Q: Iím in my 40ís and have never colored, highlighted, or had a perm in my hair. Iíve had the same stylist since my teens and she calls it Ďvirginí.
As with many other curly girls, my crown is usually flat with little curl. My stylist feels a
crown-only perm will enhance my look and is something I am interested in exploring.
Iím concerned over whether or not a perm could damage my curls. As a child, my aunt had her hair
treated and she permanently lost her natural curl. Then, while pregnant with my children, I lost all of my curls. My doctor suggested it
was a brief hormonal change and he was correct. After pregnancy, my curls returned. It was then that I realized how much I enjoyed my curls and do not want to endanger them.
Is there any chance that a light crown-only perm could kill my natural curls?
A: It shouldnít be any issue at all, provided that your stylist uses proper precaution to avoid getting the waving and neutralizing
lotions on the hair that is not intended to be permed. These kinds of partial perms are widely used to add extra body and volume in
targeted areas, and are perfectly safe if performed properly by a qualified cosmetologist.
As always, you should have a patch test performed, and you will want your stylist to perform a
strand test to discover how your hair will respond to the perming process. A strand test also allows the stylist to learn the precise
timing of the perm for your hair to get the best results without risking a larger area of the hair.
Once the hair has been permed Ė provided it was done properly, the new curls will be as stable as
your natural curls. However, your permed hair may be more porous and will need extra care and conditioning to prevent moisture loss.
Use a good moisturizing conditioner every day and avoid using high heat styling appliances. If you need to blow-dry your hair after it
has been permed, make sure to use a diffuser attachment to prevent causing heat damage. Furthermore, a light, leave-in, spray
conditioner would probably be a great way to keep your hair conditioned.
It sounds as though you have a great relationship with your stylist, and you should trust her
judgement. However, never hesitate to ask any questions you have about the products she intends to use, and make sure any concerns you
have are addressed, including changes you will need to make in caring for your hair after it has been permed.