Perms Are Back for Fall, but Are They Right for You?
If you thought that perms were an outdated hairstyle that belonged in the ‘80s era, think again. 2008 calls for several perm-based styles that range from soft, romantic curls to super-tight corkscrew ringlets. A perm can transform your look and give you that trendy twist for the upcoming fall/winter season. Here’s a close look at perm options for normal hair and African-American hair, and semi-permanent options if you only want the new look for one season:
HOW PERMS WORK
A perm uses chemicals to break down the structure of your hair so that it can hold strong curls created from perm rods and waving lotion. The chemical reaction causes the inner structure of the hair to break down completely so it can easily take the shape of the perm rods that create natural-looking curls. Depending on your hair type, the stylist will use different alkaline and acid-based chemicals so that there is minimal damage and the hair doesn’t fall out completely from the root.
PERMS FOR NORMAL HAIR
A consultation with a perm specialist will allow you to learn about different perm options available for your specific hair type, and give you a chance to consider different levels of perms. When you’re ready to get your perm, you’ll need to use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner at least 24 hours before the appointment so that your scalp will take in the chemicals properly.
PERMS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN HAIR
Perming natural Black hair is possible, but there are some risks involved. Since African-American hair is a textured hair type, it can take longer for a perm to set in and the harsh chemicals can be very damaging to the hair. The scalp can also become sensitive to perms, and some people experience an allergic reaction to the chemicals. However, many stylists that specialize in African-American hair can use the right combination of hair relaxers and chemical solutions to prevent the hair from becoming excessively damaged. Doing a perm at home is not recommended!
SEMI-PERMANENT PERM OPTIONS
If you don’t want a permanent change to your hair or want to forego the powerful chemicals and agents that a perm requires, a semi-permanent curling process may be a better solution for you. If you have naturally curly hair, a semi-permanent option can be a valuable way to enhance your curls and freshen up your look. Semi-permanent styles are also a better choice for people with fragile or very thin hair, since the chemicals used aren’t as harsh as they are for traditional perms.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR PERM
Permed hair needs special care to look fresh and attractive, and you may need to switch shampoos and conditioners while the perm grows out. When you’re taking care of your perm, you’ll need to:
Towel dry your hair after washing to prevent tangling