Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Home Perm and Hood Dryer

Q: I finally have convinced my cousin to get a home perm. We have an old hood dryer - from my aunt's old salon - and I was thinking, if it would be fine to send her to the hood dryer for about five to ten minutes, before applying the lotion and the neutralizer? Just to be sure that the hair would be more dry than wet and would absorb better the lotion and the neutralizer.
 
Besides that, after rinsing the neutralizer, can she go back to the hood dryer for twenty or thirty minutes, before the rods are being removed? The idea would be to just take them off in the end and style the hair. Should I cover the rods with a net before she goes to the hood dryer? I remember to have seen many clients with a net but I never got a perm. Are there some considerations about the use of the hood dryer? Can the perm smell be worse under the hood dryer? Sorry for so many questions but I´m not a hairdresser and I'm very excited to have opportunity to give a perm to my cousin.

 
A: I know that you don’t want to hear this, but I’ll say it anyway. Performing a perm at home is a risky business at best … and a disastrous one at worst. The perm is a notoriously fickle and difficult process, and if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, or you’re not being assisted by someone who knows how to do a perm; you’re probably going to mess up your cousin’s hair very badly.
 
Hair salon client under a hood dryer

 
Most young hairdressers that I know won’t do a perm, as we weren’t trained in the era where perms were done every day. I personally refer my clients to older and more experienced hairdressers if they want to have their hair permed, as I’ve seen colleagues break off their clients’ hair and turn it into lifeless little worms of hair. That being said, please follow the instructions on the box TO THE LETTER.
 
1. You can send her to the drier for a few minutes before applying the lotion and neutralizer, as the drier hair helps you to see where you’ve not applied the lotion liquid.
 
2. No, you have to take the rollers out and rinse each section of hair gently but very thoroughly. If you leave chemicals on her already weakened hair, it’s probably going to snap off. Also, you have to make sure that every strand gets soaked in neutralizer, otherwise the whole process was pointless.
 
3. Yes you cover the rods with a net to keep them tight together, and to keep the hair from slipping around and the structure of the curled rods becoming unstable.
 
4. The smell increases under the drier as it is heated there. Make sure that the visor is flapped up enough so that your cousin doesn’t continuously breathe in those fumes.
 
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