How To Grow Out Chemically Treated Hair

Angelica Di Guglielmo
Janis Litavnieks / Getty Images

Janis Litavnieks / Getty Images

We always want what we don’t have. Got curly hair? You probably want silky smooth, straight locks. Straight hair? You most likely envy everyone with luscious curls. But lucky us, now there are “permanent” chemical treatments, like Japanese straightening, that will give us the hair we’ve always wanted. The beauty of these treatments is that they cut styling time to a minimum—you can usually just air dry your hair and go. But is it really such a great idea?

If you’ve ever undergone one of these treatments, you probably understand how much of a nuisance your hair becomes once it starts growing back. When the roots start to come in, they’re a completely different texture than the rest of your hair. What was once hassle-free becomes extra trouble, since you now have to make sure your hair looks uniform. There may come a time when you decide to stop chemical treatments altogether. Maybe you’re tired of the damage, maybe you’re annoyed with having to deal with your roots, or maybe you’re just sick of the price. The enviable next step is the seemingly never-ending process of growing out your hair. So how do you go about this and still make sure it looks awesome? These tips will help you restore your hair to its former glory.

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Trim or chop.
The only way to 100% get rid of “permanently” chemically-treated hair is to cut it off. Any time you’re voluntarily trying to grow your hair, getting regular trims is even more important. Make sure you’re visiting your stylist every 6-8 weeks to snip off those dead ends. This will drastically cut down the time it takes to see a difference. If you’re feeling daring or looking for a change, you can even go for the big chop. Naturally, the more drastic the cut, the quicker it takes for the chemically-treated parts to be gone.

Avoid heat.
The first thing you’re going to want to do when your roots start to come in is to go straight for hot styling tools. Stop right there. The chemical treatment has already caused a significant amount of damage to your hair so the last thing you’ll want to do is add more. Using heat will only harm your hair and make the growing out process take even longer.

Braids are your best friend.
How are you supposed to deal with roots if you can’t use heat? Braids. Not only are there a million adorable ways to style them, but they’re also a great way to match your roots to the rest of your hair. While your hair is damp, braid it from the top of your head all the way down and sleep on it. When you undo it in the morning, your hair will have beautiful, effortless waves—and your uneven roots will be hidden.

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Use heatless styling techniques.
There are tons of ways to curland even straightenyour hair without heat. Start using these methods to avoid damage and ensure your hair still looks great. If you’re in a pinch, try sporting updos like sleek ponytails or messy buns.

Have patience.
Growing your hair out can seem to take forever. You’ll get frustrated and your patience will run thin, but remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day and it’s going to take a bit to get your hair back to a healthy and natural state. Depending on the length of your hair, it could actually take a year or two to get your natural texture back completely. It’s important to relax, have patience, and just look forward to the end result.

Love your hair!
In a recent study, Dove discovered that only 4 out of 10 girls with curly hair thought it was pretty. It’s important to embrace what you have and to remember that no matter the texture or color of your hair, it’s beautiful! So get out there and rock those curls, sport those sleek locks, and love your hair.