Perms have changed since the days of big hair and strong chemicals in the 80’s. They can look very natural and are more gentle on the hair these days.
We had the opportunity to go to the Women’s Show in Edmonton the other weekend and got to meet some amazing people in the hair industry. We went to watch Pepper, from the Pepper & Dylan Show on 104.9 Virgin Radio, get his hair permed by Alexander Daniel Hair & Body Boutique while 5 other lovely ladies had their hair permed by the MC College team.
We’re not going to lie, the smell of perming solution didn’t bring back the fondest memories for us. I’ve personally had 2 perms in my lifetime, one in elementary when I had a bob, turning me into a triangle head and the other in Jr. High when I decided a day after the perm that I hated it and went back to get it chemically straightened.
Pepper wants to make 2013 the year of the perm so we thought we’d do a little research and see if he was onto something. Turns out, perms aren’t what they were 20 years ago and can actually give you some really natural looking waves. Renato, an instructor and Technical Advisor at MC College answered a few questions for us on perming in 2013.
MD: Are many people getting perms these days and if so, what type of perms are they getting? Renato: texture perms are a must fashion looks today. Beach waves long spirals
MD: Have perms changed much over the years and are there any new types of perms we should be aware of? Renato: with all the new technology the products use are: gentle and repair the hair as they work.
Advances in chemical technology have given us better solutions with built-in conditioners and helped move us away from the tight curls and frizzy ends we’ve seen in the past. Perms are also a lot more versatile, giving you a wider variety of rod sizes to choose from. A mixture of bigger and smaller rods in one perm give you a more natural look as well as varying the strength of the solution.
MD: What kind of hair types are good candidates for a perm and who should stay away from them? Renato: sensitive hair, bleached out hair, double processed hair and colored hair always require more caution.
If you’re considering getting your hair permed, be sure to take care of it in the weeks leading up to the treatment. Weekly deep conditioning is a must (don’t overdo it with protein masks though, too much protein can actually make your hair weak), regular trims and ease up on the coloring. You should ultimately trust your stylist and listen to their advice when it comes to perming your hair, no treatment is worth broken and damaged strands.
This type of perm is ideal for people who just want a bit of curl in a specific area, like a flip to the ends or if you already have curly hair and just want a bit more definition in a particular area. There are also “root perms” which add a bit of lift and volume to your roots.
MD: We’ve also recently heard of “digital perms”, what are these? Renato: some use a sensor that is attached to one or two of the rollers to keep track of the temperature and moisture.
A digital perm is different from a regular perm in that it uses a different solution and heat to permanently curl the hair. A normal perm or “cold perm” also makes the curls most prominent when wet and a little looser when dry. Digital perms make the wave more prominent when dry, giving you a look that’s closer to the results of a curling iron or hot rollers.
MD: Would one expect their hair to be dry and brittle after a perm? Renato: yes, any chemical process will remove the natural moisture from the hair and leave the hair feeling dry and brittle.
MD: How should one take care of their perm? Renato: a leave-in conditioner is most effective. Conditioner will be too heavy after a perm, weighing the hair down. Regular trims will help to bounce up the curl.
After any perm, you will need to take special care of it to maintain the softness of your curls and to add moisture back into your strands. Try to avoid too much heat styling, use heat protecting sprays when you do heat style and alternate moisturizing and protein treatments from week to week.
MD: How long will a perm last and how often should it be touched up? Renato: a perm will relax differently on each individual person. You can get touch ups as needed as your hair grows or as the curl relaxes.
To keep your hair in good condition, you can alternate between getting just the re-growth permed and getting all of your hair permed every 6 to 8 weeks. If and when you grow tired of your perm, you can let it grow out and continue to get regular trims to remove the curled ends. Perms will relax over time so even using a round brush and blow drier will help give you a straighter look while you’re waiting for it to completely grow out.