Question by Kimberly:
Hi! I love your blog and I just had a question about perms. Basically, I’ve been wanting a perm since I was fourteen (I’m twenty now), but was always too scared to get one because other people† knew got it and it turned out horrible!! (though, I never told them). My best friend in highschool got one and her perm turned out to be little ringlets and her hair was super super dry. Two of my other friends also got perms and their hair was super dry. Although, I think a few months later, I’m sure after many deep-conditions and reconstructing treatments, their hair wasn’t so dry anymore. Anyway, so I was wondering: should I do it?? I am just soooo bored of my hair! I have asian hair. Dark, very very thick, A LOT A LOT of hair and it’s pretty long, past my bra strap now…But I also have pretty short layers. My shortest layers are around my ears, so I think I’d have to grow those out to make my perm look good. Or maybe not? I want like, wavy-curly hair. Wavy roots to mid-length and a slight curl at the ends. Think Victoria Secret model’s hair. I also had some other questions about the perm: would i need to use my hairdryer? Right now, I ONLY air-dry my hair, using the blowdryer makes me hair look dull and flat. But not using the dry, my hair is super healthy and shiny and I love it this way but would I have to start using the hair dryer with a perm? What about styling products? Would I need those? I hate using many products in my hair. Right now, I am only using hair serums to make is glossy and tame some flyaways. But nothing else, really… So yeah. Also, last question: I’m a student and perms are expensive. So with my haircuts, I actually go on craigslist and I go to students who need hair models and I look for them at high end salons and I’m usually very happy with my haircuts considering they’re free. So I also saw some perm model ads on craigslist, do you think I should risk it and go get a perm? It’s like forty dollars… Anyway, I’d appreciate if you answered me back! Love yor blog!
Answer by JuJu:
OK, Wow, alot of questions to ask all at once, but I’ll try to cover each of your concerns.
Yes, perms, always been abit scary cos there is so much to think about. You have to remember tho that perms have changed quite abit since the time that your friends had them in high school, the solutions are so much softer and kinder to the hair. Most of the time, perms were over processed and too small a roller used on Asian hair. Hairdressers tend to think hair is very coarse so it needs the strongest solution, the longest processing time and smaller rollers, and thats why so many people ended up with their hair fried!!
Boredom is a good reason to have one! But…. your layers sound too short, so they’ll end up shrinking up too much, so they would need to grow out first, secondly, you say you have very thick hair, a perm is going to make it even thicker looking, is this something you want? The length is good as this will weigh the whole look down abit. Victoria Secrets models hair are VERY soft curls, BIG curls in fact, and most have been curled with irons to get the looser look, A perm will always end up being tighter/curlier to start with and after it settles it will then look more like the soft wave.
Perms are best either air-dried or with a diffuser. If you use a normal dryer to dry a perm it will make it frizzy, (check out my post on frizzy/curly hair) You mentioned that the dryer makes your hair dull and flat, a word of warning… perms make your hair dull looking too. (check out my post on why curly hair doesnt look shiny) this is normal. Straight hair has shine because it all lays flat and the light hits it evenly giving it a shine, not the case with curls. If you had †soft perm, you might be able to get away without using products but if you dont want your hair to frizz then its best to use some curl cream or anti frizz cream. And you MUST not play/mess around with the hair WHILE its drying, otherwise, this will also make the hair frizzy.
Your last question regarding student perms.I’m not sure whether I would risk a perm by students only because, perms are dodgy to begin with and not many salons do them anymore. Like I said in my blog, It would be better for you to find an Asian salon that does perms ALL the time, not only are they VERY experienced but they are much cheaper too. I would definately take pictures with you of the type of curls you like though, very important! You didnt mention where you actually live?? If you live in a big city then you might have more choice of cheaper perms.
So, after all this the risk is still yours to choose, but at least now you know the pros and cons. Personally, I think your only young once and if your not TOO attached to your hair, I’m a believer that you should always try things at least once when your young (esp. with your hair) BUT… if your the type that is very attached to hair then dont do it. If you have a perm you have to know things are going to change… ie. your hair texture, your shine, your routine, your looks. I have seen alot of cute perms lately and it can definitely give someone a trendier updated look, but is this what your going for? Hope this helps in your choice : )