A permanent wave, also known as a perm, is a chemical hair treatment that can be used to straighten or add curl and body to your hair. Every perm has two parts: the physical wrapping of the hair into shapes and a chemical bath that breaks and then reforms the disulfide bonds of your hair. In other words, the chemicals soften the inner structure of the hair.
Hair perms are a fantastic way and versatile process. With today's perms, you can have everything from body to loose and sexy waves to true curls. Hair perms will also give you the true "wash and wear" hair style that every woman seeks. A hair perm can free you from the hassles of setting, blow-drying, and curling irons.
It's important to consider your hair type and the condition of the hair in determining if you are a candidate for a perm. Damaged, over-processed and most color treated hair should usually not be permed. Perming hair that is not healthy and in good condition is very damaging to the hair. In extreme cases, it could all need to be cut off.
The type of hair is another thing to consider. The best hair type for a perm is thick hair that has a bit of a natural wave. Very fine hair types or thin hair types must use hair perms with extreme care to prevent hair damage. You always want an experienced stylist, particularly if you are perming fine or thin hair, to ensure the best possible result.
Your hairstyle plays a big role in determining the kind of hair perm you need. Some perms work well with hair in one length while others are designed to work with layered hairstyles.
Typically a hair perm takes about 2 hours. It takes about another 24 hours for the perm to fully settle and its impact to be completely felt. A hair perm usually lasts about 3 - 5 months.
A perm is harsh on your hair, so only get one if you're completely sure. It's important to know your hair type and how it will react to the process of breaking and then re-forming links between protein chains in your hair. Breaking these bonds causes the hair to expand, stretch, and take the shape it is held in by the rods.