Monday, October 27, 2008



As we all know perms have changed since the eighties. Don't get me wrong, there were soft natural looking perms then, but there were also a few culprits that would use too small rods making their curls look like a bunch of grapes. Some would over process their hair by leaving the chemicals in too long leaving it feeling like dry fried Calamari. Maybe it could have been the request of the client to have unnatural looking curls, but it is our job to educate the client
on what's best for their image and their hair.


1) Apart from the fresh lavender scent of perms (yeah right), is there anything new happening with perms?

Perms still smell like old beauty salons but they surly work differently. The formulas are gentler and cater to all hair types. We now have perms for fine virgin hair, coarse virgin hair, fine color treated hair and highlighted hair.

2) Are the perms for different hair types that different and do they really help?

Yes, they most certainly are different. The solutions for highlighted hair are far gentler and have extra conditioning. The structure of virgin hair is very different than that of colored hair. Virgin hair has all of its disulphide bonds in place and a fair amount of protein. The cuticle of colored has been lifted; protein removed and has a weaker structure. Using a chemical like a perm that tampers with the hair structure on hair that already has a weakened structure could mean
trouble, or should I say the B word? BREAKAGE.

3) Do I recommend a perm for highlighted hair?

It depends on the client’s hair. I have one client who has highlighted hair and I perm it every summer for her vacation. I know she will not be blow drying her hair (reason for the perm) and is very careful about avoiding the ocean and too much sun. She also has her hair highlighted at the salon so I know her hair history and can ensure it is not over processed. I use extra care when working with her hair. My client does intense treatments at home like Age Recharge by Kerastase every week for two months prior to getting her perm. This prepares her hair for the chemical it's about to endure. I make certain to give a very gentle shampoo before the perm and use the most gentle perm solution. One of my favorites is Goldwell's definition perm. The H/2S acid wave for highlighted or bleached hair leaves the hair feeling great. During the entire process I pay attention to the fragility of the hair by maneuvering the hair carefully. I pay extra attention to the hair's response to the solution by doing a curl test. There is also extra care when rinsing and extra special care when neutralizing the perm by not leaving it on for more than five minutes or sometimes less. I am also careful when removing the rods that I'm not too aggressive.

Look forward to part two which is all about why we get perms.

Copyright © 2008 Antonio Gonzales, All Rights Reserved


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