Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Perm to Define Curls

Q: My hair is thick and naturally curly (if left alone). I like the tight, healthy curls at the front. However, the back is always a nest and looks horrible. It feels much coarser than the rest of my hair. I have never dyed or treated my hair, despite many trials of curl-oriented shampoos and conditioners. I see results in the front of my hair but not the back (regardless of leave-ins or mousses or natural).
My hairdresser suggested I perm my hair to define the curls to guarantee the back would curl rather than tangle. Will a perm help with this problem by giving my hair a uniform curl? Will a perm damage the healthy condition of my hair, including the messy though healthy mess at the back?

A: Actually, using a perm to create uniformity and evenness in the level of curl is a popular use of perms and can be extremely effective. As long as your hair is healthy, you shouldn't have any worry about the prospect of perming the hair.
Your stylist will be able to select a perm formula that is ideal for the purpose you seek. There are acid-balanced and gentle perms that are perfect for any hair type and can actually leave the hair in just as good condition as it was before (if not better in some cases). As long as your stylist is trained and you are confident in his/her abilities, you should have no reason to worry.
Just be sure to follow your stylist's after-perm care advice carefully to make sure you nourish and condition the hair properly post perm. Permed hair often has need for more conditioning to maintain the moisture levels in the hair since the shaft can be more porous after chemical processing.
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