Making a Jheri curl hairstyle is a two-step chemical process where a chemical is used to relax or soften kinky or curly hair, and then another chemical is used with perm rods to curl the hair. A curl activator is used to maintain the style between Jheri curl applications. This style can be created in a salon or by using an at-home Jheri Curl kit.
- Choose a salon or an at-home Jheri Curl kit
Select a salon or buy a Jheri Curl kit from a drug store or beauty supply store. The kit includes a chemical hair softener and a chemical solution to set the curls. Some kits also include the perm rods needed to set the curls with the solution. Salons use the same chemical process but may offer chemicals customized to the client’s hair type.
- Apply the chemical softener
In a salon, the chemical softener is applied to clean, dry hair for as long as is needed to achieve the desired results. The softener is worked into the hair, and then a comb or fingers can be used to smooth the hair as much as possible. To lessen the chance of damage to the hair or scalp, users of at-home kits should follow the directions on the kit, even if the results are not as smooth as desired. Hair eventually gets smoother through future touch-ups. Rinse thoroughly to completely remove the softener.
- Apply the chemical setting lotion
Apply the setting lotion to rinsed, towel-dried hair. Saturate each strand, and separate the hair and apply the perm rods to permanent curl it. Add more setting solution as needed.
- Maintain hair with curl activator
Apply curl activator as often as needed to maintain the curls.