Everything You Need To Know About Getting A Perm


In case you haven’t heard, the perm is back and taking over our Instagram feeds for the rest of the summer. Everyone from Bella Hadid to Chrissy Teigen has tried it and it’s the best way to add volume to fine hair without using styling tools. Sounds dreamy right? But it still comes with risks. So to help you decide if it’s right for you, here’s everything you need to know about getting a perm...

It Takes A While

Getting a perm isn’t something you can do in your lunch break, it takes ages! First your hair is washed and then the solution is applied in sections until your hair is completely coated. Basic solutions include ammonium thioglycolate which is what breaks down the disulphide bonds and allows your hair to change shape. Next your hair is wrapped around the curling rods and left to set for up to 20 minutes. Once they’re removed a neutraliser is added before washing your hair again and then blow drying. The whole process can take up to 3 hours to complete so you’ll need to be up for a lengthy trip to the salon.

They Last At Least 3 Months

Yup, this isn’t just a summer thing. A perm can last anything from 3 months to forever depending on the solution used and how tight the curls are. Modern formulas are way more gentle on your hair so it’s less of a full time commitment and will slowly start to loosen up. It’s important to ask your stylist how long your treatment will last so that you can plan your next cut and will know what you’re in for.


You Can’t Perm Damaged Hair

If your hair is very damaged and then you perm over the top it will literally just break off. Perming can make your hair feel dry and brittle which is why starting with healthy hair is so important. Damaged strands won’t react well to the formula either so your end result won’t be as good. In short make sure your hair is looking its best before you take the plunge.

You Need To Consider Your Haircut First

Cutting your hair after a perm can affect the curl so if you need a trim it’s best to do that first. Perms look better when you have layers rather than a blunt cut as they add more volume. You also need to account for your hair getting shorter during the process too. Imagine your cut a few inches further up and think about whether it’ll still work with your face shape.

You Can’t Colour Your Hair

To limit damage it’s best to stick to one chemical process at a time rather than bleaching or using a permanent dye at the same time as your perm. Ideally you want to leave a few weeks in between treatments to allow your hair to repair and relax.


You Can Still Straighten It

After your hair has been permed and you’ve left it alone for the 48 hour setting period you can still use heat tools later on to change up your look. As soon as you get your hair wet it will bounce back again but this might affect how quickly the curls drop over time. It’s best to keep heat styling to a minimum but it’s good to know incase you have post perm regrets.

You Can’t Wash Your Hair For 48 Hours

If you’re someone who loves working out or just feels a bit weird about skipping a day between washes then this is something you need to think about. For 48 hours after your perm you can’t get it wet, put it up or play with it too much as the chemical is resetting your strands. Even after your treatment washing it everyday will affect how long the curls last, so you’ll need to prolong the gap between washes as much as possible.

You’ll Need To Up Your Hair Routine

Curlier hair, especially after being chemically treated will need more nourishment and maintenance. It’ll be more prone to frizz and a lot dryer than normal after a perm so incorporating masks and hot oil treatments into your routine is a must.