They've given this perm a new French name, but it's still the same old cheap trick: a Jheri curl. It's an awkward look because the hair looks inherently oily and artificial in some spots but then in other places you can see healthy looking, normal African curls springing up. (I'm always rooting for the natural curls.) This person was caught in a "good" moment. More natural hair tends to pop up as the activator dries and the natural curls look odd next to the oily waves. ... And even w/the person in the pic, you can see a lot of natural hair poking through.
I recall the constant maintenance of this look - people keeping activator spray in their purses and jacket pockets for when parts of their hair dried into fro instead of wave; people with oily activator stains on their collars and on the back seats of public buses; the smell of the activator itself (not pleasant, at least to me); how very ... WET everyone looked, and how they'd shake their heads and droplets would fly around. How untouchable it was and how some men wore clear plastic baggies over it (in public) rather than risking a sudden change back to its normal texture.
... And how it all had the feeling of certain people trying to escape or hide the truth of their natural hair, but how all their efforts were an open secret to everyone around them. I recall trying to hide using relaxers, and I recall the time some lady gave me one of these horrid Jheri curl treatments w/out telling me what she was doing, and how I lost my mind when she handed me activator LOL (My hair already looked like that to begin with, minus the greasiness, so it just shrunk my natural curls. Terrible.)
Last edited by Korkscrew; 02-26-2013 at 03:10 PM.