You guys, I have been warning you … but perms are fo sho making their way back into your beautiful life. So why now after all these years? Well, with all this time home we have had time to give our hair a rest and are starting to see natural wave patterns re-emerge. Also, having time to rethink our beauty routine and look. The curly texture is having a major moment and it’s only getting stronger so it makes total sense that these would all coincide.
Don’t believe me? Check out #boyperm trending on TikTok
What to know before getting a perm:
1. The less damage to your hair the better. Perms of the 80s get a bad “wrap” because, well, they were done on already fried hair. Over-processed on too small of a rod and finished with drying hairsprays and mousses. If you have anything over 30 volume peroxide that has been used with bleach or color on your hair, CurlCult would advise you to wait and grow the color out. And if any hair is in question, ask your stylist to start with a test strand to see if your entire head can handle it.
2. You need the correct products to best support your new look. Sulfate and alcohol-free products are a must, here are some of my faves from Parlour H:
- Davines LOVE Curl Cleansing Cream
- Davines LOVE Curl Enhancing Shampoo & Conditioner
- Evo The Therapist Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner
- Oribe Cleansing Creme for Moisture & Control
- Bumble and bumble Bb Curl Sulfate Free Shampoo & Conditioner (can be used as a co-wash)
- Bumble and bumble Bb Curl Pre-Style / Re-Style Primer
- Evo Liquid Rollers Curl Balm
- Evo Whip It Good Moisture Mousse
- Davines Oi All In One Milk
Check out our Curl Crush Kit for the ultimate curly hair styling pack:
I also recommend a microfiber towel to dry the hair after washing (it is way more gentle) and a silk or satin pillowcase. Additionally, a diffuser is a great blow-dry attachment should you want to add volume or not air dry.
3. Don’t wash it for 48 hours after the service. COME ON… WE HAVE ALL SEEN LEGALLY BLONDE! It takes 48 hours for the hydrogen bonds to reconnect and accept that it’s now curly. Washing it will mess that up, so will tight elastics and clips.
4. Get the haircut to complete the look. We often want large looks with movement and it takes layers to do that. Think of it as a skirt. If we put a layer on top of the layer on the skirt and they are all the same length, it’s just a heavy skirt. But adjusting the underneath lengths of the skirt helps it stack out like a tutu. And different lengths on top give you ruffles and movement. It is the same for hair. We need to break up the weight and length so it can sit in the shape you want it to.
Perm by @janinejarman, cut by @hairlauren at Hairroin Salon.
5. Don’t wash your hair… well just not as often. Reset your hair each day with a spritz of water. Spray leave-in conditioner or primer if it needs reshaping and conditioning. Add more curl cream if it needs more hold and definition.
6. Wait to color your hair. Wait at least 2 weeks to color your hair after the perm service. But no bleach or other harsh color processes. Stick to demi-permanent color if possible!
7. How long until your next perm? It all depends on
- how often you wash it. Less washes = perm lasts longer
- how fast your hair grows. Most of the time you need to re-perm when your roots have grown out and weigh down the curl (typically 3-6 months)
- How resistant your hair is. More resistant hair tends to fall out of the perm faster.
- I would say your next perm will be no less than 3 months and at most a year
8. Find a good stylist. Make sure you have a stylist that is comfortable with perms and curly hair. Bring examples of what you want and don’t want to make sure you are on the same page.
9. Have realistic expectations. A perm is imitating naturally curly hair. So it’s an imperfect process that won’t make you have picture-perfect curling iron curls. But it will help hold those curling iron curls if you wear them often. Ideally, though, your perm will be a wash and wear style for you.
The top picture is a perm… bottom picture is NOT a perm
10. Have fun! Perms are an opportunity to reinvent your hair situation and offer you styling freedom to wear it natural, big, and messy, and to find your big hair energy!