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Hair Perm

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Hair Perm
An informative guide to hair perms - spiral perms, volumising and soft gentle curls. Learn to select the right perm hair style and pick up valuable tips.

Do you have straight limp hair that could do with more body and volume? Planning to go in for a hairstyle that would look better with a hint of curl. Hair perms are here to help - create the hairstyle you wish, be it big natural curls or tight spiral curls. Selecting the right perm rod determines the kind of curls your hair will sport.


Hair perm

Getting your hair permed involves use of chemicals to break and reform the disulfide bonds of the hair. The hair is washed and wrapped on a perm rod and waving lotion is applied with a base. This solution creates a chemical action that softens the inner structure of the hair. It reacts with the keratin of the cortex, breaking some of the disulfide cross-links within and between the protein chains.


The hair swells and softens and stretches. The hair then molds around the shape of the perm rod. After a specified period of time, the hair is rinsed and a neutralizer is applied. It is the neutralizing solution that reforms the disulfide bonds of the hair and sets the new curls. Hair perms can be done with acid or alkaline hair perming solutions. Alkaline wave hair perm works best for resistant hair and Asian hair and hair with low elasticity. This time of perm is also used for normal healthy hair. Acid wave hair perms are milder than the alkaline ones and are ideal for fragile, damaged or colored hair.


Perm spiral

The spiral perm is done with vertical perm rods and is usually done on longer hair. Spiral perm hairstyles look like twisted corkscrews. The spiral perm technique allows for good penetration through long hair that is 6 inches and more. Different hair perm rods will help you get a different look. The spiral perm was a rage in the 80s. The trend nowadays is more towards natural curls that fall gently down your shoulders.


But there are some women who prefer the springy curls of a spiral perm. Discuss the style with your hair stylist before the perm procedure. The perm hairstyle must be chosen to suit your face shape. If you have a long face, the perm must be worked to ensure volume on the side but never on the top. Some women try out spiral curls with curling irons at home. For this, you need to be equipped with spiral curlers or rods and hair perm lotions.


Perm hair style

Your hairstyle also plays a role in determining the kind of hair perm you need. Some perms work well with hair in one length while others are designed to work with layered hairstyles. Spot perm involves only one area of the hair. A stack perm is ideal if you want curls at the end of long hair.


  • Perm hair style must be treated with care. Colored hair must not be permed. Ideally coloring is done after a perm. Subjecting your hair to two processes may damage it.
  • Aggressive shampooing must be avoided Use conditioners specially created for permed hair.

  • Carefully towel blot your hair dry after a wash. Avoid tangles as it can damage the hair perm.

  • Use a diffuser when blow-drying hair perms.

  • You can maintain your perm hair style with perm rejuvenators - products that will add moisture and shine to the hair.

  • Typically a hair perm takes about 2 hours. It takes about another 24 hours for the perm to fully settle and its impact to be completely felt. A hair perm usually lasts about 3 - 5 months. To prepare your hair for a perm, use a rich protein conditioning treatment after your regular shampoo.

Modern hair perms also extend to volumizing - perming for volume and not for curls. This type of hair perm lasts about 6 weeks and is much cheaper than a complete hair perm. This works well for women who are experimenting with a new hairstyle. Spiral perm hairstyle can be done on shoulder length or longer hair. It sets well on thicker hair.


Perm rod

The choice of perm rod depends on the kind of perm that is sought. Straight or cylindrical perm rods are popularly used for wrapping hair that has to be wave permed. A smaller perm rod ensures a tighter hair perm. You can achieve a body wave look with a larger perm rod. Using very large perm rods however can create weak curls.


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