Q: I was in the hospital last week and my perm dropped out. Can medication or anesthetics cause a perm to drop out?
A: Actually yes. There are medications that have been known to affect the permed hair in some individuals. These include some blood pressure medications, dietary supplements and general anesthesia used for surgical procedures.
The cause for this has been theorized as the medications and/or anesthetic affecting the disulfide bonds in the hair (which are manipulated during the perm process). The weakening of the
disulfide bonds of the hair results in the loosening of the permed curls; if not outright loss of curl altogether.
General recommendations are for an individual to wait at least 3 months after stopping a medication or having anesthetic that is believed to be responsible for a failed perm. The hair
should be shampooed using a gentle shampoo (such as baby shampoo) and treated with kid gloves. The alleged weakening of the disulfide bonds not only loosens the curl, but weakens the structural integrity of the hair altogether.