Once, the word "perm" conjured up thoughts of tight, poodle curls, acrid hair solutions, and scary metal rods and rollers. The old-fashioned permanent's bad reputation was well deserved — it was damaging to hair's condition, not to mention its style.
Today, there's a new perm in town, creating big, loose, soft curls. Perm technology has been updated and perfected. Now it can be a long-term solution for giving hair the curl and volume that works perfectly with the current trend toward lush, sexy hair. Stylists now often use perms by working with your cut, adding welcome texture and style to any hair.
Here's all you need to know about the new twist on a retro hairstyle option.
The New Technology
Advances in chemical technology have made the perm process much easier on hair. Better solutions and built-in conditioners have done away with the frizz and tight curls of the perms of the past. Modern perms are ideal for giving straight, limp hair a great wave or curl.
Today's perms are more versatile. By varying the size of the rod used in the process, the strength of the solution, and the time the solution has contact with hair, a stylist can give the client a variety of look options -- big, loose curls or tighter waves. For example, wrapping hair around large round rods and leaving the ends out gives a more natural and longer look.
Perm Prep and Curl Care
A little pre-perm work helps ensure best results. First, keep hair is in its very best condition before you perm by getting regular conditioning treatments at your salon, or do it yourself at home, several weeks before your perm. Get your hair cut and styled before your perm. Be sure to request a style and length with your hair's post-perm texture in mind, remembering that curly hair will be shorter than straight.
After your perm, your hair will need special care to maintain the look and softness of your new curls. At the salon, we suggest both protein and moisturizing treatments. Alternate them every other week for maximum conditioning results. Safeguard the condition of your hair by minimizing damage from heat styling tools like blow-dryers and flat irons; be sure to add a conditioning product to hair first if you're using any of these tools.
You'll find after some time, your perm will start to "relax," or lose some of its curl. To keep your style looking fresh, ask your stylist to perm your hair's regrowth. To maintain your perm, you can then alternate between redoing the perm process on all your hair and just doing the regrowth every six to eight weeks.
If you tire of your perm and want to grow out your hair, we advise regular haircuts to keep hair looking neat. On a daily basis, blow-drying hair with a round brush and smoothing styling products can give hair a straighter appearance as it grows.