Why To Perm:
Maybe your hair is board straight (or maybe you have really curly hair) and you want more body and movement (or more manageability). A perm can give you this. A perm can add volume and thickness to hair. In some cases, it can give the illusion of more hair. Or maybe, you just want versatility in styling. All of these are valid reasons to perm the hair. And perming the hair can be a satisfying experience as long as you know how to properly care for permed hair.
Myth: Never wash freshly permed hair.
You'll hear varying advice on how long to wait to shampoo after a perm. Some stylists suggest you wait 24 hours before shampooing, while others swear it's at least 3 days. The truth is, it all depends on your hair. To counter the claim made by the movie "Legally Blonde", you won't 'risk deactivating the ammonium thioglycolate by getting your hair wet within 48 hours'. The waving lotion has done its job and been thoroughly neutralized if the process was performed correctly.
However, perming the hair is a strong process, and you have to pay attention to what your hair tells you. It's never a bad idea to give your hair a break after a strong process. Remember that the alkaline of the waving lotion has raised the cuticle of the hair and made it more porous, therefore it will feel drier and rougher, so use a good conditioner, and a milder shampoo. Acid balancing shampoos and conditioners are available from many makers, and you can always rely on your salon professional to suggest something suitable to your hair type.
Perms & Haircolor:
Also, do bear in mind (especially if your hair is color-treated) that perming the hair can result in lightening of the color. The most common ingredient in perm neutralizers is hydrogen peroxide, which is used as a developer for permanent haircolor formulas. With the cuticle already being raised in the process of waving, the peroxide readily penetrates the hair and will break up the color, though the peroxide solution is much weaker in the perm formula than in haircoloring.
This is also the reason that you want to have your hair permed before coloring it. Otherwise, you risk fading the color. As for how long to wait between perming and coloring, talk to your professional, and ask them when they think your hair is in the right condition for the subsequent color process.
Hopefully, this gives you enough information to understand how a perm works and lets you take better care of your hair. After all, you want to look your best, and beautiful hair is a major asset.
Stacy - Hair Stylist ©Hairfinder.com
Photos: Valua Vitaly & Racorn/Shutterstock
Questions and answers about perms
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Perms and hair coloring