How Much Does A Perm Cost

How long does a perm last?

How Long Does a Perm Last? – Perm may be short for ‘permanent,’ but its lifespan can vary. A perm typically lasts three to six months, depending on the type of perm you get, your hair type and how well you take care of it. A traditional perm that produces a uniform curl pattern can last 3-6 months, depending on how fast your hair grows and how you treat it.

The same goes for a spiral perm, the only difference between the two is the variety of curl sizes or lengths with the spiral. A digital perm, also called a hot perm, is a method for getting permanent waves. Unlike a traditional perm (or a cold perm), the rods are heated and digitally controlled. A straight perm is a chemical treatment that straightens natural hair and curls, similar to how a perm creates curls on naturally straight hair, but without the rollers.

Heat is applied with a flat iron to lock in the treatment. So how long does a straight perm last? Once the hair has been treated, it will remain straight until it grows out and/or is cut off, anywhere from 4-6 months after.

How much should I pay for a perm?

How much are perms for different hair lengths? – Perms for short hair can cost $30 to $150, medium-length hair can cost $60 to $200, and perms for long hair can cost $80 to $400. Short hair is the least expensive since it uses the least amount of product and the least amount of time to prep and install the perm rods.

Hair length Perm cost
Short $30 to $150
Medium $60 to $200
Long $80 to $400

Do perms damage your hair?

Styling your hair is a way to showcase your individuality. Whether you have the same haircut most of your life or switch up hairstyles every month, your hair plays an important role in defining your overall style. Some people prefer to have straight hair, and others want curly hair,

Curly and wavy hair comes naturally to some; for others, they require chemical hair transformations called permanent wavings. Also known as a hair perm, these chemical treatments cause your hair to curl. Getting a hair perm can take several hours and last between three to six months. Various factors can influence the lifespan of your perm, including your scalp health, hair treatment, and overall hair growth.

If you have long hair, your perm is likely to last longer than people with short hair. When getting a hair perm, you’ll spend most of the time with a chemical liquid treatment soaking your hair. Once your hair is saturated, it gets wrapped around rods and rollers.

The chemical treatment makes your hair hold the curl pattern from rods and rollers. Perms work by affecting the keratin in your hair. Keratin is a protein that makes up about 95% of your hair and forms the structure of your individual hairs. The bonds between keratin molecules are what react to the perm treatment and allow your hair to hold a new shape.

The most commonly used chemical in perms is ammonium thioglycolate. If you have thin or fragile hair, gentler perms are acid-balanced and use glyceryl monothioglycolate. Before getting a perm, you can ask your hairdresser which chemicals are in the treatment they use.

Acrylates copolymerAmmonium hydroxideAmmonium thioglycolateAmodimethiconeCocamidopropyl betaineColor additivesFragrancePolyquaternium-11Styrene/acrylates copolymerWater

Most salons will choose perm treatments with safe, tested ingredients that are unlikely to cause side effects such as scalp and eye irritation. Today, there are three types of perms you can get. The first is a cold wave perm, also called an alkaline perm.

Cold wave is a faster process that uses ammonium thioglycolate to set your perm within about 15 minutes. The second type, an acid-balanced perm, takes more time and needs heat. You may spend time under a hooded dryer to set the perm. Or, your hairdresser may instead use an acid-balanced perm that uses a chemical reaction to provide a self-heating perm.

The third type of perm is an exothermic perm. It’s a self-timing, self-heating perm and is considered one of the easiest perms to get. You can also get different styles of perms depending on the amount of wave and volume you want. Body perm. This style of perm adds volume to thin or flat hair,

  • If you have straight hair, this perm will give you a light wave.
  • Spot perm.
  • This plain curl perm works on specific sections of your hair.
  • It’s good for people who want curls on the ends of their hair or around the middle.
  • Spot perms give a more natural look.
  • Root perm.
  • If you want more body in your hair, a root perm adds volume to the root.

This style of perm works well for people with short hair. The process for giving your hair permanent waves is a two-stage chemical process. The perm works on a molecular level where chemicals react with your hair’s proteins and bond to form the curl. Perms work by permanently waving your hair through shape memory.

Though the name suggests these waves will last forever, they’re temporary. Perms can cause damage to your hair over time. If you don’t take care of your scalp health, you could experience hair loss, Scalp health is important because once a hair follicle gets damaged, you can’t grow new hair from that follicle.

It’s important to get perms only from a trusted salon. Your hairdresser should know how to use and apply the perm chemicals properly. During the perm process, skin irritation, hair breakage, oral toxicity, and scarring alopecia can occur if the chemicals are not used correctly.

Perms are not recommended for younger people. Studies have shown that children between 10 and 13 years old using chemical perms have a higher risk of breast cancer, It’s important to know how to care for a perm to help it last longer. The most important rule in caring for your perm is to let the curl set during the first 48 hours.

Avoid touching your hair or getting it wet while it sets. You should also avoid heavy workouts or showering without a cap to protect your curls. Since perms can last up to six months, you’ll need to prepare to care for your perm differently than you would your regular hair.

  1. Once you’ve made it through the first two days, you should steer clear of chlorine, heat styling, and products with alcohol in them to make your perm last longer.
  2. Humidity can cause frizz, ruining your fresh new perm.
  3. Moisturizing is another key part of keeping your perm looking shiny and healthy as long as possible.

Chemical treatments cause damage and dryness, so keeping your hair moisturized will help prevent frizz. You’ll also make your perm last longer with the right sleep routine, Make sure to sleep on your stomach or side instead of your back, which will put pressure on your permed hair.

Are perms worth it?

4 Red Flags to Consider Before Getting a Perm In case you missed it, long-lasting curls and body waves are springing up all over the place. Which, in this case, means one thing: are back. Now, you’re probably thinking that, yeah, it would be great to have beautiful body and curls galore, but let’s not forget about the frizzy perms of the 1980s.

  1. Before jumping on the bandwagon, it’s important to consider how a perm will work for your specific hair type.
  2. Let’s be honest: Although perms have been greatly improved over the past five to 10 years, they are can still cause some damage to your hair.
  3. While perms are safe for some, some should think twice before undergoing the curling treatment.

To help you identify where you stand on the styling spectrum, we chatted with a couple of stylists to uncover the four red flags to be aware of before getting a perm. Keep reading to learn whether or not a perm is right for you. First things first, let’s have a little refresher on what a perm is.

  1. Stylist explains that a permanent wave (aka a perm) is a thermal or chemical service that is done to restructure the hair.
  2. It allows a person to wear their hair with waves or curls more often without having to use a wand daily,” she explains.
  3. A perm can also enhance the look of having body and texture on flat, pin-straight hair.” Meet the Expert Mariel Falla is a hairstylist in Brooklyn.

While perms are considered a permanent hair treatment, the curl pattern created actually lasts anywhere from a few months to a year—not forever. Of course, the actual duration of the perm depends on your hair type. According to educational director, a variety of hair types are all good candidates for a perm.

  • I recommend a consultation with a perm specialist so that safety concerns and texture questions can be properly addressed,” he says.
  • Falla adds on to this, noting that damaged, dry, chemically processed, and should proceed with caution when considering a perm.
  • Find out why below.
  • Meet the Expert Damian Santiago is the educational director at mizu salon.

When done correctly—with your specific hair type in mind (more on that below)—Santiago says there’s little to worry about in terms of the health of your hair. However, it’s worth noting that the chemicals used to create perms can be dangerous. According to the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology, exposure to the chemicals found in some perming solutions can cause everything from headaches and nausea to redness, itching, and even burning.

  1.   And, while it should go without saying, ingesting the chemicals—which include alcohol, ammonium thioglycolate, boric acid, hydrogen peroxide, and more—can exacerbate nausea and lead to more severe side effects.
  2. So, while the technology is there to ensure that perms are safe for your hair, you still want to be careful about coming into contact with the solutions.

Now that we’ve covered the perm basics, let’s talk about specific hair types. If your hair is more than 30-40 percent highlighted, you may want to think twice before perming. In fact, if your hair is highlighted at all, you might want to think again. is damaging to your hair, so perming over-bleached hair that probably has some damage to the hair’s cuticle already will likely cause,

Plus, you’ll have to touch up your highlights as you usually do, causing more potential damage. While frizz can be smoothed with product, it can also be a sign of serious breakage caused by frayed cuticles.   Your hairstylist can help you decide if your hair has too much color processing for a perm.

Is your hair already dry, brittle, or frizzy? If so, Santiago and Falla point out that a perm will dry it out even more. You may consider reconditioning treatments and/or daily treatments to get your hair in shape and moisturized before considering a perm.

The bottom line is, if your hair is frizzy before a perm, it will be drier and frizzier after a perm. All those short layers look great with a sassy straight style, but how will curls look with all those layers? Remember, curls equal volume, so if your layers hit around your ears and jawline, you’ll get volume there.

Maybe that’s a good thing if you have a very narrow face, but perhaps your head will resemble a mushroom with too much volume at that part of your face. Wait until after a perm to cut layers, or grow them out a bit before you get a perm. Although not as dangerous as perming overly bleached and highlighted hair, if your hair is colored, you may want to give more thought to a perm.

It will be in your best interest to allow two to three weeks before and after your perm to color your hair. Also, keep in mind that a perm will likely lighten your color. As I said, perming over colored hair is safer than perming over highlighted hair, but anytime your hair has been previously chemically treated, a perm may cause,

Perms are great, but they are not for everyone. It’s important to discuss your hair type, maintenance, and type of curl desired with your hairstylist prior to getting a perm. They will also be able to help you determine what type of perm solution, perm wrap, and cut will be best for your desired results.

  1. Now, please re-read that and commit it to memory so that, under no circumstances, will you try to do this yourself at home with a box kit (because, yes, those exist).
  2. Last but not least, like most beauty treatments, the life of your perm depends largely on the way you take care of it at home.
  3. Curly hair is thirsty hair,” says Falla.

“Your home care after a perm should include a shampoo and conditioner intended to give your hair moisture. It is also important to incorporate a mask into your hair routine. A mask is used to replace your conditioner and is left on for at least five minutes once a week.” Up next: Discover,

Zhang Y, Alsop RJ, Soomro A, Yang FC, Rheinstädter MC., PeerJ,2015;3:e1296. doi:10.7717/peerj.1296 California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology., Updated February, 2017. Gavazzoni Dias MF., Int J Trichology,2015;7(1):2-15. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.153450

: 4 Red Flags to Consider Before Getting a Perm

Can you shower with a perm?

Wait To Wash Your Hair After 48 Hours – Within 48 hours of getting a perm, you should avoid washing your hair to avoid damaging your curls and increasing frizz. For this reason, salons often advise customers to wait at least 48 hours before washing their hair.

What face shape suits a perm?

Inverse – Inverse or straightening perms are those that diffuse natural curls. These perms are done by constantly combing perm solution through the hair and, in some cases, high heat flat irons are also used. This can be done on any type of natural curl regardless of it being thick, thin, coarse, fine, long, or short.

Can I sleep on my newly permed hair?

How Can I Keep the Ends of My Hair from Frizzing While Sleeping with A Perm? – After perming your hair, the best way to prevent frizzing is to plop your hair. Plopping is when you wrap wet/damp hair in a cotton t-shirt or an old pillow case and let it air dry.

It’s best to sleep with your hair substantially dry before wrapping it up for the night. If you don’t have time to wait for it to fully dry, dampen your hair with a spray bottle (or simply spritz some water on the ends). Once your perm has set, avoid sleeping on it directly as this can cause damage – instead opt for sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase.

This will help prevent breakage and keep the ends from frizzing while sleeping with a perm.

Is a perm a lot of maintenance?

Nourish + Moisturize Your Hair – Though Modern Perms are certainly healthier than perms of the past, it is still a chemical process which can leave your hair more vulnerable than it was in it’s virgin state. For this reason, it is important to use nourishing, hydrating products that will help restore and rejuvenate your hair.

Can you straighten permed hair?

Download Article Download Article Temporarily straightening permed hair is a way to re-define your curly hairstyle. Some people consult a professional to achieve a smooth, straightened hairstyle but salons can be expensive. If you want to straighten your permed hair on your own, there are several options available.

  1. 1 Wash your hair. Choose a smoothing conditioner and a gentle shampoo. Try to avoid products that contain harsh chemicals, such as parabens and sulfates. Make sure both your shampoo and conditioner have moisturizing properties. Since you’ll be using heat to style your hair, the process can dry out your hair.
    • Heat is hard on your hair, so baby it a little during the washing process.
    • After you shampoo and condition your hair, apply a heat protectant.
    • For extra moisture, you can add a hair care oil. You don’t need to add more than a drop. Make sure not to add the oil too close to your scalp as this can make your hair look greasy. Keep the oil 2.5 to 3 inches away from the scalp.
  2. 2 Apply a straightening product. Choose a product that works for your hair type. For example you might choose a gel, mousse, or balm that’s labeled for straightening. This will provide more control and help you achieve your desired style.
    • You may be able to find a product that is both a straightening product and a heat protectant. Ask your stylist for a recommendation.


  3. 3 Dry your hair for a blown-out look. Blow dry your hair, using a diffuser. Start drying at your roots, then continue drying your hair until it’s completely dry. As you dry your hair, start the straightening process by brushing it using a paddle brush or combing through it with your fingers.
    • If you have thin hair that tends to dry quickly, you can just let it air dry. However, you’ll need to use the flat iron afterwards to create your straight look.
    • For a sleeker look, run a flat iron over your hair after you dry it.
    • Make sure your hair is completely dry before using a flat iron. If your hair is still wet, the flat iron could cause your hair to boil which can result in hair damage. Missing some sections while blow drying can also lead to unwanted frizz.
  4. 4 Choose the right flat iron, if you want a sleek look. If you just want to temporarily remove your perm, a flat iron is the best route. It will not permanently remove the perm, but will allow your hair to temporarily straighten. Make sure you select the right flat iron for your hair type.
    • If you have short, thick, or fine hair look for an iron with narrow plates. Ideally, the size of the plates in your flat iron should be between half an inch to one inch long.
    • For longer hair, look for an iron with longer plates. Pick an iron with plates between one and a half to two inches wide.
    • Regardless of your hair type, make sure that your flat iron isn’t too heavy. If it weighs more than a couple pounds, you’ll end up getting sore while using it.
  5. 5 Find the appropriate heat setting. The heat setting you select on your flat iron is important. If it’s too hot or too cold, it may be ineffective or even cause damage.
    • Not all flat irons allow you to adjust the heat. If your hair is undamaged and of average density, it should be safe for you to use a flat iron without adjustable heat. However, if you have special needs regarding your hair splurge on a more expensive flat iron where you can control the heat.
    • If your hair is fine or damaged, keep the heat between 250 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • If your hair is of medium thickness, set the heat between 300 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • If you have thick hair, set the heat between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. 6 Straighten your hair. Once the flat iron is warmed up, you can begin straightening your hair. This process can take some time, so be patient.
    • Section your hair before you begin straightening. Separate your hair into 4 sections, then work with,5 inches (1.3 cm) pieces until you finish each section. Don’t try to straighten more than about,5 inches (1.3 cm) of hair in 1 pass. Thicker hair will need more sections than thinner hair.
    • Start with the section near the nape of your neck. Comb the section of hair, then pass your flat iron over it. Comb it again after it’s straightened.
    • Move through your hair with the flat iron one section at a time. Go slowly, keeping a steady pace. Ideally, you’ll want the sections of hair to flatten out on the first try. Going over the same section more than once can dry out hair and lead to damage.
    • Use tension when pulling the flattener across your hair. You do not want to cause yourself pain, but applying a bit of pressure can help get your hair smooth and flat on the first try.
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  1. 1 Deep condition your hair. If you want to permanently get rid of a perm, you can do so by using a perming kit to reverse the chemical process that caused the perm to set. Before you use a perming kit, however, make sure to keep condition your hair. If possible, do so the day before you use the kit.
    • Wash your hair with shampoo and then towel dry it. Comb your hair and separate it into 4 to 6 sections. If you have thicker hair, you’ll need more sections.
    • Apply the conditioner to your hair, one section at a time. Start at the root and move down to the tip. When you finish with all the sections, but your hair in a shower cap. Apply heat to your hair. You can use a hood dryer, with the heat set to medium, for 20 minutes. If you don’t have a hood dryer, you can throw a towel in the dryer and wrap it around your head for 20 minutes.
    • Once your done applying heat, remove the shower cap and rinse your hair in cool water. Towel dry your hair and then brush and style as normal.
  2. 2 Wash your hair and apply waving lotion. When you’re ready to use the perm kit, wash your hair. Then, apply the waving lotion found in the perm kit.
    • Style your hair as you normally wear it, even though your hair is wet. For example, create a side part, or comb your bangs forward, if you have them. If necessary, use a towel to keep the lotion off of your face.
    • Comb the lotion through your hair. Use a wide-tooth comb for the process. Comb for about 10 minutes, until your hair is fully saturated with the lotion.
    • Check your hair in the mirror. Hopefully, the curls should be relaxing a bit. If this is not working, comb your hair for another 5 minutes or until you notice this effect.
  3. 3 Rinse lotion from your hair. Once your curls begin to unfurl, rinse your hair. Use very warm water for this process and rinse your hair for at least 3 minutes. You want to make sure you get all the lotion out of your hair.
  4. 4 Dry hair and apply neutralizer. Blot all the excess water from your hair. If necessary, squeeze your hair inside the towel. However, do not rub your hair as this can cause damage. Once your hair dries, apply the neutralizer from the kit. Repeat the process you used with the waving lotion. Once you’re done, rinse the neutralizer out using very warm water. The neutralizer takes longer to rinse than the waving lotion. You will need to rinse for at least five minutes.
  5. 5 Care for your hair afterwards. Once you’re done with the neutralizer, pat your hair dry again. If successful, the process should leave you with straighter hair and remove some of the perm.
    • The products used in perming kits can be hard on hair. Make sure to use conditioner when you shower after using this method. This will revitalize any moisture your hair lost and prevent further damage. Even if you don’t shampoo, use conditioner each day for about a week.
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  1. 1 Find the right gel for your hair. Certain gels can help straighten your hair. Much like a flat iron, they will only work temporarily to remove curls. Take some time choosing the right get for your hair.
    • Keep in mind that gels will not work for some, and they may not produce the results you want. Gels usually will not remove curl on their own.
    • Ask your stylist to recommend a straightening gel. He or she will have the best idea of what would work on your hair given its type and length.
    • You can also read reviews of gels online. Websites like Amazon allow users to leave reviews. Beauty of haircare websites often provide product reviews.
    • Read any warnings of the products you’re looking at before purchase. Some gels may not recommended for hair that’s been permed, dyed, or otherwise styled.
  2. 2 Wash and condition your hair. Use a gentle shampoo and smoothing conditioner, as this will help with the straightening process. Straightening can be tough on hair, so high quality products will help minimize harm. When you’re done, pat dry your hair with a towel.
  3. 3 Add a dime-sized bit of gel to your hair. After your hair is dry, add a dime-size bit of gel to your hair. Move the lotion throughout your hair evenly, moving from root to tip. Do not use too much gel, as this can leave your hair limp.
  4. 4 Brush your hair straight while blow drying. Once you’ve added the gel, it’s time to blow dry your hair. You can brush your hair while blow drying to help the straightening process.
    • Use a round bristle brush. Run it through your hair, pulling it straight, as you blow dry.
    • If your hair is thick and takes a long time to dry, alternate between hot and cold settings on your hair dryer. This can prevent hair damage.
  5. 5 Clip your hair if necessary. If you have particularly thick or long hair, you may need to section your hair using clips during the drying process. Take the top half of your hair and clip it, using a bun or hair clip, on the top of your hair. Dry the bottom of your hair first. When you’re done, unclip or untie the top layer of hair and dry that section.
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Add New Question

  • Question Can I make my perm straight with a flat iron? Christine George is a Master Hairstylist, Colorist, and Owner of Luxe Parlour, a premier boutique salon based in the Los Angeles, California area. Christine has over 23 years of hair styling and coloring experience. She specializes in customized haircuts, premium color services, balayage expertise, classic highlights, and color correction. Master Hair Stylist & Colorist Expert Answer Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer. Using a flat iron on your perm occasionally won’t remove your curls permanently. However, it can damage your style over time. You may ruin your perm, and the heat from the flat iron can cause hair breakage.
  • Question Can you use perm lotion to straighten hair? Laura Martin is a Licensed Cosmetologist in Georgia. She has been a hair stylist since 2007 and a cosmetology teacher since 2013. Licensed Cosmetologist Expert Answer
  • Question Can you straighten a perm? Laura Martin is a Licensed Cosmetologist in Georgia. She has been a hair stylist since 2007 and a cosmetology teacher since 2013. Licensed Cosmetologist Expert Answer

See more answers Ask a Question 200 characters left Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit Advertisement Article Summary X To straighten your permed hair, you’ll need a straightening mousse and flat irons. Start by washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner, then apply your mousse.

Make sure your hair is dry before you straighten it with the flat irons. You can also straighten your hair with a straightening gel. Simply apply a dime-sized amount of gel to your hair after washing. Then, blow dry your hair and comb it straight with a brush. Remember that gels don’t always work with certain hair types, so it’s a good idea to ask your stylist to recommend a product first.

For tips on how to straighten your permed hair using a perming kit, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 169,816 times.

Who should not get a perm?


Doubling up on the chemicals can lead to severe damage, dryness, and breakage. Similarly, if your hair is already very dry or breakage prone because of frequent heat-styling, a dry climate, your genetics, or even illness, this may not be the best time to think about perming your hair.

Why shouldn’t I get a perm?

Do Perms Damage Your Hair? Risks, Preparation, and Aftercare

  1. No, not if you have virgin or unprocessed hair. While there is a misconception that perms will leave your hair damaged and dry, if your hair is already healthy, a perm shouldn’t do too much damage. If you have lightened or bleached hair, getting a perm is slightly riskier, so it’s important to go to a professional.
    • If you have colored or bleached hair, make sure you use a perm for colored hair. It will be less damaging and protect your hair more.
    • Hot perms (or acid perms) are slightly less damaging than cold perms (or alkaline perms). If you have damaged or bleached hair, consider asking your stylist about a hot perm.
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  1. 1 Your hair might get dry or frizzy. Getting a perm changes the outer layers of your hair, which can lead to dry, frizzy locks. If your hair is already damaged or dry from bleaching or coloring, a perm might not be for you.
  2. 2 Your hair could be weakened. Perm chemicals change the protein bonds within your hair. After a perm, a lot of your natural moisture is lost, and you might be prone to split ends and breakage, especially on the ends of your hair.
    • Perming your hair the first time usually isn’t the problem, it’s perming multiple times over already damaged hair. You may notice that your hair becomes drier and frizzier as you get more perms.
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Use conditioning treatments. Perms are very drying, and they remove a lot of moisture from your hair. In the days and weeks leading up to your perm, use a deep conditioner and a hair mask as often as you can. You’ll lock in hydration so your hair isn’t as dry and frizzy after your service.

  1. They can if they are applied too close to the scalp. If the perm chemicals get too close to your skin, you run the risk of getting chemical burns, which can cause hair loss. As long as the perm chemicals stay on your hair strands and not your scalp, it shouldn’t cause any issues.
    • Keep in mind that perms can cause hair breakage, though. The chemicals in perms cause swelling of the hair follicle, which can lead to it breaking off.
  1. Yes, if you wash it right away. Most perms take 48 hours to neutralize, which is why hair stylists recommend waiting 2 days before washing your hair. If you don’t like your perm, hop in the shower as soon as possible and wash your hair with shampoo. Use a conditioner to hydrate your hair and protect it from any damage.
    • If it’s been longer than 2 days, you may not be able to, The best thing to do for your hair is to use deep conditioning treatments for moisture.
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  1. 1 Use conditioner and hair masks. Perms have the potential to make your hair feel dry. To give your hair some hydration, use a conditioner every time you wash your hair. Try doing a deep conditioning treatment or a hair mask at least once a week to lock in moisture and prevent damage.
  2. 2 Detangle your hair with a wide-tooth comb. To prevent stretching out the curls too much, use a wide-tooth comb rather than a fine-tooth comb. If you stretch your hair too much, it can lose some of the elasticity, leading to droopy curls.
  3. 3 Try not to use heat styling tools. Hair dryers, straighteners, and curling irons can damage your hair further. Whenever it’s possible, try to let your hair air dry naturally. If you got a curly perm, use a bit of hair gel to pump up your curls and make them look great.
    • Gently blot excess moisture from your hair, and avoid rubbing it with a towel.
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Ask a Question Advertisement Co-authored by: Professional Hair Stylist This article was co-authored by and by wikiHow staff writer,, Steven Waldman is a Professional Hair Stylist and the Director of Technical Training at Hair Cuttery. Steven uses his creative insight and extensive experience to drive educational programming and motivates facilitators and learners to communicate effectively, create and execute strategies to maximize potential, and achieve success.

  • Co-authors: 3
  • Updated: July 13, 2022
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Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 52,398 times. : Do Perms Damage Your Hair? Risks, Preparation, and Aftercare

What ruins a perm?

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission Here’s our process, Healthline only shows you brands and products that we stand behind. Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:

Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm? Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence? Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?

We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness. ‘Perm’ may be short for ‘permanent,’ but the hairstyle’s lifespan varies more than you might think. A perm typically lasts three to six months, depending on your hair type and how well you take care of it.

The appointment is a long process, too, often lasting anywhere from one to five hours. The main thing you need to remember is that your hair must remain dry and relatively untouched for the first 48 hours after your perm. As Elle Woods says in “Legally Blonde”: It’s “the first cardinal rule of perm maintenance.” Several things can wreck or prolong your perm.

Although you can opt for a DIY perm, a pro hairstylist has much more curl-setting expertise and a greater knowledge of the chemicals used. Your dedication to perm maintenance also plays a role. Avoid heat styling and products containing alcohol or silicone wherever possible to keep your perm intact.

Last but not least, think about your daily routine, especially if you’re a gym bunny or avid swimmer. Chlorinated water can have disastrous effects on perms, and sweat and humidity can result in frizz. Two main types of perm exist: digital and ceramic. Both use a combination of chemicals — to break and reform the bonds of the hair — and rods to define how the overall perm will look.

Different-sized rods are used to create distinct curl shapes on different hair lengths. The rod placement affects the curl structure and location. Digital, or hot, perms use a heated approach. The method involves molding the hair using heated rods and dousing it in an acidic solution that breaks the disulfide bonds in your hair.

Is there a natural perm?

A Natural Perm is a modern, healthy way to prevent any hair- and scalp-related problems from occurring. All-Natural Perms are better for you, your hair and the environment, since they are void of toxic and harmful chemicals and toxins.

Do perms make your hair thinner?

Name: Shamina Question: I had my hair permed about couple of years ago and I had a lot of hair loss after that. My hair used to be really thick and after having my hair permed it’s now very thin and I was wondering if you have treatment to get my hair back to being thick again. Also, could you let me now about the free laser treatment? Thank you. Answer: Despite the highest degree of care and attention, most hair styling techniques impart some degree of unavoidable damage. Hair loss in women is more common than you might think and many believe it’s a result of over-styling. While perming is very drying on the hair and can affect its quality, it will not usually cause hair loss.

  • It can, however, result in bald patches if the chemicals and heat used for the perm burn the scalp.
  • In this case the hair follicles would be damaged beyond repair, leave a scar and result in permanent hair loss, although this does not seem to be the case for you.
  • Perming may also lead to thinning hair as a result of breakage along the shaft rather than hair fall from the follicle.

Because it is a drying treatment, perms can impair the strength of the hair shaft, leaving it weak, brittle and prone to breakage. If hair is falling from the follicle, it simply may be coincidental that the timing of your perm coincided with the gradual onset of female pattern hair loss,

It is a treatable genetic condition that can be instigated by a number of things, such as hair trauma. Apart from the burn scenario, both of the above incidences will present themselves as thinning hair, particularly on the top of the scalp in the latter condition. It is the most common hair loss condition seen in women and The Belgravia Centre recommends a personalised hair loss treatment programme to address the condition.

This may include, depending on the condition of the scalp among other things, the HairMax LaserComb, This hand-held, personal, low-level laser light device is FDA-cleared for the treatment of hair loss and free with most Belgravia Centre treatment courses.

Do perms make your hair thicker?

Will a perm make my hair look thicker? – If you’ve stocked up on every and root lifter you can find to achieve thicker-looking strands with no results, consider a hair perm as your next best option. While nothing can truly make the diameter of your hair thicker, a hair perm can help to boost the look of volume and fullness—making your strands instantly appear more dense!

Do perms smell?

The reason that perms smell is because of the chemical reaction to the ingredients ammonia thioglycolate used to break down the bonds in your hair. Perms now days do not have as strong of a smell as they did in times past however. The quality perms only have a faint smell that will only slightly linger.

Why is my perm not curly?

How to keep permed hair healthy – • Make sure your hair is as healthy as possible before you perm! Perms dry out your hair considerably, resulting in more damage. The chemical process of getting a perm can be hard on damaged hair, making your curls look and feel drab and unhealthy.

  • Invest in a nurturing hair mask like Color Therapy to hydrate and nourish permed hair once a week.
 • Timing is everything.
  • If your stylist doesn’t allow the perm to process for the right amount of time, your hair can either get too curly (making your perm look frizzy) or not curly enough (resulting in limp, loose waves).

Depending on hair length, getting a perm should take around two to three hours.
 • Healthy hair responds best to chemical processes, both curling and straightening. So show your locks some love with lots of nourishing care from roots to ends. Don’t get a perm if your hair is overly dry (see above).
 • Be clear about what you want—there are many different types of perms and many different curly hair looks.

Can I sweat with my perm?

The Dos and Don’t of Getting a Perm or Relaxer – During the first few days:

Don’t wash your hair or get it wet. Do use a blowdryer or a flat iron, if your hair gets wet during the first couple of days. Do blow dry or straighten your hair with a flat iron to remove ridges that you get while you sleep. Don’t exercise or sweat. Don’t use sprays, gels, or mousses. Don’t tie your hair back, using hair bands or hair clips of any kind. Do wear a silk scar, if you need to pull your hair away from your face. Do wear your hair down all the time. Don’t tuck your hair behind your ears. Don’t use eyeglasses or sunglasses to hold your hair back. Don’t get a perm or relaxer, if you are pregnant or nursing. Do use the stylist recommended shampoo, which is one that doesn’t contain sodium chloride.

Can a perm look like natural curls?

How to Distinguish Permed Curls or Natural Curls? Have you ever seen a lady with an envious collection of bouncy, tightly textured and shiny curls that grazed the shoulder while you are walking down the street? Did you ponder, “Is that natural or it that a perm? If it is a perm, can I have those bouncy curls too?” In this article, we will discuss about natural curls and perms and how to distinguish the different between perm hair vs.

Natural curly hair. Nowadays, perm have become so complicated that if they are performed correctly, it will be difficult to differentiate which one is natural and a perm. Natural curls vs perms: French hairdressers made the perm popular in the late 1800s. It includes curling hair in a high ponytail using a perm machine.

Women’s hair is often permed before having their hair cut into weaves, braids, twists, & flips. Like permed hair, naturally curled hair can also be styled beautifully without a perm machine. Curls are often created by hand rather than using a perm machine.

  1. A perm, often known as an exceptionally durable wave or curls, is a process that involves synthetically changing the structure of your hair from straight to wavy or curly.
  2. A super durable but isn’t forever or permanent, despite its name.
  3. The average length of a perm is between 3 to 6 months.
  4. A hairdresser creates a perm by folding hair over the poles, commonly known as perm rollers, and applying a synthetic patterning that modifies the hair’s surface in order to create a perm hair.

Similar to getting a perm in a salon, you can get one at home with a purchased pack, but the results generally won’t be the same. What distinguishes naturally curly hair from permed hair? Uniformity The primary factor or determinant is uniformity. Natural curly hair tends to curl randomly around several strands, while porous perm hair tend to curl only for a certain curl direction.

  1. Most women with natural curls have learnt to organized their hair according to the randomness principle.
  2. Women still get the choice to have what is named a “regular” perm that is all of the curls are the same shape and size.
  3. Thus, uniform and even curls are always an indication of that person has a hair perm and she does not have natural curls.

Dry or Unruly Frizzy Curls In general, there is a tendency for permed hair to be drier. Therefore, if you encounter someone with dry or curly hair, it often means their hair has had some kind of treatment most likely to be a hair perm process. Straight Roots The clearest telltale sign that curls have been artificially created using perm rather than naturally occurring curls is that permed hair has straight roots.

The perm curls usually have straighter hair at the root & only curly in the middle and end when the hair grows out after a few weeks. Such phenomenon normally does not occur in natural curls, Bends and Lines There are some unnatural bends and curves tends to be observed in perm curls. Perm curls are normally represented by the folded look of crimps such as bends and lines.

Benefits of natural curls:

Morning preparation does not take a lot of time. It just needs some combing and there she goes. Natural curly hair has fewer knots and tangles. Natural curls are of high versatility. It shows your own reflection and you can appear adorable no matter what! Natural hair looks better and grows more quickly. It doesn’t take up a lot of room since it is in the middle of our heads with a top knot. For instance, some women like their whole fringe covered by a ponytail or called the faux bangs since it will maximize the size of their heads. Another benefit is the age distribution of the world’s population, where most men still consider ultra-tight curls among the traits of elegance.

Drawbacks of Natural curls It takes a long time to straighten and brush your hair. Dry brushing could lead to some split ends, which would harm your hair. Naturally, using hair care products for curls will be necessary to control curly hair. Benefits of a perm:

Your hair will look fantastic. Perm curls look great and are simple to maintain as well as manageable. Bulks up the hair -The body and volume of the hair is significantly increased after a hair perm. People having thin or fine hair should seriously consider having their hair permed to make their hair appear bulkier and voluminous. Reduces the need to style your hair since curling your hair on your own requires longer time and great efforts, and you won’t need to use a hot iron for a while. The curling irons don’t have to be used for your hair every night before bed. Perming reduces costs as once your hair is permed, you won’t need to go to the hair salon so frequently and this may save you money. Lesser hair wash. When you perm your hair, you don’t need to wash it every so often. This enables you to be ready in just a few minutes of preparation. Hair that is less tangled is safer. Since the permed hair will have lesser tangles, your hair is less inclined to break. A greater room customization and creative style. Some customers choose to perm their hair in a certain particular way. The stylist may or may not use the right amount of heat to attain a distinctive curl pattern that matches the desired hair goal. It cuts down on styling time. You spent a great deal of time handling hair that seemed to be bumpy-looking and rough. If you get your hair permed, it won’t be as stiff. You may use fewer curling rods without the hassle of the remaining influent curls that have been already created and placed. The curls are long lasting. Since permed hair will last between 3 to 6 months, you may avoid the hassle and inconvenience of having to make frequent salon visits. You do not need to be struggling to style your hair in the morning.

Drawbacks of hair perming

You can’t immediately wash your hair after perming your hair Washing your hair for following a perm is not advised and you have to wait at least two days. As hair will have a strong strange smell immediately after being permed, thus this will cause some inconvenience especially you are not allow to wash your hair for the next two days. It can cause frizzy and dry hair. If your hair is already weak and dry, don’t think of perming it since it will make your hair even drier. Hair perming may damage the hair’s external layer; thus, hair dryness or frizz are likely to become a part of your everyday life. If it makes you feel better about it, we have to admit that women with natural curls are far more likely to handle frizz and dry locks than those with artificially permed hair. It will be challenging for you to switch to other hairstyles. On permed hair, changing hairstyles is very challenging. It is only sensible to get accustomed to such an appearance for a while. Trying hairstyles, including tying your hair behind your head such as a pony tail etc., can become difficult for you. Hair becomes more fragile after perming. Since the S-S protein disulfide bonds of the hair are altered broken and altered when exposed to hair perming synthetic agents, permed hair becomes illogically exceptionally helpless. It signifies the possibility of hair breakage, increased split ends, and decreased normal hair moisture. It would be beneficial if you understand that any chemical treatment altering your hair’s texture and appearance will potentially cause serious hair damage.

Will a perm provide you with hassle-free curls?

It does. Hair that has been permed have very long-lasting curls and requires minimal styling thus this saves a lot of time.

How can you tell whether someone’s hair is naturally curly/wavy or they have a hair perm?

Trying to discern whether someone has mystery curls or natural curls and if one person’s hair was permed. A certain amount of natural wavy-curly hair will appear more shiny, voluminous and bouncier if the natural curly hair had just been freshly deep cleansed, conditioned that provided an intensive boost of moisture and nutrients that the curls craved for. The presence of straight roots indicates that the hair has been permed. Natural curly hair is wavy when they grow out from the roots, unlike permed hair. Unlike perm curls, natural curls aren’t uniform. While perm hair tends to go in only one direction, natural curls will move in random orientations and directions.

Final Thoughts As hair perm process is becoming more complex, it is difficult and challenging to distinguish if that person has natural curls or permed curls. But there are tell-tale signs such as lines or bends, the grow out hair at the root is straight and not curly, uniform curls that looks unnatural etc.

  1. Besides, if you are getting a perm, ensure that you head to an experienced hairdresser who is well adept in creating natural looking permed curls.
  2. Moreover, it is important to schedule a perm touchup once your new straight hair starts growing out from the roots in order to prevent people from seeing through your curls.

: How to Distinguish Permed Curls or Natural Curls?

What perm looks the most natural?

Body Wave Perm – For individuals who want to achieve body and texture to the hair, a body wave is the perm for you, according to Lara. “Body waves offer a softer, more natural-looking wave,” adds Dunning. “It can also provide added texture and longer-lasting blowouts.” To create these effortless, natural-looking waves, “normally larger rods are used to create the look, giving it less of a curl,” Lara explains.

Will a perm make straight hair curly?

What Is A Perm? – The process of perming your hair involves chemicals that change the structure of your hair’s texture. This means it could change your hair from straight to curly, or vice versa. Besides just curling and straightening, perms can bring volume and bounce into your hair, too.

  • Perms can bring life to limp hair to bring you a completely new do.
  • The name itself is the shortened version of “permanent hairstyle.” The chemicals work to alter the hair and break the bonds that determine your natural hair’s texture and look.
  • Usually, this process takes about two or three hours and should be done by a professional.

Perms have been around since the 1800s, but they’ve come a long way since then. New types of perms are continually being created. But to really understand perms, let’s go back to the beginning.

Does a perm go back to normal?

And, while the word ‘perm’ might make you think your look will be permanent, that new texture won’t last forever. This chemical treatment will soften or grow out over time.

Can a perm last 3 years?

How Long Does A Perm Last – The lifespan of a perm can vary depending on several factors – such as the type of perm solution used, the condition of your hair, and how well you take care of it. But in general, a perm can last anywhere from three to six months.

How often is it OK to get a perm?

The normal time period between perms is three to four months for short to medium-length hair as long as hair is trimmed or cut two or three times within this period.

Do perms last after shower?

If I get a perm and I shower, will my hair go back to how it was before? It is strongly advised to not wash your hair for 48 hours after getting a perm. If you wash your hair after getting a perm it will not necessarily go back to the way it was before but the curl will significantly decrease.

If you get a perm and you’re not happy with it, you can wash it and it will loosen the curl. However, keep in mind washing your hair will not return your hair to its original state, You’ll still probably have a loose curl for some time until the perm fully makes its way out of your hair. This concept will only work if you find your perm is too tight.

It is not a foolproof solution to being unhappy with your perm. Here are two more solutions if you’re unhappy with your perm:

Try using a straightening product if you find the curl is too tight, this might weigh hair down enough to pull a bit of the curl out. When drying, work on using a round brush at the roots to smooth out and add volume and keep a bit of the curl on the ends. Use a big barrel curling iron after your hair is dry. This will give you more of a loose, wavy curl versus a tight curl.

: If I get a perm and I shower, will my hair go back to how it was before?