Getting a Professional Perm

by April Reinhardt
(last updated December 2, 2016)

The permanent hair wave, now referred to as a perm, was invented in 1906, with disastrous results. Created as a way to permanently curl hair, the perm has now evolved into a safe procedure performed professionally in a salon setting, and even at home.

Getting a professional perm requires more than simply making an appointment with your local hairdresser. Consider the following before making that appointment:

  • Your hair must be in good condition, free of any chemical wave or relaxer product.
  • See a professional hair consultant before having a perm to better decide which kind is best for your hair type.
  • Know that after having a perm, you cannot straighten it or blow dry it for two weeks.
  • Using extremely hot water to wash your hair after a perm will possibly make the curl relax faster than it should.
  • A perm is a chemical process to make your hair permanently wavy or curly. Chemicals can cause hair damage, so make sure that your hair stylist has been trained correctly in how to give a perm.

After you've had that hair consultation and have decided which type of perm is best for you, your hairdresser will take the following steps during your perm appointment:

  1. Part your hair into three sections, from the crown of your head down the middle, to the base of your neck, and then each side of your head.
  2. Wrap your hair of each section onto perm rods, after covering each end of hair with perm papers.
  3. Apply perm solution, depending upon the porosity and thickness of your hair.
  4. Allow the chemicals to process for a predetermined amount of time, again, based upon your type of hair. Processing with heat will occur if your hair is thin and fine.
  5. Rinse the hair with rods still in place and apply a neutralizer.
  6. Remove the rods and style your hair, without too much product.

Your stylist will instruct you not to wash or condition your newly permed hair for several days. After that, use specially formulated products just for permed hair. You can buy them at your salon before you leave, but you can also find them at your local grocery store or WalMart.

Getting a professional perm, with a reputable hair salon, can be a satisfying experience if you know what to expect before you sit in the stylist's chair.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...


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