Believe it or not, perms have been around for over 100 years. While the modern perm is kinder and gentler than perms of the past, it’s still a chemical treatment that alters your hair’s natural texture.
The two methods commonly used by salons are called cold perms and digital perms. With a cold perm, your stylist wraps your hair around rollers or rods and applies a chemical perm solution. The digital perm employs a similar process, but the rods warm up to activate the perm and restructure your hair follicles with heat.
Cold or digital, the comeback perm is more relaxed and subdued than your grandma’s perm from the ’80s. While hairstylists used to wrap hair around tiny, uniform rods, they now use a variety of roller sizes — or cloth wraps — to give your curls a more customized, natural look. Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, this process may take 1-2 hours (or more) to complete.
Perms aren’t only for straight hair. People with natural waves and curls may also opt to enhance their bounce or make their wave pattern more uniform and manageable. Hair length isn’t a huge factor, either. If your hair is long enough to curl with a curling iron, it’s long enough to get a perm.
That being said, perms work best on healthy hair or virgin hair that’s never been dyed or chemically treated in any other way. If you have dry, bleached or color-treated hair or hair that’s been damaged by styling tools, it’s important to have a consultation with your stylist. The solution could be as simple as getting your hair in tip-top shape with custom conditioning treatments and supplements prior to your service.
Taking excellent care of your hair is as fundamental as the perm itself. Whether you’re after a tousled wash-and-go style or a more polished, well-defined look, custom hair care products can help you achieve all your objectives.