It is not just women with stick straight hair that are making their way to the salon for this chemical process. Many naturally curlies and wavies are seeking perms as a solution to enhance their natural texture.

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Even if you were too young to remember or not even born yet, when you hear the word perm it takes you back to one decade, the 80s.

Tight, uniform and frizzy curls made for big hair on women and men alike. But while these are not the kind of perms making a comeback today, with advancements in the way perms are done many different styles and shapes of curls can be accomplished and they are causing many people to flock to salons to have some texture added into their hair.

What is a perm, anyway?

A perm is a procedure that involves setting hair in waves or curls with rods and then using a chemical bonding process to hold the curl pattern for months at a time. Since this altered texture is considered permanent and requires chemicals, there is some damage involved. However, there can be a minimized amount sustained by frequent deep conditioning treatments, switching to sulfate free shampoos, and other healthy hair regimen practices.

Upkeep of a perm is much like that of coloring your hair, you will need to have your roots touched up every so often to keep up with your growing hair and may want to have your entire head redone every 6 months to refresh the curl. The regular trips to the salon come with a price tag (which varies depending on where you go”> so be sure you want to commit to this recurring bill before you take the plunge.  It is not just women with stick straight hair that are making their way to the salon for the procedure. Many with naturally curly or wavy hair are also seeking it out to enhance their natural texture and make their waves appear evenly.

Is a perm for me?

If the idea that adding chemicals to alter your hair’s texture for perfect, effortless waves or curls seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you are hoping to get a perm in order to avoid all of the common curly hair concerns you have now, like styling, moisturizing and detangling, then I urge you to think twice. Styling a perm is similar to styling naturally curly and wavy hair, in that it requires striking a balance of moisture and strength, and finding the right amount of hold to get the most curl definition out of the curls.

There will always be damage associated with permanently altering the structure of your hair using chemicals, and damage is likely to make your hair care even more difficult, rather than easier. Curly, coily and coarse hair can struggle to retain moisture even in its virgin state, so take care when considering a potentially damaging permanent treatment. If you color treat your hair or if your hair is already in a fragile or dry state, then your stylist will most likely advise against a perm.

That being said, there are women who feel that their hair and lifestyle benefits from getting perms. To find out if you are one of them, it is absolutely essential that you have a consultation with a professional stylist first. Erika Brown, salon owner and cosmetologist behind the blog, Confessions of a Cosmetologist, says “make sure to be COMPLETELY honest during your perm consultation! This means speaking up about home dye jobs, current medications, and even if you’re on your cycle! All of these are indicators of how much your hair will suffer or if the perm will even take.”

In the end, a perm is an option that can be considered, but not without reviewing the risks that can be brought on by the treatment. It is important to remember that even with this treatment, you will need to maintain proper care for your curls.

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