you have been getting a hair perm for
some time now or you have been thinking about perming
hair. Have you ever wondered how a hair perm can
curly - almost permanently? Understanding what makes
a permanent wave work will help you appreciate what
makes a good perm
and what does not.
hair is an extremely strong and
versatile fiber. It incorporates physical and chemical
allow us to do all kinds of interesting things with it
in order to improve our appearance. For people who
hair a permanent wave can make the difference between
looking good or looking bad. Permanent waves (hair
perm) are easy to do
that your hair stylist knows how to do them properly,
don't take much time and are the best method for
giving hair body
the hair is styled after the perm the style will last
much longer. For
example, when you style your hair that has been permed
with a curling iron it will now keep that
style much longer
than without the perm. A perm
also gives your cut and
to give it volume and keep that style for days..
the perm neutralizer on each perm rod and leave it on for
approximately 7 minutes.
there are just a few steps required to do a permanent
wave (perm). Step
1 - Wrapp the hair with perm rods.
Step 2 -
Apply the perm lotion on each perm rod carefully. No
perm lotion should come in contact with the scalp
nor your skin around the hair line. (Some perm lotion
manufacturers will tell you in their product
to apply perm
putting in the perm rods and then again after winding).
Put a plastic cap over all the perm rods to keep in body
processing time - Step
3 - Rinse and apply the neutralizer
the instructions for the exact time to leave it on.
rinsing and before applying the neutralizer it is a
good idea to take a towel and gently put it over the
and carefully apply pressure so it can absorb water.
This helps not to dilute the neutralizer.
Perm Lotion and Neutralizer
what makes the curl "permanent"? It
happens through the magic of chemistry. Obviously
you figure that
it must be the permanent solution which makes the curl
permanent. This is true but it is not the whole story.
is 97% protein (keratin) which gives it its elastisity
and flexibility. It contains three important bonds.
They are disulphide bonds, hydrogen bonds and
salt bonds. The disulphide bonds play the main role
in changing your straight hair into a permanent
curl or wave.
first step is to
wind wet hair that has been specially sectioned
to fit the perm rod. A small
perm rod in diameter will give you a tighter, curlier
perm. The larger the perm rod the larger the wave
be. The action of winding the hair around the rods creates
with the addition of the perm lotion causes the
of a permanent curl.
perm rods used for a tight, curly perm which gives short
hair good body and volume which lasts for days. No
need to do your hair every day. On
the right are larger perm rods. However there are even larger
processing time of the hair perm
very important. Hair that is tinted (permanent hair
color) or streaked needs less processing time because
it is more porous. However follow the instructions
lotion. The perm lotion is able to penetrate the hair
faster when it is colored. (Not if you only have your
hair colored with semi permanent hair color).It's best
to adhere to the product instructions. There is
no need to
check and unwind a perm rod after processing five
or ten minutes. After the required processing time
which is determined by the product instructions the
perm will be ready to be neutralized in order to lock
Removing the perm rods without neutralizing will leave
your hair straight.
- Styled with a diffuser
All three hair styles have been cut in layers
to different degrees. Layered hair will give you a "curl"
when permed. However, perming one length long hair will give
you a wave only. Using smaller perm rods will result in a
smaller wave and perming with larger perm rods will give
you a larger wave. See furter down the page.
it is not processed long enough
curls or wave will be weak and after a month or so
when the perm relaxes you will have hardly any wave
in your hair. When the processing time exceeds the recommended
be over- processed hair
and as a consequence will lack bounce and elasticity
and is hard to manage. Over- processed hair perms will
Even if the hair has been styled smooth after the perm
Hair styled with a diffuser
your hair has processed
the correct amount of time, it will have a curl,
but not a "permanent" curl - because it requires
a perm neutralizer to complete the process. After the
with water and then the neutralizer is applied on each
perm rod with the neutralizer applicator bottle. Usually
it is left on for five or seven minutes. Then each rod
is carefully unrolled (not pulled)
from the hair and after all perm rods have bee removed
the entire hair is well rinsed. The function of the neutralizer
is to ensure that the new
hair becomes "permanent".
hair perm is not really permanent since your hair will
grow back and eventually needs to be permed again. The
best technique would be to do a root perm after approximately
four months as the rest of the hair is still permed. Perming
over already permed hair makes hair more porous and over-processed.
a permanent wave is
a miracle. But
you should really call it a miracle of chemistry.
There you have it. Now
you have a permanent curl. The timing for neutralizing your
perm is also important. It usually takes 7 minutes. If the
neutralizer stays on much longer than that it will have the
reverse effect on your perm. Some of the newly formed disulphide
bonds will not stay together after a few weeks.
What do you think makes a curl tight
or loose? Does it depend on how long you process
the perm or the size of the perm rods?
Many people think that
the difference between a small and a large curl is determined
by how long the perm processes. I often hear clients
say, "don't leave it on too long. I don't want it to be too
curly." Hair stylists check perm rods every few minutes,
worried that if they leave them on a few minutes longer the
hair will become too curly. It is the size of the rods that
will determine how curly or wavy your hair will be. If you
want to have a large curl, which can also be described as
a loose perm or a body perm, then you will need a perm rod
with a bigger diameter. If you want more body in your hair
you will need a perm rod which has a smaller diameter.
Perm on long hair. Smaller perm rods used. Notice
how the hair is rather wavy than curly? That is because the
hair is one length and therefore will be wavy when
However you can blow style it or use a curling iron to style it.
are a few more details
which concern winding the perm rods and applying the perm
lotion. In order to get a really good perm your hair stylist
has to be very particular about winding the perm. It is important
that the sections for each rod are not more than 1 centimeter
thick and that each section is only three-quarters of the
length of the permanent rod. (There are exceptions to the
rule. For examplte for certain hair stylies that should not
have volume close to the scalp like on longer hair). Also
for hair styles that need really good body the section to
the correct angle.
think a perm (permanent wave) looks like the picture on
the hair style on the left is the result of being styled
with a curling iron and is not what a perm would look
like without styling it afterwards.
hair style on the right has long one length hair which
and only air
dryed or used a diffuser .
you would now style it with a large curling iron it would look quite like the style on the left.
hairstyle has some volume which looks flattering and natural. Having
keep the style this way for several days. It's nice to
wake up in the morning
your hair make you look fabulous. However, if you do not
style your hair after shampooing it would just be curly.
But when you style your hair - the best way is a proper blow
styling with a round brush (not simply drying it with a blow
dryer) then you will have a hairstyle like this.