What Is A Permed Hair?
A convenient spot to begin our journey into learning the art of hair perming would be to, first of all, define what it means. Of course, the term may have become so popular today especially in the fashion world, but somehow, not everyone seems to know what it means. It is one of the available unisex hairstyles out there with its full name being "permanent wave." Over the years, it became shortened to perm or permed hair.
Perming became a widely popularized hairstyle in the 1980s, and it has to do with using either of chemical or heat or both to alter the natural cross-link bonds found in the hair. Stated differently, it is a man-made effort to disrupt the natural structure of the hair for various reasons connected with beauty and fashion.
The hair perming process, among other things, ensures that a naturally coarse and straight hair becomes softened and this soft nature allows hairstylists the opportunity to mold or shape the hair based on their customer's needs or instructions. Of course, the protein structure of the hair is tampered with during this process, and as the name suggests, it is permanent.
Who Needs A Permed Hair?
Well, an easy answer to this question would be "anyone that desires it." It is the choice of each person to determine which hairstyle they want. However, from experience, it appears that some people with certain hair types go for this hairstyle more than others. Among these are individuals who have a mixture of more than one hair texture on their head and hence, wants a uniform hair texture.
There are, however, some concerns by experienced stylists that other hairstyles apart from perming would be better for straightening your hair rather than having it permed. If you have curly hairs and you wish to straighten it, washing and wetting daily may prove more beneficial than having your hair permed. Some have even suggested that a good relaxer would do rather than subjecting your hair to a chemical process.
To some degrees, this is quite understandable because most curly hairs are usually very porous. And subjecting an already porous hair to a chemical or heat-mediated process such as perming can prove counterproductive. In most cases, the result of such an adventure is a dry and frizzy hair. This is contrary to what you want, isn't it?
Perm For Curly Hair: The Chemistry
It is good to know what happens to your hair when you go for perming. The protein present in the hair is known as keratin, and it is made up of repeated units of an amino acid called cysteine.
Keratin gives your hair its shape and strength. When your hair is to be permed, a reducing agent (usually ammonium thioglycolate) is applied with the sole aim of altering the structural integrity of your hair shaft so that it can be reshaped.
Upon completing the reduction, a neutralizer is applied to stop the chemical action initiated by the ammonium thioglycolate. This neutralizer is normally an oxidating agent which counteracts the reduction reaction instituted earlier. Essentially, what this means is that your hair undergoes a redox reaction whenever it is to be permed.
This redox reaction on a permed hair has been shown to increase the porosity of curly hairs thereby giving a result opposite to the intention of the bearer in the long run. Experience has shown that with time, the curly hair that you want to change to a straight hair through perming becomes dryer and more frizzy than it was originally.
Perm For Curly Hair: How It Is Done
Now, we are getting closer to how the process is carried out. It must be admitted that today's hair perming process has been primarily improved upon to make it less detrimental to the bearer's health.
What that means is that with this modern technique, you can have a permed hair without the fear of experiencing hair loss or any pain as it used to be. More still, you can have your permed hair done at home. Here is basically how the process is done whether at home or in the salon.
1. The first step is to ensure your hair is clean enough to allow for deep penetration of the perming agents into your hair shafts. To this effect, you would have to wash it thoroughly with soap and water. It is advisable that you don't use shampoos in washing your hair before perming because it increases its sensitivity and that may bring about some itching during the perming process.
2. The next step is a reduction reaction in which what you know as a perming lotion is applied to your hair liberally. The essence of applying this perming lotion is to break the disulfide bonds holding the molecules of cysteine together in your hair. What you would notice after the application is that your hair becomes softer and hence, easy to manipulate.
3. The type of perming you want to do would determine the type of lotion that would be applied. However, there are three such lotions which are exothermic, acidic and alkaline perm lotions. Upon application, your hair would be wrapped around a round or curly object for which you want your curly hair to take its shape after.
4. Let's say you want a straight hair; it would be brushed upward in a straightforward manner instead of wrapping it around a round object.
5. The hair is left for some time as determined by your hairdresser (or yourself) to react with the lotion and form perfect curls. What often determines how long you would have to wait is the texture, volume, and thickness of your hair. Expectedly, an afro hair would take a longer time than a short hair.
6. Once it can be determined that enough time has been allowed (usually 2 hours or less), the curling objects are removed, and it's time to apply a neutralizer to your hair. The function of the neutralizer as earlier mentioned is to put an end to the reduction reaction and mediate the rejoining of the disulfide bonds earlier broken.
7. Once the neutralizer has been applied, it would be left for some time just like the perming lotion. If you keep an afro hair or your hair is thick, then you would have to wait a bit longer than someone with a short hair.
8. Once the neutralization is complete, the final step is to wash off the neutralizer with water. At this stage, you are warned never to attempt using shampoos on your permed hair for several days. Again, you cannot employ any styling that involves the use of heat on it.
Types Of Perms
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At least two types of perms are available today from which you can choose from once at the salon. The first is what is known as hot or digital perms. This type involves pre-treating your hair before it is permed. This pre-treatment often lasts for an hour or so and its essence is to relax your hair.
Once the relaxation is completed, the rolling agent is usually a heated rod, and it is wrapped around your hair so that you eventually come out with waves and curly hairs that are not very tight.
As a final step in the digital perming process, your hair is set in different rollers which are connected to a temperature-regulating electronic device. Be aware that you can be at this stage for hours depending on your hair volume and thickness.
Men with afro hair are surely going to stay longer than those with short and fine hair. Similarly, women with longer hair should expect to stay for up to an hour longer than their counterparts with short hair.
The second type of perming is known as cold perming. This is the type that is most common and used in most places. This traditional hair perming, the hair is treated with an alkaline or acid after which are wound or wrapped tightly around ringlets in small quantities.
Of course, the resulting curls from this perming are usually tighter than the ones you would ordinarily witness in the digital perming stuff. However, over time, these tight curls would become relaxed and perhaps, what you would like about this approach is that it takes lesser time than the digital perm.
Pros Of Digital Perming
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1. Your hair retains its curly nature even when dry.
2. A lot of variations of the loose waves are possible depending on the size of the roller.
3. It is the best option for a natural-looking perm. That is, your hair would still look natural with the loose curls it gives.
4. It is perfect for Asian hair, particularly East Asian hair.
5. The process delivers minimal damage to your hairshaft because the temperature used is closely monitored.
Cons Of Digital Perming
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1. It is time-consuming. The process lasts up to four hours before completion.
2. Men with thick afro hair or women with long, voluminous hair are a better fit to use it. It is not suitable for short fine hair.
3. Compared to the cold perm, it is quite expensive.
4. Its hair relaxation is faster than the traditional perming method.
Pros Of Cold Perm
1. This delivers little or no heat to your scalp, and that means there is less damage.
2. It is suitable for fine hair and in fact, all types of hair and textures.
3. It is relatively cheap. Unlike the digital perming, you spend less
4. It is the most appropriate option if you want your curly hair to reach the roots.
Cons Of Cold Perms
1. At first, it may look quite unnatural as one would see in a digital perm.
2. It looks curly only when wet or when hair products are applied to it. That, of course, means that extensive maintenance is required to keep looking great with it.
Perm For Curly Hair: Hairstyles For Women
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There are different types of hairstyles for your permed hair as a woman from which you can pick choose. However, we are going to be considering ten hoping that you would find your choice out of them.
Some of these hairstyles are meant for short hairs while others are meant for long, fine hair. Without much ado, let's consider them one after the other.
Curly Perm Hairstyles For Female #1: Blonde Spiral Perm
Yes, this is coming first on the list of hairstyles for your curly perm. Everyone now desires the platinum blonde and folks are going to bleach their hair for this hair color. To have this hairstyle, you would have to first bleach your hair blonde before having it permed.
With the blonde spiral perm, you are surely going home big. The curls look bouncy and impart a magnificent look to you. It is, however, most compatible with long hairs. If you have a short hair, you would have to choose from some other hairstyles.
Curly Perm Hairstyles For Female #2: Mohawk Perm
If your permed hair is short, here's one hairstyle you can do to give you a great look. It has a unique power to transform your look with its double transformation feature completely. You may want to spice it up by including a root perm to it.
This hairstyle is done by slightly shaving the sideburns and concentrating the curly perm on top. So, with mohawk perm, a contrast is created between the trimmed side air and the voluminous curls on top. This, in turn, gives you a great look.
Curly Perm Hairstyles For Women #3: Relaxed Waves perm
You don't always have to settle for tight curls for your permed hair. This hairstyle ensures that your permed hair is relaxed by making use of digital perm. Where this is different from other types of hairstyles is that when your hair is finally done and dry, the waves would be very obvious. It is a great hairstyle for lovers of permed hairs but not curls.
Curly Perm Hairstyles For Women #4: Beachy Waves
Again, this is one of the hairstyles that disproves the idea that your permed hair can only be styled with tight round curls. You can relax and perm your hair to give you a super cute look. However, the perm lotion often used to achieve this beachy waves perm is Olaplex. The other processings are the same, and it is suitable for a short hair too.
Curly Perm Hairstyles For Women #5: Short Wavy Perm
This is another hairstyle that is compatible with medium and short hair. With your shot bob, you can make a loose wave that would give you a cute look especially if it is done in such a way that there are short bangs in the front.
Curly Perm Hairstyles For Women #6: Partial Perm
Sometimes you are caught between your love for permed hair and natural hair. In other words, you want your hair to appear as natural as possible and still combine it with perming. This is the hairstyle of choice for you.
The perming is done at the lower ends of the hair reducing the tightness of the curls. So, the curls are not that pronounced and certainly not throughout the hair. As such, your hair still retains its natural look.
Curly Perm Hairstyles For Women #7: Body Perm
If you are looking for big curls that extend to your body, body perm is the hairstyle to go for. The curls in this type aren't as tight as you would get in other types but they are big enough to give you a gorgeous look you so desire. Much more, it would be hard for anyone to quickly identify as a permed hair because it looks very natural and bouncy.
Curly Perm Hairstyles For Women #8: Sultry Cold Perm
Do you recall how your hair looks like when you just finish having a shower? You would agree it can be so sexy with the fantastic curls that have been scrunched up. Good enough, you don't have to go for a shower to have this amazing hair; with a sultry cold perm, you are sure to get a spiral perm that looks much like the after-shower experience. Howbeit, it is most suitable for long hairs.
Curly Perm Hairstyles For Women #9: Luscious Body
This hairstyle is among the types often coveted by most women who opt for permed hair. It's simply amazing giving recipients not only fine hair but a bigger outlook with its bouncy curls. It simply fills the body from the head. However, you can't go for this hairstyle if you have short hair. It has to be long enough to spread evenly on your shoulder.
Curly Perm Hairstyles For Women #10: Wild Olaplex Perm
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This hairstyle is just what its name suggests. It is wide howbeit shiny and good. Everyone desires a young, free, and wildlife and if you can translate this into hair outlook, that is exactly what it stands for. The hairstyle gives you a look that captures all of these desires - young, wild, and free.
The perm lotion is made by Olaplex, and that is while it is so called. To do this hairstyle, you would have cut your bob short, or if you have a short hair already, you are good to go. The curls can sincerely make you look wild.
Perm For Curly Hair: Haircuts For Men
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Just like we have different types of hairstyles that women and ladies can make out of their curly perm, so also we have numerous haircuts and hairstyles for men who decide to perm their curls. Of course, the appropriate haircut and style that a guy can choose would have to depend on the volume and texture of his hair as well as the shape of his face. Here are a few trendy haircuts and styles for a permed hair.
1. Curly Undercut
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This is one of the best haircuts for a curly perm for guys. This is because it is very versatile and most guys that have natural curls or who decide to go for perming can have it. In fact, it suitable both for afro hair and short hair. With undercut, the side hairs are kept low by trimming it while the hair on the middle is permed.
This arrangement brings a distinctly masculine look to man because of the contrasting nature of the haircut. The hair on top of the head is loosened after the perming such that it appears full and tall. It doesn't matter whether you have a coarse or fine hair; this style goes with all types of hair textures.
2. Curly High Top Fade
This hairstyle is particularly suited for black men that have curly hair. That is mainly because black men with curly hair normally have tight curls. So, it's pretty difficult to style such permed hair at the early stage. However, with repeated perming, the kinky hair vanishes and they begin to grow fine hair that can be easily styled.
It could be done with a long twist styled at the end or depending on your choice; you could trim your afro hair and perm the short hair that way. The idea is to combine curly hair with a high top fade, and it looks great.
3. Comb Over Fade
4. Wavy Fringe
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You would need to have a fine wavy hair to be able to go for this hair styling. It is styled such that the hairs on the middle head are longer towards the front and that enables it to form a wave-like appearance from where it probably derives its name.
To make the hairstyle look very natural, some hair products (wax) that are very light can be used to texture it. If you've got a short hair that is wavy, a variation to this style could be styling it in an angular shape or even gel. This will make great sense if you have fine hair that can easily be styled.
5. Curly Quiff
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The way this hairstyle is done today is such that it takes advantage of the hair's volume as well as its flow. It can either be made tousled and messy of if you like, you can choose to brush it back and then structure it. Men with afro hair will benefit much from this hairstyle than men with short and fine hair.
This styling gives your full afro hair a sophisticated look, and there are no limits to the variations that are done with it. You can request for an undercut with a clipper or ask that a pair of scissors is used to cut the hairs at the side, so you get a great look. The remaining hairs on top of your hair, whether short or long would still be at a contrasted level with the ones at the sides.
Maintenance Practices For Perming
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If you have decided to perm your curly hair, you need to be aware of the different maintenance steps required of you to keep your hair in shape. Here are a few of them.
1. Whenever you have a cause to air dry your permed hair, it is usually best to use a diffuser.
2. Avoid brushing your permed curly hair when it is dry. The reason for this is obvious; the curls are very tight at that stage and would cause you some pains.
3. Ensure that the brush you are using for your permed hair is wide-mouthed. The wider the mouth, the easier the combing.
4. Be choosy with the kind of conditioners and shampoos you use on your permed hair. Some of these products are not friendly with perm lotion. As such, you should ask your stylist which shampoo and conditioner are the best.
5. Apply shampoos on your hair every other day. In fact, the longer you can stay away from shampoos, the better.
6. Always remember to make use of clips to hold your hair in place whenever you are going to sleep. This would ensure that the curls are still in place when you wake up.
7. When you have to apply a product to your permed hair; do it in batches.
Perm For Curly Hair - Conclusion
If you are naturally blessed with a curly hair, it's a big thing to be thankful for. Many people with straight hairs are beginning to go back to this hairstyle which was once considered old-fashioned. You certainly do not need perming for your curly hair except there are portions of the hair punctuated by other hair textures.
Perming, as we have seen is best for individuals who have straight hairs and want to make it curly. But then, everyone has their taste and likes. The different types of haircuts and hairstyles possible with a curly perm have been put forward in this piece for you to make your choice. Of course, there are other types aside from these, and you can get more information on them from various online sources.
Bear in mind that as a first-timer in perming, you would have to consult a stylist to carry out your perming. That is because he or she can recommend the best type of perming for you. Since it is a permanent hairstyle, you don't want to get anything wrong. Subsequently, you can take charge of the maintenance of your permed hair by yourself at home.
We do hope you found the information about perming as presented here useful. Good luck as you try out a new hairstyle!