Hair Perming2018-11-13T14:33:30+00:00


Innervations in Perming Techniques 


If we have ever had dreams about having bouncy, soft curls every day or having straight, frizz-free hair when we woke up in the morning? Hair perms makes this dream come to life! Hair perms are a type of treatment that sets the hair in curls by treating it with chemicals in order to last several months. A perm might actually be the secret to attaining those elusive ‘I just woke up like this’ supermodel waves with little to no effort.


Hair Perming

Perms work well on most hair types and textures. The process can take two hours depending on the length of hair. It can last up to six months and it grows out really naturally with our own hair texture. Our hair needs to be strong and healthy to handle the chemical treatment it’s about to undergo in order for the curl to hold. Un-dyed hair is in the best condition for a perm. The curling rods can be placed in a totally different directions to create either tight curls or loose waves that suits our hair texture. After getting the process done it’s recommended to invest in a great conditioner to make sure our waves stay hydrated. And the hair can be blow dried and styled when permed!

Dependent on the size of the perm rods and the applied technique, a perm will either create more volume at the roots or create curls all through our hair. As a general rule, the larger the perm rods are, the larger the waves will be. Larger permanent waves also tend to lose their shape faster than small curls. Perm styles creates the most endearing undone looks, the trendiest afros or simply lots and lots of volume.

Key Factors of Our Hair Perm

  1. The chemical (solution applied)

Alkaline is recommended for stronger, coarser hair.

Acidic (requiring heat) is recommended for delicate, thinner hair.

  1. The physical (wrapping hair)
  2. a) Type of rod used. Generally smaller rods equal tighter curls.
  3. b) How the hair is wrapped.
  4. c) How end papers are used. This determines tighter or loosely curled ends.

Dependent on our desired look we can get a hot perm or a cold perm.

Hot Perm

Involves an initial relaxing treatment that prepares our hair, taking about an hour. An acidic solution is applied to our hair. Then, heated curling rods are used to form looser curves and waves by breaking disulphide bonds in our hair. Finally, the hair is put in several rollers hooked to an electronic device that regulates temperature. This allows the hair to be moulded into the desired shape/curl. Hot perms require lower maintenance than cold perms to achieve the same level of curl. But we won’t get the same lift at our roots because of the condition that heat must be applied. Hot perm makes the curls more prominent when hair is dry, and loose when wet. The process takes three to four hours, possibly longer depending on hair length and thickness.

An alternative would be to get a root perm. A root perm is a perming technique where only the 2-4 inches of hair nearest the scalp is permed. This gives the appearance of greater volume for naturally flat hair.

Cold Perm

The traditional method, requires the hair to be soaked with an alkaline solution containing ammonium thioglycolate to break the disulphide bonds to change the protein structure of our hair. Then it’s tightly wound into smaller curls and ringlets set by rollers. This creates a tighter pattern with a hot perm would. Cold perms are less damaging than hot perms and more affordable. They often come with tighter, less natural looking curls. It might not last as long as hot perms since with all perms, the waves will relax and become looser over time. With cold perm, the curls are more prominent with wet hair, and loose when it is dry. The processing time is two to two and a half hours.

A neutralizer solution is then applied afterwards to bring the pH back to normal and re-bond the hair.

Types of Perms

Digital Perm: The modern and more popular type of hot perm, digital perms give softer curls with looser hair ends. Generally takes about 4 hours to get done.

Ceramic Perm: A type of hot perm, it requires higher heat than digital perm hence longer-lasting and more defined results. Usually tighter S-curls and more curly hair ends. Note that this reduces overall length of hair more significantly than digital perm. This is better for coarser, stronger hair because of the heat damage. Takes about 4 hours to do.

Wave/Body Perm: A type of hot perm as well which creates loose cascading waves. This is a softer look that takes about 3 hours at the salon. It is better for shorter hair since it doesn’t reduce the overall hair length as much.

Classic Perm: This is the traditional cold perm. The intensity of curl is determined by perm rod used. Takes about 3 hours to do and is suitable for all hair types.

Twist/Spiral Perm: A cold perm as well. Gives tight spirals/very well-defined curls and hence, takes longer than normal perm, at about 5 hours. Can be damaging, so hair should be strong and healthy.

Re-bonding Perm: A hot perm which includes hair straightening, this is kind of a partial perm. The hair above our ears are straightened, and the lower half is curled.

Other Terms

The S Curl: Tighter curls for wavy, voluminous hair (like those from ceramic perm).

The C Curl: Soft, inward curls at the hair end, bob-like.

The J Curl: Like its alphabet, small outward curls at the end.

The Pin Curl: For all vintage kids out there. Usually done with shorter hair.

Japanese and Korean Perms: These two forms of Korean perms are not actual perm types but rather variations of the hot perm styles above. Where Korean perms give more defined curls for a weightier look, Japanese perms have a wavy, tousled style.

Conditions for Hair Perming:

Not only does the hair need to be healthy, but, a perm is not recommended if our hair is short or has a lot of layers. Since the curl can often be pretty dramatic on short hair, the extreme curl can often leave us looking like a poodle (and for several months!). Making sure our hair is at the right length for a perm is definitely a huge thing to think about before getting one done.

The Pros of Perming Hair

  • It will make our hair look better
  • It will bulk up our hair. If our goal is to boost the volume then perming can definitely help.
  • It will reduce the need of styling our hair. Think about all the things we won’t need to use a curling iron daily– we can save a lot of time and get more sleep.

The Cons of Perming Hair

  • We can’t wash hair right away or at least a day or two after perming it. Or else it’ll loosen the curls.
  • Our hair can become dry and frizzy. If we already have dry and brittle hair then perming will dry out hair even more. Perming chemically damages the outer layer of our hair which means that hair dryness and frizz.
  • We won’t be able to change styles easily. He have to get used to the way we look after getting a perm.
  • Our hair can be weakened. Permed hair is especially weak because the S-S protein bonds of our hair are reformed when exposed to perm chemicals. What it actually means are possible hair breakage, more split ends and less natural moisture for our hair.

How to care for permed hair

Before we perm, it is best to deep-condition our hair to prime it for the damage in the weeks (or days) before our perming appointment. After perming, we should remember to condition daily and try to have weekly treatment to restore moisture levels of hair especially if we’ve undergone a hot perm.

Following are a list of things to do in order to maintain the beautiful locks after we perm

  • Use a shampoo specific for curls and curl enhancement. Also, use a deep cleansing shampoos to prevent dry scalps and bust product build-up.
  • Deep conditioning treatments are the only way to maintain healthy, shiny curls. Try a conditioner with protein and minerals.
  • Avoid creamy formulas, which end up weighing down our curls.  But if we’re using a cream or gel to help hold our curl, try alternating the curl-enhancing shampoo with the cleansing one.
  • Don’t towel dry the hair (this causes frizz and tangles), rather, use an old cotton t-shirt which soaks up moisture more effectively, after a shower.
  • The less heat the better! Avoid drying hair with a blow dryer or straightening with an iron. Heat styling causes split-ends to appear much faster in perms, all of which means that our curls break up sooner than we’d want. Still if we have to use one, we should coat our hair with a heat protectant.
  • Avoid hair products that are made with alcohol and silicones. Alcohol will dry out our hair fast, leaving it brittle and frizzy and ruining the perm. Silicones wear heavy, making hair greasy and weighed-down.
  • Get a trim every 3-4 months! When our hair is too long and heavy, the curls will lose their bounce.
  • Wear a swim cap if we’ve to go swimming and stay away from chlorinated water to protect the locks.
  • Wait at least two to three days before washing the hair—the curls need time to set, or else it’ll loosen the curls.
  • For tighter curls, keep our hair in a braid for a while. Instead of brushing the hair, use fingers to gently divide the hair.
  • Avoid dyes, highlights, and any other chemical treatment for at least the next month.
  • specially if we’ve undergone a hot perm.

These are vital steps to maintaining the curls. If followed properly, our hair will only keep its desired shape for several months.

If we are born with naturally straight hair and have always desired to get that perfect voluminous hair then hair perms are the best choice for us!

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Hair Perming


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