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Hair Extensions & Perms

Q: I have super curly hair and it is a little past my shoulders when it is straight. Relaxers DO NOT work on my hair at all. I want to get extensions but will that damage my hair or make it shorter? I have also heard I can get a curly perm to change the structure of my curls... Do you think that would work? Or would it just make it worse? Thanks a bunch!
 
A: Well, simply put the results of a process you have done to your hair will only be as good as the person performing the process, so always get some background on the stylist you choose, especially if you are looking to have an expensive procedure done. That being said, let’s take your questions one at a time:
 
      Properly executed, extensions should never damage the hair. There is also no reason that extensions would affect the current length of your hair. Depending on the type of extensions you have applied – track and sew, bonded, and fusion – the extensions may require more or less frequent maintenance. Occasionally, the stylist needs to do some trimming of the hair to blend the extensions, but a good stylist always makes sure that the major portion of any cutting is done to the extension hair and not the natural hair.
 
      Changing the structure of the curls you have using a perm is a standard technique used by many women who have very curly hair and want more manageable curls. The hair can be wrapped on oversized tools (such as extra large rollers or even in some cases clean orange juice cans) to leave the hair in large, soft curving waves. You can also choose less dramatic changes and use tools to make the curls as large as you like. You can even have the hair straightened using a perm solution. This is called “thio-straightening”. As long as your hair is healthy, you should have no problem with this process.
 
      Just remember that if you make your curls larger, the odds are good that you will see an increase in the apparent length of your hair. So be sure to talk to the stylist who will do any extensions on your hair before you have your hair permed, as depending on the type of extensions you get you may or may not be able to have your hair permed after the extensions are in place.
 
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