Do Curly Perms, Relaxers and Hair Coloring Help Hair Grow?

Young black woman on the street

No! However, many curly perm customers do claim that the curl did help grow their hair. The reason for this is because the restructuring portion of the procedure relaxed out most of the kink in the hair. Prior to the curl, when the person combed or brushed their hair the comb or brush pulled hair off the ends as they attempted to comb through, or free the comb from the kinky hair when it became entangled. Therefore, much of the hair growth was lost from the ends, not from a slower rate of growth at the scalp as they suspected. As a result, the customer assumes the curl procedure accelerated the rate of growth. In reality, the cold wave procedure eliminated most the kink, which was the reason for the breakage and the assumption of slow or no hair growth.

The main reason for the belief that the curly perm grows hair is because of the necessary haircut associated with the permanent curl. Just about all hair that has not been cut recently has split ends. Split ends will not curl, so they must be eliminated by cutting. Since most curl procedures either start or end with a haircut, this is the primary reason for healthy noticeable hair growth after a permanent curl.

Another reason that people believe that curly perms, relaxers and hair colors help to grow the hair is that with such services there is a very clear and defined line of demarcation when the new growth appears. They can now actually see the new natural growth as distinguished from the treated hair. However, if they measure the length of the hair they will discover that the hair is the same length or shorter than before.

Chemical services such as those mentioned above actually weaken hair, not make it stronger; hair growth is not one of their advantages. If they did aid in promoting the stimulating hair growth, manufactures would proudly say so in their advertising.

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Dr. Edward Tony Lloneau received his doctoral from the National Beauty Culturist League (N.B.C.L.), and was sanctioned through Howard University in Washington, D. C. in 1985. Lloneau attended the institute as both a student and instructor. His specialized field of study is Tricology as it relates to ethnic cosmetology. He has written several books on this subject, and has authored many articles in trade magazines drawing attention to some of the pitfalls and professional related problems that ethnic cosmetologists and students encounter on a daily basis. Contact Dr. Lloneau at or call 310-323-7100.