Friday, July 18, 2014

Product Review: Wave Nouveau

Have you ever wondered how to achieve a Jheri Curl; well without the dripping oil, that is? 

Look no further.

The Wave Nouveau Coiffure Collection
A permanent wave (remember the word "perm", this is where it all started) is a chemical treatment that produces a curl or loose wave pattern when applied to hair. This usually involves breaking the bonds that form the hair and reforming them. 
It is way different from a relaxer treatment; which is also permanent chemical treatment as well. A relaxer treatment is used on people with very curly to tightly curly hair to achieve straight hair with the aim of making the hair more manageable.

Cold wave treatment
Contains Ammonium Thioglycolate
Contains Sodium or Calcium Hydroxide
Leaves hair curly or wavy
Leaves hair straight
Cumbersome to complete
Easy to complete
Breaks hair disulfide bonds and reforms some.
Breaks hair disulfide bond. No reformation process.
Both can be used on naturally tightly curled hair or for touch up
Cannot use both at the same time
Both change hair texture completely and permanently
Both severely weaken hair. Proper moisturizing & conditioning is a must

We all know what relaxers are, so I will not go any further.

A permanent wave hairstyle is also known as "cold wave". This is what where the cold wave rods got their name from. It's called cold because no heat is usually applied to achieve results.
Wave Nouveau Coiffure is a SoftSheen Carson brand that is known for making the cold wave treatment, simply put. So, if you want to achieve a Jheri curl look at the end of the day, the entire Wave Nouveau collection is what you should be reaching for.

Enough said, let's get to the process.

The first step is to shampoo your hair. You definitely want to use a clarifying shampoo to help get rid of oils, dirt, debris and build up. This step is key because when the hair is properly cleansed, it allows the chemical treatment to set well.

Phase 1: Shape Release

As it name implies, this is used to break the hair's chemical bond. At the end of this phase which usually lasts about 5-10 minutes, the hair should be very straight. 

Skin irritant Alert: This product contains Ammonium Thioglycolate, the salt of a weak acid and weak base that is usually found in hair removal creams. So do not attempt to do any of this treatment at home or by yourself.

It is to be used on very curly and/or kinky hair, preferably African hair textures. 
It comes in 3 strengths: 
for Normal/Medium hair,
for Resistant/Coarse hair and
for Fine/Colored-treated hair.

Choose your desired strength and:
1. Apply the treatment to entire hair 1/4 inches away from the scalp. 
2. Leave on for 5-10 minutes
3. After application, check for desired straightness every 2-3 minutes. In all, do not exceed 15 minutes including application time.
4. Once desired straightness is achieved, rinse thoroughly from hair with warm water.

DON'T use on already relaxed hair.
DON'T reapply on already permed hair. 
DON'T use a hair dryer.
DO apply to only new growth, that is if you have done this treatment before.
If your hair is natural, apply to entire hair.

Phase 2: Shape Transformer

Phase 2
Back of Phase 2

After straightening hair with the Phase 1, Phase 2 is used in transforming and reshaping hair into desired curls. So, at this stage you will need:
- A hand glove
- Cold wave rods [a.k.a perm rods] They come in various sizes. Larger rods will produce more loose waves. Smaller rods will create tighter waves.
- cotton wool 
Different sizes of cold wave rods

1. Section hair for wrapping/curling and apply Phase 2 to sectioned hair. 
2. Wrap the hair around a cold wave rod and secure it in place. 
3. Reapply Phase 2 to hair as needed to prevent it from drying.
4. Repeat steps 1, 2 and 3 until the entire hair is fully wrapped.
5. Once wrapping is completed, blot out excess product, place a cotton strip around the hair line and cover the head with a processing cap. Leave for 10 minutes.
6. After 10 minutes processing time, remove cap and check for "S" pattern. 
* If desired wave is seen, rinse the hair with the rods on thoroughly for 5-10 minutes using warm water.
* If desired wave is not yet achieved, do not rinse. Replace cap and check again after 3 minutes.
7. After thorough rinsing, still with rods on, blot individual rods to eliminate excess water.
8. Go to Phase 3.

Skin irritant Alert: This product contains Ammonium Thioglycolate and Ammonia. 

Phase 3: Shape Lock
Back of Phase 3
Add caption

Also, as the name implies, this is used to reconfigure and lock hair into its new shape. The hair automatically takes the shape of whatever it was wrapped around.
This product contains hydrogen peroxide that acts as a neutralizer to ammonium thioglycolate. 

Remember the hair bonds that were broken in Phase 1? Phase 3 helps the broken bonds to reform, thereby locking the hair into a permanent new shape. 

But note: Not all the broken hair bonds will reform. This ends up leaving hair weaker.

To use:
1. Protect hairline by placing cotton strips along it. This also prevents the solution from dripping to the face.
2. Apply Phase 3 generously to each rods. Make sure you saturate the entire head of hair with it.
3. Leave on for 10 minutes. Do not use a hair dryer.
4. With rods still on, rinse thoroughly with warm water and towel blot.
5. Remove rods gently and rinse for 2 minutes with low water pressure until Phase 3 is completely removed. Do not agitate the hair while rinsing.
6. Towel blot and moisturize with Moisturizing Finishing Lotion or Mist. (At this point, I prefer the Lotion.)

For daily use:
Moisturize with the Wave Nouveau Daily Humectant and Finish off with the Finishing Mist. Moisturizing daily is essential for permed hair to prevent hair breakage and dryness.
Do NOT shampoo hair for 48 hours after a cold wave. This is to enable the style last longer.

Always do this treatment at a professional's ONLY.

In the end, Jheri Curls gives hair a textured look and feel that is manageable.
Everybody loves texture. It's so versatile.
Really who wouldn't?

Get the complete Wave Nouveau Coiffure Collection from any CasaBella store near you.

The Wave Nouveau Coiffure Collection

Much love from me,



  1. It's like the old school tins r back. Nice writeup.

    1. Yes ooo Jane. Girls be rocking straw curls [an alternative to perm rods] everywhere.

  2. Replies
    1. Yes you can. Which of the size do you want? The yellow rods are the most popular size.

  3. What if the hair is too short to rod? Do you just apply the product

    1. Dear Morgan, I think your hair has to be a certain length before you can use do the Jheri Curls. At least from 3 inches, the hair when straightened should be long enough to roll.

      Asides that, I have seen perm rods that are reaaally tiny in diameter so I think short hair is not a problem at all. I hope that helps.

  4. What would the results look like if you only use phase 2 and 3, so you don't have to double process your hair?

    1. It doesn't matter if your hair is relaxed or not, you cannot jump to the step 2 if you haven't done the step 1. It's the products that make the steps.

      The process consists of steps, true, but these steps can be completed in less than an hour once you get the hang of it.

    2. o ok thankyou!!!!

  5. To retouch do you do phase 1 "only" on new growth then proceed with the best steps on the remainder of the hair? My hair seems to not want to curl anymore.

    1. To retouch, you do only the phase 1 to new growth only. And then continue with the whole head from phase 2.

      From all indication, you should not apply phase 1 to already permed part. Hope the helps.

  6. Hi Ify,this is so informative,well done and God bless you. Plz where can I get the cold perm rods to buy in Abuja and curler to set my natural hair with? Thanks.

    1. Hello dear, God bless you too. You can get the perms rods at Casabella Stores. You can find the stores at Shoprite Apo and Shoprite Silverbird. Have a lovely day.

  7. Can I still use phase 3 tomorrow if I found out I don't have it after rinsing phase 2 out

    1. Hi daphne, because of the ammonium thioglycolate, a well known skin irritant, present in Phase 2's Shape Release, it would not be healthy for both the hair and scalp to rinse Phase 2 out, carry your rods in your hair for a whole day only to finish with the Phase 3 the next day.
      You cannot completely rinse all Phase 2 out with rods in in the first place. Hence why Phase 3 is a neutralizer.
      As a hair lover, I'll advise you ensure all 3 Phases are present before you even begin the process.
      I hope that helps.

  8. I already have the cold wave and I love it but my hair is breaking so much #sob. Any advice to this?

    1. Hello,

      If you look at the table above you will notice where I wrote that both a relaxer treatment and cold wave treatment severely weakens hair.
      To reduce the amount of damage:
      - A cold wave should be done only on unrelaxed hair. And when a touch up is due, apply to only new growth.
      - Make sure you deep condition and moisturise your hair regularly. Breakage is more prone when hair is dry.
      Try these and see if it helps.

  9. Can Jeri curls be washed off to return to natural hair and how?

    1. A permanent wave system aka cold wave aka Jheri curls CANNOT be washed off! Just like your relaxed hair can never go back to curly, the same thing applies to this too.
      The chemical process that occurs is permanent. If you want your natural curl pattern back, you will have to cut off the processed part (i.e. The waved or relaxed part) and start afresh. Thank you.

  10. Can Jeri curls be washed off to return to natural hair and how?

  11. Hi,can I use just the moisturizing mist on my 4b hair?

    1. Yes you can use any of their Finishing products. Either the mist or lotion. They are great for all kinds of hair (whether permed, relaxed or natural) and are really moisturizing. Enjoy.

  12. Hello, I just got Wave Neuvo after being natural 8 years, I thought this would be more managable and less time consuming but the chemical did not interact with my body well. What is the process to grow out to be natural again. Thank you.

    1. To be natural again means to start all over again. Chop off the permed part and start grooming your hair free of chemical treatments.

  13. I usually get my done at stylist every 2 months bcuz my roots get thick fast. This month i did my own WN n it did well with forming the waves but my roots r not straight which means i didnt leave phase release on long enough. How long do i hav to wait to do a retouch since my roots arent straight?

    1. Great job on retouching you did yourself.

      I'll recommend you wait another 2 months to do a touch up. Make sure you wait for the stipulated time when using the Phase Release.
      I will not recommend retouching already "touched" parts of your hair. Just as it is not recommended to apply relaxer to already relaxed parts of your hair.

    2. Thank you so much

  14. I love my wave nouveau, my stylist did it on my natural hair, and then cut it in a tapered cut! It's amazing. I keep it moisturized and I have not had any problem thus far! My question is what should use to cover it at night

    1. That sounds beautiful. Cover it with a satin bonnet/satin cap. That should help with moisture retention and friction that a regular hair net would give you.

  15. hi Ify please where can I get this wave nouveau product in Lagos Nigeria

  16. Hi Ify..great job!amazingly written article covering every detail..n very kind of you to answer the queries..if you could please let me know whether i can use phase 1 alone on my hair- new growth or entire length.i relaxed my naturally curly hair 3 months hair is very fine n weak n have d afro texture...thanks.god bless you..

    1. Hi Arbee,

      Thank you for taking the time to visit and read. I'm happy you love.
      Well you can. From what you said, it seems you want to use it as a hair straightening (relaxing) treatment. It works just the way a relaxer would: relax your curls.
      But caution, using only Phase 1 alone may severely weaken your hair. Plus I mentioned that you can't use it on relaxed hair, even if it's the new growth.

      If you have fine hair, I suggest using texturisers. If that is still too strong for your hair, you can dilute it to make your own mix of half portion each of texturiser and your regular conditioner (same quantity for both).

      Let's see how we can help your hair regain its strength again.

  17. Hi Ify..great job!amazingly written article covering every detail..n very kind of you to answer the queries..if you could please let me know whether i can use phase 1 alone on my hair- new growth or entire length.i relaxed my naturally curly hair 3 months hair is very fine n weak n have d afro texture...thanks.god bless you..

  18. I mean can phase 1 be used alone to straighten d hair without using phase 2 and 3?? My hair were straightened 3 months back using relaxer.
    Can i use on new growth/ entire length..thanks in advance

  19. I mean can phase 1 be used alone to straighten d hair without using phase 2 and 3?? My hair were straightened 3 months back using relaxer.
    Can i use on new growth/ entire length..thanks in advance

    1. I wouldn't use WN at all on my hair until the relaxed hair was cut off and hair was stronger (protein treatments). Then let a professional stylist address your style wanted. Good luck!

    2. Thank you Angie H for helping out with that. Dear Arbee please see my response above. Thanks.

  20. Can a hair that was waved on Friday but has no curled be recurled?

    1. You mentioned Friday. Kindly state when you would like to recurl it, time between retouches matter. Thanks.

  21. Hello, my hair is natural and I just put in a rinse. However, I want to do the WN, but can I color my hair with it, and do I have to cut it? My hair is pretty big when combed through, but it is puffy in appearance no curl unless it's wet. Will a WN, be good for my hair? And can it be straight and curly or must it remain curly all the time?

    1. If your hair is natural, and you do the permanent wave treatment you will have to wait for 6 weeks before colour application.
      Anything sooner than that may severely weaken your hair's strands. And even at that deep conditioning is paramount. For such an hair adventure, please use an experienced hair professional. Thank you.

    2. You also said you don't see curls except when your hair is wet, the simple solution would be using curl defining cremes or gels depending on your hairs texture or your personal preference.

      I must stress that a permanent wave system (Wave Nouveau is just the name of a brand that makes system) is permanent as the name implies. So once you loosen your hairs curls with it, there's no going back.
      The same thing applies for a relaxer treatment. Once your hair is relaxed, it can never go back to curly. So you need to consider this very well before opting for it. I hope that helps.


  22. Replies
    1. Hi Evelyn, I'm not so sure about that. But kindly confirm with a professional at your hair salon. Thanks a lot.

  23. Does the WN finishing lotion loosen your curls?

  24. Does the WN finishing lotion loosen your curls?

    1. It doesn't loosen curls. It only moisturises and detangles.

  25. Hi ifeoma,I recently went through with the cold wave and I'm loving it thus far.. will be travelling to Abuja and was hoping you know a stylist there to get my hair washed and re-curled at. Thank you ps;the wave is 3 days old.

  26. Hi, I recently did a cold wave and loving my hair ,can one use both the finishing mist and lotion at the same time?

  27. Hi Ifeoma,Can I get sweet styles like Bantu nuts etc ,as the natural hair would do from my cold wave

  28. Hi, after the stage 2 of the wave when my hair needs to be combed through, i experience breakage.Can a detangler be used?

  29. This is a great site! I had my we done about 3 months ago. I suffered a lot of shedding. I believe this was do to th stylist leaving phase one on for too long. The shedding has finally stopped, but I am afraid to get a wn touch up. I need to do something with the new growth. Is it safe to start using a texturizer on the new growth while I let the wn grow out?

  30. Can I leave in the phase 1 for a short while to texturized my hair instead of an actual texturizer? I'm currently natural but getting antsy. The maintenance can be cumbersome. I used to have the wn so I'm thinking if I texturize with it if I received to do it again I would have to big chop all over again since I wouldn't have relaxer in my hair.

  31. Hi, please I use care free curl for my jheri curls. Is it good as well or can I switch wave nouvea? Thank you