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Hair Perming Techniques

If you have decided to get yourself a perm, here are the various ways in which it can be done. You may choose one as per your liking and suitability.
Tarali Kafaie
All ladies want to have a stylish and trendy hairstyle, be it straight or curly. Perms, which is the short form for permanent wave, is a process of altering the natural shape of your hair using chemicals. It was the Greek women who first applied the archaic hair perming techniques centuries ago, to get the beautiful curls.
Today it is done even at home, though some still prefer to do it under expert hands in a salon. Initially the word perming applied only to curling of straight hair, today it even applies to hair straightening. In the 80s, big curly hair was a craze.
It was a time when a woman's beauty was defined by her bouncy, long, and curly hair. But now it has been replaced by a craze for softer, looser curls.

Various Techniques to Perm Hair

People not only perm their hair to look trendy, many do it to add body and volume to the hair. There are a variety of techniques of perming, but its success depends on three main factors: hair quality, past chemical treatment history, and the expertise of the stylist.
Other than these, factors like age, medications, hormonal activity, illness, and pregnancy also affect your perming. It would take about 1 to 2 hours if done in a salon, depending on the length of your hair. The curls last up to 6 months.
The type of curls depends on size of curler, strength of chemical lotion, hair texture and type. These are the various types of perms you can choose from:

Acid Perms

This technique creates flexible curls created by a mild acidic reaction to minimize hair damage. It is suited for tinted, fragile, damaged, or even fine hair.

Alkaline Perms

This is one of the most popular techniques which gives firm, strong curls. It is best suited for coarse, chemical resistant, and hair with low elasticity.

Body Perms

This is perfect for hair that is limp and lifeless to give it body and volume. This technique uses large perm rods to give loose, big and bouncy curls.

Exothermic Perms

This one creates bouncy and lustrous curls. In this process, gentle heat is produced by chemical reaction of the lotion. This gently conditions and strengthens the hair.

Root Perms

This technique involves a process where 2 - 4 inches of hair near the scalp is thickened to give it some volume. However, the result doesn't last longer than few weeks in case of limp and fine hair.

Plain Curl Perms

This one gives natural looking soft waves and curls.

Stack Perms

This is a technique especially designed for hair that is cut in a uniform level. In this technique, rollers of various sizes are used only in the middle and bottom part of the hair. This gives natural looking soft textured curls, while leaving half portion of hair towards the root flat.

Spiral Perms

Popular in the 80s, this technique uses rods instead of rollers. They are usually used for curling long hair, to give volume and create tight corkscrew curls.

Spot Perms

This technique is used to curl small section of hair. Any section of hair can be curled using this technique, but it is usually used to give volume to thinning hair, or to give a uniform look to uneven hair.

Weave Perms

This, like the stack perm, is used for perming sections of hair, instead of the whole hair. However, it is different because it is done to create a difference in texture, rather than giving a uniform look. It gives a natural bounce to hair, especially around the face, which is perfect for hairstyles with bangs.

Tips for Perming Hair at Home

Getting a perm at a good salon is always a good idea, since they would have the required expertise to apply techniques for perming the hair. But it can be an expensive affair, whereas doing it at home would be much cheaper. Most of the instructions are available in the perming kit itself, and it is important that you follow those instructions carefully.
  • Use plastic rollers as metal rollers might react with the chemicals.
  • It is always better to get some help to roll hair tight, at the back of your head
  • Always use plastic or any other non-metallic bowl for mixing the perming solution.
  • Follow instructions in the perm kit.Some require you to sponge the hair before rolling,while some require sponging after rolling.

  • Rinse hair thoroughly with the rollers on, after 30 minutes (or as instructed on the kit), to wash off the perm solution.
  • Apply neutralizer and keep it on for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Open the rollers, and wait for about 5 more minutes. Then rinse the hair thoroughly under running water for five minutes.
  • Since the chemicals dry up the hair and makes it brittle, use conditioner after each shampoo.
  • Don't color your hair for at least two weeks after perming.
  • Also avoid using hair dryers for a week.
However great your hair looks after a perm, you must remember, it is a chemical treatment and can take a toll on your hair. Follow a good after-care regime. Taking good care of the makes the curls last longer. After spending so much money and effort, you would certainly want to show off your beautiful lustrous mane for more than a few weeks, right?