What is a Perm (Permanent Wave)?
A perm, short for “permanent wave,” is a hairstyling technique that chemically alters the structure of the hair to create curls or waves that last for an extended period. It’s a popular method for achieving long-lasting, textured hairstyles.
Can Anyone Get a Perm?
Most people can get a perm, but the success of the process may depend on the individual’s hair type and condition. Hair that is too damaged or over-processed may not be suitable for perming. Consulting with a professional stylist is recommended to assess hair health and determine if a perm is a good choice.
How Is a Perm Done?
The perm process typically involves the following steps:
- Preparation: Hair is shampooed to remove dirt and oils and towel-dried.
- Wrapping: Sections of hair are wrapped around perm rods or curlers of various sizes based on the desired curl/wave type.
- Applying Perm Solution: A chemical solution is applied to break and reform the hair’s disulfide bonds, allowing it to take on the shape of the rods.
- Processing: The hair is allowed to process for a specific time, determined by the desired results and hair type.
- Rinsing: The hair is rinsed to remove the perm solution.
- Neutralizing: A neutralizer is applied to set the new curl/wave pattern by rebuilding the disulfide bonds.
- Final Rinsing: The rods are removed, and the hair is rinsed again.
- Styling: The newly permed hair can be styled as desired.
How Long Does a Perm Last?
The longevity of a perm can vary depending on factors such as hair type, maintenance, and the specific perm solution used. On average, a perm can last for several months before gradually loosening and returning to its natural state.
How Do I Maintain a Perm?
To maintain a perm, it’s essential to use hair products formulated for permed hair and follow a proper hair care routine. Regular trims to remove damaged ends are also recommended. Avoiding excessive heat and using heat protectant products can help prolong the life of a perm.
The history of perms dates back to the early 20th century when the technique was developed as a way to create long-lasting curls and waves without daily styling. Perms became particularly popular in the 1980s and have since evolved with advancements in hairstyling technology.
- Perm rods or curlers
- Perm solution
- Plastic cap or wrap
- Hair clips or pins
- Heat protectant products (optional)
- Start with clean, dry hair.
- Section the hair and wrap it around perm rods or curlers.
- Apply the perm solution, process, and rinse.
- Neutralize the hair, rinse again, and remove the rods.
- Style the newly permed hair as desired.