A bad perm is a huge turnoff. It makes your once beautiful hair look uncomely. So what happens when a once bristly, style on-the-go hair curls end up with a bad perm? You’d hate it more than anything else! To prevent this, you can follow a few simple but important rules. This article exposes all that you must not do and also important care tips to help save you from ending up with a bad perm. Before we delve into this, let us talk briefly about how perms work.
How to get rid of bad perms? Read 6 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Bad Perm.
How does Perm work?
An intelligent fashion enthusiast once mentioned how hair perm is an interesting mystery. There is some truth in this when you think about the styling possibilities of perm and its beauty and ‘permanence’. But how permanent is perm in reality, even when we derived the name from the word permanent? What is the possibility of getting rid of a perm if it is indeed permanent? These questions are best answered by discussing how perms work.
- Perm rods of choice size is wrapped around neatly conditioned hair. For tight curly effects, we use smaller rods, while using the larger rods produces large curls or waves.
- Next is the application of the waving solution. The perm lotion softens the hair and makes the hair develop a blank slate. The blank slate is sealed into the curled structure created by the perm rods.
- The waving lotion is then washed off before applying the fixative, which locks in the curls.
- With the curls locked in by the fixative solution, the hair is thoroughly rinsed and the rods removed.
Voila, a perm is made! And this is done simply by breaking down, softening, resetting, and then locking your hair structure into new and pleasant curl effects. When care isn’t taken, the process flow and chemicals used in perming make your hair susceptible to damage.
The good news is that we have figured out the basic “don’ts” that will save you from ending up with a bad perm.
10 Don’ts of the perm
#1. Not paying attention to the hair structure
If you don’t want to end up with a bad perm, it is important to know the condition of your hair structure. According to the book, Hair and Scalp Disorders, edited by Zekayi Kutlubay, and Server Serdaroglu, human hair comprises two distinct structures; the follicle and the hair shaft. The hair follicle is the living part found under the skin, while the hair shaft is the fully keratinized non-living part above the skin surface.
Knowing the condition of your hair structure informs your choice of hair product to use. For example, a wave is not suitable for anyone with a damaged hair structure or unhealthy scalp. If your stylist considers curling a possibility, use mild conditioning products with special active ingredients to prevent hair breakage or further damage. Such products act as a protective shield and the active ingredient penetrates the cortex (the fiber trunk where the remodeling process takes place) and counteracts the loss of disulfide bridges. The connections in the hair are strengthened, the hair fibers stabilized, the strength and hair quality improved, and thus making the appearance of the hair better.
#2. Ignoring or not understanding the desired hairstyle
Bad perms aren’t just bad because they cause damage. A bad perm can result from the hair owner not liking the perm they are wearing. When the hairstylist and the customer do not discuss the desired hairstyle, this can lead to misunderstandings, as far as curly size and hair length are concerned. The smaller the curls, the shorter the hair afterward. It is best to work with sample images, as many clients may have a different idea of curls than the hairstylist does.
#3. Too much washing before treatment
To prevent bad perm, you should only wash with a mild shampoo and you should also avoid a strong head massage. Even if nothing should get onto the scalp when applying the waving agent, the sebum of the scalp represents good self-protection against chemicals. A strong scalp massage removes this and if contrary to expectations, the waving agent drips onto the scalp, it can become irritated.
#4. Incorrect Curler selection
When choosing the curlers, the desired curl size is crucial. The larger the corrugation, the larger the winding diameter. The type of permanent wave is also important. If you don’t want to end up with a bad perm or a perm that you don’t like, pay attention and choose a curler whose size and style make you comfortable.
#5. Choosing the wrong waving liquid
To prevent ending up with a bad perm, the quality of the hair and also the duration of the desired wave should be considered when choosing the wave agent. For example, with hair that has already been colored or bleached, a lighter waving agent must be used, which is tailored to the already changed hair structure. If the hair is difficult to wave, a stronger wave agent may be used. If the wave should only last a few weeks, it is advisable to use a volume wave, i.e. a very light wave agent that does not dissolve as many double sulfur bridges. For a permanent shape change, a regular remedy should be used.
#6. Winding failure
There are different winding methods in hairdressing, like spiral wind, wave wind, and others. The wrong winding can present some errors which may end up damaging your perm. For example, when winding, the specified roller width cannot be maintained, and the hair gets a kink at the base because of the attachment of the roller rubber. Avoid cutting into the remaining elastic when classic wraps are used. No matter which type you choose, the ends of the hair must always be neatly wound up, so that no kinked ends occur.
The tension is also important for a flawless waving result. Be careful not to make it too tight and cause hair breakage. Don’t also make the tension too lax, which might cause untidy loops.
#7. Error when applying the waving agent
A lot can also go wrong when applying the waving agent, which can cause bad perm. Either that too much liquid is applied and causes scalp irritation. However, it should not be applied too little, as there is a risk, especially with long hair, that it will not be transported to the tips by the capillary action of the hair. If cotton is used during application to prevent the product from running down, it should either be completely removed after application or at least replaced with a new one so that the scalp is not irritated. Creaming the contour can prevent further irritation.
#8. Corrugation error
The manufacturer’s instructions must be observed for the exposure time of the waving preparation. If you rinse off the preparation too early, not enough disulfide bridges can be broken to ensure a long-term wave result. If the waving agent is left in for too long, the structure is damaged so much that the hair becomes frizzy and loses its resilience and elasticity. The exposure time can be shortened and intensified by adding heat. However, caution is required here, because skin irritation and hair damage can occur more easily. The result should be checked with a test wrap after the specified minimum exposure time.
#9. Errors in fixation
If the fixative is not ready for use, mistakes can creep in during preparation. It is therefore essential to observe the specified mixing ratio of water and fixer concentrate. If the fixation is too weak, the curl in the hair cannot hold permanently because too few sulfur bridges can be closed. It is also important to ensure that the fixing solution is applied everywhere. The curl will not last on hair that does not get any or little fixative.
10. No aftercare
The post-treatment of a permanent wave, by a conditioner or hair treatment with contained antioxidants, ends the chemical process. In this way, the fixation does not continue to work gradually in the hair and the structure of the hair is also positively influenced. The cuticle layer is astringent, the hair shines, and becomes easier to comb.
The cliche, “prevention is better than cure” may not be a bad cliche after all. Having read all the tips that will help you have and maintain a good perm, you will have little or no difficulty rocking your favorite perm for a long time. And when you eventually want to get rid of your perm, you will find a worthy guide here.