What you’ll learn
- What is a perm?
- How long does it last?
- How does hair get permed?
- How to take care of it?
- Does a perm damage your hair?
The #perm is back and it’s all thanks to TikTok. With over 340 million views, collectively, it has become one of the trendiest hairstyles featured on social media platforms in 2021.
The style has become particularly popular amongst men, who have been seen uploading before and after videos of their boy perms.
What is a perm?
Perm comes from the term “permanent wave” or “curly perm”. Permanent waves or curls take shape when the strands are wrapped around spherical shapes and chemicals work inside the hair’s structure to break it’s natural shape. Smaller rods produce tighter curls and larger ones give more of a wave to the strands.
How long does the perm last?
Depending on the length of the hair, this process can take up to 2 hours to be completed and can last between 4-6 months, depending on how well-maintained the hair strands are.
How does hair get permed?
The process of perming involves placing the hair strands around curlers and using chemicals that hold the strand into the desired shape permanently.
In the 1930s, Bari-Woollss introduced the addition of hydrogen to break the bonds of keratin, allowing the strands to curl easier. Afterwards, a neutralizer was introduced to reverse the effect of the reducing agent, allowing the strands to keep the curl.
Nowadays, the chemical solution used in a perm depends on the hair type. For coarse hair, the classic alkaline solution uses ammonium thioglycolate which has a pH of up to 10. Acid perms are used for thinner hair types. The solution contains glyceryl monothioglycolate and has a pH of up to 8.
Even though modern perms are less irritating, contact with the skin should be avoided when using these chemicals.
How to take care of your new perm
Wait at least 24 hours for the perm to set before washing your hair. Do not use any hair products during this time either.
“Isn’t it the first cardinal rule of perm maintenance that you are forbidden to wet your hair for at least 24 hours after getting a perm at the risk of deactivating the ammonium thioglycolate?” - Ellie Woods, Legally Blond
Avoid doing a perm if your hair has been damaged by bleach and consult with your stylist prior to your appointment.
Does a perm damage your hair?
Yes, it does. Any chemical process done to your hair will somehow damage it, this includes bleaching, coloring, relaxing, and perming. The chemicals used in the process are very invasive for the hair, so make sure that you’ve been on top of your routine and keeping your hair extra healthy before and after the perm.
As mentioned before, a perm temporarily breaks up the keratin bonds that your hair is made of and this can damage the structure. Mitigate the damage by adding more protein to your hair care routine. The Repair Treatment restores hair mass with a unique formulation that includes regenerative ingredients such as keratin, oats, corn, wheat, soy proteins, and oat amino acids.
Finally make sure your hair has been receiving the right amount of water, oil, and protein. There’s a specific hair care routine that can keep the strands strong and nourished depending on your hair type. Complete this hair test to find out what your ideal hair care routine looks like.
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