How to Grow Out a Perm in Black Hair

Grow out your perm to discover your strong and healthy hair underneath.

Photo: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

You may have loved your silky permed locks for years, but now you're taking a new direction. This could be due to over-processing, or perhaps you are feeling more natural these days. Whatever the reason, growing out a perm isn't as hard as it may seem. Sure, it requires some planning and consideration. But if you do it right, you'll be rocking a funky natural and channeling your inner Foxy Brown in no time.


Get your hair trimmed. If you are so brave, cut off the relaxed portion and rock a short cut until your natural hair grows out. If you are attached to your longer locks, get hair trimmed regularly to avoid hanging on to the super-damaged pieces for longer than you need to.


Condition hair regularly. Apply a deep conditioner at least once per week. Your hair needs all the reinforcement it can get, particularly as the stronger, healthier natural hair pushes it way in, causing the weaker, drier, relaxed locks to break off. The more you condition your hair, the more moisturized and stronger it will be.


Avoid excessive heat styling. Because your new growth is so strong and healthy, you don't want to start damaging it by applying heat styling to get it lie down as well as your permed hair does. Instead, smooth it down with an anti-frizz or light gel product.


Avoid tight, restrictive hairstyles if you are trying to maintain some length as your perm grows out. The weaker relaxed hair gets even weaker as your natural hair grows in, so you're likely to see more breakage if you wear super-tight ponytails or restrictive hairstyles.

Tips & Tricks


Be patient with your hair as the perm grows out. Your hair only grows about a quarter of an inch every month, so it could take up to a year to be completely natural if you cut off the relaxed portions and rock a short style; tack on another 12 months if you are trying to do it while maintaining length.


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