Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Perm & Colored Hair

Q: I have very fine, very stubborn white hair. My hairdresser has used just about every kind of permanent and rods on the market. Within 3 days the curl is gone. If I was to color my hair first - would a perm be more likely to take? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.
A: It is possible that your hair would perm more easily if it has been pre-softened by color-treating, but you should be aware that the color can be affected by the perming chemicals. If the problem with your hair is that is resistant, then this could work. However, if the problem is that your hair is damaged and the side bonds will not reform, you will need to wait for the hair to grow out healthy once more.
There is a step I have read of that may help you get more-lasting results from your perming attempts. Please note that I have not done this myself, and cannot therefore vouch for the process, but I have spoken to stylists who have used this for their clients whose hair resists curl.
Wrap the hair on rods as desired, and apply the perm lotion, allowing it to process as long as directed or indicated by the strand test. After the processing time elapses, rinse the rolled hair as directed and blot the rods with a towel. Place a clean plastic cap on the rinsed perm rods and leave the hair alone for a period of 2-8 hours. Then apply the neutralizer and process it as directed. Finish the perming process as usual.
The reported result of this added step is curls that last much, much longer, and are firmer and stronger than normally achieved. I recommend discussing this with your hairdresser to see if he/she thinks your hair would be damaged by this procedure. You may want to initially start with a shorter waiting time, and the hair should be monitored periodically to make sure you don't see signs of damage.
Once again, I cannot vouch for the veracity of the claim, but I have heard that it is a successful technique with resistant hair.
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