Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion


Q: I have medium thick, long hair that is wavy/curly. One of the salons near me advertises an "anti-curl" and when I called to ask for more information, the lady told me it was basically an anti-perm. She said it came with risk of damaging hair and then proceeded to recommend the Brazilian blowout (which I'm not interested in). I was curious as to a) how much damage an anti-perm would actually cause and b) how long my hair would actually stay straight.
A: Basically, the term anti-perm is a fairly new term coined to describe the thio-straightening service. It uses the traditional perm formula and instead of wrapping the hair on rods to create curl, the hair is gently combed through as it is being processed to take as much curl as possible out of the hair's natural wave pattern. Done properly, the results are pretty much permanent, but the new growth will come in with the same wave pattern the hair has always had taking into account length and density.
There is a risk of damage to the hair because the perm solution breaks the side bonds in the hair and it is in a more fragile state while this is happening. It's important to know your stylist is experienced and someone whom you trust if you are going to have ANY chemical service. Perms generally leave the hair more porous than before which is a sign of damage, but properly done, and properly cared for afterward AND provided that your hair is in good condition BEFORE the service, an anti-perm is no more hazardous than most other chemical texture services.
My strongest recommendation to you is that you find a stylist whom you trust (or visit a nearby cosmetology school) and discuss your needs. At a school, the instructor can likely give you an evaluation of your hair, and you might even be able to get an "anti-perm" performed by trained students under supervision and at a very reasonable price. The bottom line is this: there are risks in any chemical service. Your job is to know the risks, know your stylist and what he/she is capable of and making the best INFORMED decision that you can.
I wish you all the best.
Related posts:
Hair straightening
How perms work
How to recognize damaged hair
What is the difference between a traditional relaxer, Japanese and Brazilian straightening?