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Hair Perming: Is it Good or Bad for Your Hair?

By Edited Jun 1, 2015 2 2
Permed Hair
Credit: public domain

Permed hair is one of today’s most sought hairstyle. It is a fact that adding some curls can definitely give you an alluring look. However, have you ever asked yourself if hair perming is good or bad for your tresses? Remember, depending on the type and condition of your tresses, having it permed can cause serious damage. Plus, not every hairstyle is right  for everyone. It may or may not flatter your look. Hence, this article will help you discern if getting permanent curls is good or bad for your tresses. 

The hair perming process

How do your tresses go from straight to curls? The hair perming process aims to do this by breaking your hair's disulfide bonds. This is simply done by introducing a reducing agent into your hair. Typically, professional stylists use any thiol containing perm solutions. You can either opt for an alkaline solution such as ammonium thioglycolate or an acidic solution like glyceryl monothioglycolate. Either way, these types of chemicals will break those disulfide bonds when hydrogen atoms attached themselves to the sulfur atoms, forming new compounds. 

Once the curls are completely shaped, neutralization is then done to reconnect the broken disulfide bonds. Hydrogen peroxide is normally used for this process. As a well-known bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide can lighten and damage your hair. This is especially true if one uses strong perming solutions. For that reason, it is strongly advised to rinse and blot your hair thoroughly before applying neutralizers. 

Curly Hairstyle
Credit: public domain

Considerations

As you can notice above, the hair perming process uses chemicals that are harmful for your tresses. This can lead to a dry frizzy strands if not done properly. Hence, before getting your hair permed, it is best to think about these considerations. Furthermore, you should only opt for professional stylists. This will guarantee that proper procedures are efficiently done.

  • Dyed or highlighted hair – If your tresses has just been dyed or highlighted, you shouldn’t consider getting a perm. This is because bleached hair is already damaged although it’s not visible to the naked eyes. Adding perming solutions will only worsen its current condition. You can reconsider getting a perm after a month has passed. As for highlights, you can ask your stylist if it is suitable. As a rule of thumb, you can get a perm if your highlights only cover 30 to 40% of your locks. However, this is still not highly recommended.
  • Damaged hair – If your tresses are already showing signs of damage such as dryness, frizziness and brittleness; you might want to recuperate it first before getting a perm. A regular hot oil or moisturizing treatment is a great option you can take. Remember, perming solutions can cause damage to your hair. Hence, opting for a perm when your hair is dry will only aggravate its dryness.
  • Short layers of hair – Layered hair may look good straight. But, what if its curly? Remember, curls will not only add volume to your tresses. It will also tighten and pull back its length. So, if you have a short hairstyle, you might want to imagine yourself first if it will suit your face. You can also get a second opinion from your friends and stylist. If you’re undecided, you might want to let it grow first at least beyond your shoulder's length just to be safe. Keep in mind that once its permed and you don’t like the result, you have to wait for months or even a year to redo your hairstyle.
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Caring for your permed hair

After getting your locks permed, it is best to avoid washing it for at least 1 or 2 days for long-lasting curls. This will depend on the type of hair you have. So, you should ask your stylist about the right course of action. Another important maintenance rule you should note is to opt for shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for permed hair. This will help sustain the moisture of your locks. You should also avoid blow-drying. Basically, after hair perming, your tresses have lost a sufficient amount of moisture. Blow drying will only lead to more water loss. An anti-frizz serum is also essential. This will help keep your curls intact. If you have a persistent frizz problem, almond oil is an excellent regimen you can use. When combing your locks, only use a wide - tooth comb or your fingers. Excessive hair brushing will eventually disrupt your curls. And lastly, to keep your locks moisturized, you should consider weekly hot oil treatments. As of today, there are a lot of hair moisturizing products you can use at home. Coconut oil and olive oil are some of the best hot oil treatments you can apply and leave it overnight.

With that, if you want long-lasting curls, these maintenance tips are imperative. As you’ve noticed, caring for your permed hair is a tedious task. So, if you don’t have the time and patience for this, you might consider getting a curling iron for temporary perms. However, you should only use it occasionally since it can also damage your tresses. 

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Comments

Dec 13, 2012 8:26pm
Introspective
Interesting information; I've never had a perm, my hair is naturally wavy.
Dec 14, 2012 4:21pm
md15garcia
Thanks! I'm glad you like it. You're lucky waves/curls are very in nowadays.
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