Beauty & Fashion >> Hair Care >> Hairstyling -- Perms

Perms are back!!!. Perming or permanent waves is a great way to add body, curls, & bounces to your hair. Perms can increase the fullness of soft, fine hair, put a curl or wave into straight hair, or simply make your hair easier to style. Thus perming can be used for styling hair in the following ways.

  • To add curl. If your hair is fine and limp, getting perms just might do the trick for you. Gone are those days of tight, poodle type curls. Now you can choose from a variety of size curls. From small rollers to large, 1 inch rollers, perms are out of the dark ages. A large roller will give you a very soft curl. A smaller roller will give you more of a spiral look.
  • To relax naturally curly hair. If you have naturally curly hair, that is unruly, perming can tame those locks. By using a large roller then your natural curl size, perming will break down your hair and create a new curl.
  • And to straighten hair. Yes, you can use perms to straighten hair. However, this method is tedious and time consuming. The lotion would be applied and then the stylist would comb your hair straight for the length of the timing. Sometimes up to 20 minutes. And this method would only be used on hair that is almost straight.

    The strength of the perming solution used to curl the hair is measured by pH, which can be either alkaline or acidic.
    It is the best choice for resistant hair, Asian hair, hair with low elasticity, and hard to perm fine hair as well as normal, healthy hair.
    These are milder than alkaline perms and work at a lower pH to reduce swelling of the hair during the perm process thus-reducing the chance of damage to fragile and colour treated hair. A good choice for healthy hair with good elasticity, tinted hair, damaged hair, highlighted hair, or fragile hair.

    The perming process
  • The hair is first washed and then wound on to some kind of former, such as a curler or a rod. The perm lotion is applied to the hair. Because the lotion is alkaline (pH about 9) the scales of the cuticle open slightly, allowing the lotion to flow under the cuticle and into the cortex. Here it reacts with the keratin of the cortex, breaking some of the disulphide cross-links within and between the protein chains. The hair swells and 'softens', so that it can stretch to take up the shape of the formers.
  • After a while the perm lotion is thoroughly rinsed away and a neutralising lotion is applied. This re-forms the broken cross-links, which makes the hair harden into its new, curlier shape. This stage is the key to a successful perm: failure to rinse and neutralise properly can lead to many problems, including scalp irritation and damage to the structure of the hair shaft.

    Some Tips if you are perming your hair at home:
  • First and foremost wash and condition your hair properly. Hair that has already been chemically processed may need a cream conditioner applied to protect the hair before perming.
  • Use protective gloves when applying chemicals.
  • When wrapping hair around rollers, each section must be wrapped smoothly and evenly, without stretching the hair too tightly.
  • After thoroughly rinsing out the permanent solution with warm water, a neutralizer must usually be applied for five to eight minutes to set the curl.
  • Remove rollers and then rinse off neutralizer thoroughly with cool water.
  • Do not use if you are allergic to any ingredient in the product. Avoid contact with eyes, nose, and mouth.

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