Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Chemical Free Perms

Q: We are looking for perming lotions that are organic (i.e. no chemicals). Is there a possibility to find such a product? We appreciate your help to locate a manufacturer of such product.
A: It is very hard to find a truly “chemical free” permanent wave product. In fact, the majority of the leads I found in searching for such a product led me to references to “permanent wave” processes used in the 1920’s, when the hair was usually treated with a high-alkaline solution and wrapped on heating elements and curled by heating the hair to high temperatures.
The cold-wave formulation for perming the hair provided a safer method of giving a lasting wave to the hair. An alkaline solution is used to open the cuticle layer of the hair shaft, and ammonium-thioglycolate is used to break the chemical side bonds allowing the hair to reshape its wave pattern to conform to the tool used to wrap the hair. Hydrogen peroxide is used to reform the chemical side bonds and give permanence to the new wave pattern.
The entire principle of permanent waving almost demands the use of chemicals. However, there is research being done daily in an attempt to find gentler, and more environmentally-friendly solutions to common hair processes.
At present, the closest answer to a “chemical-free” permanent wave are the products available by the KMS Corporation. All KMS hair care products contain natural, organic and biodegradable, plant-derived ingredients and are naturally pH-balanced, cruelty-free and VOC compliant. In addition, they are specifically formulated with four principal ingredients: nucleoproteins (vegetable proteins); natural, essential fatty acids; Prolimin-49® (extract of pollen - nature's original multi-vitamin) and, our newest development, wheat-source protein.
While I have been unable to confirm that the KMS perms are truly chemical-free, the company’s commitment to developing natural, organic products means that they have a stronger likelihood of being more environmentally-friendly and consumer-safe.
Related posts:
The principle of permanent waving
The difference between acid waves and alkaline waves