The Gina Vs. The Jheri Curl: Are Perms Having A Comeback?

The Gina Vs. The Jheri Curl: Are Perms Having A Comeback?

When it comes to beauty trends, everything comes full circle, and perms are no exception. If you weren't around to experience perms the first time the hairstyle was cool, then the modern version might blow your mind! But before discussing what a GinaCurl is, you have to understand the Jheri curl and what a standard perm is.

A perm is short for permanent wave and is a process that uses chemicals and heat to change the texture of the hair to a curl or wave. Perms work by altering the structure of the hair thermally or chemically and setting the curl pattern and texture. This differs slightly from what we in the Black community have referred to as "perms" growing up, which were formally called relaxers, but the word "perm" could be used to describe the chemical treatment interchangeably.

Similar to perms that are known for creating permanent waves in straight hair, perms for Black hair involved the chemical process of straightening curly hair by breaking the bonds of the hair shaft. In this article, we are focusing on perms that create permanent waves in the hair, not the perms we sometimes call relaxers.

The Jheri Curl

Though originally created by Jheri Redding, an Irish-American hairdresser in the 1970s of Nexxus and Redken fame, the Jheri curl that we've come to associate with was adapted by Comer Cottrell, a Black entrepreneur. Their at-home Curly Kits were specifically created for Black hair and would lay the groundwork for the popular style to be more accessible to everyday people and not just celebs like Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.

The standard Jheri curl that comes to mind whenever a perm is mentioned requires a two-part application. This consists of a softener or rearranging cream to loosen the hair, followed by perm rods and a solution to neutralize and set the curls. Just like with any process that chemically alters the hair, proper care and technique are needed so as not to damage your hair during the process.

However, as a low-maintenance hairstyle, once the process is done, Jheri curls can be maintained pretty simply and effectively through the daily use of a curl activator.

The GinaCurl


Reply to @wholistichut I recommend it. It’s really helped my hair grow and made maintenance of my hair easier #ginacurl #curlyperm #curlyhair

The GinaCurl, similar to the Jheri curl, has an emphasis on loosening tighter curl patterns. Unlike other perms and relaxers, the GinaCurl is believed to be a gentler and less damaging approach to chemically altering the hair for manageability. The GinaCurl created by Gina Rivera restructures the hair molecules to reduce frizz, making the hair manageable, soft, and moisture balanced.

Per their official website, Rivera's modern take on a perm includes a 3-step process:

  • Step one is a chemical that breaks down the protein chains in the hair to allow a new shape.
  • Step two is applying perm rods for the desired curl size and pattern, applying heat for oxidation, and rearranging the hair's protein bonds.
  • Step three is neutralizing the hair and permanently setting the hair in its new shape.

Where the Jheri curl requires maintenance every 6-8 weeks, the GinaCurl can be done every 6 months.

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