There was a time when curly hair was all that people talked about. Straight hair suddenly became boring, and everyone started raving about getting perfectly wavy or curly locks. Curly hair has more character, some people say, and it’s also easier to style. And what’s more, those old-fashioned Velcro rollers or curling iron have become so outdated. If curly hair is what you want, then a perm is what you should get. Or is it?
Perms have somehow become popular again, but that doesn’t mean you should go ahead and give yourself a perm without even blinking. There are pros and cons to a perm just are there are pros and cons to anything you do with your hair, but it’s definitely worth a shot if you want a radical change.
What’s important is that you’re really sure you want to do it, because there’s no turning back. Aside from that, you should also make sure you’ve thought about it long and hard and you’ve considered all these things:
Perm = chemicals.
There’s a reason why those curly locks stay there, and if you’ve ever visited a salon during a perm session you’ll actually SMELL the chemicals in the air. A good perm means effective chemicals that will change your hair’s structure and make it permanently curly for a very long time.
You need to consider this because if your hair is already badly damaged or you’ve applied to many chemicals in the past (e.g. rebond, hair color) then you should consult your stylist. Your hair might not be able to take any more damage, and you’ll be doing more harm than good if you go ahead with your perm.
Perm and do-it-yourself don’t belong in the same sentence.
There are things you do to your hair that would make more sense if you do yourself. It makes you feel independent and empowered, and it will usually cost less. However, if you do plan to get a perm, you should never, and I mean never, attempt to do the perm yourself. From the chemicals alone, you need to be absolutely sure you know what you’re doing before even attempting it.
You should also make sure you stay away from cheap perms offered by salons that you don’t trust. You need a professional stylist to do this procedure for you, and it should be done with utmost care using topnotch products. Professional-grade chemicals not only work better, but they are also gentler on your hair and won’t cause as much damage.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all.
It’s best to talk to your stylist because it’s not as simple as going to a salon, ordering a perm, and getting it served to you in under ten minutes. There’s no such thing as a standard procedure, because there are as many variations as there are people who want a perm. This is because the stylist can adjust the chemicals used as well as how the perm is done depending on what you want the end product to look like.
Do you want loose and bouncy waves or do you want really tight curls that are so defined? Do you want the curls to start from the top of your head or do you just want to curl the ends? Do you want a digital or hot perm, or are you more comfortable with a cold perm as it’s more affordable and brings less heat to your scalp? You have to consider what you want and ask your stylist how you can get this.
Nothing lasts forever.
True to its name, a perm will definitely last longer than your hot rollers, which will only give you curly hair for a day. The curliness of your hair will be more “permanent” with a perm, but it will not last forever. As your hair grows longer and your straight hair comes out, your curly hair will move close and closer to the roots. Aside from that, the curls really do get loose over time, and this is only a natural part of the perming process.
But wait, there’s more.
After a perm, you’ll be walking out of the salon with gorgeously curly hair and it will seem like you no longer have to think about anything else in the world. You have to remember that you just treated your hair, permanently, and that means you should also follow through with caring for your treated hair afterwards.
Talk to your stylist because you may need to make adjustments with the shampoo and conditioner that you’re using. Check how often you need to apply mousse and what brand is recommended. You just got a perm, but for your hair to stay as beautiful as it is you may have to exert some effort afterwards.