Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Highlighting Permed Hair

Q: I recently permed my hair. I was told by a cosmetology school that if you permed your hair and then you try and highlight (high light and low light) that the bleach actually strips all the chemicals in the strands of hair and will straighten those pieces out. Is this true? Why do they say then color after perming not visa-versa. Please help! Any suggestions on what would look good on me? I am always looking for professional suggestions. I used to be a lighter blond then went nice and healthy dark. Please let me know. Thank you.
A: A properly executed permanent wave service is as stable as naturally curly hair, and should not be in danger of losing curl because of a color or highlighting service. The chemical used to neutralize a permanent waving lotion - hydrogen peroxide - is the same chemical that is used to develop the color in a hair color service.
There is a risk that a bleaching service over a perm will leave the hair overly porous and can cause damage to the hair, and for that reason you should only have a professional cosmetologist perform a chemical service on hair that has been previously chemically treated. The most common hazard in interactions between perms and color services comes when hair that has been colored is then permed. Because the perm uses hydrogen peroxide as a neutralizer, many people discover that their color is lightened or otherwise changed by the perming process.
As for offering suggestions for your personal look, I'm afraid I cannot set a precedent of giving personal style advice in this forum. I would soon find myself swamped with letters from readers who wanted free style advice and would be unable to answer the questions of those people with problems. Our goal here is to answer questions about hair problems, which can be helpful to others as well.
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How to color hair
Perms and perming hair
How often can I perm my colored hair?
Is it ok to perm colored hair?