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Should Redheads Get a Perm? Everything You Need To Know

Let's Talk Pros and Cons

If you love having curls but have naturally straight or wavy hair, you might consider getting a perm. Before you make your salon appointment, let’s talk through what a perm is and all the pros and cons of having one so you can make the most informed decision for your red hair

What is a perm?

If you’re considering getting a perm, you probably already know what it is, but do you know how it works? Perms are done by using chemicals to change the texture of the hair. Traditionally perms were for tight curls, but over the years, the perm has evolved to include different size curls and even waves. A perm, short for “permanent wave,” is a chemical hair treatment that alters the structure of the hair to create curls or waves that last for a significant period of time. It involves applying a solution to the hair that breaks the bonds in the hair’s natural structure, then reshaping the hair using rods or rollers, and finally applying a neutralizer to reform the bonds in the new shape. This process gives the hair a permanent curl or wave pattern until it grows out or is cut.

How long does a perm last? 

As the name mentions, a perm is a permanent hairstyle which means that even after washing and styling, it will revert back to the curl pattern that was formed. The duration of a perm’s effects can vary depending on factors such as hair type, aftercare, and the specific type of perm used. On average, a perm can last around 2 to 6 months. As the treated hair grows out, the new hair at the roots will be straight, so there might be a noticeable difference between the treated hair and the new growth. The curls or waves gradually loosen over time as well. Proper hair care, including using sulfate-free shampoos and conditioning treatments, can help extend the life of a perm.

Is it damaging? 

Because a perm is done using harsh chemicals it is damaging to the hair. Yes, getting a perm can potentially damage your hair. The chemicals used in the perming process can weaken the hair’s structure by breaking and reforming its bonds. This can lead to dryness, frizz, and brittleness. Overprocessing, using incorrect products, or not following proper aftercare can exacerbate the damage. It’s important to consult with a professional hairstylist before getting a perm to understand the potential risks and to determine if your hair is in a suitable condition for the treatment. Taking good care of your hair post-perm can also help minimize damage and maintain its health.

How redhead should take care of their perm: 

If you’re not used to caring for curly hair, a perm can be a lot of upkeep. Curly hair gets tangled more easily, isn’t always as easy to style, and can get quite frizzy. Think about this before getting a perm, because you don’t want to get stuck with something you can’t manage. 

Taking care of a perm is important to maintain the health of your hair and the longevity of the curls or waves. Here are some tips:

1. Wait Before Washing: Avoid washing your hair for at least 24-48 hours after getting a perm. This allows the curls to set properly.

2. Use Sulfate-Free Shampoo: Choose a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner designed for curly or chemically treated hair. Sulfates can strip the hair of its natural oils and cause frizz.

3. Avoid Heat: Minimize the use of heated styling tools like straighteners and curling irons, as they can further damage the treated hair.

4. Moisturize: Use a leave-in conditioner or a hydrating hair mask regularly to keep your curls moisturized and prevent dryness.

5. Comb Gently: Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to detangle your hair gently. Avoid using fine-tooth combs that can disrupt the curl pattern.

6. Avoid Tight Hairstyles: Tight ponytails or updos can distort the perm’s shape. Opt for looser styles that don’t put too much strain on the curls.

7. Protect from Chlorine and Saltwater: Before swimming, wet your hair with fresh water and apply a leave-in conditioner to create a barrier between your hair and chlorine or saltwater.

8. Trim Regularly: Regular trims can help prevent split ends and maintain the health of your hair.

9. Avoid Over-Washing: Washing your hair too frequently can strip away natural oils and lead to dryness. Aim for washing 2-3 times a week.

10. Sleep on Silk: Sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase can help reduce friction, which can lead to frizz.

11. Avoid Excessive Touching: Constantly touching and playing with your hair can cause the curls to become unruly and lose their shape.

12. Professional Advice: Consult your hairstylist for specific care recommendations based on your hair type and the type of perm you received.

Remember that each person’s hair is unique, so some experimentation might be needed to find the best care routine for your perm.

So, should you get a perm? 

If your hair can handle it, you really want it and you’re okay with the commitment, there’s no reason you can’t get a perm. Just be sure to talk to your stylist to make sure your hair is in good shape and determine which style of perm is right for you. Getting a perm is a big decision and not something to take lightly as it’s pretty impossible to undo once it’s set. 

Deciding whether to get a perm depends on various factors, including your hair type, current condition, and personal preferences. Here are some things to consider:

1. Hair Type: Perms tend to work best on hair that is not too fine or damaged. If your hair is already fragile or in poor condition, a perm could potentially worsen the damage.

2. Desired Look: Think about the type of curls or waves you want. Perms can create a range of curl sizes, so be clear about your expectations with your stylist.

3. Maintenance: Permed hair requires special care to maintain its health and shape. Consider whether you’re willing to commit to the necessary upkeep.

4. Longevity: As mentioned earlier, perms are not permanent. They will gradually grow out and lose their curl over time.

5. Consult a Professional: It’s highly recommended to consult a professional hairstylist before making a decision. They can assess your hair, discuss your goals, and advise you on whether a perm is suitable for you.

6. Temporary Options: If you’re unsure about committing to a permanent change, you might explore temporary methods like heat styling or curling techniques that don’t involve chemicals.

Remember that hair trends and preferences change over time. Taking your time to research, consult with experts, and consider your own preferences can help you make an informed decision that you’ll be happy with in the long run.

Rock it like a Redhead! 


READ: Why Redheads Should Seriously Consider Getting A Perm

READ: The Right Way Redheads Should Layer Their Haircare Products