Perm Messed UpQ: I messed up my perm last nite. After using the perm solution and waiting the 20 minutes to process, I immediately used the neutralizer without rinsing first. I left that in 5 minutes then rinsed. My hair today is frizzy and some parts not curly. Can I reperm now or do I have to wait weeks or what? Do I need to try to strip this perm out first or what can I do. Thanks for the help.
A: The big concern is going to be the current condition of your hair. When your hair is dry does it feel rough and brittle? If it does, I suggest you begin intensive conditioning treatments. Even if your hair feels normal I suggest you wait a day or two before you try to "repair" the perm. This isn't an arbitrary waiting period, but rather to allow you the time to condition your hair before subjecting it to another chemical process.
I suggest that you give yourself at least one deep conditioning treatment. Use a moisture rich conditioner and leave it on the hair for at least 20-30 minutes under a plastic cap. If you have a hooded hair-dryer sit under it on medium heat for at least 10 minutes, or use your blow dryer with a diffuser attachment to heat the conditioner on the hair (through the plastic cap). Rinse the conditioner thoroughly and let your hair dry naturally.
The day after your conditioning treatment, as long as your hair feels healthier, you can try to reperm your hair. This time however, do not leave the perming solution on for the full 20 minutes. After you've wrapped the perm, and applied the perming solution wait 5 minutes and begin checking the curls. The hair may process much faster because of the recent perm, so be sure to check curls on at least three different areas of the head. Continue checking every five minutes until you get satisfactory curls.
Once you get good test curls, rinse the perm solution from the hair using warm water and rinse it thoroughly. (Rinse for at least 5 minutes.) Be sure to blot the rollers completely using a towel. Blot the rollers until there is no dripping, then apply the neutralizer and allow it to work for five minutes while the hair is still wrapped on the rods. After five minutes, remove the rods carefully and apply the remaining neutralizer and allow it to sit another two minutes before rinsing it completely with warm water. Rinse the hair again for at least 8-10 minutes and finish off with a cool water rinse. (The cool water will help to close the cuticle layer again.)
This should give you the perm results you were after. I do urge caution, however. Please do NOT reperm your hair if it appears severely damaged. If you are the least bit unsure, please consult a professional for how to proceed.