick and because it’s so dense some people suggest that I get a kiddie perm. What do you think?
Sara – Southside
I love that you have embraced your identity; it tells me that you are comfortable in your own skin and that is the first step to true beauty. Let’s start with one simple fact first; none of those box relaxers, regardless of where you get them, are ever any good for your hair. The calcium in a box relaxer will swell your hair and make it look frizzy. It will initially start out smooth but it won’t stay that way for very long. So please stay away from them. Remember we touched on this same topic last week.
With that being said understand that a “kiddie perm” is just a milder relaxer. Actually it’s only slightly milder, not too different from a regular relaxer (it’s more a marketing ploy than anything else). Chemical relaxers must still have a certain Ph to even texturize your hair. Now that you’re armed with the correct knowledge, you can ask your stylist if a texturizer is a better option for you. If you go into a salon your child wouldn’t get a kiddie perm instead they would just get a milder relaxer or the relaxer would be on for less time-before washing your relaxer out. So you could just ask your stylist for a milder relaxer. One misconception that clients have is that because their hair is soft they believe they need a lighter relaxer. That may not be the case. Depending on how much curl is in your hair you might need a regular relaxer for the regular length of time. You really have to sit down and talk to your stylist about it.
Another alternative is to use Keratin treatments. If you wash and blow your hair out it will stay straighter, and have more curl definition and manageability when wet. Keep in mind a lot of people in your situation would probably go ahead and keratin treat their hair to make sure that it indeed stayed straighter longer.
Your stylist should use products that work well with bi-racial hair. Biracial and hair that’s naturally curly tends to tangle a lot when it’s wet. That’s why I like Encompass by Hair elements. It will detangle your hair and then make it more manageable. In addition all hair, whether b-racial or not will benefit from gentler sulfate free shampoos and conditioners.
Hope this helps,
Pekela Riley – Freelance Hair Stylist