The perm is back! If you’ve ever dreamed of curls or waves that last several months without any styling, a perm might be the perfect solution for you. But before you embrace the return of this classic ’80s style, keep in mind that as with any chemical hair treatment, there are some cons to consider. Is permanent hair curling right for you? Keep reading to find out.
Permanent hair curling uses a combination of heat and chemicals to break and reform the disulfide bonds of your hair. This process permanently alters your hair’s anatomy to resemble that of curly hair, giving hair permanent curls that don’t require heat tools or curlers. Your perm will grow out over four to six months, depending on how quickly your hair grows.
The curly perm treatment depends on the stylist and desired results, but generally the process takes several hours. First, hair is washed using a clarifying shampoo. Then, hair is curled using rods. Smaller rods create tighter curls. Next, the perming solution is applied to the rollers. After a set amount of time, the hairstylist applies a neutralizer to hair to reform the disulfide bonds and lock in the curl.
While many people love the idea of having low-maintenance curls, there are some downsides to permanent hair curling. High temperatures and chemicals can cause damage and breakage to hair. Many salons won’t perform perms on lightened or colored hair, since the risk of breakage is too great.
The digital wave or hot perm is the latest development in permanent hair curling. The digital perm uses a diluted perm solution and curling wand to create natural-looking beach waves. Since the temperatures aren’t as high and the chemicals aren’t as strong, the digital perm is not as damaging for hair as a traditional perm. Digital perms are usually more expensive than traditional cold perms but the results can last longer, about six months or more.
Would you ever consider a perm? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!
†Existing hair growth