Permanently wavy or even curly hair is the dream of many straight-haired people – the perm makes it possible. But what does it mean for the hair, how does it work and what do you have to watch out for? Tikbow asked an expert.
In the 80s it was the trend hairstyle par excellence, now it is back, but different: the perm. Invented as early as 1906 by Karl Ludwig Nessler, the fixed wave experienced its trendy heyday between the seventies and nineties. Stars such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Madonna, Olivia Newton-John and Julia Roberts presented huge curly hairstyles, freely according to the motto: more is more!
Today the perm looks different, more relaxed somehow. There are still large amounts of curls, but the poodle is no longer the standard hairstyle. Instead, people now prefer to have casual beach waves or glamorous curls conjured up in their straight lengths.
How does the perm work?
A perm is a permanent wave, as far as that goes. But how exactly does it work? Hairdresser Kim Plate from "Kim & ich” in Münster explains it more precisely: "A perm is a chemical and permanent reshaping of the hair.” That works with straight, slightly wavy as well as already very curly hair. Plate: "It can be used to wave all hair, not only straight, but also curly. An Afro, for example, can be transformed into larger curls with large rollers.” This happens through "chemical reactions that take place in the hair.” The size of the curls is determined by the size of the rollers, the winding technique decides the direction of fall.
The hairdresser also explains exactly how the wave is applied to the hair: “Once all the hair has been wound up, the perming liquid, known as thioglycolic acid, is applied to the hair one roller at a time. ” The liquid penetrates the hair and breaks the so-called disulfide bridges in the keratin, which are responsible for the shape and stability of the hair. "After twenty minutes of exposure, the liquid is flushed out. The rollers remain in the hair and are not loosened. Subsequently, each winder is dried individually, so the hair becomes absorbent again for the next course. Hydrogen peroxide is applied as a fixative, and the disulfide bridges close and the hair is permanently waved;
How gentle is the treatment?
A perm, like bleaching, is a strain on the hair. Who has already broken hair, should therefore rather leave the fingers of it. In any case, it should be discarded: The chemical intervention can cause a lot of damage to the hair, making it brittle and dry. Under certain circumstances, it can even break off. Now, of course, the techniques and products have evolved since the eighties and are much gentler, but a perm is still not harmless.
How long does a perm last and what should I do if it falls out?
Perms last between two and five months, in the meantime the hair continues to grow. If it is naturally completely straight and has been transformed into an extreme curl, it can quickly look unnatural. Therefore, women with very straight hair überlegen should not choose the light waves instead of extreme curls. One option for in-between is to do it yourself, i.e. to temporarily transform the hair into curls with large rollers. If the perm has grown out so far that it really sticks, the next appointment can take place in the hair salon. If you have had enough of the wave, you can also have it removed by a professional by means of straightening. But even this is no walk in the park for the hair.
How do I care for chemically curled hair?
The most important care rule for perms is this: Leave them alone in the beginning. In other words, washing is taboo for at least the first three days. After that, the wave can be washed as usual, but it is advisable to do this only every three days. In between, you can help yourself with dry shampoo. To moisturize the stressed hair during washing, you should use a conditioner and match the products to the stressed hair. In general, perms do not need much styling, but they do need a lot of moisture. Leave-in treatments are suitable here, for example.
Can I do the perm myself?
In principle, yes, but the expert points out that the self-experiment is not recommended in principle. There are special perm kits for home use, but you can "do a lot wrong!" There is not only the risk of broken hair and faded color, but also "so-called kink tips, where then only the scissors help". Who does not want to decide for the permanent wave, but has various ways to make his curls themselves. Then only temporarily, but certainly more gentle.