Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Perm & Curl

Q: I just got a perm. In order for it to get curly it has to be scrunched a great deal. Is that normal? Or should it curl on its own?
 
A: It all depends on several factors:
 
•  The perm's formulation
•  The length and texture of your hair
•  The size of the curl created
 
When the hair is permed using a gentler perm formula (such as a true acid wave, or acid balanced wave) you often end up with soft curls that need to be coaxed into the shape you want during the styling process. This can also happen with stronger perm formulas used on thicker, coarser hair and longer lengths, since the weight of the hair pulls the curl out.
 
When the hair is permed using a gentler perm formula (such as a true acid wave, or acid balanced wave) you often end up with soft curls that need to be coaxed into the shape you want during the styling process. This can also happen with stronger perm formulas used on thicker, coarser hair and longer lengths, since the weight of the hair pulls the curl out.
 
You see, your stylist selects the perm formula based on things like your hair's texture and condition as well as the results you want from the perm. The goal is to give you the results you want with the minimum amount of stress possible to the hair. You can use a perm on a woman with fine textured, layered hair cut to chin length and get lovely bouncy curls, while the same perm formula used on a woman with medium hair in a bob cut at shoulder length would likely end up with rippling waves instead of proper curl.
 
Now, the waves on the medium textured hair could probably be enhanced by styling them with a wax-mousse and finger-wrapping coils and ringlets and letting them air dry fully. If you aren't happy with the way you have to work with your permed hair to style it to the results you want, talk to your stylist about options.
 
Perhaps a trim in which you remove a little length or some thinning will help to allow your hair to be bouncier and curl more readily without the extra primping. I can't really say that the perm formula was too weak, because I don't know your hair. If you trust your stylist, be grateful that if she used a weaker formula is was probably simply to avoid doing damage to your hair.
 
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Related posts:
 
Perms and perming hair
 
The different formulas for perms