View Full Version : Safe ways to relax/ straighten out a perm?

May 27th, 2017, 06:56 PM
Sorry if this question already exists in a thread, I couldn't find one similar. =(

My sister had our mom perm her hair about a year ago and she didn't like the way it turned out. Ever since then she's been trying natural remedies to straighten it back out. She has tried hot oil treatments, beer once, and she tried henna once. She tried 2 different combinations of hot oil treatments, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil, both with honey.

Those things made her curls appear less tight but didn't completely get rid of them. She wants them gone!

Does anyone have any suggestions? Maybe a safe relaxer or any other home remedies? Different oils?

I think her hair is beautiful but this is what she wants.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions!

May 27th, 2017, 07:12 PM
There really isn't. I'm sorry.

If perming, straight or curly, you are forcefully opening the hair cuticle which is damaging and then breaking the bonds in the molecules of your hair. It makes the hair weaker no matter what else you do.

Hair is made of protein called keratin. In perms, the aim is to break the sulfur bonds. These are the ones that shape the hair texture in part.
keratin - sulfur - sulfur - keratin -> Keratin -sulfur sulfur-keratin

From what I heard Olaplex can do some molecular repair as it repairs some of the sulfur bonds in the hair but that only works once per bond breakage and it's not perfect. It adds a patch between the sulfur petty much to hold them together. This can only be done once most likely with the chemical they use. If she wants to try to mitigate some of the damage, this might help. A hair salon specialist might be able to straighten then use this, but they'd have to be super careful with the already fragile permed hair.

As for home remedies that straighten hair permanently, there are none. Especially not relaxers. At least nothing safer than store bought/ at salon when it comes to relaxing perming. At least commercial ones generally have the concentrations standardized. Home remedies/relaxers don't and that can make them very, very.... veeeery dangerous.

Repeated applications of high quality henna can straighten hair a tiny bit for some, but it has also made it wavier for others. There's not guarantee there.

May 27th, 2017, 07:29 PM
I know a really excellent relaxer your mom can use on her hair to safely relax with causing any damage at all. There is this very mild or gentle relaxer out on the market called, "Gentle Treatment Relaxer System," and I used to use it when I was a kid up until now. My natural hair texture is considered curly, and I would only straighten my hair every 2 months. Or, every 6-8 weeks, and in between my relaxing treatments I would do hot oil treatments and deep conditioning treatments every other week. Like one week do a hot oil treatment. Then, the next week do a deep conditioning treatment, and my hair was gorgeous every single day!!! And, it also grew as well! The gentle treatment also made my hair grow a lot faster as well!!! I hope this really helps you!!!

May 27th, 2017, 08:23 PM
Be sure and do a strand test first.

May 27th, 2017, 08:28 PM
Unless she's OK with going short, I would not recommend more chemicals on her hair. Depending on tightness of curl, there are varying straightening techniques that are relatively harmless. And if she's willing to go without daily washes, she can probably get away with doing it less regularly

One thing to consider, which will still make curl, is very large, loose rollers, as so: https://www.amazon.com/Conair-Mega-Holding-Rollers-Count/dp/B00152TXDM

There is this website as well:
They kind of repeat each other, but included both in case there were more valuable details one omitted.

You're not going to get her hair stick straight without a flat iron most likely.

In all cases, I'm reasonably sure you'll want the hair to be completely dry before you take the hair down from whatever method is chosen. Since I fall into the camp of hair drying being a pain in the butt, I would suggest a hood dryer, or a faux hood dryer like this https://www.amazon.com/Hair-Flair-Improved-Softhood-Attachment/dp/B00VTI24GK

If you do choose to use chemicals to straighten her hair, do it at a salon! They have training that can salvage or protect the hair to some degree, but if you do it at home, you risk melting the hair off entirely.

May 27th, 2017, 09:23 PM
I used to know a girl with natural curly hair who set it on emptied soup cans every night to straighten it. Her hair always looked lovely, but I can't imagine trying to sleep on soup cans.

May 27th, 2017, 10:22 PM
Well, she could make a ponytail at the top of her head and roll the ends on large rollers. Soup cans are pretty heavy; I wouldn't use those.

May 27th, 2017, 10:48 PM
Relaxers, perms without rods, and those Japanese/Brazilian/WhateverSoundsExotic straightening treatments are all going to work by breaking the disulfide bonds in the hair. Given that it's gone through that already once, you're potentially looking at some damage going over the hair again, but it's also probably the only thing that will permanently alter the shape of the hair again. Stand test first, and maybe read up on tex-laxing, which is a relaxer technique that uses less chemical or less time (I'm not certain) or something to get less strong results but with less corresponding damage.

May 28th, 2017, 04:03 PM
Yes, always do a strand test if you're going try out a relaxer, and if you're going for the relaxing technique always stretch out your relaxer routine to 2 or 3 months. I always really stretch mine out to 3 o4r 4 months. Instead of doing it every 6 weeks. It has worked lots of wonders by me having healthier growing hair!!!! And, I don't ever get any potential damage or breakage!!! That's because I take good care of it daily with co-washing, deep conditioning twice a week, and keeping it moisturized using all types of oils and moisturizing lotions.

The Maple Leaf
May 28th, 2017, 04:08 PM
I don't know if it is possible to relax a perm without damaging the hair further; my instinct tells me that if she does do that, she should not attempt an amateur relaxing at home but should go to a good hairdresser who is an expert on perming/chemically straightening hair (and for that matter, hair belonging to people of her race. Black people's hair and white people's hair may take these treatments differently). She should tell her that the perm was done at home, how long ago it was, and what brand of perming chemicals was used, and ask the hairdresser what the risk to her hair is before she allows him/her to relax the perm (hopefully, that person would give an honest answer and not relax the hair at risk of damaging the hair just to make some money).

I need to stress that what I am writing here is not an endorsement of having her perm relaxed instead of just growing it out. I don't know what the consequences to her hair would be of doing so and whether it wouldn't be safer just to grow it out. I'm just saying that if she does decide to have it relaxed, it might be wiser to have a professional who is experienced with perming/chemically straightening hair do it (and get that person's opinion as to whether it is even advisable to do so; I hope that person would be honest about it) than to risk serious damage by doing it at home.

May 28th, 2017, 04:38 PM
Hi, The Maple Leaf! Welcome to the forum!:) Good advice! Yeah, if were her I would go have it professionally done too. So that you can avoid any possible damage. Especially, if she had a curly perm applied to her hair. I had a girlfriend with hip length curly hair, and I never knew if she had a curly perm or not. Or, if it was her natural hair texture. But she went through one year of school with it curly in 11th grade, and during her senior year she came to school with it all done straight!!! And had gotten it professionally straightened I think. Because, if was perfectly straight like it was straightened then flat-ironed!!!

May 28th, 2017, 10:29 PM
If her hair is long, she could wear it in a braid mostly. I think that would camouflage the demarcation and the curly ends would look fine at the end of a braid. Just an alternative to straightening.

May 29th, 2017, 03:38 AM
You can't magically get a perm to vanish. It needs to grow out. The fact that it's been a year already, should have given her 6 inches or so of straight growth. Maybe she can get it cut to a bob, then it would be "mostly" gone.

I would not recommend a relaxer on permed hair, unless you want the "chance" of it breaking off completely. And then she would need to get it cut anyway.

I'd opt for the bob if she wants it mostly gone.