Perms or chemical relaxers have an extremely damaging effect on hair when used incorrectly. Because breaking and dryness often plague permed black hair, limit the number of times per year you relax your hair to four or five, says Susan Taylor -- a board-certified and Harvard-trained dermatologist. Taylor recommends that you retouch your hair every 10 to 12 weeks during the winter months and every seven to eight weeks during the summer months to reduce breakage and damage. A good daily, weekly and monthly hair care regimen is also essential to promoting hair growth for permed hair.
Comb your hair out every night. Part your hair into four sections and comb out each section with a wide-tooth comb at least 25 times per section. Comb your hair from root to end to remove dead hair and activate the natural oils in your hair.
Massage your scalp on a nightly basis by using the tips of your fingers to stimulate it. Do not put any heavy pomades or grease on your scalp.
Coat the hair and scalp with a light oil or cream moisturizer. Combine the four parts of your hair and comb the oil or the moisturizer through thoroughly.
Wrap your hair to protect the ends. Comb your hair in a circular direction starting with the right front. Comb it to the back and around to the left side in a circular motion leading back over to the right side. Use a brush sparingly to smooth the ends and loose strands of hair into place. Redo the process if any hair is sticking out at the top of your head; your hair should look like a tightly woven beehive. Apply one more coat of oil or moisturizer around the hair in the same circular direction. Cover your hair with a wrap cap -- a wrap specially designed to hold wrap hairstyles on place -- then a silk or satin head scarf.
Comb your hair out in the morning. Use a wide-tooth comb to unwrap your hair in the opposite circular direction. Comb your hair in a downward motion and style it in your usual fashion. Do not put any heavy oils, chemicals or alcohol-based products in your hair if you can avoid it.
Limit the use of damaging heat from hair appliances such as flat irons, blow dryers, and crimping and curling irons. Do not use them as a part of your daily regimen. Use them sparingly throughout the month if you must.
Focus on your health and nutrition. Eat a well-balanced meal daily to ensure that you get essential vitamins and minerals. Take a daily multivitamin to help you stay healthy. Consider multivitamins with biotin, the B vitamins, vitamin C, copper and other hair-growth-promoting vitamins and minerals.
Weekly and Monthly Hair Care
Deep condition your hair every week. Apply a generous amount of hair-reconstructing conditioner and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse your hair thoroughly.
Visit your hair care practitioner every two weeks for your normal appointment if you use a stylist. Do not skip your scheduled hair maintenance with your hairdresser. Talk with her about any hair concerns you have during this appointment and ask for help if necessary.
Spread out your perms to minimize damage. Use the same perm on your hair every time. Do not wait for the relaxer to start burning before you have it washed out.
Trim your damaged hair ends on a regular basis. Have your hair ends trimmed each time you get a perm. Get your ends trimmed sooner if you develop frayed ends between trims.
Your hair will grow 1/2 inch each month; your job is to protect those delicate ends from breaking off so that you can achieve longer growth.
Buy a vitamin-rich shampoo and conditioner for regular use.
If you feel damage occurred to your scalp during a perm, go to a dermatologist immediately.
Do not scratch your scalp with your nails; use the tips of your fingers instead.
- Society Hill Dermatology: Uniqueness of Black Hair
- Society Hill Dermatology: Dry Hair
- Essence.com: Three Reasons Why Black Women are Losing Hair
- North Carolina State University: Hair Care Tips for African-American Women
- Journal of the American Medical Association: Vitamins for Chronic Disease Prevention in Adults