Everything You Wanted To Know About Perms

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There was a trend in the 1980's that left a lasting impression: perms. Women teased their hair so much that it went wild and no fashion icon of the 80's was complete without some curls and a little frizz up top. However, perms are still in style and they've simply evolved with the times. So what does it cost to get a 21st century perm? And who should get a perm? And once you get a perm, how long will it last?

Good Candidates for Perms

If you love to dye your hair, you better think twice about perming it. Highlighted hair can be permed pretty easily, but if your hair's been repeatedly colored in the past – you might want to stick to that standard curling iron instead! Why? Perming is a chemical process, and colored hair has already been treated with enough chemicals as is. It's best to ask your stylist about what they recommend. Just as you'd talk to your doctor about your past medical conditions before being prescribed a new medication, you should tell your hair stylist about your hair's history!

As well, people with thick hair are better candidates for perms than those with thin hair (in essence, thick hair is more durable).

A fun tip is to dip a few strands of your hair into a glass of water. If it sinks, that means your hair is not a witch. Wait, never mind. If your hair sinks, it means it's not healthy! If it floats, it is and is well-adapt to handle a perm.

What does a perm involve?

It all depends on your hair! The better candidate you are for a perm, the less time it will take. As well, if you have short hair, your stylist certainly won't have to perm a lot of hair, and thus can do it more speedily. But typically, a perm will take a stylist up to two hours to do. You'll have to wait for more than a day, however, for your perm to really kick in.

When your hair is permed, it is treated with a chemical that changes the bonds in your hair.  

Your perm will last up to a half year, so if you decide it's not your thing, don't worry – it isn't permanent! But it will last long enough (two months at the least) to where you probably should make sure that you are intent on having a perm before you sign up for one.

Before you get the perm...

Perms aren't done as often as they used to be, and considering that it's such a meticulous process, make sure you get an expert stylist to give you one – someone who's done perms before! You may even need a hair stylist who is used to perming your particular kind of hair. You can ensure this by simply making a few phone calls.

Once you meet the stylist, bring tangible pictures of the type of hairstyle you want. Words don't always paint the right picture and you don't want to get ringlets that are too taut or too loose – make your stylist knows precisely what you want. Don't be afraid to be direct with your stylist; your perm should be preceded by a long face-to-face conversation.

Another way to prepare for your perm, is to leave it alone for a good day prior to the perm! But a little while before that, make sure sure you use shampoo and conditioner that moisturizes your hair.

How much money are we talking about here?

Depending on the salon you go to, prices for a perm can be anywhere from $30 to $65 to $150 and upwards. Remember, the longer you hair, the more laborious the perm will be for your stylist – thus you'll have to pay more.

Are perms bad for your hair?

The simple answer is: yes. It's never a great idea to put chemicals into your hair, so you have to decide whether the style is worth the damage. However, if your hair is in good health before the perm, damage should be minimal. And if you avoid brushing your hair and make sure to moisturize it regularly, you can alleviate a lot of the harm. (Perming dries out your hair, so you want to counter this as much as you can.)

Perms were all the rage in the 80's and they are still popular today! As long as you take the time to research the hairstyles out there and sit down and chat with your stylist, a perm can be a fun way to jazz things up a little. You just have to be cautious. It might be the case that you are just not a good candidate for a perm, and it's best not to insist on it if you have thin hair that's been dyed a dozen times. Ultimately, however, it's your decision. So, if you decide to perm up, enjoy your new curly locks!

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