Getting the Best Perm Results

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated September 1, 2014)

Whenever I think "perm" I think eighties. I think Lorraine in "Back to the Future" and the then-stylish 'dos of my mom and aunts. It had its day, but I think a lot of people agree that that day was over in the nineties. In a way, they're right. The era of big, curly, somewhat frizzy hair is definitely at a close, along with broad-shouldered blazers and Flash Dance leggings; however, a new perm style is emerging and it's much more versatile and personalized.

The perms of today don't necessarily mean tightly wound hair, but rather mean whatever level of curl you want. Stylists now have the ability to create whatever curl style you want from the eighties frizz to the more trendy "soft curls" look of the twenty-first century.

The first step in getting the best perm results is in choosing the right stylist and proceeding to make sure the stylist understands exactly what you want. Bring pictures both of what you do and do not want and even have the stylist repeat back to you what he or she understands about the look you're going for. If you have a stylist you trust, they can even advise you about what will and won't look good for your hair.

Also be aware of the damage a perm does to your hair. If you have colored hair, you probably want to avoid getting a perm because it will only decrease the health and quality of your hair. Getting a perm doesn't just curl your hair, but it alters the chemical makeup of your hair which is unsurprisingly damaging. When you consult with your stylist, discuss the possible ramifications of straightening your hair so you're fully aware of the possible post-perm state of your hair.

After you get your perm, follow these few simple guidelines to ensure long lasting and great looking curl.

  • Don't blow it straight for 1 – 2 weeks so the curl really has time to set in
  • When blowing your hair and you keep the curl, use a diffuser to keep from further damaging the hair.
  • If you're going swimming, rinse your hair in regular water first so the chlorinated water won't penetrate your hair as much.
  • Avoid using too hot of water when washing your hair.
  • Use conditioner targeted at chemically altered or permed hair to keep the best curl.

Perms are not passe, you just need to know the what the "new perm" is. Have fun with your new curl!

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